Bailey Arboretum Horticultural Notes: January 2016

Happy New Year….Some words of wisdom to get through January

 “Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them” .Vincent Simeone, Planting Fields, NY

 “January is the quietest month in the garden, but just because it looks quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. Microorganisms convert tilled- under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come”. Rosalie Wright

 “There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of winter. One is January thaw. The other the seed catalogues". Hal Borland


Resolutions. Time to make some resolutions for the 2016 garden. Only make a few? Here are some suggestions.


  • Review garden notes and pictures from 2015 and make a plan.
  • Set a budget based on reality. Remember tree pruning, plant acquisition and replacement, hardscape changes etc.
  • Start and maintain a 2016 Garden Journal with pictures,(computer templates are available) include weather conditions, what, where and when you purchased things, when you planted them, results, weekly walk through results, to do list.
  • Have a horticulturist come and assess your garden.
  • Get the soil tested.
  • Go organic for at least part of the garden.
  • Join a public garden so you can use the reciprocal visitation privileges for free entry to over 300 gardens throughout the US.
  • Only plant a shrub, perennial, annual, houseplant or tree with a name marker.
  • Never let a container look tired or forlorn.
  • Get tools that work, that are sharp, ergo dynamic, cordless.
  • Don’t bite off more than you (and your gardeners) can chew.
  • Read your resolutions at the start of every month