A Resolute Gardener Resolves Again

By Jo Anna Natale, Fairfax Master Gardener
While the rest of the world is making New Year’s resolutions that involve eating less and planking more, we gardeners are creating our own goals, and our goals involve dirt.

This year, I’m going public with mine for two reasons. First, by writing down my gardening goals and sharing them, I’m more likely to pursue them, right? And second, others might see in my list something to which they also might aspire. So here goes. In 2018, this gardener resolves to:

Ilex verticillata berries

Ilex verticillata berries

Plant a winterberry or three
Winterberries, also known as deciduous hollies, have so much to give in winter, when the landscape exhibits the full range of brown, and the birds have so little to eat. (See Plant Some Winterberries Already!.) Their berries, colored brilliant red or coral, energize a mopey backyard like a venti-sized espresso. Birds benefit, too, finding sustenance there when their usual buffet thins. With winterberries, though, the key is to plant at least two — a female and the male necessary for pollination (and berries). I’ll make it a threesome, though, because good garden design loves threes.

Go to Chanticleer — again
Chanticleer is a botanical garden just outside Philadelphia that I cannot get out of my mind. I’ve been there twice so far, both times in spring, and I have never seen such a creative, soul-enlivening green space. Its gardeners and designers are experts at combining plants in lovely and surprising ways. (Think poinsettias paired with pansies and landscapes celebrating decay.) My goal is to visit sometime other than spring so I can see how this inspirational gem shines in other seasons, too.