Some people craft formal resolutions Jan. 1. For me, resolutions are more likely to be muttered beneath my breath in fall, as I wrap up another year's attempt at gardening and mentally move into the "next year" mode. Next year, I will do a better job of trimming and staking my tomatoes. .... Next year, I will stay ahead of the weeds. .... Next year, I will put in the watering system before it's 95 degrees.
That's probably one of the appeals of gardening: There's always the promise of another year to take the pressure off to achieve perfection in a compact five-month frenzy. To offset the list of should-haves, I try to look around and give myself credit for what accomplishments I managed: getting a rain barrel in place, replacing the scraggly evergreens with blueberry bushes, finally rearranging some perennials to more suitable spots.
But then I'm back to the next years: I will pick more Swiss chard throughout the year so I'm not picking it all under threat of freeze. I will do a better job of recording what I put where so I know what's what in spring. I'll start my seedlings earlier, I'll dutifully deadhead, and finally tackle that corner of dueling invasive spreaders. No really. Maybe.
This year's biggest challenge is on pace to still be next year's: Finish the back-yard pathways around the raised beds. After a flourishing start, the project hit a snag and is now stalled. Since one of its side effects is an enormous dirt pile where my tomato bed usually is, I've got some incentive to make inroads before next planting season.
And when that's finished, who knows, maybe in some year I'll learn not to overcrowd and will vanquish harebells. Anything's possible, next year.
What's on your next year's wish list? And what accomplishments did you get to cross off your garden bucket list?