By Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
January is the month of resolutions, although most are short-lived — like no more ice cream after 7 p.m. Making resolutions for your outdoor landscape can be much easier. Here are a few resolutions that can make a significant impact in the coming year.
Remove an invasive plant from your landscape
I know you love that burning bush for its flame-red leaves in fall. But this plant — Euonymus Alata — is on Indiana’s invasive species list. It, and the ornamental pear, will likely be banned the next time the state reviews invasive species.
Replace an invasive plant with a native one
Some native shrubs with gorgeous fall color include Fothergilla and just about any Viburnum, such as arrowwood (V. dentatum) or possompaw (V. nudum). There are several suitable varieties or cultivars on the market. Select a plant based on size and site location.
Add a bird feeder or bird bath (or two)
The best way to attract birds is to have a bird bath or other water source. Butterflies, bees, squirrels, and other wildlife like it too. You can add a bath heater for winter enjoyment. Install bird feeders where you can see them from your home office or while you do the dishes. Or where your indoor cat can salivate.
Reduce the use of pesticides
Pesticide is an umbrella term for insecticide, fungicide, herbicide, and miticide. Eliminating or reducing these products makes your landscape more pollinator friendly. An ecosystem needs insects just like it needs birds, pollinators, and flowers.
If you don’t already, grow something edible
There’s great pride and joy in serving something at dinner that you had a hand in producing, even if it’s a flower pot planted with lettuce. If you have children in your life, it gives them a hands-on experience of growing their food and they will learn where food comes from. If that’s not possible, take them to the farmers market and talk to the farmers about their food and how they grow it.
Grow some flowers you can cut
There’s nothing like a fresh cut bouquet from your garden to help you appreciate Mother Nature and all her beauty.
Happy New Year!
A popular speaker, Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp gardens in Indianapolis and blogs at Hoosiergardener.com.