Keep Moving

By Jim Sollecito

At the end of every visit, my 95-year-old mother-in-law’s doctor cheerfully reminds her to “keep moving.”

I could not agree more. It’s the same with a good tool, a part of your landscape, or simply your own body: if you don’t use it, then you lose it. It’s hard to steer a parked car.

This time of year is a good opportunity to assess whether you still even like the way your landscape looks. Sometimes we get stuck in the slow, safe lane and linger there. Wondering if someone in front of us has a better view. Don’t bother wondering. They do. But now is the ideal opportunity to improve yours.

I bet there are some home improvements that are fully apparent now before leaves emerge. There is a time for everything, and now is the time to plan before planting.

Move ahead mentally and physically. Get outside. Inspect what you own. Decide what might need an upgrade so the current function isn’t lost. Sure, you can leave things alone and hope they still perform as well as when you first purchased them. But hope is not a good strategy for success.

I really look forward to spring’s magical sunny days. Sunshine can really shape our moods. True, it’s a bit difficult to get out on days when rain dominates the forecast. But to quote the great Cornell University horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey, “Grumbling at the weather is the most senseless and futile of all expenditures of human effort.” All weather is good weather, for something. Bailey goes on to say, “The person who has never been caught in rain and enjoyed it has missed a privilege and a blessing.” And so I rejoice in the springtime, whether the weather holds sunny or showery days.

As days get longer, our outlooks reawaken and our goals refresh. Homeowners used to look forward to seed catalogs. Now nobody has the patience to plant impatiens seeds. We specialize in landscape-sized plants because that’s what our customers demand. Contemporary attitudes command instant gratification. I suspect some of our clients don’t even buy green bananas. We have researched hundreds of possibilities and are introducing a number of great new varieties of hardy and deer-resistant plants. Pretty plants that are, as the old Ajax laundry detergent advertised, “stronger than dirt.”

It’s time to move ahead into the new season with energy and enthusiasm, as we are on the cusp of a great and colorful year.

I’ll leave you with this: keep moving and keep planting. Make some memories to nourish your body and soul. Don’t stare at the “Oldometer.” Because standing still is not an option. Imagine and dream. Imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions. If you’re not sure how to begin, give me a call. I can help your dreams come alive.

Jim Sollecito is the first lifetime senior certified landscape professional in NYS. He operates Sollecito Landscaping Nursery in Syracuse. Contact him at 468-1142 or