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Gardening Resolutions and 2012 To Do List

Every year around this time I sit down and make a list of what I want to accomplish in the following year. Sometimes I get everything done, sometimes not – the fun is not so much in the actual doing but more in the planning, isnt it? A perpetual “list maker”, I compile “to do” lists for work and the house and this year it makes sense to have a separate “Gardening List”. Hmmm… I notice the Gardening List is the longest – not much on the other two “lists” this year 🙂

So here we go, this serves as a declaration of what I plan “To Do” in and around my garden this year. I will use this as my check list throughout the year and see how much of it all I achieve at the end of it.

[one_third]Lavender and Pandorea[/one_third]

[one_third]Rosa Iceberg[/one_third]


Garden Projects

1). The Pond / Water Feature
I have a pond / water feature which I don’t think I’ve ever shown on the blog. I don’t show it because it’s really nothing to be proud of and actually I’m a bit embarrassed by it. I have not taken good care of it. The truth is I have a guy come once a month who does a clean up – and not much else. The plants in it are in a sorry state and it looks … well just boring. My goal this year is to learn how to clean and care for it myself (I won’t stop the guy coming – he needs the work and he’s a very nice young man), but its time I took an interest and made the water feature just that – A Feature, not an “Oh that thing!”). I have “A Vision” of what I want my pond / water feature to look like by the end of this year and that’s what I’ll be aiming for this year. A Wow-worthy water feature. (The plan will become a post on its own in the not too distant future).

2). The Thatching Reed Beds
I have two beds that were planted by my landscaper that are just not working for me. I did tell her at the time that I was not happy and she begged me to give the plants a year. Its been more than a year – I’ve given them a fair chance and it’s just not working. For me or for the plants. These two beds are on either side of the Water Feature and … the plants have not grown. At all. Miserable failure beds. Chondropetalum tectorum (Cape Thatching Reed) was planted on each side – 3 per bed, and then underplanted with Nandina pygmaea. The Nandinas have thrived. Of the 6 thatching reed plants only one has grown into a beauty, two look ill and the other three … are complete non-starters – 4 sticks and a mess. I will be showing this in a future blog post with my ideas for changing the beds (and hopefully to get some feedback and advice from my gardening friends).

[one_third]A place to rest[/one_third]

[one_third]Flowers to admire[/one_third]

[one_third_last]and grasses swaying in the breeze[/one_third_last]

3). A new Flower Bed from scratch
I recently (this week) ripped all the spent veggie plants out of the “veggie bed” and bought two large half wine barrels which we have placed in a sunny alley down the side of the house. These we have planted up with our new crop of vegetable seedlings. The reason for this is that we’ve found the veggies and herbs planted in the existing raised veggie planter are much better and less attacked by creepies and munchers than in the actual garden. So I will now be transforming the old “veggie bed” into a flower garden. No plans yet – I have a clean slate, waiting for ideas!

4). The Gardenia Bed
I have been pondering what to do in the Gardenia Bed. Should I or shouldn’t I remove the Gardenias, should I relocate the Bougainvilleas? I am not sure and have been going back and forth on what to do. So my goal is to make a decision early on in the year and then to work on it when the weather starts to cool down in Autumn, which would be a better time to transplant the Gardenia and Bougainvillea plants if that is what I eventually decide to do.

[one_third]Back corner view[/one_third]


[one_third_last]Gaura Lindhermi[/one_third_last]

Other minor Garden Projects

5). Replace some of the ground covers
My young garden has come a LONG way in its sixteen months of existence. I’m really happy with most things – very happy with a lot, mostly satisfied with others, and know which need work. When we first “planted” sixteen months ago a lot of ground cover was planted to quickly cover areas whilst foundation plants established themselves. Sixteen months on, some of the ground cover is getting out of hand and it seems there is just too much of it around. The time has come to reign it in and to replace some. Too much Lamium is just too much! And I don’t need acres of Plectranthus. Really, I don’t!

6). Attract more birds to the garden
I’m enjoying watching the birds in the garden. I’ve always had doves and Hadeda Ibises that make quite mess, are very noisy and trample my plants (and annoy Dexter for some inexplcable reason). The Red Wing Starlings are frequent visitors to my water feature where they love to splash in the fountain and the cute Witoogies are always darting from tree to tree and lately spend a lot of time in the rose bed. Last week I saw a Rooibeksysie (Waxbill) in my back garden for the first time and it gave me so much pleasure to see a “new” bird in the garden that I’m now committed to spending some time making my garden more attractive to local birds.

