Mindful Monday: Start planning my garden!

The fact that we’ve had barely any snow this year – and that what we did get is long gone and, by the looks of this 70+ degree weather, not coming back – has brought to my attention much earlier than usual that our yard needs some serious landscaping help.

For the last couple of years we’ve been so sidetracked by major (and mostly boring) projects like replacing the crumbling walk, re-paving the driveway, and rebuilding the retaining wall that we’ve hardly had any time (or money) left over for prettifying. But this year, I’m ready to get started, especially since Clara is now big enough not to toddle out into traffic when I’m working on the side yard or throw herself into the ravine when we’re out back.

Of course, as is the case when I’m faced with any big blank slate, I’m more than a little overwhelmed. In the past, I’ve done mostly small-scale gardening: containers, veggie plots, patches of flowers. It’s allowed me to get comfortable with the basics and even grow food, but I’ve never created a whole yard, from scratch, right out of my imagination. This year, though, I’m feeling ready to dream and do.

I’ve always been drawn to cottage gardens, and love the idea of engulfing my yard in flowers set off by a meandering path like this Better Homes and Gardens photo:

( If you love it too, run over to BHG to download their free cottage garden planting guide)

But when you’re starting from scratch, that’s a big project. So before I go and get myself completely overwhelmed wandering around the nursery, I know I need to follow these big-project-planning steps: Gather information. Figure out specifically what I want to do. Break that vision down into smaller steps. And then take action.

This week I’m in the deliciously indulgent “gathering information” phase, which means I get to spend hours scouring the internet and hitting up our local book store for gardening inspiration. I’m particularly enjoying this round-up of cottage garden photos from HGTV’s Rate My Space. But I’m not letting myself do any shopping (or more aptly, wandering in confusion) until I’ve got a plan sketched out on paper. Promise.

Does anyone else have big plans for their outdoor space this spring and summer? Tell us about it – or share your own Mindful Monday intention in the comments.

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  1. kim/reluctant renovator
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