Five days after Snowmageddon the temps are in the high 40s and there are still big patches of snow everywhere. But as I look out my window my plants have sprung back up (mostly) and those poppies coming up are still looking just fine. Two hummingbirds just chased each other through the garden and I can still see the strong, broad outline of a very large banana tree in my greenhouse. Nothing actually looks too worse for wear. So, what does that mean? It means it’s time to continue your plans for your garden. If you did have fatalities (which you probably don’t know for sure yet) now is the time TO PLAN. Yes, plan. Make a plan. Work your plan. Plan to plan. (Of course, GreenStone Designs is always here to help you with that, but if you are interested in taking on that challenge – go for it! Word of the Day – FOLIAGE. Look at the foliage in your garden. Do you have repetition AND variation in the foliage? Do you have year round interest in the foliage? Year round interest means you have a variety of plant types that give you structure and foliage interest. Some broadleaf evergreens, some conifers, some deciduous, some perennials, some annuals. Always somethin’ happenin’. If you want your garden to require less work (and gardens require work, there are no maintenance free gardens – unless you count a field) then you should focus the design on foliage and less on flower. Gardens focused on foliage can be calm and serene if you are using primarily greens. But just because your garden may not focus on flowers does NOT mean that it can’t have movement or color or whimsy or charm. So….go walk your garden when you get a break in the weather. Pull out your phone and take a few photos of areas that you want to address. Then go back in, grab your tablet and start a stream of thoughts about the space. Do it quickly, while it’s still in your mind. You can go back and edit, analyze and finalize later. Get in down on paper. What’s working? What’s not working? Where do you have holes? Sun? Shade? What’s around that hole? Annuals and perennials? (That means the whole is even bigger in the winter.) Why is a hole there? Did it die? Was it shaded out by the other plants? There are a lot of questions and you need answers! Gardening is such a wonderful activity because it engages us in so many ways. You need to be an observer, a problem solver. You can use your creative juices and your attention to detail. Organization skills help and so does persistence. It engages the body and the mind and the soul. What else do you know that does that? Lucky you, to be a gardener! Cheers!