New Year’s Resolutions

Ivy seed heads on the cliffs at Stone Bay

Well, that was 2012.  It was, in a word, wet, although it gave us some wonderful moments to remember.  2013 started in the normal post-party haze, but the sun shone all through New Year’s Day, so perhaps that augers well for the year ahead.  This weekend feels like the ultimate come-down – sleepy, wet and dark.   Thank heavens I have something to look forward to next Saturday, in the shape of a particularly significant birthday.

I made my gardening New Year’s resolutions back at the end of October as the garden started to wind down for winter.  There’s no better time to reflect on one’s successes and failures than when they’ve just happened – I’d have forgotten if I’d left them until December and repeated the same mistakes again.  I probably still will.  Apparently 88% of people who make resolutions fail to keep them, so I am hoping that by making them public I might just put enough pressure on myself to stick to them.

  1. Less is More.  Every year my woeful lack of willpower sees more plants introduced to the garden.  Some don’t even make it into the ground.  This has to stop for budgetary as well as practical reasons.  Is there a support group for plant kleptomaniacs I wonder?  And yes, I am including seeds in this as well, as they are yet another vice!
  2. Visit more gardens.  There’s so much pleasure and inspiration to be derived from visiting other people’s gardens.   I am more than happy to appreciate the efforts of those with more space / time / talent / money / creativity / courage   than I – and that is most people.  This year we are hoping to venture out a bit further and explore the gardens of North Kent, Hampshire and Cornwall as well as the plants of Nepal and Bhutan.
  3. Read more books, properly.  Once again I’ve been given some amazing books for Christmas; properly inspiring titles that could really expand the mind.  Rather than consigning them to the coffee table, I must make time to immerse myself in what they have to say…..as well and enjoying the pictures.
  4. Be a better gardener.  Gardening is not an exact science and it demands discipline, bravery and a critical eye.  Doing nothing is rarely an option and no two years are the same.  That’s what makes it exciting.  That’s why we love gardening.  That’s why we need to keep on our toes.

Phew!  Four resolutions are more than enough for me. I feel drained already.  If I am feeling brave I’ll update you on how I’ve done as the year progresses.

What have you resolved to do better in the garden this year?

Above, common ivy (Hedera helix), a Celtic symbol of friendship, on the cliff-top at Stone Bay, Broadstairs on New Year’s Day 2013.