As I swept heaps of snow from my car this morning, I admit, it was difficult to think what kind of new years resolutions I should be putting in for my backyard, patio, and garden. It seems like the days of crowding around picnic tables and lounging across Adirondack chairs to take in landscapes and gardens will never be upon us again.
But, isn’t that one of the wonderful things about gardening? A new beginning stumbles to our feet every spring so we can try the flowers again that failed us last year, and even improve upon our vegetables that were so delicious last summer. Gardening is a great reoccurring experiment; endlessly forgiving and always beckoning for more.
While many gardeners are vowing to pick their squash before they get too large, to keep up with weeding, or to stake their peonies and lilies to ensure they stay upright through rainstorms… my resolution is a bit more simplistic. I want to spend more time outside, and to enjoy my time there.
It would seem that we spend all winter waiting for a day that doesn’t chill or shock us as we walk out our front door… but then we spend all summer inside our houses. Instead of spending my free time as the weather gets warmer on airplanes taking me far from home, I plan to stay in my own back yard. Whether it’s the economy encouraging people to stay closer to home, or more environmentally conscious minds are realizing their ecological footprint grows with cross-country travel—the draw to your very own patio oasis is cost effective, family centered, sustainable, and… well… worthy of your New Years Resolution. Take more time for you and your family.
Instead of spending hours and hours (and dollars and dollars!) scheduling trips to spend time with my family, I want to have a place to casually gather without notice, without traveling, and without planning. Though many are committing to weight loss, I’m committing to fire-fly blinking summer nights rich with the smell of bug spray and dinner on the grill. The best table in the house will be my very own, and always open for picnic lunches and raucous dinners. With a croquet or quoits game set up, some patio chairs, and maybe even a porch swing, I’ll be on vacation all season with plenty of activities and fun for my friends. Let’s be honest: summer television is never worth it anyway, and the gentle breeze blowing through a gazebo or cabana is absolutely irreplaceable. Who needs the traffic on the way to the shore, when I can just string my hammock between the posts on a pergola, and read a beach romance novel all afternoon?
Of course… I’ll also be spending plenty of days digging up vegetables, tending flowers, weeding with dedication, and creating the perfect scenery for my backyard oasis. I’ll always mow the grass before it gets unruly and never forget to…
….I’ll never forget to have the garden hose ready when my puppy needs a bath on a sweltering day or a baby pool is looking dry, to keep the grill clean for perfect dinners “out,” keep my patio groups pulled close for get-togethers where no one has to worry about talking too loud, and always remember that my swing bed is waiting for me on the porch when I just need some time to relax. If my flowers droop and weeds grow… my garden will always forgive me and wait until next year. If I miss enjoying a beautiful season… that’s one thing I’ll never get back!
See you Outside!