The first leucojum aestivum is blooming! There will be more to come but the first is always exciting. It means the year has rolled over and we are starting anew. I have been anticipating this January with some trepidation because I have been considering a huge commitment, promise, challenge. After growing this garden for over 33 years it is time to take a step back, stop shoehorning plants into any empty (or semi-empty) space and really make some decisions.
Camellia Jordan's Pride is blooming too, another sign of the new year. There is no getting around it. The time has come to commit and be done with it.
Layia platyglossa, Tidy Tips, is starting to bloom too. This is a new California wildflower I got from Annie's Annuals and Perennials. Nurseries are just so much fun and there are always so many tempting plants. My garden is the result of many occasions where I could not stick to the plan/list and something new or many somethings new came home with me and needed to be wedged in to any available spot.
Bulbs, including these Narcissus Avalanche, are also erupting in the garden...pretty much everywhere. There was once a plan to keep bulbs close to the rock edging so that I could use the center of the beds for other things. Another good intention gone in the heat of bulb buying frenzies.
So what is the commitment? The promise? The challenge? I am going to try to make it through 2014 without buying any new plants. Exceptions will include vegetable starts. And possibly a few annuals if I really really need a fix. I am going to be editing out what needs to go, moving things that need to be in better spots. Dividing perennials that have overgrown their spaces. I am studying Rebecca Sweet's book "Refresh Your Garden Design With Color, Texture and Form" among other things.
I have some ideas for building a few garden structures I've been wanting. I want to clean up and clear out things I will never use.
Why this year? This is an idea I have considered attempting for some time. Last year I decided the time had come and 2014 would be the year. The fact that California, among other states, is suffering from a serious long term drought is a more concrete reason to choose this year. Maybe by next year we will have had a miracle winter that actually includes rain and new plants will stand a better chance. I have moved to a more drought tolerant plant palette over the years and this will be a good time to refine that element. I am not getting any younger and making plant choices that don't require intensive care will help me be able to spend more time doing what I enjoy in the garden and less time on routine maintenance.
So, challenge accepted. I will buy no plants in 2014 except those vegetable starts (and possibly annuals in a mental health emergency). I don't think it will be that hard...it is already almost the end of January and I have done fine so far! Although it may be a bit more difficult to control myself in a month or two. Only 11 more months to go!