The New Gardening Year

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when everyone asks you what your New Year resolutions are. The magazines and papers are full of good ideas, here are some I’m going to copy:

Don’t fence me in:

There are 22 million gardens in the UK, so they are very important for our wildlife – as long as they can get in and out! Fences are a barrier to many mammals, reptiles and even some insects, but if all those gardens had little gaps between the fences (or better still fences replaced with hedges) wildlife could move freely between them all and biodiversity would increase.

Kick the peat habit for good:

Those millions of gardeners wield quite a buying power at the garden centres. If we all stop buying peat based products, it follows that garden centres will stop stocking it and bring in more peat-free products. This in turn encourages manufacturers to produce better peat-free composts. Good theory, it would be nice if Thompsons Welling get on board!

Drinks in the garden:

New young plants are thirsty when first planted out, but best not to water them much after that. If you get the balance right, they put their roots down deeply and you won’t need to water so much in future.  Of course container-grown plants will always need water so I’m going to reduce their numbers and use the biggest containers possible. I’m going to add water butts at every opportunity and water wisely.

Keep it local:

Buy as local as you can – check the source of seeds and plants to make sure they haven’t come from miles away, to keep the carbon footprint low and support local nurseries which grow their own plants. Buy less and share more – donate your excess plants to CABAHS plant sales and buy from them too!

Don’t covet your neighbours’ garden:

Acknowledge that you can’ t have everything! Garden visits and Instagram etc are very good ways of showing us new plant combinations and ideas, but less useful at making us appreciate what we already have. I’m going to admire, borrow ideas from others, but appreciate my own garden too!

Patience is a flower that grows not in everyone’s garden:

Get over the panic buying to fill a gap in the border (and especially not bedding plants which are very off-trend nowadays). Do you need more plants or do you need more patience? Wait a bit and nature will do the job for you and close all those gaps beautifully. Theoretically.

May the seeds that you didn’t plant in 2021 find a place in your garden in 2022!  

Happy New Year

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