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.