Calendar and the seasons create a great natural period to evaluate the past and plan for the future!

 This time each year is always a great opportunity for introspection in our personal, business and gardening lives.  We as a society and as individuals have a long history of using this time period to celebrate what has gone right in the preceding year or years and to examine and study what has not gone as planned.  We then realign our dreams, set goals and make plans, for the year or years ahead.  We often call these New Year’s resolutions and we struggle with how big or how detailed to make these annual resolutions or plans.   We struggle with how realistic to make them – whether they need to be items to achieve in days, weeks, months or even years.  Only you can decide what is right for you and it is not always the same – some years you may feel called to make resolutions for months and another year you may be resolving or planning for decades or some combination of all these time periods.  Almost all of us make resolutions or plans, some on paper or computer apps but most just on the memory pad in our minds. 

My father used to always encourage us to think about our lives and gardens and to celebrate and continue or adapt the things you liked and to make plans to change the things you don’t like or those that are not good, positive and healthy in our lives and gardens.   He always said it is good to dream and then make real plans and set real goals for our lives and gardens going forward.  Dad used to always said this can happen at the start of a New Year as New Year’s resolutions or anytime we want a re-do or fresh start in our lives or in our gardens.

The calendar and the seasons create a great natural period to evaluate the past and plan for the future as the year transitions from 2014 to 2015.  All the new seed catalogs and garden magazines and email blasts entice us with new plant varieties, plants we have never tried and new gardening techniques and gadgets.  Think about the plants, locations or gardening practices that did not work well last year and try to determine if the problems were watering habits, planting too early or too late, soil type or PH, bad plant choice or just weather, hail, storms or other issues out of your control.    If the issues were ones you can control, think about what you will do differently this growing season.  Do you need to take some soil tests to the county extension office to do a wiser job of fertilizing your lawn and flower beds this year?  Do you have overgrown trees and shrubs that need to be trimmed or removed this year?  Do you want to build some new flowerbeds or to enlarge or reshape some existing flowerbeds?  Do you want to add a water sprinkler or drip irrigation system to your yard or flowerbeds?  Do you need or want to plant more trees and shrubs around your home, on your property or as hedges?  Do you want to add more decorative container gardens to your porch or patio?  Do you want to add an outdoor room or special place for your family and friends to relax outdoors?  Do you want to add a garden or fish pond or water feature?  Do you want to add a hobby or production greenhouse?  Do you want to start or expand a vegetable garden? 

These are a few of the many questions you can contemplate as you make your garden plans and resolutions for 2015 and beyond.  Happy New Year!

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