Our New Year’s gardening resolutions

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With the arrival of the New Year, comes the opportunity to make a change in your garden, so we’re thinking about the resolutions we want to make as gardeners in 2023. One of the many joys of gardening is the opportunity to approach fresh challenges each year, with different plants and ambitious ideas, and the New Year is the perfect time to set yourself some gardening resolutions.

Browse our resolutions from the Gardeners’ World team and familiar faces from across the gardening industry.

Find more New Year inspiration:


Protect pelargoniums

Pelargoniums need protection to survive the winter

Frances Tophill, Gardeners’ World presenter

I have a collection of scented leaf and species pelargoniums and every winter they die. In the past, I’ve had to move house in winter, leaving them in the care of my Mum, or other times I’ve kept them frost free until the last minute and then I’ve been away and a late frost or snow has got them. Last year, the salty atmosphere during a storm (I was living by the sea) killed them. I always take cuttings in September, that I keep on the windowsill all winter so that I can replace them, but this year I have put them in the glasshouse at work where they should be safe and warm. My resolution is to keep them safe there this winter, and by next winter, have built myself a little cold frame or greenhouse of my own to protect them.


Contain containers

Larger containers retain water better and are less time-consuming to water than lots of small pots

Arit Anderson, Gardeners’ World presenter

My New Year’s gardening resolution is to keep a tighter rein on the number of containers I have. We have a small garden, and it’s had a new layout in 2022 so we can navigate around it better. With the hotter summers, I want to work even harder at water management in the garden. My beloved pots do get thirsty, so I’ve kept only the bigger ones as they’re better at retaining moisture…..so keep your fingers crossed I stick to it!


Sow seeds earlier

Sowing seeds earlier gives plants more time to establish and you can enjoy them for longer

Nick Bailey, Gardeners’ World presenter

Last year, due to moving house, I didn’t sow my annuals till the 19th of May. Luckily, thanks to the roasting summer my plants bulked up quickly and performed well, but in 2023 I’ve resolved to begin sowing as early as possible. February, for first-year-flowering perennials, bananas and brugmansias, and early March for just about everything else.


Plant roses

Rambling roses such as Rosa ‘Kew Rambler’ are great for bees

Toby Buckland, director of Toby’s Garden Festival

My New Year’s resolution is to plant more roses – not just in the borders but to grow up into the trees. I love the romantic look of rambling roses dripping with flowers and how the tangle of briars attract birds looking for a place to nest.


Grow wisely

Grow what will thrive in your space

Jason Williams, creator of Cloud Gardener UK

My New Year’s gardening resolution is to combine my learnings of the past few years, and grow what I know will work well in my space, instead of plants that I’d like to grow but are doomed to fail. Hopefully, that will lead to a more productive balcony garden and to me becoming a better gardener.


String solutions

Keep string handy, so you can tackle jobs when you see them

James Alexander Sinclair, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine columnist

My grandfather always had a pocket knife and various bits of string about his person, so my New Year’s resolution is to never be without string as there is always something that needs tying back and, if I have to go to the shed and find some, then I will almost certainly have forgotten why I needed it before anything gets done.


Repotting and planting

Plant more bulbs for spring colour

Flo Headlam, Garden Rescue presenter

New year, new resolves! I will repot my weeping fig and show it more love. I also plan to plant more bulbs for later blooms – even though I’m late every year.


Saving water

Save water with drip irrigation systems that direct water to the roots

Isabelle Palmer, founder of The Balcony Gardener garden design

Water conservation! With our increasingly dry summers and the many hose pipe bans around the country, the importance of saving water has never been higher on my garden list. My garden resolution this coming year is to plant a rain garden. This will manage rainwater runoff from hard surfaces or a roof, which can be channelled into a shallow area of ground or dip. These areas are then planted with attractive, low-maintenance, wildlife-friendly plants to utilise the water runoff. I am also excited to get my new smart water irrigation; these monitor the weather forecasts for your area so they can irrigate effectively for when you need extra water and also when you don’t.


Winter interest

Add winter colour and interest

Catherine Mansley, GardenersWorld.com editor

To add more plants for winter interest to my garden. Every year, at this time of year, I wish my garden had more colour. But then I get swept up in spring and forget all about the drab days of winter, until it is once again too late to act.


New home, new garden

Plant small trees such as crab apple

Angelica Wilson, Gardeners’ World digital marketing and commerce executive

I’ve now been in my new home for a full year, and seen the garden transition through all the seasons, so I now feel ready to move plants around, some which saw too much sun, some that didn’t see enough. And, although the garden has many shrubs, they’re all fairly low, so I also plan to add height and interest to my garden by adding trees such as silver birch, hawthorn and crab apple.


Cut flowers for drying

Grow cut flowers to dry

Lily Middleton, GardenersWorld.com content creator

I’ve recently become a big fan of dried flowers and the many craft projects you can do with them, from wreath making to embroidery. I’m spoilt when I volunteer at Fulham Palace on Sundays – on days too wet to garden we bring out huge containers filled with an array of dried foliage and flowers that have been grown in the walled garden throughout the year and spend a cosy few hours creating posies or wreaths. So next year, I want to grow as many cut flowers as possible – choosing flowers that will dry particularly well so that I have my own supply for projects next year, possibly even some wedding decorations for a special day in 2024!


Veg in a small space

Grow veg on a windowsill

Blake Roberts, GardenersWorld.com Premium content manager 

My London apartment may be lacking in outdoor space, but I do have a window and outdoor sill that I plan to utilise come spring! I’m already thinking about how I could make the most of a window box for cascading strawberries and juicy tumbling toms. I might try and squeeze in some cut-and-come-again salad leaves, too. They’re good value and I love being able to snip some fresh leaves for healthy summer lunches when working from home. So my 2023 resolution is to not let limited space dampen my veg-growing dreams!

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