Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's Time to Commit

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 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!


Dee Nash said...

I admire your commitment, and I think it would be hard to commit to not buying plants for a whole year. I could barely do it for all of Lent one year. However, I know you can Leslie. You are one of the strongest women I know. Rebecca's book is fab. It will be a great guide.~~Dee

Cindy, MCOK said...

I admire your commitment and am always willing to share plants from my garden to enable you to keep that promise to yourself!

Gail said...

Wowzer, that is a huge commitment, but I have no doubts that you will carry through with it! You may even inspire me to stick with my plan to edit and simplify my garden this year. xogail

M A Newcomer said...

I'm keepin' an eye on you!

Annie in Austin said...

That's quite a challenge, Leslie. Good luck! I don't think I could make it through a whole year without running into a must-buy-annuals emergency.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

layanee said...

I am going to do rain dances for you. I hope that will help. It makes sense to not coddle those new and tender plant roots. I doubt I could be strong enough to resist temptation.

Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog said...

Wow, good luck Leslie. That is serious. But I admire you very much. Not sure I could do that.

commonweeder said...

I am making a similar committment because of other possibilities in our future. I am dividing plants, giving some divisions to a plant sale, reorganizing what I keep, and buying annuals only. No perennials. Not even one single new rose bush.