New year – New you?

“Are you making a resolution for 2018?

Warning: More than half of all resolutions fail, but this year, they don’t have to be yours………identify the right resolution to improve your life, create a plan on how to reach it, and become part of the small group of people that successfully achieve their goal” Credit Jen A miller – new York times New Garden!!?? Is your garden or outdoor space your resolution for 2018? Yes its 2018 and the start of another garden year. Yes its cold, wet and possibly snowy. But we need to pull ourselves off the couch and into the garden! This could be a great year and a new task that is a satisfying hobby that gets you out and improves your outdoor spaces. Win Win in my opinion! Gardening follows the seasons (obviously) so this gives you a great structure to your year, you can follow this to implement changes to your garden. These need not be massive changes but even small actions can make a big difference. If you put your garden prep into gear in December then your garden has a great start for a new year. (don’t worry if you haven’t; there is still time.) Lets think about the year ahead what do you want to do with your garden?? From a total re configure to just holding a BBQ for friends. We all want to enjoy our outdoor space whenever we can especially if the sun shines. It is easy to do a little painting of woodwork and brickwork. Adding furniture and outdoor lighting. Also adding pots and plants. Please see previous blogs for the easy to care for plants. Its just the same as adding personality to any room in the house. We all have different sizes styles and spaces to improve; so always keep in mind what you have and more importantly what you can do with that space! For example here is some jobs on my to do list as my own garden is only small and has its challenges.
  1. 4 brick walls providing a lot of shade – I search out plants that like shade
  2. Dubious soil – try and mix in compost when planting new plants
  3. Small amount of planting space – I try to plan for new plants and bulbs. When I plant them, I know that they have little space, and this will keep the plant small in size. But this creates a nice mix of plants and keeps some more fast-growing plants in check.
Every year I approach a new year with optimism as I learn more and more. For this new year in the garden I am hoping to finally paint my decked area (well the whole garden is decked) and paint the side of my shed in a nice colour for contrast. Also this will help protect the wood and keep it looking fresh. I’m looking forward to seeing my bulbs appearing and getting my chilli and strawberry plants outside and hopefully enjoying their harvest in the summer. I’m sure I will re organise my pots and buy some more hardy annual plants – but I’m going to see what catches my eye. Winter DEC- FEB So winter is all about preparation – so not the most exciting start to your gardening year but a great place to start if 2018 is your first gardening year. Clean out any pots or growing places, protect any vulnerable plants, recycle your Christmas tree and use it for mulch, put out bird feed for your local birds mix compost in to the soil. Plant any bulbs ready for spring. This will give you a new start for the year ahead. Spring MAR – MAY This is the time you can see your preparation paying off as each bulbs pops to the surface and other plants start to grow and come alive as the weather warms up. This is the time I allow time to paint or refresh garden furniture. Depending on those April showers of course. Make sure your pruning any plants after flowering to keep them healthy. Keep an eye out for pests as the weather improves they start to appear on your plants. You can sow seeds directly outside. Summer JUN-AUG Hopefully the sun is shining and you can take some time to just be outside in your new and improved outdoor space! If it is hot some plants may need covering to proven scorching; also watering is essential. Either before sun rise or after sun set to allow the plants to get to the water before it evaporates. Harvest and fruit mmmmm strawberries Keep on top of those weeds by weeding regularly Deadheading flowers past their best and to encourage more Keep checking for those pests – they are always lurking! Keep mowing the lawn Autumn SEPT – NOV Clear leaves possibly start composting Take cuttings ready for next year Plant bulbs for next year Cut back plants that have finished flowering (perennials) Reduce moving of lawns Just a few general ideas for each time of year that you can adapt and change for your garden situation. Its just a way to space your jobs throughout the year and help you make a plan and reach your 2018 garden goals. Mainly have fun with it you don’t have to be out there everyday just try and keep to a few jobs a month – remember gardening is fun and stress free go with the flow and see your green space grow! All the best for your gardening 2018 and to many years after!

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