Gardening Resolutions –Midseason Check-Up

Did you make some New Year’s gardening resolutions in January like I did, or fantasize about a series of projects to complete before summer’s end? (See mine at Well, it’s the end of July and we’re halfway through the gardening season. Time to check progress against plans.

My primary goal was to stay on track with my gardener-coaching practice, something new this year. It's been a lot of work and gave me less time in the garden, but I'm very pleased with the results: My website is up, I've booked a number of speaking engagements, launched an online course that's gotten very positive response, appeared on Bonnie Graham's Up Close and Personal radio show, and am featured in the current issue of a national magazine, American Gardener.

The 75-foot cherry tree trunk in the east garden hasn't been touched, but Dan thinks he can still enlarge the exclosure, this year (we have to open it up, in order to move the tree). He's motivated to save the wood to use in his art projects, so maybe…..

The lavender garden assumed its priority status, as promised. The propane tank has nearly disappeared visually. The project (which has expanded to fill the time and imagination available) is about half finished. We've decided the planter idea wasn't really necessary after all, but have added two stone pillars.

After seeing some great ideas at the Mansion in May, I decided to adapt a few of them to the area around the seating bench in the front "courtyard." I lucked out and was able to find two plain  concrete pedestals, put a concrete candlestick on each, and top those off with candles contained in hurricane glass. Dan still has to build the stone platform for the bench before I can install my ferns and other shade-loving plants.

I've picked out the bulbs I want, but in echoes of last year, haven't ordered them yet.

The blue garden has seen some changes. The Hydrangeas are turning blue after I acidified the soil; the Delphiniums were a disaster once more; I'm leaving the Monarda Blue Stocking in place for now (I like it's look now that I've trimmed it up). I decided to dig out the Munstead Lavender, which has been struggling, transplant it to the Lavender Garden out front, and replace it with two great blue irises I just bought at the Garden State Iris Society's plant sale.

I lost my gorgeous reblooming azalea because some idiot with a size seven shoe crushed it under her boot and pulled it out of the planting hole while removing snow from other plants. What a show I got from the blue Columbine, though. They've formed a veritable forest of plants and I'll continue to scatter their seed everywhere. All in all, it was a poor year for all of my irises, except the Siberian and the Louisiana. Maybe next year.

The roses have been doing very well, but I haven't moved the Hellebores and Ligularia outside the exclosure.

So, how close did you come to achieving your gardening goals this year? Share your thoughts in a comment.

For more information on gardener coaching, visit:

To sample the digital version of American Gardener magazine, click

To read the American Gardener article about Cultivating The Inner Gardener, click ; then search the words "inner gardener."

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