The Garden of Live Flowers

Tales of the bintgoddess and her zone 5b garden in Chicago, Illinois

Monday, December 28, 2009

December: Gardening Resolutions for 2010

A quick thanks to Ramble On Rose for inspiring me to write my gardening resolutions for 2010. I dredged up my list of resolutions (gardening and otherwise) for 2009 on my now-defunct personal blog here. Let's see, how did I do?

1) Read On the Origin of Species. Um... I started it. And I acquired a second copy, so now there are two copies sitting on my nightstand. I think I'll bump this one and try again this year. I do love me some flowery Victorian writing but Mr. Darwin, your prose is turgid, my good man. Good thing I love you so much.

2) Do a talk at a scientific meeting. Check! Now to try this one again without the panic attack.

3) Bring my weight down to N-8, where N is what I weighed in Jan. 2009, and stay there through the end of the year. Would you believe, Check! I actually lost the 8 within two months. Keeping them off however is an ongoing battle, esp. with the holidays just before deadline.

4) Edge the gardens, do more planting, and essentially bring the existing gardens into neat and healthy condition. Well, I did do more planting, but I was gone or busy for much of the summer (see #2) so the rest didn't get done. I blame myself for writing such a vague resolution. More on this below.

5) Get a little brother for Foley. Check! Except it's a sister, and she is smaller but older. Her name is Lucy and she belonged to our friends who can't keep her anymore. Lucy's resolution is to lose 10 pounds but shh, don't tell her. She's shaped like a barrel!
Lucy-face!!! ... *love*

Okay, three resolutions and two partials is not so bad. So how about 2010?

Professional stuff: Write the first chapter of the dissertation. Do another meeting talk, likely at the Evolution conference in June.

Personal stuff: Read Origin, for real this time. Bring weight down to N-10 where N is Jan. 2009's weight, and keep it there through Dec. 31. If that requires some exercise, that wouldn't be a terrible thing.

Garden stuff:
IMG_43431) Grow my first edible garden. I have the location picked out, in a sunny spot against the house (where the ladder is, in the photo). TMCH will help me build the raised bed. Things to plant: green peppers, hot peppers, peas, onions, garlic. I will only plant things that we're likely to eat (no tomatoes!) and that won't take over the planet (no pumpkins!). The railing that extends out from the house will hold window boxes of greens. It's going to be an adventure!

2) Edge all of the gardens and replace the deteriorating wire border fences. Fences and edging are mostly for keeping dogs out of the gardens, and for making my otherwise random collection of plants look more intentional. Now that I have a big pile of nice bricks rescued from the crawlspace, I have plenty of edging material.

IMG_08173) Thin the plants in the prairie garden and top-dress the soil. I've had terrible problems with the plants flopping over in this garden and the extension service suggested these as possible remedies. It is very frustrating to buy native plants adapted to dry, rocky soils and then have them look like they were run over by a truck in late summer when prairies are supposed to be at their best. The soil may actually be too dry and rocky (this used to be a gravel parking pad) and thus nutrient-poor and excessively fast-draining. Meanwhile, the helianthus has spread quite a bit and I have to bite the bullet and reduce the number of plants. *sob*

Corollary to #3: Take more photos of things going wrong in the garden. I couldn't find a single photo to show the flopping in the prairie garden. It's nice to take pretty pictures and all, but I need to see the trouble spots as well. This photo is from two summers ago and the flopping on the left is hard to see but is definitely there; more apparent is the neglect, which I did rectify, and the ill-placed viburnum, which is gone now.

4) Begin overhaul of the front yard garden. This is contingent on getting the broken concrete sidewalk removed in the spring; if we don't do that, the front yard can just coast as it has for years. If we do, then I have some new yardage to plan out!

So apparently I am going to be very busy in 2010. I'm already looking forward to it! What do you have planned?

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