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2014 Gardening & Landscape Resolutions

I am a huge fan of New Year's Resolutions. Making a list garden-designand using it to hold myself accountable has become a key component of my January 1st celebrations. I am the only New Year's Resolution maker in my home, but have gladly taken on creating 1-2 for my husband each year. This year, I extended my efforts to the staff at The Barn. (They are thrilled.)

One thing I have learned the hard way is that New Year's Resolutions are most easily kept when you start off with baby steps. Opt for losing 5 lbs instead of 50, and when you reach that threshold, ante up for another 5. (And, ahem, gardening is a great way to get a good workout!)

Applying baby steps to your gardening resolutions is a great way to overcome gardening disappointment or insecurity. Below we have outlined some "baby step" gardening and landscape resolutions that are achievable, simple and will make a real difference in your garden and landscape.

2014 New Years Resolutions for The Garden & Landscape


  1. Become a Gardener - In other words, plant something. Staff members at The Barn love nothing more than helping a new gardener. Visit The Barn this spring and we will get you started on a container vegetable garden, perennial garden design or perhaps a perennial vine on a trellis. Gardening is the perfect hobby. It's good for you, good for the earth, beautiful and inexpensive. At The Barn, we have many small garden ideas and examples you can use to get started. Looking for a personal consultation for your garden design?  We offer free design services.
  2. Start Fresh - Just tear the darn thing out. If you have an ugly, over grown bed, plant or tree, get rid of it! "Planter's Guilt" is a terrible thing but looking at a plant that is overgrown and ugly is worse. We forgive you and even do it ourselves. It's ok to pull out plants that are not working in your landscape.  Make a list of plants you want to replace and transplant. Start fresh!
  3. Grow Your Own -  The "Farm to Table" trend will continue to grow in tomatoplantincontainer2014. If you have never grown your own food, The Barn can help design a small container garden, herb garden or vegetable garden with your favorite fruits and vegetables. Try a potted raspberry bush on your deck or a container of mixed greens for salads. Consider adding edibles to their landscapes. Mixing herbs and greens into your landscape is fun, creative and delicious!
  4. Go Native - Native plants are easy to grow and maintain. Watch for our list of favorite native perennials in January 2014.
  5. Go Green - Break your habit of using harmful, potentially toxic chemicals on your lawn and garden and try out some of our favorite organic options for lawn care, pests and weeds.
  6. Plant more Perennials - Lower costs of mulching, or planting annuals every year. Purchase and plant a small amount of perennial groundcover or a spreading perennial to replace one bed every year.
  7. Don't buy anything until you have a place for it. - We are sooo guilty of this... Don't over plant and make sure you have the right spot for the right plant BEFORE you purchase it.
  8. Don't make promises you can't keep - Be realistic how much time you have to water, weed and fertilize. If you don't want to water daily and prune annually, ask us for low maintenance choices. There are many gorgeous low maintenance plants available to suit everyone's needs. You don't need to spend hours on your garden to achieve something beautiful.
  9. Try Something New - One of the fun aspects of gardening is the amount of choices available. Here is a tip that has paid off for me. Ask one of our staff members, "What did you try last year that turned out really well?". This is a great way to discover a new plant that has already been proven successful.
  10. Volunteer at a Community Garden - Your local church, school or garden-designcommunity most likely has a number of volunteer gardens. Volunteering at a community garden is an amazing way to reap the benefits of working with experienced gardeners and enjoying vegetables, fruits and cut flowers without having to take 100% responsibility. If you have limited time or a lack of space, volunteering at a community garden is the perfect way to take a baby step into gardening for a hobby.
  11. Don't Procrastinate - Most talented landscapers are booked with work through most of the spring. If you have a big event this spring and have landscape work you want done, call us now to get started.
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