Master Gardener New Year's
 Plans and Resolutions

Lee Royer
Frederick County Master Gardener

All over Frederick County, hundreds of gardeners are sitting in warm cozy chairs, reading seductive glossy seed catalogs and dreaming of what might be. Call them plans or resolutions, either way, Maryland gardeners know what it is to resolve to do something and that something is tend a garden.

Here is a sample of what local Master Gardeners, MG spouses and MG interns have planned for 2008.

"My New Year's Resolution is to buy a heated greenhouse to support my Meyer lemon tree (and a few other plants) during our lovely Maryland winters. Being a Californian, there are just some things that I can't do without! Sherry Rhodeheaver

"My two New Year Resolutions are:

Not to pitch a fit when my Master Gardener wife comes home with another truck load of native plants to add to her stockpile of plants from 2005, 2006, & 2007 that are still waiting for permanent places in her gardens, and not to laugh out loud when she promises, once again, that this year she'll "absolutely, positively, put them in this year..."

Learn the basics of plant nomenclature so I'll have some idea what plant she is talking about when she goes on about the flowers on her Ipomoea quamoclit ... whatever that is.  Michael Hillman, MG spouse. (MG Note: that's a Cypress Vine, Mike)

"I'm resolving to turn over one corner of the yard to the critters, using mostly native plants to create wildlife habitat. Joan Kobetz

"In the spring I plan to plant more wildlife (bird) friendly shrubbery i.e. winterberry and Mt. Laurel. I also plan to put up a bluebird house and one or two other bird houses. Julie Wohlfarth

"Happy New Year! My resolution this year is to make sure I make time to plant a vegetable garden - despite all the same distractions that kept me away from the garden this past year. I would also like to do some extensive weed and vine pulling - which will also help with the "have to exercise" resolution. Devra Boesch

"I am resolving to learn more about native plant species (especially native to our region) and plant them in my garden/yard. Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!! Gabrielle deSilva

"My New Year's resolution is to resist the temptation to check on the care of the property of my former home. Debbie Erbes Note: Debbie sold her house and long beloved garden to non-gardeners.

"Gardening resolution for 2008- refurbish part of my 25 year old garden by removing invasive, overgrown and no longer wonderful shrubs and plants and replace them with as many natives as possible. Elyse Phillips

"I'm hoping to put in two new semi shade beds in the back yard and landscape around the new pond. Donna Darr

"I plan to run copper wire around my hostas to keep the slugs from them. Happy New Year! Susan Trice, Master Gardener Coordinator

"Here's my 2008 plan (I don't do resolutions, but I sure do make a lot of "plans"). Convert my raised vegetable garden beds into lower maintenance, native plant flower beds. The fence that kept the deer away from my veggies can now help protect my Chelone glabra (White Turtleheads). I hope eventually to see some of the struggling Baltimore Checkerspot butterflies. Christina Pax

"One of my garden New Year's resolutions is to start my vegetable garden earlier! Lisha Utt

"Happy 2008! My gardening resolutions: to remove two non-native plants from my garden this year and plant six native plants. Everyone should do the same! Joanne Brown

"Garden resolutions:

To make my garden a haven for birds and butterflies by growing native plants and not using pesticides.

To protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed by planting waterside buffers and using only natural fertilizer in appropriate measure.

To let others know about these garden techniques (above) that help protect the earth and our little spot on it. Happy New Year! Teresa Gallion

"In 2008 I have resolved to complete the Master Gardener course to become qualified to participate in the many volunteer programs and opportunities with the Maryland Cooperative Extension, University of Maryland. Lois Royer, MG intern

Thanks to all the MGs above, these are great plans, especially the many commitments to using more native plants and to join us in our mission to educate Maryland residents about safe, effective and sustainable horticultural practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes and communities.

As for me, my resolution is to submit my Master Gardener volunteer hours log on time at the end of each quarter so I don't have to spend several hours on New Year's Eve trying to remember what I did the past year. Happy Gardening in the New Year!

Read other winter related gardening articles

Read other articles by Lee Royer