New Year’s Resolution: Order Plants Early This Season

By Bonnie Grant | January 1, 2021
Image by gyro
by Bonnie Grant
January 1, 2021

As a new homeowner, I am still just getting my landscape going. There are many more plants that I need for my ornamental beds, as well as more food specimens for my edible gardens. Unfortunately, I failed to order things, like grapes, early enough this year. But that won’t be an issue in the upcoming year. I have already ordered garden catalogs and am in the middle of selecting plants.

Order Plants Early

My New Year’s resolution is to get more plants. Seems simple enough, right? However, we live in the middle of nowhere and rarely go to town. The closest city is more than an hour away and doesn’t have a great plant selection. If we want to drive 2 hours, I can find a big box store’s garden center, but we don’t like to waste gas. The best option is to ordering online plants, but you have to do it at the right time. Too late and many specialty garden plants are gone. They may also be delivered dead. Timing is everything.

I’m a fan of specialty garden plants. I love the old standbys, but there is something so fun about getting a new cultivar or unique newly introduced veggie or fruit. Garden catalogs featuring pictures of interesting breeds fuel my addiction – like heirloom veggies and fruits. An unchecked passion for these runs through my veins. However, they can be expensive and sometimes the standard varieties will work better. Nonetheless, I can count on investing in several fascinating new varieties to spice things up and just for fun.

I was too late for grapes and a host of other wish list plants. Next year, I will get several varieties. I want a wine grape and a couple of hand grapes. I also want a passion fruit vine, hardy kiwis, and other vine fruits. We also need some nut trees. I think I have enough fruit trees, but I would love a filbert (preferably a contorted variety) and a hardy almond. I’m hoping the baby walnut will hang in there, so I will wait and see on that one. There are also garlic and shallots to get, as well as several fun varieties of potato that I don’t yet have.

The ornamental beds need some work and I’m planning on building more to cut down on the dreaded mowing. We lack evergreens and seasonal color. There is little dimension to the garden and hardly any foundation plantings. Plus, I need a whole lot of hedge plants to border the mini dirt farm and prevent the persistent tumbleweeds from entering. I’m going to focus on really standard landscape specimens with a few specialty garden plants thrown in for my entertainment.

My wish list is large. Ordering online plants is a bit addictive and I already have several carts open. Before I buy, I will have to cull these severely. This zone is a bit unpredictable and even though I only have plants that are hardy here, I will still need to do more research to see if they can survive periods of extreme drought, and days of sub-degree temperatures.

So, my New Year’s resolution is off to a good start with online carts and dog-eared catalogs an almost daily visit. For the New Year, I also pray we are Covid free, our political and international issues simmer down, and people start paying more attention to what they put in their bodies and the Earth. But there is little I can do about all that, so I will settle for feathering my nest with glorious and useful plants, something I can control as long as I remember to order early.

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