The perfect time to plan a garden (Part 2)

Now that you have your gardening goal(s) defined, the next step involves finding inspiration and putting together a wish list of items you love. At this point, we’re not concerned with figuring out if these plants/flowers/vegetables are a fit for your yard just yet. Find the stuff you love.

If your gardening goal is to have hydrangeas this year, do some research on hydrangea varieties that interest you. Do you like Oakleaf, PeeGee, Annabelle, or Lacecap? Is there a specific color that you are drawn to more than others?

As you discover the plants you like, jot them down somewhere, bookmark them, pin them to a Pinterest board, print them on a physical mood board, whatever tool you like so you can reference them later. I love performing this exercise in the winter; it takes my mind off of the snow and cold weather.

If you have zero clue on where to start, give these options a go:

Pinterest: Create a board, search for gardens, and start pinning!

Gardening magazines: You’ll find lots of options at your favorite bookstore, even your home improvement store, in a variety of topics from small yard gardening to cottage gardens.

Instagram: Using the hashtag search option, try #gardening, #urbangardening #flowers #instagardenlovers.

Seed catalogs: A great resource, you’ll discover there are so many different varieties of flowers, plants, and vegetables.

Fine Gardening: Great online resource and magazine

Here are a few things from my wish list (there are about 30 other flowers, I’ll spare you from the full list):


Zinnias: Give me all the colors, please. These bloom at the beginning of summer until the first frost, perfect for cutting. I don’t think there has been a year I haven’t had a least one variety in my yard.


Snapdragons: Great old-fashioned flower in a variety of colors. I’ve found that they bloom well past the first frost. Beautiful cut flower, self-seeding so that you can easily have flowers year after year.

blue vein

Sweet Peas: I honestly haven’t tried hard enough to grow sweet peas and always seem to start seeds way too late in the season. They have a heavenly scent and I want to experience it, so I’m pressing on. This year, I bought seeds from Floret’s new seed line, including the one pictured above called Blue Vein, along with five other varieties (oops!) from other seed outlets. I’m declaring 2016 the year of the Sweet Pea.


Craspedia: How cute are these? They are awesome in arrangements, bouquets, boutonnières, plus they look great dried. Sounds just about perfect to me. 

What do you want to grow this year?


  1. April said:

    I love seeing your arrangements on Facebook, so I’m so glad you started a blog! I have never gardened but am hoping to start growing my own fruits and veggies. I’m thinking I’d better start small, and I love your advice to just start with what you love. I may add sweetpeas after reading your list. My parents grew them when I was a kid, saving seeds and moving them from one house to another. And because I loved them so much, they were the first flowers that Dena gave me.

    January 26, 2016
  2. thistleandvine said:

    Thank you, April! I definitely want to try growing more veggies! I say go for it. I love how your family grew sweet peas and took the seeds as you moved. What a cool story.

    January 27, 2016

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