A trendy wish list for 2017

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These were cheap and great from the botanical gardens sale.

Not having even looked at any of the predictions or surveys regarding general gardening behavior, here is my wishful thinking for the coming year:

More six-packs, fewer pricy branded pots
I am lucky enough to be able to order interesting new cultivars from the yearly sale our botanical gardens has—and they actually come in 4- and 6-packs for $4. Such packaging is becoming ever more rare. At the garden center, I know I’ll be seeing the usual 4.5-inch (sometimes already root-bound) pots of branded annuals for as much as $6-7. Sure, they have 6-packs, but they make sure they’re the most boring, has-been plants in the joint.

                                         Oh fer crissakes

No more Plant Nite emails from Groupon
These are killing succulents for me (not that it would have taken much). Most of the promotional shots show some fishbowl-type containers with lurid hues of colored sand layered below a few plants and maybe a couple of those rocks that have words on them. I’m assuming the wine must make these seem more attractive, because the women holding them look really happy.

Better solar lights
We have a set of six small traditionally powered spotlights that have been working well without incident for over 10 years. We also have a set of 8 really expensive solar lanterns that only work (for a while) if we remove and charge their panels for hours each day. I’ve given up on them, but most lighting experts I talk to agree that small solar units generally suck. The light isn’t that great even in optimal conditions.

More tall plants
Even though I’ve gotten rid of the enclosures that made these a necessity, I still love verticality. Unfortunately, everything keeps getting “dwarfed,” or “’lil’-ed.”

More great hydrangeas
Breeders seem to have moved beyond the Endless Summer madness and are now offered some really beautiful hybrids in all the species. I have high hopes of my new Paraplu and Quick Fire.

More gardening travel and gardening get-togethers
I have been slacking in recent years, but this year, I will be joining fellow bloggers in DC and welcoming garden writers to Buffalo when the GWA meets here in August. Hope to see some of you!

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com