How are your New Year resolutions going? Did you make any?! I've learnt from experience not to make any resolutions in the champagne-induced euphoria of the immediate New Year, but to wait until the fireworks are over and life is back to normal before thinking about what I'd like to do differently! I'm also resisting the usual 'eat less', 'drink less' or 'save money' resolutions - and am this year going for enriching positive resolutions.
As a keen garden lover with my own, albeit bijou, patch of horticultural heaven, my resolutions focus on both enhancing my outdoor space and enjoying it more. My five new year resolutions are:
Plant more colour
In a small garden there's not always space for lots of different plants that flower in all the different seasons, but there is definitely space for container gardening. By replanting containers on a seasonal basis I can easily have all year round colour as well as enjoying a wider variety of plants and keeping on trend with the latest plant (and pot) fashions! Some years I plant up the containers in complementary colours, sometimes all in one colour - this year I'm going for a vibrant mix - anything goes!
Redesign my front garden
My South-facing small front garden was originally inspired by the influential gravel garden at the renowned Beth Chatto's Garden; but, planted up about 10 years ago, some of the plants have now outgrown their allotted space and it's getting hard to see out of the living room windows! Although I will keep some of the plants, including my favourite Agapanthus, Euphorbia and Nerine, my plan is to remove some of the larger plants and create a small seating area. That way I can chat to the neighbours while enjoying a cup of tea in the evening sun when I get back from work. Working at Clifton Nurseries we have the benefit of an experienced garden design and landscaping team onsite so this looks like a job for them!
Join the terrarium trend
It's definitely time for me to tune into the terrarium trend! Terrariums are popping up all over the place and it's easy to see why. Terrariums are low-maintenance (essential for me), space-saving and simply beautiful. Ideal for people living in small spaces or for those who just love plants and love to garden, there are terrariums for every location and aspect including open terrariums, closed terrariums, dry terrariums and moist terrariums. The respected ethnobotanist and plant enthusiast, James Wong, has even taken it a step further by creating a 'tablearium', a terrarium under a glass topped coffee table ... the potential for terrariums are endless.
Do more outdoor cooking
Why just cook outdoors in the summer? I treated myself last spring to a small wood-fired pizza oven and enjoyed many a pizza party last year with family and friends - all of us relishing delicious freshly cooked pizza while basking in the smell of olive wood smoke. Wood-fired pizza ovens can be used for much more than just pizzas, so my resolution this year is to experiment with baking bread, roasting meat, and even baking chocolate brownies outside all year round - while of course continuing to experiment with new pizza toppings!
Sit out more
I love my job but, like everybody else, I also love relaxing at home after a busy working day - and where better than in my own little outdoor space? It's sometimes tempting to use the time for that extra bit of weeding or doing some pruning - but this year I'm determined to have more of those days when I just sit and read a magazine or book while enjoying my favourite beverage - either in my back garden or in my restyled front garden. Sounds like a good excuse for a new sunlounger!
I wish you all a very happy and garden-filled year!