New Year’s Resolutions for a Gardener.


     1. Throw out the Poinsettia straight after Christmas. It won’t be dead but it will grow and grow and look uglier and uglier. Forget  trying to make it nice and red for next year, it won’t. Anyway, you never really liked it in the first place.

2. Remember to plant the hyacinths in the garden for next year once they have finished flowering.

3.  You have neither the time nor the facilities for growing 40 + packets of seeds.

4.  You must not buy another Edgeworthia chrysantha, on the principle that you don’t believe you can’t grow something until you have killed three of them. Losing two should be enough. Especially at that price.

5. The squirrel will always find a way to get at the birds’ peanuts, however cunningly you try to keep them safe for the birds. This means that either the squirrel is cleverer than you are or he has more time on his hands.

6. Try to find a way to stop the squirrel digging up your Crocus corms .

7. Try to get to the strawberries and the walnuts before the squirrel eats them all.

8. Try to find a way to get rid of the squirrel.

9. Try to keep abreast when plant names are changed. For example, you have to remember to call Senocio greyii,  Brachyglottis,  Cimifuga is now Actaea and it is really unfair that just when you have finally learnt how to spell Schizostylis they decide it is actually Hesperantha.

10. Protect less hardy plants from frost early so that you don’t have to go out in the middle of the first frosty night in your dressing  gown to throw table cloths over them.

11. Stop worrying about honey fungus.

12. Stop putting your secateurs down wherever you happen to be working and forgetting where you have left them. Try to remember that you haven’t got the time or the energy to search for them; especially when it involves emptying the wheelbarrow and painstakingly and painfully going through all the rose cuttings.

13. Remember- Pyrancantha is the most vicious plant in the garden. Not only are the spines very painful, they will always turn  sceptic when they are lodged in your finger. You must remember to wear your gardening gloves at all times. You must not take  one glove off and forget where you have left it.

14. You are never going to need 15 gardening gloves for the left hand.

15.  Find a less disgusting way of killing lily beetles. Or wear gloves. (See Resolution number 10)

16. Don’t go to nurseries during a summer drought.

17. If you do go to a nursery during a drought don’t buy any plants.

18. If you do buy plants during a drought, you have only yourself to blame. It’s no good standing in the garden like Elijah in the desert praying for rain. (I think it was Elijah; the one who was fed by ravens.)

19. You probably don’t need any more Hellebores.

20. Stop coveting your friend M’s Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’. One day when you are very, very old yours might look just as  good.


Christmas is over and we as we approach a new gardening year it is a good time to look back on mistakes we have made in the garden this year and to make some resolutions to be more efficient in the garden in 2014.  Here is my list. Please tell me your New Year’s Resolutions.

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24 Responses to New Year’s Resolutions for a Gardener.

  1. My resolution is making more time to play in the garden!

  2. rusty duck says:

    I detect someone else with a squirrel problem..
    The only one I can disagree with is no. 19.

  3. Chloris says:

    You are right, Jessica, a girl always needs more Hellebores. I am just trying to convince myself. I lose all self control when Hellebore buying and they are never cheap. Note I said ‘probably’ so I gave myself a way out.

  4. Anna says:

    Your post made me chuckle Chloris and oh why did some of your resolutions sound so familiar? I’m keeping it simple this year and have resolved to label all my trays of seeds/seedlings. Now just how many years have I made the same resolution and not succeeded is nobody’s business but mine 🙂

  5. Chloris says:

    Of course, I should have put that one in Anna. You don’t label them because you haven’t any labels handy so you’ll do it later. And anyway, you won’t forget what they are. I thought that I was the only one who does this.How reassuring to find that you do it too.

  6. ginnytalbert says:

    Your list had me rolling on the floor (with empathy, I might add). It’s so very nice to know I have so much company and that we all do the same silly things… I notice you always refer to the squirrel in the singular. Do you truly only have one giving you a hard time? If so, lucky you! there is hope and you may find a way to get rid of him.

  7. Julie says:

    My resolution is to fill in my gardeners diary daily, instead of erratically when I cannot remember what on earth happened and to really stop worrying about Honey Fungus.

  8. Chloris says:

    Yes that’s a good one. Instead of writing a proper diary I write myself notes on odd bits of paper then lose them.
    And for you, Julie, how about a resolution to carry on with your lovely blog? I enjoyed reading it, why don’t you bring it up to date?

  9. Cathy says:

    Nice list! My resolution every year is to remember to stake my peonies and asters before the ground gets too hard! (I managed it last year for the first time ever!)

  10. Chloris says:

    Are staking in time, of course! Another one I should have put on the list. Even if the ground isn’t too hard things look awful when they are staked too late. That is another one that should have been at the top of my list rather than throwing out the Poinsettia. The thing is I was looking at my Poinsettia at the time of writing and thinking how much I disliked it. So that came first..

  11. Holleygarden says:

    Love this post! Now I’m wondering what my gardening resolutions should be! And by the way, I’m coveting your neighbor’s daphne, too! What a beauty!

    • Chloris says:

      I know that is the best Daphne I have ever seen.But that is my friend M for you. She has the greenest fingers of anyone I know. It’s sickening. By the way, that is ‘green thumb’ to you.Or ‘la main verte’ -green hand in French. We are international here. Anyway, it’ a magnificent Daphne.

  12. Flighty says:

    I had to smile reading about the squirrel as they have become a problem on the allotments in the past couple of years, where they especially like sweetcorn cobs and sunflowers.
    The only tool that I’ve lost in recent years was the good pair of secateurs rather than the cheap ones!
    I don’t really make resolutions but do resolve to try and grow things better, and in the case of some vegetables successively which I never seem to get right. xx

  13. Chloris says:

    Well, the squirrel is Enemy number One here. Well obviously slugs and snails and lily beetles aren’t welcome either, but they don’t wreak havoc and then sneer at you or swear at you as mine does. I am not exaggerating, this squirrel curses me through the window when there are no peanuts left in the bird feeder.

  14. debsgarden says:

    I enjoyed reading your New Year resolutions! I smiled at many of them, especially the part about not buying plants during a drought. But that is when the plants are on sale! As for me, I don’t make resolutions, except to go with the flow, and if the flow stops, the I just sit there a while and enjoy the view! Happy gardening in 2014!

  15. Chloris says:

    Now that is the most sensible resolution of all. ‘Go with flow.’ I like that.

  16. Annette says:

    Thanks for making me laugh, Chloris :D. I found myself in quite a few of your resolutions notably the poinsettia (of which I have just received a second one!), the gloves and the tools put down and then forgotten. I have not really a list with resolutions because I realize I’ll never stick to them no matter how old I get! 😉

  17. Chloris says:

    Poinsettias are the kind of thing people always give me at Christmas, along with hand cream. I have so many pots of hand cream I could start a hand cream shop. And am I the only person in the world who hates Poinsettias? Horrible, vulgar, red things, losing their nasty leaves all over the place.
    It sounds as if you don’t like them too much either, Annette.Clearly a lady of discriminating taste.

  18. bittster says:

    And I thought I was the only one….. This was the perfect post for the new year, I can agree with nearly everyone but can’t promise to change on anything! My tools shall remain scattered and I will still plant more hellebores, but maybe I’ll reconsider the edgeworthia and pyracantha! You have looked inside my soul, very sneaky of you 🙂

  19. Chloris says:

    Well I think gardeners are all have the same , we all speak the same language. As for the Hellebores, you notice I say ‘probably’.. Nobody ever has enough Hellebores but they are so expensive. Nevertheless I am sure I will be getting more too. of course I will
    Happy New Year,

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