January is a good time to dream about spring gardening

Many people make New Year resolutions. They set goals of losing weight, reading more, being physically fit, spending more time with family or a host of other promises to themselves concerning a new year. January is a tough time to do a lot of outside gardening so how about making resolutions for your garden? Take a look at your landscape. What do you like and what would you like to change or add? Winter is a great time to plan, get a soil sample and dream about what spring gardening will be like.

Look out your window and think about what you would like to see. Much of the year we enjoy our gardens from the inside. Is there something you could add to improve the view? Perhaps adding something to an existing bed or creating a new bed would put a finishing touch on what you view. January is a good time to think strategically about plant placement.

Seeing the outside from inside gives you a different perspective. Look out from all the places you and your friends enjoy sitting. Sit in your favorite chair and look out the window. Don’t forget to consider the view from the breakfast table. Since the temperatures may be hitting the freezing mark, now may not be the opportune time to change that view but now is a good time to make plans for spring gardening renovations and additions. Thinking about your landscape can lead to making garden resolutions. Perhaps you should write these resolutions down? We can forget resolutions or put them on the backburner until it is too late.

Think about what gives winter interest as well as summer color. Looking out my window in January, my eyes are drawn to ornamental grasses, variegated yucca (Yucca filamentosa) and Harry Lauder’s walking stick (corylus avellana).

If your garden resolutions include creating a new garden bed, where will it be? What will be in it? The answer to these two questions will depend on each other. If your area to plant is in the shade and you want to have a vegetable garden, your wishes are at odds with each other. Your available space will dictate the planting choices. There are several things to think about as you plan your new space. You must consider drainage and availability of water as well. Now would be a good time to get the fact sheet, HLA-6440 (Planning the Landscape) from your OSU County Extension Office. You can also obtain it on line at http://osufacts.okstate.edu.

Another great resolution would be to learn more about landscaping. The Oklahoma County Extension Center is offering an “Earth-Kind Landscape Management and Design School” on February 9 to 10. The conference will be held at the OSU Extension Conference Center located at 2500 NE 63rd Street, OKC, OK 7311. A pre-registration fee of $100 (cost for two people) is required. If interested, you may sign up for an individual landscape design consultation for $75. Call 405-713-1125 for more information. Happy new year and good luck keeping those resolutions.