[one_third]I love the grasses[/one_third]

[one_third]Miscanthus sinesis[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Festuca glauca really shines[/one_third_last]

7). Remove some aliens
I have two shrubs / trees planted by previous owners of the property that are considered “alien invasives” and are cited in our local gardening books as “should be removed” from our gardens. I’m considering it. Seriously. One will definitely be removed this year. The other, less serious one, might stay.

8). Expose some more of the view
We could have a wonderful view of the mountain (the backside of our famous Table Mountain) from my back terrace. But there are trees in the way. I will not remove the wonderful big tree that blocks most of the view (and neighbour roof top), but there are two smaller trees (one of which is the Category 2 Alien Invasive mentioned above), the other is quite a lovely tree (I don’t know what it is) that has grown spindly up top and would look a lot better anyway if it was properly topped. Result would be a view of “our” mountain from one of the seating areas on the terrace. Seems like a no-brainer now I’ve written this.

9). Incorporate some pots
I’ve seen on many gardening blogs (and in books) how experienced gardeners incorporate pots in their planting schemes. I’d like to try that this year with one or two well placed pots that enhance the overall look of an area. I’d also like to add a few pots with plants in the right hand side alley that has nothing going on in it!

[one_third]In the Camellia bed[/one_third]


[one_third_last]Baby Dusty Miller[/one_third_last]

Gardening Blog Related

10). Do a feature on Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
I live about a three-minute drive away from this very famous national treasure, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Kirstenbosch grows only indigenous South African plants. The estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country. I’m really looking forward to spending time in this wonderful garden so that I can share its beauty with our gardening friends abroad. Look out for this – I’ll be breaking it up into parts to showcase Kirstenbosch to its fullest.

11). Plant Profiles
We started keeping notes about some of the plants we have in our gardens in our Plants Directory. I only did a few in 2011. I promise to do quite a few more this year – at very least, one a month!

12). Garden Bloggers Harvest Day
Barbie and I have discussed starting a garden blog meme called “Garden Bloggers Harvest Day”. I’ve hunted around and it doesn’t seem as if anyone is doing this on any sort of regular basis. We thought the 5th of the month might be a good day to do it? What do you think? Would you join us?

So those are MY immediate gardening plans for 2012 – What are YOURS?

From my family to yours, we  wish you a Happy New Year and a Wonderful 2012 Garden!!

[one_third]Top Dog Dexter[/one_third]

[one_third]Hercules the prince[/one_third]


By Christine

Dominated by large trees on a medium sized property, my garden is very shaded. With no “full sun” areas I have to plant shade and partial shade loving plants. I love shrubs and flowers including camellias and azaleas but Roses and Irises are my favourite and getting these to thrive is a challenge …

21 replies on “Gardening Resolutions and 2012 To Do List”

let me know when ready to do your waterfeature and I give you a hand with it – the most important advice is be bold – infact be very bold and use plastic under concrete 🙂

I always keep a part of my blog for harvest as we get started here in late spring so I would join…it doesn’t seem to interfere as I can see either…the new quarterly meme I am considering with Plant Postings is for seasonal celebrations…as you know I join in as I can to many memes loosely or not ….great list…I’m exhausted considering everything you have planned…I love ponds and I too am removing invasives…

Happy New Year, Christine! Your list of gardening resolutions has me thinking about what I might like to accomplish this year. Maybe a page tucked away somewhere on my blog of my best intentions! My veggie garden has become a perennial bed too. I don’t know if it’s me or the weather, but I wasn’t very successful with them! I’ve got a bunch of herbs though…I might be able to pop into a meme occasionally with their harvest 😉 Thanks for all your thoughtful comments and kind encouragement during 2011. I appreciate your friendship and wish you a joyous 2012.

Hi my friend! Wow! I am super impressed with your detailed list for 2012. The pond feature will be a big project – but fun to design and a real kick when its done! I agree aboutb the The Gardening Blog profiles! That I will also add to my list of ‘things to do’. It will be fun to do the Garden Bloggers Harvest Day too, to see what our freinds are picking from their gardens each month! 🙂
Wow! I really believe it will be a fun and action packed year!!
Thanks for this…I better get my new Gardening Journal out for this year and start my list!

Yes, definitely I will join :-). Hopefully, I will have something in the garden to showcase the “harvest.” You have some nice plans for your garden. Please record and take pictures of everything so that I can follow and learn.

Hi, Christine. I am looking forward in seeing the progress of your pond. How I wish I have one, too. A lot of work perhaps but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worth it. Happy 2012 gardening year!

You must be a Virgo. I make lots of lists too because once I have something on a list I feel like the situation is under control. Good luck with your plans for 2012. Your meme sounds like a good idea. I would read but probably not participate because my blog is really for my nursery customers.

