I’m currently sitting at my desk, staring out at the frozen snow and ice that has formed on my shrub below. Is it pretty? Yes, especially when the sun hits it. But do I wish it would melt away? Abso-flippin-lutely. Still, this cold and ice does have its merits. It forces me to stay inside and not putter around my garden. It's way too early for that! Instead, I find myself daydreaming of colorful flowers moving in the breeze, imagining what my yard would look like if I added a new tree and picturing the first new leaves of the daffodils pushing through the spring soil.
Have you seen the new Wonka movie yet? I really enjoyed it - a nice blend of a new storyline to the one we all know and love. Consistently, in all the Wonka movies, I admire Willy Wonka's imagination, his creation of such a beautiful chocolate world and of course, all the edible flowers! Was I the only one that wished I had edible cups and saucers in the form of daffodil flowers growing in my garden?! Ah if only...
Image courtesy of IMDB
If you want to view paradise,
Simply look around and view it
While we can’t create a real chocolate garden, we can still use our imaginations to dream of what we want our gardens to be. Do you imagine lots of flowers in all mixes of colors, or perhaps a monochromatic theme? Do you imagine lots of green, lush shrubs that remind you of a tropical rainforest, or maybe a group of cactus, succulents and rock garden plants? Whatever you are daydreaming about, it can be achieved. How, you ask? Read on…
1. Gather Your Thoughts and Ideas
Much like planning for life goals, creating a vision board (physical or digital) for your garden can be a great way to gather all your thoughts, ideas, inspirations and dreams of your garden. Seek out garden images from magazines, visit Pinterest and find inspirational photos, or maybe you have images on your phone of a garden, flower or plant that you saw last year! Put all of these someplace where you can look at them and get a clearer image of what you want to see out your window this spring.
2. Visualize and Plan
Next it’s time to take a look at your garden space and yard. Do you want to expand what you have? Add some raised beds? Or perhaps all you can handle right now are some planters on your porch - and that’s ok too! If possible, look at your space during midday when the sun is shining. This will give you a decent enough idea what kind of sunlight your garden will receive. 6+ hours of sunlight and you have a garden in full sun, 4-6 hours and you have a part sun/shade garden, and less than 4 hours of direct sun is a full shade area. Knowing the amount of sunlight your garden has will influence the kind of plants that will thrive there.
3. Make a List
Now that you have all your images, ideas and inspiration swirling together with your outdoor garden space, it’s time to get organized and set up a plan. Make a list of the top 5 plants you really want. It might be a list of flowering shrubs or plants that will fit into a specific color scheme. Choosing only 5 makes that plan seem less daunting.
4. Check your Pride
Prepping a new garden or reworking an existing one will take some time and a little elbow grease. Take a moment and reflect - do you want to do the work yourself? Do you know what you are doing? What kind of help do you need (if any)? There's no shame in asking for help in the garden. Talk to the staff at garden centers, do a Google search to find out more or hire a garden consultant (like me!). A garden consultant can help you choose the right plants, place them in the most desirable garden locations and provide you with the tasks and knowledge to ensure they thrive.
Getting your thoughts and daydreams sorted now will allow you to hit the ground running when the weather starts to warm. And as you look outside your window to the cold beyond, remind yourself: “Spring will be here soon.” 'Cause you know what? It will be.