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New years resolutions for gardeners.

By Malcolm Beck

Before you perform any activity, use any product or do anything, always ask. “Will Nature approve”?

Plant a garden. Gardening is the only time you can have your cake and eat it too.

Don't allow gardening to become a chore. Keep gardening fun. Gardening can and should be therapeutic and relaxing exercise.

Consider failures in the garden as learning experiences. Failures make successes a lot sweeter.

Don't curse the weeds; Nature designed them so the earth could always have a protective cover, sometimes green, sometimes brown. The weeds help the gardener get exercise between planting and harvest time.

Study Nature, there is no end to her mystery and excitement. Study the reproduction activities of insects; they are way more interesting, outlandish, exotic, and bizarre than you will ever find in a racy novel.

Read books on Nature. Life in the soil alone can furnish more mystery and suspense than any good author can dream up.

Study each pest, each insect, weed and disease before you stomp on it, hoe it or spray it. It may be trying to show or tell us something that could help us in some way. Nature has designed every living creature to be of use and service to us. If we spent time and money and studied from that point of view, a lot of problems would be solved.

Don't be selfish. The time, space, shelter, food and water of the earth environment belong to all creatures. Be willing to share a small portion of your plants, harvest and space with the four legged, the feathered and the creepy crawlies.

Before you rake the leaves ask the tree why it shed them, the tree may want to keep the leaves as blanket over its roots for the winter and then as mulch and compost through the spring and summer.

If you catch lawn clippings ask Nature what you should do with them. Nature designed grass to be harvested, but in the wild the harvesting animal always deposited something in return in the form of manure and urine. We too should return something. A mulch of compost would be much appreciated.

Practice soil and water conservation. Mulching and composting are the most positive and absolute way to conserve soil and water. Nature has been doing it for eons, since the very beginning.

Don't complain about the weather, you can't do anything to change it. Just think how boring life would be without the four seasons? Without gloomy weather we couldn't appreciate and enjoy good weather. Besides how would we ever start a conversation with a stranger?

Take time to smell the roses.

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last updated:  January 15, 2004