You have a lot of great plans for 2012! Your garden must be absolutely gorgeous! Just the small snapshot we see here in cyberspace seems like a teaser. All the best in the months ahead! Cheers!

My harvest is meagre. I would aspire to Barbie’s permaculture, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. We have a handful of plums nearly ripe.

Would your water feature appreciate some wow plants? I love restios, about half of ours are OK, but the others die sad slow deaths, one by one. Too hot here, but that shouldn’t be your problem?

Hi Diana – my harvest is meagre too – a few handsful of herbs when I’m lucky and lettuce leaves!

I have Cape Thatching reed on either side of the water feature (not restios?) and they are not doing well at all. Can they live in water? Then it might work.

Hi Christine – Looking forward to seeing how your water feature project and blank canvas flower-bed progress. I grow vegetables as experiments, eating them is a bonus. I would like to join your meme.

A secret water feature? Please consider showing “before” photos if you do some work with it. Gardening isn’t always about perfectly pretty plantings, and I wish more gardeners would share their “problems” and “failures”.

Pots: YES! Birds: YES! Meme: maybe, sometimes. I don’t regularly participate in memes because it often seems like work, and I do this for fun. It’s nice to have somebody else provide the topic for a post once in a while though. 🙂

Hi Alan – I promise i will show the water feature / pond before I do anything to it. I’d be very appreciative about your input. You might see a way to do something more interesting with it than what I have in mind. Its a built in structure so I’m a bit limited (at least, I can’t see much I could do to make it a stunner).

I look forward to watching your garden grow!

As for memes – I have mixed feelings. I’ve never participated as they seems so competitive; almost a ‘who’s who’ of bloggers. I also feel cheated to see 12 or so of my favorite blogs all posting the same thing on a particular day. Yes I know each will be a personal interpretation but I like to read 12 completely different articles. Just my personal preference. I’d be more interested simply in reading what you have going on where you live.
May 2012 be a great year.

Hi Karen – I understand.

I think memes can be fun to take part in – especially for us novice gardeners and also garden bloggers who are wanting to “get to know” a few other bloggers.

Hi Christine, you have quite a list. One that jumped out to me as a designer was open up your view to the borrowed landscape, yes, yes yes. Another was lamium, as pretty as the leaf is, it gets everywhere. Maybe your climate keeps it behaved, but not here.

Joining memes is tough with so many that are out there. I never really wanted the one that I sponsor to be a meme, but others encouraged me. It is a lot of work and many have stopped participating. I myself rarely join memes anymore, and have been criticized for a couple I did join for going off on my own tangent and not being true to the spirit of the meme. Seriously, they should have been happy I participated considering we have so many months of little happening in the garden worth showing. Sorry to rant on memes, but I have seen complaining about competing memes, copying of ideas for memes, and not complying with what the blogger intended. I find it better to just join along if I have going what the meme is offering. So I would join if I can stay ‘true to the spirit’ so I don’t ruffle feathers. I don’t grow too much that gets harvested in my garden and going to the farm and farm’s greenhouses was where one blogger made a snit over it. I wish you luck with it and much success.

Hi Donna – the Lamium WAS well behaved … now its getting a bit too frisky for my liking. I’m spending hours every week keeping it within the bounds I’ve set it. So some will have to go!

I love your meme – I was fully into it and then … well after my Dad died I just couldn’t find the concentration to do yours. It requires a bit more thought than taking a few pretty photos and displaying them (which is why I like yours by the way!). As I get stronger emotionally I will pick up and join in again. I haven’t abandoned you 🙂

As far as a Harvest Day Meme goes … I don’t like too many rules and I know Barbie doesn’t like any rules (free spirit that she is) and we’d like to keep it open and light. For example, Barbie has a full on vegetable garden and harvests plenty – I have a teeny little veggie planter that gives me a few leaves now and then … so if we do it it will be light and fun – show your few leaves, show a full harvest, show what your local farmers harvest. Whatever gives you pleasure, right? It’s about the photos and having fun putting it together (and perhaps picking up a few tips from others). Blogging is supposed to be fun, so we’d like to keep any meme we start as a fun thing. Nothing serious! And if our friends don’t take part we won’t be dissapointed – its just for fun after all!

Christine, I’ve just started thinking about plans and resolutions for the new year and getting organized will be on the top of my list. I can’t believe your garden is a mere 18 months old. It looks so much more mature. You’ve inspired me to think more concretely about what I want to do in my garden in the next year. Wishing you a Happy New Year.

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