“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning
but a going on, with all the wisdom
that experience can instill in us.” – anonymous.
As I write the last president’s letter for 2022, I think back at all the beautiful things I learned and will take with me in 2023. Besides feeding my passion, one of the best things about gardening is that I am constantly learning and growing as a gardener and a person. Here are three garden lessons I have learned this year.
It’s all about the soil:
Soil provides plants with air, water, and nutrients. Garden soils have three general types or textures: sandy, loam, and clay. Good soil, tilth, or loam will hold and provide adequate nutrients, water, and air to plant roots. It will also drain well when large quantities of water are applied, and it will be easy to work without becoming sticky when wet and crusted when dry. If you have garden soil that has too much clay or is too sandy, it can be improved by adding organic matter, such as compost. In fall or early spring, spread 2-4 inches of compost and mix it into the soil to a depth of approximately 6 inches.
Consider how much maintenance your garden will need; think about which annuals or roses will be easier to maintain. Check out the UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars Plant List for tips on buying plants. and the American Rose Society’s list of easy-to-grow roses. Vary your tasks to avoid repetitive movements that cause inflammation, pain, and swelling. Sit on a stool rather than bending over while gardening to reduce back strain. Pulling weeds is more accessible by pre-watering the area.
Gorgeous gardens take years to develop. It’s o.k. if your garden doesn’t have a polished, filled-in look with successions of blooms every week. The only perfect garden is found on magazine pages. Be patient, relax, and enjoy.
I am so grateful for my health to be able to revel in my garden so I can learn, grow, and be patient. The Board of Directors at the Peninsula Rose Society wishes peace and joy to you and your family this holiday season. Take good care, and don’t forget to smell the roses.