This is the year I’m going to finally give up on my dream of an English border. I have neither the space, the sun, the climate, or the staff required to pull it off.

After all, I live on a mostly wooded lot in hot, humid climate where plants slug it out for water and sun. It’s time to grow up get real.

Wake up. girl! You live in the woods.

Wake up. girl! You live in the woods.

So this year I will plant more shrub groups. Shrubs give my garden backbone, and they’re generally super-tough.

Shrubs make a big splash in less than perfect conditions

Shrubs make a big splash in less than perfect conditions

I will still plant flowers in 2015, but this year I’m going to try working backwards. Instead of leafing though beautifully photographed seed catalogs on long winter’s nights, I’ll pick 4 or 5 tried and true annuals I can’t live without and plant them in larger patches.

Manos beauty is one annual I will always grow

Manos beauty is one annual I will always grow

This is the year I will finally say NO to polka dot planting. I will set out my flowers in groups of 5 or more.

It's a garden, not a vase.  Plant fewer varieties in multiples of 5 or more--

It’s a garden, not a vase. Plant fewer varieties in multiples of 5 or more–

And I’m finally going to give up on zinnias. I won’t stop loving them, but I will stop trying to grow them. I just don’t have the space or full sun.

What about you? January is a month for planning. How do you plan to improve your garden this year?

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