The New Year’s Garden

Choosing the New Year’s Garden

by Richard Sidy, President,
Gardens for Humanity

dahlias — By Christmas all the seed catalogs have arrived. In the dark cold days of winter it is tantalizing to leaf through the pages and imagine all the beautiful vegetables and flowers pictured growing in your garden. The perfect, colorful, unblemished fruits of gardening and their equally colorful descriptions brighten the imagination and are a real motivator to grow something new.

In Sedona some of us are still eating hearty winter greens from the garden, but they lack the bright colors, inviting shapes and exotic flavors described in the catalogs: “Aunt Molly’s tomatillos… have a sweet, tangy, citrus flavor ending with a hint of vanilla,” plus, it tastes like piña colada! What a perfect fruit to ripen in our hot summer garden!

The New Year’s garden is rich in imagination and hope. Our minds watch it flourish as we sit sipping our hot cocoa in a cozy chair – the perfect, toil-free catalog garden bringing us the great pleasure of its tapestry of colors and flavors.

As the faithful reader well knows, I consider the garden my teacher and the master of yearly cycles. So the Christmas time seed catalogue reinforces the hope of the holiday season. It is so tempting to buy and plant as many of the beauties pictured as possible.

Considering all the possible choices, reality soon sets in. Forty seeds to a packet, or more! Will they even do well as our spring immediately turns into hot, dry summer days? Do I have the space and right conditions to accomplish this – am I also in the right condition? In our dreams anything seems possible.

As with any New Year’s resolution, garden choices require both realistic goals and commitment. Nevertheless, it is the perfect time, a benchmark in the collective consciousness, to make some changes in one’s life.

It is always good to try something new, and gardeners are incurable experimenters. It literally comes with the landscape – working with ever-changing forces of nature creating and adapting as we go along, trying to realize our plans and goals for a better garden year-after-year.

Gardens dramatize the ethic of sowing and reaping. So as we do in the gardens of our landscape, we can also do in the gardens of our environment, and in all the activities and relationships of our life. In this context, we make ever-progressive changes, one step at a time.

So planning the New Year’s garden is a great exercise in visioning the future and planning the steps to achieve it. One doesn’t even need to have a garden of dirt and mulch to do this. Through this process we may become “Gardeners of the Spirit” – people engaged in the act of creating communities of peace and beauty where people live in balance with nature and celebrate their humanity.

Gardens for Humanity wishes all a thriving New Year in which all endeavors sow the seeds of a more sustainable and humane garden.


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