It is thought that ‘January’ derives its name from Janus, the Roman god of new beginnings, time, gates, doorways, passages and endings. A god of two faces, one faces forward, while one looks back.
As we prepare to cross from December into the month of January, like the Janus of mythology, I am looking forward to the gardening year ahead.
Oscar Wilde claimed that new year’s resolutions were empty:
“Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”
So here are some simple gardening resolutions for 2018 that are achievable, but also offer me the freedom to play around with as the year progresses.
1. Grow and train a passion flower
I have long-admired a truly beautiful mass of passion flowers that bloom every summer in the Sussex street in which my mum lives. This year, I have seeds, and am finally attempting efforts with my favourite flower!
2. Successfully grow a carrot
I never claimed that these were lofty ambitions! But I have never had any success with carrots. A few years have elapsed since my last attempt, and the clearing of a new vegetable patch in the garden provides the perfect canvas to try again.
3. Read more gardening books
I read a lot of books about nature and landscape, but less so about gardening. A recent glut of gifts and additions to the pile of books on the bookshelf is becoming too inviting to ignore – in 2018, I want to make a concerted effort to further my gardening knowledge through the discovery of reading, rather than the ad-hoc search requests of Google.
4. Identify and learn more trees (and their Latin names)
A walk with my father, who worked for decades for the local council in its planning department, quickly identified how little I know about trees. In 2018, I want to make a concerted effort to learn and be able to identify more trees from their leaves and bark. Latin names provide scope for bonus points!
5. Establish a brand new vegetable patch
My daughter (3 and a half – the ‘half’ is oh so important to a child!) derived so much pleasure from growing and picking runner beans last year, that I made the decision to clear some of the garden and start a vegetable patch with her. 2018 will be the year that we establish this and I will chronicle its (hopeful) progress here on the blog.
6. Do something – anything – with the front garden
It’s a very small, very limited space, but I cleared it and threw some bulbs in a few weeks back. Again, this offers me a nice project to think about in the coming months. My ultimate aim is for it to be a space that passers-by remark on, not through any sense of pride, but because that offers the benchmark for intrigue and interest.
So there you have it – six new year’s resolutions for the garden. I would love to hear what yours are. Simply comment below, chat to me on Twitter @aseasonedsoul, or post on the Facebook page.
Happy New Year!