A Thoughtful Approach to the Garden in the New Year

Happy New Year, everyone! If you were like me, you have been hibernating this week because of sub-zero temperatures. I have actually been pretty busy with getting everything back to normal after the holidays. Our holidays were wonderful, and I hope yours were too. However, there is something about normalcy that makes me buzz along. As I have said before, 2017 was a great year. I am looking forward to 2018 in the garden. One big thing that has been on my list this year has been keeping me busy during the super cold weather:


…it FINALLY came. My David AustinĀ® roses catalog!!! I requested this months ago, and was absolutely thrilled when I finally received it. I would like to pick out a rose or two to add to my landscape this year. I have to plan appropriately, and make sure I find the right place for one. I am very excited to start this next chapter, for me, at least– growing roses!

I usually have resolutions for the garden and my home every year– and I have decided that my resolution will be to “go with the flow”. Plans don’t always work out, but other opportunities come along, and that’s fine too!

This time of the year is a great time. Garden planning, pouring over seed and plant catalogs– picking out what you would like for the garden this year. Nothing has to be fancy or expensive that you do in the garden. Little additions and improvements go a long way.

I say this because I was talking to a few people who said, “they can’t afford to garden.” Anybody can afford to garden. The smallest addition, which includes buying a packet of seeds, or buying small garden decor that add value to your landscape goes a LONG way. Gardening is one of the best investments out there– the joy and value it adds to your life cannot compare to a lot of other things. It’s a work in process– just like your home. Do a little bit when you can, and do more when you can. It’s all perspective, I guess. Don’t ever think you can’t. It doesn’t happen overnight, so enjoy the journey that comes with it.

So, with that, I hope you have a great start to the new year, and happy gardening!

Garden Planning 101

Wow! Time flies when you are having fun, right? My family has some excited things planned in the next few months– all home and garden oriented! It’s officially Spring on March 20– what do you have planned for your garden?

The daffodils at my neighbor's house are coming up-- a great sign!

The daffodils at my neighbor’s house are coming up– a great sign!

The more important question is– do you know how to plan? Here are a few quick and simple tips on optimizing your garden this growing season!

Size does matter.

Plan on getting plants, shrubs, trees that will accommodate the size of your yard. If you have a very tiny yard, you wouldn’t want to plant a tree that at maturity could be over 80 feet tall. Go to your local nursery or greenhouse and talk to an expert there that could help you with choosing plants, trees, shrubs that will fit your space. You want a happy balance with anything you plant!

Be dynamic in your garden.

When designing a layout for your garden, make sure you add taller and shorter plants, as well as some ground cover. You want your garden to have “layers”, to make your landscape look “interesting”, kind of like winter interest, but for the warm months. Aesthetics are just as important in the garden as they are anywhere else! For example, plant a dwarf plum tree with daffodils and sedum (I’m just thinking of the different layers, so these are just my examples off-hand. There are many choices). Be aware that you are planting shade plants and full sun plants in the appropriate places.

Think about dynamics in the seasonal sense– if you would like to plant-based on what blooms during the spring, summer, fall — so your beds are always blooming. I know I made this mistake a few years ago by planting a nice bed full of tulips– well, what happens after they are done blooming? Thinking about these things now makes it much easier later!

Sketch it out.

Start a garden journal and sketch out what you would like your landscape to look like, and what you would like to plant. The off-season is the time to research plants and find the right ones for your hardiness zone. Enjoy the research/design process, it’s a time of enlightenment and discovery! You will see so many beautiful plants and different ways to design your yard, you won’t know where to begin! Those, my friends, are GOOD problems.