A new year is simply the turn of a calendar page — and a beautiful chance for us to turn over a new leaf.

It is customary in Australia to ring in the New Year with the excitement of fireworks, parties, friends and champagne but also the good intentions of new year resolutions. I have always enjoyed New Years Eve and since early childhood I’ve been able to celebrate the coming year at a party. My first memories of New Years Eve parties was an annual overnight gig at a beautiful home on the Hawkesbury River with my parents and brothers. We stayed up all night, watched the adults have too much fun, sang Auld Lang Syne at midnight, swam in the pool packed with floating balloons and tucked into a hot barbeque breakfast in the morning for brunch. Heady stuff for a ten year old that has remained the standard of my idea of New Years Eve ever since.

So whether its a party in a home, in a city bar or restaurant, on a boat or a tiny balcony overlooking the harbour. New Years Eve is the best night of the year. I love the extension of the festive season into the new year and the promise of a clean slate dawning on January the 1st.

Unfortunately, I have never been very adept at New Year Resolutions but this year I’m going to nail it probably for the first time ever. Well, I have clear and strong intentions anyway. Unlike the traditional New Year resolutions around lifestyle changes such as limiting alcohol intake, weight loss, fitness or becoming a vegan, my resolutions for 2020 are about the garden.

Hope and faith flower from the cheerful seeds of the old year to the sprouting garden of the new year’s dawn.

Terri Guillemets

New Year Resolutions for Gardeners

One of the best New Year’s Resolutions is to start a new garden or to improve certain aspects of your existing garden or gardening habits. There are many simple and easy garden practises that once established will make a difference in growing a flourishing garden. Perhaps look at more sustainable gardening or choose from some of these ideas as your New Year resolutions for an outstanding garden through 20120.

  • If you don’t have a garden decide to start one as even in apartment living you can grow herbs, flowers and vegetables on balconies and porches quite easily.
  • Design your garden to suit the location that is easy to maintain and more sustainable
  • Build a compost heap
  • Plant fruit trees
  • Decide to go 100% organic
  • Set up a worm farm
  • Plant more native plants
  • Test the soil ph and learn to look after your soil and use your own composting
  • Fertilise with manure
  • Plant trees to help store carbon from the atmosphere into the soil
  • Clean out the shed and find the right place to store all your gardening tools and equipment.
  • Water well and thoroughly but less often so the plants become hardy.
  • Set up garden pots on a drip watering system
  • Grow more edible greens like lettuces, kale, rocket, sorrel and endive
  • Weed regularly
  • Keep learning by reading, asking advice, researching and joining gardening groups or online communities
  • Mulch often to keep the soil cool and suppress weeds
  • Try new varieties of plants in the garden
  • Secure all the climbing plants
  • Visit local or interstate inspiring gardens
  • Try growing new plants from seeds
  • Propagate spare plants ready for fairs and markets
  • Put up shade sails for plant protection in the heat of Summer
  • Use beneficial insects to get rid of pests
  • Add seaweed to the garden either fresh from the ocean and dried out to be pulverised or use Eco seaweed style products
  • Clean and sharpen gardening tools
  • Be creative with your choice of plants and design the garden with focus on colour, texture, contrast and repetition for a balanced garden look
  • Grow companion plants under roses for insect control and weed suppression
  • Go for ‘less is more’ in the vegetable garden by growing better quality rather than huge quantities of produce.
  • Label the names of your roses
  • Keep a gardening journal
  • Share your vegetable surplus with neighbours
  • Play music to your plants as research shows they like it and the louder the better
  • Grow more indoor houseplants
  • Relax in your garden and enjoy the fruits of your labour

The rose of the old year withers away as the new bud begins to bloom.

With so many resolutions to choose from the garden calendar will be very full this year. The last three New Year resolutions are my favourite ones to adopt this coming year. These are very simple yet effective habits that will make a difference to my time in the garden, lessening extra tasks and making me go the extra distance. Let’s see how I go!

  • Do it once Do it Right
  • Finish what you started
  • Clean up the garden as you go

That’s it for 2019 in the garden so Happy New Year and let us hope it rains soon in Australia. Cheers

All content Di Baker 2019 All rights reserved

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Title Quote by Terri Guillemets

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