I stopped making New Year’s resolutions years ago when they started to feel like they were constraining rather than inspiring. Making resolutions for what can be achieved in the garden though over the coming year, is something quite different and I’ll be making a mighty long list!
Gardening New Year’s resolutions are often more like a wish list and it is a list which is multi-faceted, allowing you to get healthier, fitter, greener, wiser and mentally stronger, whilst creating a beautiful space which can be pretty, productive and good for wildlife and the planet in general. For a gardener of all levels of skill and experience, or none at all, the year ahead can be exciting as you want it to be! Here are some New Year Gardening Resolutions to inspire your own:
PLANT SOMETHING NEW
- Challenge yourself to plant something new whether that be a plant, flower, tree or vegetable. There is a joy in watching something new grow on and do well in your garden and it keeps the mind sharp as you learn how best to nurture something new.
- Grow a flower or vegetable from seed. Watching a tray of seeds germinate and grow into seedlings is one of the most fascinating and rewarding things you can do as a gardener. It is also a great money saver and allows you to experiment without having to pay out a fortune for an established plant.
LEARN TO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
- Sow some easy to grow seeds like radishes or lettuce which will germinate quickly and easily to set you off on your food growing adventure.
- If you just cannot wait until the temperature outside warms up, try sowing pea shoots on your windowsill for a mega-boost of fresh and tasty goodness.
- Learn how to compost your garden and food waste. Compost is a nutrient-rich substance that enriches the soil by replacing nutrients used up by plants. It also saves you money in the long run as you won’t need to buy bags of soil once you start spreading your fabulous compost around your flower, fruit and veg beds.
- Save egg shells to create an inexpensive and natural garden solution to deter slugs.
CARE FOR WILDLIFE
- Hang a bird feeder for a super easy start to encouraging more wildlife into your garden.
- Plant a variety of pollinator friendly flowers such as foxgloves, cosmos, echinacea, lavender, salvias, poppy, chives and calendula to encourage beneficial bugs to visit your garden which will reduce the need for the use of chemical pest control.
CREATE AN INDOOR JUNGLE
Buy more houseplants. Houseplants in your home or workplace can reduce indoor pollutants, dust mites and smoke. In fact, one plant placed per 100 square feet is enough to see measurable reductions in formaldehyde and carbon monoxide according to experiments by NASA.
JOIN A GARDENING GROUP
- Volunteer at a local or community garden. There are a huge number of gardens and food growing initiatives which only survive with the help of a willing band of volunteers. You will be rewarded with an increase in your gardening knowledge and an extended social circle.
- If you cannot find a garden group near you which suits, join an online group so you can both learn from and share your knowledge within it.
VISIT A GARDEN OR A GARDENING SHOW
Visit a local open garden or gardening show for inspiration. Even the most seasoned of gardeners can pick up plant combination inspiration or stay abreast of the latest gardening trends by looking out beyond their own garden boundary. At most events, you can also buy plants or gardening tools so it’s well worth a visit.
INCREASE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Buy a gardening book or magazine; watch a gardening programme; take an online course or attend a local workshop. Increasing your gardening knowledge benefits both mind and body and will save you time in the long run as you learn clever care tips and tricks to use in your own garden.
SNAP YOUR GARDEN
Snap your garden once a month over the course of the year in order to document and monitor the changing seasons. You will not only be amazed when you look back at how your garden evolves but it is a great record for future planning.
TAKE TIME TO SMELL THE FLOWERS
- Enjoy your garden. While you might go all gung-ho in trying to achieve your perfect paradise, never forget to take time to enjoy the colours, textures and scents of your garden. Walk around your garden, take pictures of it, sit down and enjoy it.
- Invite friends over to spend time in your garden. A beautiful garnet should be talked about, admired and shared. Organise for friends to visit for afternoon tea, a BBQ or al fresco drinks.