Garden Planning Tools

Today was the day to sit down and look through some gardening and seed books. Normally I start the process in January. Not that I have super award winning gardens, but it’s a fun project to work on during the cold winter months.

It happened in pieces this time around. A bit of thinking here, a bit of thinking there. A few pages viewed in this magazine. A few in that magazine. And then there’s Pinterest.

Oh my,how do I love Pinterest! Maybe too much. I had this conversation with a friend this week:

Me: I just realized I spend too much time on Pinterest.

Andrea: Haha, why do you say that?

Me: Because I’m on Pinterest pinning things I have absolutely no intention of ever doing, wearing, painting or spending time or effort on. But I’ve been doing it for 45 minutes.  

But I digress….today was the day to actually sit down and really think about the garden, to draw some tentative plan and look through some seed catalogs. I don’t neccesarily buy my seeds from these catalogs,but they are great for giving ideas.

Here’s the workstation:


First things first, the large DD cup to the top of the picture. It’s currently holding water, but it once held iced coffee, so by reusing it I’m recycling. And because I’m recycling I’m saving the cup from a landfill. So what this all means is that by drinking Dunkin Donuts I’m actually saving the earth. Win. Win.

Second, and still important: the book and catalogs, seeds and a plan.

The three catalogs on the left are from 1.  Johnny’s . (If you ask nice,they’ll send you a free catalog.), 2. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (If you ask nicely and BEFORE the end of March-hurry!-they’ll send you a free catalog too!), 3. Strictly Medicinal Seeds (appears to be free catalogs…correct me if I’m wrong).

I love these catalogs because they show cool produce like this:


and this beauty with a bit of history thrown in for free:


I picked up The Backyard Homestead a few years ago at Barnes and Noble. I read it all year long. It’s got great information and is inspiring. I probably won’t be growing my own wheat or raising cattle anytime soon, but in case I do…’s all in there.


In The Backyard Homestead you’ll find everything you need for …..wait….backyard homesteading, or just the basics for a simple small garden as well. It’s an all around great resource for all things gardening.

I’m working on the whole convincing Jeremy to let us have chickens thing. Of course there’s the issue of him saying no, the fact that we live in town and in church provided housing on church provided land. But other than that, my plan is a go. I can out wait him….I’ve been asking for 20 years…what’s 20 more?


I love the simple pics and design ideas.DSC_0705DSC_0706

And for my herb garden a few refreshers.DSC_0698DSC_0699

Next up is the plan. So I get that it looks like gibberish, but it’s not…my head gets it.


Deck plans are on the top left, raised beds on the bottom left, with plans for a trellis to direct the vine a friend just gave me from her garden. Also, I’d like to put a little picket fence around the raised beds this year and include flowers. Think cottage garden.

The lamppost is the skinny thing that looks like a broken umbrella. It’s already got foliage around it.

The top right is the back yard shaded area. There is one hammock already there, with another on it’s way there. I have some perennials already planted from last year, but would like to add more this year and make it more of a shade garden.

The rest of the drawing is garden area around our house. Not sure yet about the front by the door, but the side is taken up with the herb garden (on the corner) and plenty of space for tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach and whatever else we fancy this year.

Last year we planted vine plants..pumpkins, spaghetti squash, watermelon, cucumbers, squash. I need to rethink it this year. I’m not convinced the space it took up was worth it. I could grow it up….an option, but still not sure. We’ve been paring back on what we plant as we’ve learned what we actually eat. Every year brings a new plant..just to experiment…and a simplifying,more purposeful use of the whole. Gardening is always a work in progress, isn’t it?

Some of my fave gardening websites are listed below. I’d love to hear about your gardening adventures if you care to share!

Mother Earth News

Rodale’s Organic Life (this is a great magazine if you prefer hands on rather than internet info)


Urban Farmer (list of companion planting)

Birds and Blooms (attracting butterflies and hummingbirds)

Have fun and garden on!





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