How To Plot The Perfect 2012 Gardening Resolutions - 1

This carved stone fish fountain was a Christmas present
Plotting out gardening resolutions during the long, dull, gray days of winter, is a pleasant way to stay connected to our gardening hopes and dreams when cabin fever sets in and we pine for the glorious colors and smells of spring.

Because beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it’s smart to start a gardening resolution list by checking in with the inner gardener. Set aside all the flashy photos in books, magazines, or video tours of splendid gardens for a moment. They’re great for inspiration and motivation, but they can also cut us off from our own ideas – ideas that may be simpler in concept, and easier and more affordable in execution.

Think through the types of things that give you the most pleasure for your efforts and your budget. For me, this generally revolves around my notion of garden art. That could mean outdoor sculpture, garden ornaments such as pots, sundials, etc., outdoor furniture, artistic fences built by the under-gardener, architectural plants, or even plants arranged in artistic compositions such as vignettes.

But you might be interested in something entirely different, such as memorizing the Latin names of all of the plants in your garden, or completing your collection of variegated hostas, or replicating a Colonial-style kitchen garden.

Allow yourself to dream. If money and time were no object, what would you love to collect, create, or do? What sort of garden atmosphere would help you feel relaxed and at peace with the world. What plants or objects will provide a sense of sanctuary? These are not extravagances, but investments in creating an environment of health and well-being that sustains you and protects you from the turmoil of the world that lies beyond your garden gate.

Plotting your gardening resolutions helps sort, prioritize, and focus on specific plans and tasks for the coming year. This is particularly useful when trying to tackle large, complex, or multi-year projects that must be broken out into phases, where each step in the process must follow a specific order, or the activities of several contractors must be co-ordinated. -- more next time --

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