Having New Year’s resolutions is a tradition. The start of the new year is a good time to stop and think about what we want to do better in our lives. There are many typical resolutions which people often give up on, such as eating healthier or exercising more, but what about in the garden?
We can make New Year’s resolutions for our own garden and become better for it. Many of you know how I feel about using only native plants, and that would be a great choice for a resolution, but you can always start smaller.
A great New Year’s resolution is to start adding native plants in your current garden. If you aren’t ready to completely switch over to a native garden, adding just one or two native plants may change your mind in the long run. Start with some of the more commonly grown native plant species in your area. In the US, Orange Milkweed is a phenomenal way to make your entrance into native gardening. It can be found at many garden centers, and seed packets are even easier to find. It’s a plant that will look good in most gardening styles, as long as it has sun.
Now that I think about it, I gave both my mom and my grandma one this past Spring. They, as many people are, were unsure of it because of the name “milkweed”. I told them to just wait and see, and if they didn’t like it, I’d remove it for them. By late summer, the plants started to bloom and both my mom and my grandma instantly realized how much they love it. Since then, one of my Grandma’s friends and my aunt both want some for their own gardens after seeing it in hers.
It doesn’t surprise me. It’s a beautiful plant, as are many native species, but people have such a hard time changing their mind until they see it in person, and often times people refuse to see something in person if they’ve already made their own opinion about it. Had I not planted those milkweeds with the promise to remove them if they didn’t like them, my mom and my grandma would’ve never even considered adding something called “milkweed” to their gardens. Now they both have a plant that they each consider to be their favorite.
Orange Milkweed is only the tip of the iceberg. If you give native plants a chance, you may open up what seems to be a whole new world of gardening. You may see gardening in a completely new way. There’s a deeper meaning to native gardening that you can’t quite understand until you start it, and until you learn about it.
With a new year right around the corner, think about making a difference in your garden. I’m personally asking you to make your New Year’s resolution be about native gardening. The best possible time to start is now. In 2016, I hope to make many more posts about native gardening. I want to share my experiences. I want to share what I’ve learned. I want to share the interesting creatures that rely on them, and I want to share photos I take of my own native plants to show that native plants are truly beautiful.
Happy New Year, everyone.