Don't wear the good jeans
in the garden. Take time to change into work gear before leaping into the
pond to excavate the slime. Don't wear the Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes when
pruning the roses or turning the compost.
Sharpen tools this winter
while there is time to do this necessary but boring chore.
Organize gardening books,
give away those not used and store the keepers properly on the bookshelf.
Do garden shopping locally.
This includes going to the farmers' markets and local nurseries. Everything
you could possibly want is probably available right in your home town and shopping
there will boost the local economy.
Do not get so lost in
garden work that dinner time passes and you forget (once again) to stop for
a bite to eat.
Grow at least one new
perennial and one new edible plant.
Learn to identify at least
one new wildflower.
Do the pruning by March
this year, before real growth starts.
Keep after ivy, Himalayan
blackberries, Japanese knotweed and bittersweet. Search out and destroy
these thugs on
your own property, of course, but also up and down the street where
Take some time
each day to either sit in the gazebo or laze in the hammock.
Ok maybe every week. Well, at
least every month. Baby steps. Baby steps. All work and no play makes
for a dull gardener. (Note: this can be combined with stopping for a bite to
eat or a cool drink.) Spend more time looking rather than working. Stop obsessing about
perfection and learn to live with the garden even if it leaves a bit to be
desired. Enjoy the garden for what it should be—a place of beauty to relax
and enjoy instead of a constant labor-intensive chore.
gardening class with the local Extension office that is part of the state
university. All year long they offer local classes on many gardening
more about gardening by going to a wildflower show or a local garden tour.
plants in the garden, not just replant the same old annuals in the flower
pot on the patio. Branch out!
more mulch to flower beds where it will decrease weeds and protect the
environment instead of going for useless non-natural applications.
compost pile and add to it regularly rather than wasting money buying compost
to add to the garden.
flowers to the landscape, even if they must be planted in containers.
garden a haven for birds and butterflies by growing native plants and not
environment by planting a tree in your yard, in the wild or for a friend.
specifically for cutting to bring indoors.
plastic growers' pots to a nursery or recycling center.
and protective clothing when working in the garden. Keep a pair of gloves, a
hat and a long-sleeved shirt on a peg by the back door or on the patio for
those unplanned gardening sessions. You know the ones—“Oh, a weed. I’ll just
pull it. Oh, another weed…”
Put up a mailbox in the
backyard. It will add decoration and be useful to store gloves, small hand
tools and paper and pencil for making lists. You can put up the red flag to
remind yourself when there is a "to do" to be done.
beneficial insects such as lady beetles, green lacewings, and beneficial
wasps to your garden to help control the "bad bugs." Appreciate and
encourage the anoles, toads, spiders, and other creatures that help control
Never go into the garden
without pulling a weed. Always look a gift plant in the mouth. Turn some
acreage into a wildflower meadow. Collect and save seeds.
Plant new plants right away
instead of letting them sit around in nursery pots for too long.
Share plants and seeds and
exchange gardening experiences with other gardeners.
Use compost during planting
to enrich the soil. Compost contains important plant nutrients, but also
helps to improve soil structure and water retention.
Be more realistic about the
amount of time available for gardening. Don’t start something you do not
have time to finish.
breaks or at least switch movements or activities every 15 minutes to save
muscles and joints from the abuse of repetitive motions. Can you say carpal
tunnel syndrome? You will be saying it to your doctor if you spend all day
pruning without taking breaks.
Don't let weeds
go to seed. "One year's seeding equals seven year's weeding."
flowers. Did you know purple coneflowers have a fragrance?