Gardening and gardens are a vital part of our lives at home at any time of year. Here are a few ideas from 2015 that can inspire your gardening in 2016!
The gardening season has long ended for most of the northern hemisphere. It’s time to reflect on this one just past and get inspired for the one upcoming.
What were your successes? What were your failures? What were your intended projects that never got off the drawing board? What are you excited to explore this coming year?
Here are a few ideas I put out there in 2015. Were they helpful? Can they inspire you for 2016?
Gardens for well-being
Gardening has many benefits for humans, animals, and the planet. It reconnects children, the elderly, and prison inmates to themselves and nature, a force larger than themselves. It offers physical exercise and peace of mind to everyone. Start a garden for your health!
Flowers benefit the planet by providing food and shelter for pollinators, who in turn provide other animals, including us, with food. Plant for bees, butterflies, and birds.
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Homegrown vegetables and fruits are more nutritious than store bought, especially in winter. Plan your garden to grow extra to put away for the non-gardening months. Build a root cellar to eat well year round.
Gardening maintenance tips
All gardens need to be weeded, and I don’t advocate spraying herbicides. A little care here and there will take care of the weeds. Go easy on your body and your soil with these weeding tips.
Compost should be added to your soil every year. Making compost is not hard. It’s a combination of nitrogen and carbon. Spent coffee grounds are the perfect material for adding nitrogen.
There is much maintenance in late summer and early fall, just as you think the season is winding down. Flower and food gardens need attention, and so does your hardscaping. It’s also time to take note of what worked and what didn’t.
Create a new garden
Gardeners are never happy with what they have. We keep experimenting with new plants and new, untouched areas of the yard. Have you thought about building a lush, low-maintenance rock garden? It’s easy to do on an existing slope, or you can build up the soil to create one.
Another low maintenance idea is to use reseeding plants. The garden is different every year as annuals and perennials come back in different places each spring.
Revisit your childhood with a fairy garden. This can be in a section of your yard, under a tree, or in a flowerpot. Miniature plants combined with tiny houses and fairies will emphasize the magic of gardening and the natural world.
The garden season never ends as we see what works and what doesn’t. Maybe we have too much sun or too much shade. Maybe the groundcovers are taking over. Maybe the tomatoes were overwatered. Record keeping helps gardeners remember what was happening in the garden during the busiest time of year.
Take the slow months of winter to get inspired for a new growing season. Plant something for pollinators, and always grow organically.