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On the Start of a New Year

The New Year for every gardener is a wonderful time of the year. This is the moment we stand at the edge of starting over, a new season, a clean slate, optimistic that this time it'll be different ... this will be the year that we get to everything in the garden. So, as the ever-hopeful gardeners that Ed and I are, we offer our Gardener's New Year's Resolutions.

1.  Go for low maintenance
Be more resolved to avoid planting that landscape (or a garden) that demands more time and maintenance than you can keep up and enjoy.  It's important to design a landscape that only requires as much maintenance time and effort as you have to give. Remember lawn areas, large vegetable gardens and flowerbeds are higher maintenance.

2.  Use what you have
Many people will say they want to have a garden but that they don’t have enough space. They just need a new perspective. You always can grow with what you have, whether it’s a small window box for herbs or a spot in the yard for a tree or a pot on the patio for a flowering plant.  There’s a variety of plants that will thrive in almost any space.

3.  Choose the right plants
Planting a bit of our past (especially if it was North of San Antonio) or letting photos of gardens that look so perfect on the printed page make you feel slightly jealous, remember that they are picture-perfect because those the plants were selected for that specific region. So remember to choose the right plants for your climate. Here we live in a humid climate and we normally experience long, dry springs and summers. If you can resolve to select the plants that thrive in the climate in which you live, then your garden is more likely to thrive – and it will be something you will want to show others.

4.  Buy yourself a fabulous new container.
Just like you paint your walls or replace curtains periodically, replacing that old and worn plant container with a nice, large beauty can make you smile. We recommend a minimum of 16-inch diameter for most applications. And please ... toss that tired old potting mix on the compost pile and start off with a nice, new, soilless planting mix. You'll thank us ... and so will your plants!

5.  Preserve something you grow.   
Enjoy that sense of accomplishment others experience when they freeze or can or dry their homegrown fruit or vegetables.

6.  Sit in the garden and ENJOY it.
This may be the toughest resolution for a gardener. While we know how good the garden is for us -- physically, mentally and spiritually and how it connects us with nature and teaches us something new each time we visit, most of us gardeners have trouble sitting still in our gardens. We see a weed that needs pulling, a fruit or vegetable that needs harvesting or a spent flower that needs deadheading. In all those acts of gardening, however, we may be missing the best part of our gardens.

Let's all try to spend more time just sitting still in our gardens in 2018.