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Do you love to garden? If so, you know that one of the most rewarding results is watching your green space grow and thrive over time. To make your approach to gardening even more intentional (and reap the bounty of your hard work!), consider setting a few new goals in the new year.
Whether you are taking up gardening as a new hobby or are a seasoned professional, heeding these expert ideas will help you formulate a landscaping plan—and stick to it over the next 365 days.
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The only way to tackle loftier gardening goals is by first setting this one: Get organized and look to the seasons ahead, explains Rebecca Sears, Ferry-Morse's CMO and resident green thumb. "I love going into the new year with an organized plan for the upcoming gardening season, starting by simply tidying up my indoor and outdoor spaces or preparing pots and tools for upcoming use," says Sears. "Envisioning my spring garden coming to life during a dreary, cold, winter gives me something to look forward to."
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Growing healthy, affordable food can boost your community's health, plus bring other rewards like building camaraderie and getting kids outdoors.The idea re-blossoms in times of uncertainty and scarcity, like oil crises and stock market crashes. In the last few years, the popularity of community gardens began to skyrocket again.
To prepare for the next growing season, get familiar with your hardiness zone ahead of warmer weather, says Sears. This will help you identify the varieties that will thrive in your environment. "Another great tool for getting organized in the new year is a garden planner, so you can keep your gardening goals and aspirations in one place, as well as track your progress towards those goals throughout the year," she says. © Provided by Martha Stewart Living Andrea Rugg / GETTY IMAGES
Turn Your Garden Into an Oasis
Aside from envisioning all you will grow in your garden, make it your goal to enjoy spending time there. Consider adding comfortable seating, like a patio furniture set, so you can take in the beauty of the space and your hard work, says Ashley Nussman-Berry, the founder and administrator of Black Planters Facebook Group. "By making this space enjoyable, all the gardening will seem like less work and you can take breaks while enjoying the fruits (hopefully literally, if that's what you're growing!) of your labor," she adds.
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Add Comfortable Seating and Elevated Features
Other features can make your garden more comfortable and serene, too, says Katie Tamony, Monrovia CMO and trend spotter. "We are seeing people investing more in quality furnishings, elaborate firepits, pizza ovens, water features, and more to create a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor space," she says.
Fill the Space with Unique Greenery
The plants you choose can also contribute to a more relaxing ambience: Look to varieties with ombré shades, different textured foliage, uplifting tropicals, and grasses that catch the breeze, says Tamony. Your houseplants can get in on the fun, too: "Larger plants that may typically live inside the home are being brought outside for the season to create a lush, relaxing feel," she says.
Grow Something New
There's no time like the present to think about growing something new in your garden. Consider it a welcome challenge, offers Nussman-Berry. "You expand your plant knowledge, and what better way to learn than by trial and error?" she says. "You may even find a new family of plants to love."
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She suggests giving Philodendron plants a try in the new year. While Nussman-Berry notes that monstera plants have been popular over the last few years, this low-maintenance option is one to watch (and grow!), both inside and out. "Give them light and let them dry out in between watering sessions and they are happy," she says. "They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, so there is a perfect philodendron for every plant lover. © Provided by Martha Stewart Living GETTY IMAGES
Introduce Trending Colors
If you love to incorporate color into your home, make it a point to do the same with your garden. Consider looking at trending shades and defining colors of the upcoming year, which might inspire the tones you include in your landscape. "The 2023 Pantone Color of the Year is Viva Magenta, a beautiful, deep reddish purple," says Sears. To include this "trendy and bright pop of color" in your yard, plant morning glory, sweet William, or zinnias, she suggests.
Add More Fragrance
Upping your garden's fragrance factor is a high-reward goal to aspire to in 2023. Planting several sweet-smelling rose bushes is an easy way to do this, suggests Tamony, noting that garden novices and experts alike turn to this floral to increase their garden's olfactory (and visual) appeal. Beyond in-the-ground options, consider a pink climbing variety, which can grow up to 8 feet tall; it's a perfect option for arbor or pergola coverage.
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Even if your winter weather is frightful, there's still a lot of gardening you can do, inside and outside.Winter gives me time for one of my favorite things — sorting all my seeds and deciding what to plant in the spring. I browse through seed catalogs and scroll through websites, looking at all the new and old varieties. When the first seed display shows up at the store, I'm drawn to it like a magnet to steel.
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Invite More Pollinators
Birds and insects are integral to our growing landscapes, which is why encouraging these pollinators to stop by and stay awhile should be another key priority. To welcome them to your yard, fill your green space with diverse plant life that doubles as a food source for these creatures. Consider options like black-eyed Susans to bring in more butterflies and daylilies to attract hummingbirds. "It's also about slowing down and observing nature in your garden: What are the birds doing? What plants are the bees and butterflies after?" says Tamony. "We see this trend surging, especially with younger gardeners."
Check Regularly for Pests
Make it a goal to regularly check your houseplants for pests, says Nussman-Berry. Look under leaves for signs of discoloration and webs; identifying them early can help you catch an infestation before it spreads—or possibly kills the plant. "Being vigilant and taking the time to research plant disease and pests can save you time, energy, money, and heartache," she says. "When you notice something off about your plant, ask for tips in a plant group online, read a book, or look up your observations so you know how to handle or treat it."
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