New Year's Resolutions

Garden resolutions

Simple ideas for happy gardening... 

No pressure... even if you incorporate only a few of these 10 goals during the year, you'll feel great.

1. Use the quiet months of January or February to take an inventory of your pots, garden tools and old, seed packages. Clean containers & tools and throw out expired seed packages. Free-up the space in your garden shed or garage by donating extra items to garden clubs or neighbors.

2. Add one or a few native plants to your perennial garden this spring. You'll create a healthier habitat for native butterflies and bees. In return, you'll have color, movement and buzzing in your landscape.

3. Attend a free lecture on living healthier with houseplants, plant a customized, organic vegetable garden, learn more about rose care or other topics. Look for free 'talks' and 'how to's where you can get your questions answered by experts. (Free seminars are coming up in January at Pasquesi's Lake Bluff store. For details, visit

4. Plant with a child. There is nothing like living by example. Kids have really good ideas, too. If they learn about gardening when young, they usually return to it later in life.

5. Volunteer a little or a lot with your local chapters of conservation groups such as: Openlands... protecting the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois; The Nature Conservancy in Illinois... creating healthier wild places, including prairies, forests and wetlands close to home; or the local chapter of Wild Ones... working with native plants & natural landscapes.

6. Gather inspiration by visiting other people's gardens... whether it is a neighbor, a community garden walk or gardens on a larger scale such as the Chicago Botanic Garden. You'll meet new gardening friends and walking is a great way to get a little exercise, too.

7. Eat your greens...  Plant a container or two with your favorite lettuces, sprouts and herbs. (You don't have to worry about product recalls when you plant your own!)

8. Plant up a few of your 'extra' clean containers with colorful pansies and pussy willow branches this spring. Drop them off at a senior home or offer them to a neighbor who might enjoy a bit of cheer.

9. Start a few plants from seed. It's inexpensive and you get a front row seat to the wonder of nature. Plus, it's more fun if you include a child in the process! You'll get the chance to grow juicy watermelons, warty pumpkins and giant sunflowers.

10. Invite friends to your patio or porch to enjoy your garden. Stir up a pitcher of ice tea or sangria. Gardens are meant to be shared!