Four New Year’s Resolutions, and None that Require Less Eating or Drinking


3. Manage my vegetable garden this year.  ‘Nough said. 

4.  Turn Saratoga Springs, NY into more of a gardening town.  It’s such a pretty place.  If only there were less taking-care-of-business style landscaping and more planting for pleasure, it would be so lovely.  Let’s face it, the whole world would be a lot more beautiful, more ecologically sound, and more fit if we gardeners could just win a few converts apiece every season.  So far, however, I have been a relative failure at spreading the gospel of the tulip, and for God’s sake, I’m a speechwriter!  I make my living persuading skeptical audiences on hard chairs of tricky arguments.  Maybe I am failing to present an attractive enough picture of the gardening life to the people walking by on the sidewalk, with dirt up my nose and my generally savage shovel-work.  But I’m sure I look happy, if only they looked more closely.  This year, I will try new tactics…taking over the bulb sale at the school?  Giving away less free advice and more free plants?  Planting such stunning things that they make the argument without any assistance from me?

Happy New Year!


  1. Another viburnum that we don’t hear much about is the ‘Dawn’ v. bodnantsee. I have one that’s blooming right now and the scent is like lilac. It has deep pink buds and pale pink flowers. It will bloom anytime in the winter when the temps get milder.

  2. Onondaga is gorgeous, but a couple that I think are gravely underated are cultivars of our two english natives:

    Viburnum lantana aurea – a buttercup yellow leaved wayfaring tree – and Viburnum opulus Notcutt – a huge flowered and brilliantly berried guelder rose. For christmas I bought my dad V. opulus xanthocarpum – a yellow berried form as we’re playing with an ornamental native hedge using cultivars of traditional native hedgerow plants.

  3. The Viburnum Leaf Beetle has made its appearance here in Vermont. V. opulus and many of the other Viburnums are being decimated by this insect. Many Vermont nurseries are not selling Viburnums because of this. Enjoy while you can!!

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