It is the beginning of the new year and time for resolutions I hear. Have you any for 2020? Here are three garden resolutions of mine.
Remove overly-aggressive plants1. Remove overly-aggressive plants like Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldsturm.’ Although this was a great plant in my garden when I watered with soaker hoses, it now takes over and crowds out other, more desirable plants. I blame its bad behavior on my having a better watering system. I’ve used drip irrigation since 2008. ‘Goldsturm’ is also only good for skipper butterflies in my garden. Bees like wood bees and honey bees don’t go near it. I am going to keep it in this one terrible part of the garden where very little water and clay soil remain. It’s near the air conditioner so the area is also very hot.
Simplify my plant palette2. Simplify my garden’s plant palette with more repetition and cohesiveness. This follows on the heels of removing ‘Goldsturm.’ Some of the plants I’m thinking of adding more of are Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’ Shasta daisies. ‘Becky’ likes the same conditions as Rudbeckia fulgida, but forms clumps instead of spreading by runners. I also really like Amazing Daisies® ‘Banana Cream,’ a Proven Winners selection. Both of these varieties do not flop, and they seem impervious to wilt or bacterial leaf diseases. On the other hand, ‘Alaska’ flops. I am removing it from the garden this year too. I’m going to be brutal in my eradication efforts.
Add even more nectar plants
3. Add more nectar plants for short-tongued bees like my honey bees. I already started this resolution in October when Bill and I sowed twenty-five pounds of wildflower seed in our upper pasture. When I walk around the upper pasture for exercise, I can see green sprouts where we tilled, then raked lightly and sowed the seed. We bought our seeds from American Meadows, and the ones we planted were the Texas & Oklahoma wildflower seed mix (10 lbs,) the All Perennial Wildflower Seed Mix (5 lbs.) and the Honey Bee Wildflower Seed Mix (10 lbs.) Let’s hope they continue to grow and then produce lots of nectar and pollen for my bees. I only got four jars of honey last year, but they were so sweet!
Actually, that’s not a bad haul for my second year of beekeeping. I thought the second year was ten times harder than the first. So many things I had to learn.
The bees loved Salvia nemorosa ‘Cardonna’ and ‘Rose Marvel.’ ‘Rose Marvel’ bloomed so hard last spring and summer that it about killed itself. I need to go out and check it for signs of life. I’ll let you know.
If you’d like to hear more of my resolutions and Carol’s too, listen to our latest podcast episode. You can catch the Gardenangelists wherever great podcasts are found.
By the way, I’ll be speaking at the Oklahoma City Home and Garden Show on January 17-19. I should have the full schedule in a few days. Look for more information on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter profiles, and here on RDR too.
Happy New Year and Decade everyone! I can’t believe it’s 2020!