Garden Expert New Year Resolutions

Find out what industry experts are putting on their New Year's to-do list.

Photo By: Image courtesy of Lynn Coulter

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Photo By: Image courtesy of Mark Fonville

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Photo By: Image courtesy of Amanda Thomsen

Photo By: Image courtesy of Farmer D Organics

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Photo By: Image courtesy of Jeff Stafford

Photo By: Image courtesy of Kimberly Lacy

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Lynn Coulter Resolution #1: Grow a Long-Lost Watermelon

Author, blogger and speaker Lynn Coulter has a number one priority, stating, “When I heard about a delicious but nearly-lost watermelon variety, ‘Bradford’, I ordered seeds from the 8th-generation relative of the farmer who developed it around the 1840s or '50s. I’ll plant this spring, and I hope to taste that first juicy slice on a  picnic later this summer."

Lynn Coulter Resolution #2: Hammock Time and Bird Watching

"Sure, gardeners belong in the garden—but that doesn’t mean we always have to work. I put in so many hours last year, I missed just sitting and enjoying what I grew. This year, I want to take time to savor the fragrance of my herbs and roses and watch the hummingbirds visit my flowers from a hammock. And I might grab a nap while I’m out there," says Coulter.

Lynn Coulter Resolution #3: Fight the Weeds and Pave a Patio

"For years, I’ve been fighting a patch of weeds in a spot that I want to make into a patio," says Coulter. "I clear them out each spring, but then I get distracted by the vegetable garden, and before I can put down the pavers, the weeds return. This year, I’m going to follow through and finish that patio. I mean it. Really. (But keep me honest, and check back with me in the fall.)"

P. Allen Smith: Resolution #1: Experiment with Patterns and Textures in the Garden

Gardening expert, author and TV host P. Allen Smith, says, "We have almost an acre in vegetables on the farm. We’re moving more and more toward sixteen distinct garden rooms and creating more distinct divisions in those rooms. I want to do a lot of experimenting with pattern and texture with plants."

P. Allen Smith: Resolution #2: Use Edible Plants for Borders and Edging

"In classic gardens you see the gardens bordered in boxwoods in your  typical Italian and French gardens. What I want to do is use edibles like dwarf Top Hat blueberries for that edging plant."

P. Allen Smith Resolution #3: Try New Varieties of Berries

"We’re experimenting with some new varieties of berries like the Brazzleberry and some of the new varieties of raspberries. We’ve done a lot with blackberries. We went to Oregon and sampled different varieties of blueberries and ended up with some different varieties that we’re going to try this year."

Amanda Thomsen Resolution #1: Create a Garden Playground

Amanda Thomsen, garden blogger and author of Kiss My Aster, says, “I plan on installing a garden just for my little one in 2015. Creating a sandbox filled with dinosaur bones and gemstones, not just sand. And a loopy tunnel of plastic irrigation hosing to crawl through and lots of plants that she can't damage. I'm obsessed with making sure she catches the gardening bug, too.” 

Amanda Thomsen Resolution #2: Be a Tough Editor and Reduce Excessive Planting

“Even though I'm a maximalist, even I know that sometimes 25 Bronze fennel plants is about 20 too many! I also have some lovely old Arborvitae in the back of my garden that create an excellent backdrop for my flowers but completely prevent the viewing of my garden from the inside of the house. It's been a tough decision, but we decided that they will meet the chainsaw in 2015."

Amanda Thomsen Resolution #3: Start a White Garden

"I'm starting a white garden that won't be at all boring. Think Stormtroopers, not marshmallows! Climbing roses, 'Annabelle' hydrangea (pictured), variegated dogwood, 'Arctic Glow' Echinops, white tomatoes, white carrots and variegated Arundo donax. I've also got a ton of bowling balls I use as "mulch" near my front door in an awkward spot. I'm about 10 bowling balls away from completing it. 2015 is the year!”

Daron Joffe Resolution #1: Share the Bounty - Grow Community Through Gardening

Daron ‘Farmer D’ Joffe, the farmer and founder of Farmer D Organics and author of Citizen Farmers, says In 2015, "I will carve out more time for sharing my harvest. Whether it’s hosting harvest dinners, attending a crop swap or seed exchange, or showing my neighbors how to make sauerkraut, I want to dedicate more time to cultivating community around my garden.”

Daron Joffe Resolution #2: Plant More Perennials and Grow Forgotten Fruits

‘I’m ready to swap out the pretty, but pretty useless landscape plants taking up valuable space in my yard with edible perennials that provide my family food and medicine year after year. I want to replace azaleas with blueberries, add some rhubarb in a sunny spot, and grow more echinacea and culinary herbs. I also want to celebrate the native and often forgotten fruit varieties that grow in my region. Now that I live in Southern California, I'm excited to plant harder to find varieties of guavas, persimmons and jujubes.”

Daron Joffe Resolution #3: Grow Healing Herbs

"As a biodynamic farmer, I appreciate the healing power of plants. chamomile, stinging nettle and valerian are three wonderful herbs that I will grow in more abundance in my garden this year. They provide relief for human ailments and also add essential nutrients to the compost pile."  

Kimberly Lacy Resolution #1: Prepare for Spring 2015

Designer and co-host of HGTV's Curb Appeal: The Block, Kimberly Lacy says, “My resolution from last year was to get gardening spring 2014. Life happened this year and gardening didn’t make the cut. So first on my list and a repeat from last year is enjoying the fruits of my labor. For real this time." 

Kimberly Lacy: Resolution #2: Compost, Compost, Compost

“I’m a serious recycler and always have been.  While in California, it was easy to give myself credit for composting but it didn’t count as the City of Oakland had green receptacles to place your compostable items in and they would haul it all away, therefore the city did 95% of the work. In the past, I’ll begin composting, but when the gnats come, let’s just say, 'The rest is history.' 2015 will be different and I will be diligent and tell you all about it.”

Kimberly Lacy Resolution #3: Bulb Planting, Flowerbed Renovation and Ecology

“I want to plant bulbs in February and March for some much needed early spring interest, in the rock island in the front yard and rearrange my flowerbeds—move around evergreens and deciduous shrubs, so that when the fall and winter come, I have a backdrop of evergreen color around the perimeter of my house instead of 'leggy used to be’s.' And I’m going to do my part in assisting the eco-system by planting more native plants in the landscapes of my clients.”

Felder Rushing Resolution #1: Brighten the Garden with Colorful Plants and Pots

Garden expert and author of Garden Hearts, among many others, Felder Rushing says, “Every year, as a challenge to find cool plant combinations to brighten one corner of my garden, I paint a round wooden garden deck with the trendy “official” Pantone color of the year. This year along with colorful plants, pots and other accessories I will include seat cushions in complementary hues.”

Felder Rushing Resolution #2: New Tree Plantings

This past year in my Mississippi garden I sadly had to remove three large old trees which had provided welcome relief from the hot Southern sun for a display of hosta, tiarella, heuchera, ferns and other shade plants. This winter I am replacing them with upright crape myrtles that will give both good looks and fast relief.

Felder Rushing Resolution #3: Add More Cold and Drought Hardy Succulents

"My decades-old collection of tropical succulents, including an array of unusual sansevierias and agaves, has inspired me to try interesting and colorful new species of cold- and drought-hardy sedum, sempervivum, and other wild-looking but low-maintenance succulents for a big pot on a patio table."