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I have eschewed New Year’s resolutions this year – I typically set myself impossible goals such as moderating my seed purchases and then feel doubly badly about the ensuing order-orgy. But I do have some goals for 2017.

I’m going to cap the cost of my seed expenditures by indulging my impulse purchases at Pinetree Garden Seeds. This family-owned business offers a very impressive selection of heirloom and organically produced seeds. Most of these items sell for less than $2.00 per packet, considerably less than the $3.95 and up I am finding to be standard at my other favorite retailers. I’ve always been pleased by the quality of the seeds I have received from Pinetree, so why not indulge myself at a bargain rate?

I’m not going to try grafting tomatoes again this year. I noticed no difference in the performance, in my garden, of grafted and un-grafted plants.

I’m going to broaden my horizons and focus on design rather than just plant accumulation. Specifically, I’m looking forward to a webinar on January 26th offered by my friend Kerry Ann Mendez. She’s a tireless and accomplished gardener and an inspiring teacher – among other honors, she has won a Gold Medal Award from Massachusetts Horticultural Society for “Exceptional teaching and writing that increases public enjoyment and appreciation of horticulture.” Her webinar, “Inspired Design Lessons Learned from Magnificent Gardens in England, Canada and the United States” will, I am sure, offer me much food for thought.  (The photos of Chanticleer and Adrian Bloom’s Foggy Bottom garden included here offer a preview of what Kerry will be offering)

Adrain Bloom’s Foggy Bottom garden (photo by Richard Bloom)

And on that score, I am determined to finally plant the patterns of white birches I have been wanting for my yard for lo these many years. This striking tree is common in the surrounding woods, which has become one of my criteria for my garden – I want to construct the ornamental part with locally common plants used in uncommon ways. I have been thinking of arranging the birches in rhythmic figures, sort of like a botanical contra dance. If I place an order for bare-root trees this winter, it will force my hand so that the plan becomes a reality in spring.

Posted by

Thomas Christopher
on January 2, 2017 at 8:08 am, in the category Designs, Tricks, and Schemes, Tune In.