Reflection can be a good first step for garden planning. Consulting your garden journal is the place to start. Don’t have a garden journal? No problem! Now is the time to start one. Don’t get stuck on the idea that your journal has to be an elaborate diary for your garden. It truly can be anything you want. Mine is a simple, spiral-bound notebook full of plant tags, simple sketches, and lists. It’s a reminder about what plants and projects worked and what didn’t in years past.
Choose a journal format that works for you. From elaborate and elegant to simple and utilitarian there is a physical journal style that will fit your needs. From jotting comments in a notebook, to keeping a log on your phone/laptop, journaling can keep you organized. For me, it means that I can access tags from past seasons without searching. The name of that great new plant I need is at my fingertips.
Garden parties don’t have to be limited to the spring or summer! Grab a few gardening friends, a big cup of coffee, and head into the garden. Hosting a brainstorming session with other garden minds can give you a new perspective. Plus, it can give a fresh look at what your garden needs. If weather is an obstacle, head to your local garden center (especially if they have a coffee shop or restaurant!). Bring pictures from last season, catalogs, and your phone for research and inspiration.
Garden Journal for garden planning with a muffin. Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash.
Admit it. You've plugged "garden design" into the search function of Pinterest. Suddenly you emerge several hours later with a whole board devoted to must-do projects for the coming year. Using this social site and others to share and receive inspiration can be the perfect exercise for your garden brainstorm. This is especially true for those of us who live in Northern climates. This area can provide a virtual garden tour while we're snowed in.
There are plenty of ways to connect with fellow gardeners online:
- Facebook offers a number of garden groups that give you a wide range of gardening minds to mine. The opportunities for community feedback and inspiration are endless.
- Don’t forget local experts! They’re a great resource for plants, soil amendments, and other tricks of the trade for your area of the country. Check out garden center websites, or tap into your local Master Gardener group. While you’re on the website, sign up for a pre-season class. Still need inspiration? Check out our online plant catalog. Even if you can’t plant now, you can reserve your “must-haves” by pre-ordering!
Drive By Designs
A stroll or drive through the neighborhood can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing. This hyper-local look at gardening offers an opportunity to see what works well in your area. Does your neighbor have a hydrangea that is stunning year after year? A tree that offers season-long interest, or a particular perennial combination that you've been coveting? Maybe there is a design feature that could work well in your space. Or a curb appeal stunner that is the perfect fit for your front door. Now is the time to ask for more information. “I think it’s fair to say that most gardeners are willing to share their secrets,” says Justin Hancock, Monrovia Horticultural Craftsman. “Most of us want people to enjoy the work we put into our garden spaces. Complements and questions are always welcome in my yard.”
We hope your planning season is off to a great start! We’d love to hear about all the ways you get ready to garden! Share your story with us!