Looking back, looking ahead

January, as I understand from my copy of the American Heritage Dictionary, is the month of the ancient Roman god Janus who is depicted as looking in opposite directions. While not entirely a relevant analogy, it is interesting to note that each January, we do look ahead by making resolutions, but look back too, so as to continue the good work and avoid making mistakes made earlier.

Making resolutions, however at times, seems somewhat of a customary act, in addition to the fact that a fair number of us have trouble keeping them; so, to come out of the box, I have compiled some random thoughts, mostly gardening related, which have come to my mind with the hope of working on them in the coming year. Though a few do sound trivial, they seemed worth mentioning:      

  • To beat the winter blues, take time to step in the garden on one of those warm, sunny days; explore bare spots and make tentative plans for spring planting. However, to avoid impulse buying, study the microclimate of the location first. Consider growing native plants suited for our area.
  • Make an attempt not to be a perfectionist, especially when it comes to weeds. Though easier said than done, I try to think of weeding as a reason to be outdoors; a much-needed physical activity during winter months, but it does help to remember one’s own physical limits and therefore not to overdo.
  • Despite best efforts, if a favorite plant dies, not to dwell over it; there is always a lesson learned from these incidences. Among other factors, vigilance for pests and diseases helps avoid unnecessary heartache over such losses.
  • To keep the passion of gardening alive, grow at least one annual, perennial or bulb the coming growing season which is unusual or will be a newcomer to the garden; browsing through mail-order catalogs is a great winter past time.
  • Invite fellow gardeners for tea and cookies and share tips and tricks picked up during the course of time. What better way to learn than by interacting with peers who share the same interest.
  • Sign-up for seminars/symposia offered during spring by various agencies to get ideas about new gardening products, practices, etc. Such activities also help to get out of the winter cocoon.
  • Find time to relax: catch the sunrise, watch the first buds of spring unfold, deciduous trees and shrubs come out of dormancy, and spring-flowering bulbs poke their heads through the still cold ground.

So, let’s make 2013 the most exciting gardening year ever!

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