Time to Think a Bit About Next Year’s Garden

It’s just barely December. In some places, this year’s garden isn’t even properly “put to bed.”

While that may be true, in the marketers’ world, the seed catalogs are already rolling in. The plant catalogs won’t be far behind. And as I always say, this year’s garden, no matter how fabulous it was, is never going to be as good as next year’s garden. That’s why we all garden. It’s the triumph of hope over memory–you know it is. Otherwise, not one of us would ever put another plant back in the ground, remembering everything we’ve killed, and everything that’s been attacked by insect and disease!

So with all of that being said (after all, aren’t the holidays a magical season for dreaming anyway, no matter how old you are, and no matter what holiday you celebrate), I invite you to pick up whatever catalogs have come your way and begin to dream of next year’s garden.

If that doesn’t work–or if you’ve gone sustainable and don’t get garden catalogs–feast your eyes on this article from a recent New York Times.

The article is an interview with a horticulture professor, landscape architect and garden blogger from Virginia (with whom, I confess, I am unfamiliar), Thomas Rainer. But his ideas are delightfully refreshing and the article is even comical at times. There are places where I’m sure each of us can relate.

His discussion of native plants, and the naturalistic garden, was particularly interesting to me. My take on it is that he thinks that we’re asking too much of our natives. It’s not that we shouldn’t be using them–it’s just that we’re demanding far too much from them.

Take a glance at the article (in all your free time) this holiday season and think about what you’d like your own garden to do next year. You’ve got plenty of time to plan.

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