Garden resolutions

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(Host) On this last day of 2002, commentator Henry Homeyer has a sampling of gardeners’ resolutions for 2003.

(Homeyer) Recently I’ve been in touch with gardeners about their hopes and plans for the coming year. Most of us tend to be a little too ambitious when it comes to gardening, so I’ve been surprised that many of my gardening friends are being so realistic- or at least for now.

Organic orchardist and garden writer Michael Phillips vowed, “This year we won’t overdo it. We intend to keep our gardens at a scale we can manage. Tis’ far more enjoyable to do a modest garden right – than be overwhelmed by plantings out-of-control. Happiness lies in being on top of one’s vision rather than buried alive by weeds and unmet work!”

My neighbor Doris LeVarn claimed, “Maybe I’ll just do a little tinkering with what I have and not begin any new projects. With that in mind, you’ll need to chain me to the bedpost and keep me out of nurseries and garden centers.”

Bookstore owner Penny McConnell of Norwich e-mailed saying, “I resolve to divide things early in the spring when the young and juicy plants are just coming up. I see them popping up every year and cannot stand to dig anything up and get rid of it. Then two months down the road, my garden is so overgrown that it looks like a jungle and I can’t see where the lysimachia begins and the phlox leave off. By then, it’s too difficult to dig the clumps up. So, my resolution is to be strong in the springtime and get in there and divide plants and give them away to other gardeners. “

Gardens should be a source of joy and tranquility, and for many they are. Garden designer and writer Gordon Hayward of Putney wrote saying, “My one New Year’s resolution would be this: When Mary and I walk in the garden each evening, don’t talk about what’s wrong with the garden; enjoy what’s right with it. We all need to right the wrongs of our work in the garden, but at least once a day we need to pull back from that focus -on what’s wrong- so that we can take deep pleasure in the garden’s beauty as it is.”

And me? I resolve to try to slow down and be a little less ambitious. I have a garden spot beneath a wild apple tree that pleases me all summer long, even though it isn’t full of flashy flowers. There are some wild flowers and a modest collection of primroses that are gorgeous early on. But much of the summer it is just a collection of green leaves, and a small outcropping of rock. It is shady and cool… and usually weedy. But this summer I will place two chairs there, and try to spend more time just enjoying what Nature and I have done together.

Wishing you success in your garden in the coming year, this is the is the gardening guy, Henry Homeyer, in Cornish Flat, New Hampshire.

Henry Homeyer is an author, columnist and the Vermont Associate Editor of People, Places and Plants magazine.

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