My 2 Basic Gardening Principles for 2012

I was thinking about the year ahead when I ran across this quote the other day on the personal website of Amy Finlay, knitter extraordinaire and the voice and hands behind the incredibly wonderful Knitting Help (Thank you, Amy! You’ve made me a much more confident and capable knitter!). This is Amy’s favorite quote, and it just may have become mine as well:

     “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have  come alive.”     

     ~Gil Baile

This really speaks to me right now, particularly since I’ve been thinking about this very thing with regard to finding work.

Gardening is certainly one thing that makes me come alive, and it’s something I hope to always include in my life.  This last year in the garden was truly trial and error.  This year I have a more specific set of goals that I hope will lead to an even more productive, enjoyable, and beautiful garden.  I so appreciate the connections to other gardeners through blogging, and I’ve gotten so many wonderful ideas, inspirations, and even seeds this way – thank you, fellow garden bloggers!

My two very BASIC goals are to spend less money and to exercise reason. Seriously.

Last year I definitely overdid it in the spending department.  I was excited to finally have a garden, and boy did I dig in (pardon the pun)…into my wallet, that is. Not okay.   (You can click here to read about about one of my episodes of “wild abandon at a plant sale” which resulted in waiting an extra four months to buy a bicycle because, yes, I spent all the money on plants.) This year rather than push the limits of how MUCH I can spend, I’m shooting for how LITTLE.

Reason.  As a human being, I am evidently graced with it, and yet I seemed to have locked it into a dark closet and ignored its pleas when the next pretty plant turned my head at a sale.  Not just with regard to cost either, but with regard to things like space, sunlight requirements, maintenance, and time.

This year I intend to exercise reason.  Questions I’ll ask this year include:

  • Do I have the SPACE to add this plant, and EXACTLY WHERE will I put it? (figure it out before purchasing, not after.)
  • Does my yard have enough sunlight for this plant?
  • Do I have the TIME to take care of this/another plant?
  • Am I willing to put in the extra time and effort that this plant might require, such as digging up tubers for winter storage?
  • Does the plant need frequent deadheading/fertilizing/staking/dividing or is it a prolific self-seeder?

I intend to stick to these principles this time around and I think both my garden, my pocketbook, and I will all be better off for it!

4 thoughts on “My 2 Basic Gardening Principles for 2012

  1. Your post sounds very familiar to my post coming on Monday…we are thinking about that elephant in the room-exercising reason with regards to spending…I am trying to simplify and spending is one area…I so overspend with plants….I like your questions…mine are somewhat different with regards to my garden needs but the theme is essentially the same…love the quote Aimee!!

    • Hi Donna! So glad you like that quote! You always have such inspiring quotes on your blog, it’s nice to share one with you for a change. 🙂

      Perhaps we can help to hold each other accountable for our “exercises in simplicity, reason, and spending” this year! Looking forward to your post on Monday!

  2. Oh I totally understand that! It’s so easy to spend money on plants. I’m trying to do a lot with seeds and only go to a plant store to buy specific plants for specific places!

    • Hi Indie! Love your blog – thanks for stopping by! Yes, going to a plant store for a specific plant (and sticking to that!) is my plan as well. Knowing in advance where you’re going to put them, as you mention, is KEY for me. I refuse to let myself get carried away this year!

      It will be my first time starting plants from seed indoors. I’m going to try winter sowing as well. I’m hoping it will work and help me save some money!

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