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Good Growing

Gardening Goals

Each year I tell myself that I want to accomplish this or that in the garden. I want to try this new variety or try a new plant all together. No matter what, sometimes good intentions go awry and when the end of the year rolls around we might sigh and say darn, that didn't work, but you know what there is always next year!

Its 2017, it's a new year and that means new goals, new intentions, and of course new varieties. As gardener's, we always seem to want to try everything and sometimes it can be very overwhelming. I'm planning to avoid the yearly thinking process of "oh no what ever will I do with it all?" This year I'm going to take a portion of my yard and focus on getting it to where I want it or at least a good start on my vision of where I want that to be.

I'm not a formal landscape designer or architect, but I do like being creative. I am inspired by what I see others do or ideas in magazines or pictures on Facebook. Then I stop and evaluate how possible they are for my yard and growing zone. That's part of the process - figuring out what works for you in your yard and garden.

Sometimes no matter how much we like certain plants they just might not be suitable for us even if we should be able to grow them. Here's a great example. My mother can grow ivy indoors without trouble - beautiful, healthy, gorgeous plants. Every single time she gave me a healthy plant that she started from a cutting off her plant, I would bring it home, it wouldn't matter what house I was living in or what I did, I would always get spider mites and that would be the end of it.

This goes for outdoors gardens as well. If you've tried the same plant three times and each time it hasn't survived in your garden – evaluate why. Is it lighting? Is it soil conditions – organic matter, soil moisture, drainage? Might that plant be better suited in a different area of your yard or garden?

One thing that you should always keep in mind about your yard and garden is that it's fluid – it's always changing. Trees grow bigger providing more shade as time goes by and our sunny gardens become shady respites. Sometimes the reverse occurs, trees come down and now that once shady respite might become the perfect location for a sun loving garden or maybe you've always wanted to grow vegetables and now you have that chance.

So what might the point of all this rambling on and on? It's all food for thought. First, don't assume you have to do it all at the same time, all at once, all in the same year. Give yourself time to plan and tackle a portion of your yard or garden a piece at a time. It will help in feeling you've accomplished something and it can create drive and initiative to work on the next portion of the yard. Eventually, all of it will come together, but also let yourself be inspired by things around you, what others have done, pictures, personal passions, etc. Don't be discouraged if something doesn't work. Finally give yourself time to enjoy your garden and your hard work and the beauty that is the outdoors. Those garden catalogs should be arriving soon – we have plenty of time to plot and plan our 2017 garden.