It’s time to shake the mud of 2016 off our boots, and head to prepare the soil for 2017 (metaphorically speaking). I have the bones of a planting plan for next year, which will be subject to revisions, and we know which areas of the garden still need work.
In the two years since we moved into this house, Ryan and I have concentrated on building a garden, and we haven’t done very much inside. It was all redecorated (in tasteful magnolia, which I loathe) before we bought the house, and we’re in the early stages of putting our stamp on it. Like lots of couples who move in together, we each had a houseful of stuff when we did, and although we’ve rehomed a lot of surplus things, we’re still mired in ‘stuff’. So we will be focusing on decluttering and rehoming, certainly for the start of 2017.
I have a lot of books, and whilst I don’t think it’s possible to have too many, they do create storage problems. So I am going to do two things with regards to books this year. The first is to operate a ‘one in, one out’ policy. If I want to give a new book a permanent spot on a shelf, one of the others has to leave to find a new home. The key question to ask is whether I’m really going to read it or refer to it in future.
The second thing I’m going to do is related. I have a lot of (mainly gardening and food) books that I haven’t read, or have partly read. And so I’m planning on reading one each month, to determine whether it’s worth its place on the shelf. The book I have selected for January is ‘The Gardener’s Year’, by Karel Capek – a gardening classic that happens to be first on the shelf.
On a more personal note, I found 2016 a difficult year to deal with in terms of world events. It’s easy to be overwhelmed, to be overcome by the negativity, to feel helpless in the face of so many different issues, and to become exhausted fighting a battle on too many fronts. I’m not going to bury my head in the sand in 2017, but I am going to step back slightly and focus on my strengths, and what I can contribute, and what’s manageable for me. I will be working towards less guilt, more positivity and more solutions – things I can do that will make the world a better place. You may have already noticed that there’s a What can I do? section on the blog now; they’re mainly little things that help, and don’t take a lot of time or effort. I’m not suggesting everyone does everything, but whenever you’re feeling the need to do something you can take a look.
My new year resolutions will extend into the garden, although they didn’t take root there. If you’re pondering what to change for 2017, a gardening resolution, how about one of these?
- Start composting. It’s a great way to turn waste into a free resource for the garden.
- Go organic. The Organic Academy is going live soon, with affordable organic gardening courses, growing tips and reminders, and I’m going to be helping out with that.
- Plan a manageable garden, to avoid stress later on in the year and keep the gardening mojo flowing.
- Go peat-free. Peat-free composts have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years.
- Support independent plant nurseries. Shop local, and let the benefits flow through your community.
- Support your favourite garden authors! Whether it’s buying a book, writing an online review, retweeting/sharing their stuff on social media, or just leaving a comment on their website, show them some love.
Have you made any New Year resolutions? Share them in the comments!
I wish you all a positive and abundant new year 🙂
This blog post was written by Emma Cooper and was published on The Unconventional Gardener website. If you're reading it elsewhere you may want to navigate away from plagiarised content.