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It would be nice to see these again.

Pardon the delay in my 2014 wish list. Here it is with one caveat—it’s really more of an impossible dream list.

  1. No more bug-of-the-months. There have been way too many overwrought scares about pests. Pests will always be with us. Rather than freak-out attacks on bugs like the emerald ash borer, I’d rather see proactive plantings that emphasize diversity and common sense solutions that downplay hysteria.
  2. No more plant-of the-year. There is no best plant of any year; there are only the plants that work for you. I hereby promise never to write about any plant that any organization says is the best for any year.
  3. Scotts Miracle-Gro can stop asking us or anyone else to blog about its crappy products, some of which may or may not have the term “organic” on the labels.
  4. Municipal composting programs should become universal.
  5. I’d really like to see alternatives to traditional turfgrass promoted everywhere as such, whether they be perennial groundcovers, sustainable grasses (such as eco-lawn and others), or combo plantings that use perennials and shrubs.
  6. Let flowers be celebrated! I’d love to see the beauty (and scent) of  flowers in all seasons emphasized over gardening as a necessary evil that should include as little work as possible.
  7. The term low-maintenance should be stricken from the gardening lexicon. Seriously. If people want to pave their domestic landscape entirely in concrete or if they hate tending to any living plant, that’s one thing. Otherwise, if you actually want to garden, than it should be clear that gardening done well—just like anything else—means working at it.
  8. HOAs should cease to regulate gardening in any way except for those obvious protections of public safety that might be accepted in the most liberal municipality.
  9.  As the GMO juggernaut rolls on unabated, at least let labeling be required. It seems little enough to ask.
  10. Regarding this winter—time to hit the fast-forward button!

Posted by

Elizabeth Licata
on February 18, 2014 at 7:56 am, in the category Everybody’s a Critic, Shut Up and Dig.


  1. YESSSS!!!! Amen to everything you said, Elizabeth. Regarding “plant of the year”, the only time I write about that is when they rummage around in the archives and celebrate a plant like amsonia, that’s been around since God was a baby. WTF is up with that? Anyway, excellent post!

  2. Love the list, and totally agree about plant of the year. As for plant-of-the-year, I’m crossing my fingers that Lake Michigan will take so long to warm up I’ll be able to grow sweet peas and other cool-summer-lovers. If I’m right, California flowers will be my northwest Indiana plants-of-the-year.

  3. How about bug-of-the-month columns highlighting some of the lesser known pollinators, predators, and just generally unknown garden inhabitants? Good Guy Bug-of-the-Months that encourage gardeners to live and let live so that our natural communities can regain some balance?

  4. Something that combines wish #1 and #9, enjoy:
    Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Jan;32(1):102-5. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2753. Epub 2013 Dec 8.
    Toxin delivery by the coat protein of an aphid-vectored plant virus provides plant resistance to aphids.

  5. A good list. I would like more promotions of native pollinators, and more promotions of nurturing a healthy landscape. If you read nothing but the destructive non native insects and blights and diseases, you won’t plant anything! That said, I have seen the destruction caused by the Emerald Ash Borer and shudder to think what the Asian Longhorn beetle will do unchecked. Treat the landscape like yourself. Nurture it.

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