Winter Gardening Activitiey – Planning A Shade Garden, the beginning

bird scared away from feeders waiting to return

The weather is still … well, it is down right cold outside still some days. We are not out of the snow season yet, so months of cold are still in my future.

With all that is happening around here, the desire to start seeds and plan the garden is pretty great. It is my Happy Place. I love having my hands in dirt, watching seeds sprout, and imagining all the potential of the upcoming garden.

As planting a garden is months off, I do not have a feeling of urgency.  However, without some pre-planning I have often found myself doing things weeks after they are supposed to have happened.  The joy of gardening is harder to find when things feel rushed.

In an effort to tackle a few larger projects this summer, I have begun to look for aides or suggestions to begin the planning process.  Without a plan I find that I waste time thinking about what needs done instead of doing it.  Not such a great thing when the weather is perfect for the job and you have kids wanting to ‘help’.  After tackling the front flower bed a few seasons ago, I feel more confident in my abilities.

That project was one I spent too many nights in bed thinking through.  I spent so much time, that I had almost talked myself out of doing something for fear of not doing it ‘right’.  In the end, I decided one day to take the plunge and just start.  Once I got moving the first day, it was easier to tell myself this was possible and  create a plan for the following days.  Not exactly the best order in which to do things, but it worked with that project.  I always find that when I begin to psych myself out about something, sometimes just doing something on the project will get me out of the fear of doing anything.

One of the larger projects I hope to accomplish this Spring/Summer is to transform part of our front yard into a shade garden.  The grass does not grow well there due to the shade and it receiving only morning sun, and only for a few hours at that.  After walking through a beautiful shade garden at a local park, I was encouraged to try something similar in our yard.

While searching Crafty’s website one day, I came across a free mini-class – Transform Your Garden Design with Rebecca Sweet.  Looking into it a bit more, I realized this would be a great help in tackling this large project.  It would not only help me go step by step through what needs to be done, but also help me visualize what should go where.

The format of this class is such that I can pause the videos and come back to them later if needed.  I can also rewind a section to listen a second time to something that was said.  It doesn’t matter if my ‘gardening time’ is at 10 p.m. or 10 a.m. the lessons area available any time.

With the weather forecast now calling for snow, mud abounding in the yard from the house work begin done, and Spring still a few months away, this is a great time to take 15 – 20 minutes at a time to do something to make my outside gardening time more productive later.

Not only am I being proactive and productive for the upcoming gardening season, but I am also finding myself being motivated to finish several indoor project now, so that I can go outside later and work on those projects without feeling guilty about the inside.  A win-win situation for me.

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