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Goals for the Garden in 2018

2017 was the year of containers planted with shrubs and perennials.

It’s that time of year again, time to announce to the world our resolutions for the upcoming year. As I considered the goals for my garden next year, a common theme kept reoccurring – conserving resources. Check out the resolutions for my garden in 2018.

Seeds were saved from my favorite zinnias in 2017.
Seeds of Little Marvel peas will be saved in 2018.

Save the seeds from more annuals, perennials and vegetables. I already save seeds from annuals like zinnias and marigolds, but there are many more varieties of annuals, perennials and vegetables I could save. Heirloom vegetables like Little Marvel and Tall Telephone peas, Pink Beauty radishes, Yellow Monster and Chocolate Beauty peppers, and Adelaide Festival dwarf tomatoes are at the top of the list along with more annuals and perennials.

Instead of sentencing some of the tropicals to the compost bin, more will find a place inside for the winter in 2018.

Save more plants by taking more cuttings, storing more bulbs and tubers, and overwintering more tropicals. With a front porch, two decks and a small flagstone patio to decorate with containers overflowing with beautiful plants, it seems such a waste to let them end up in the compost bin. Cuttings, bulbs and tubers don’t take up a lot of space but the challenge will be finding more space to overwinter more tropicals. My husband already groans as our bedroom becomes a jungle each fall.

This rain garden in one of the gardens I visited in 2017 is the inspiration for the rain garden I want to add to my landscape in 2018.

Save water in the landscape. In addition to following environmentally-sensible watering practices like catching rainwater in a rain barrel, spreading mulch and planting more drought-tolerant perennials, a rain garden will allow water to soak into the soil and remain on my property, saving it from running off into a drainage ditch.

Vintage galvanized containers held shrubs and perennials in 2017.

Save landfill-destined items and upcycle them into useful garden problem solvers and unique garden décor. I already have some great projects planned to accomplish this resolution. I can’t wait to share them with you throughout 2018.

Find ways to garden less expensively. For a variety of reasons, I need to find ways to garden as zealously as I want without spending as much money. All the previous resolutions are great goals on their own merits, but they each also help me accomplish this resolution.

Save more monarch butterflies. Last summer, I helped care for 30 monarch caterpillars until they emerged from their chrysalises and were ready to be released. Planting swamp milkweed in the new rain garden will offer monarchs both a food source for caterpillars and also a source of nectar for butterflies.

What are your plans for your garden next year? Share them and get ready to garden with me in 2018!

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