Garden Planning all Year

Written for Wild Acres. See original here.

It’s never too early to start garden planning. After all, dreaming is one of the most enjoyable parts of flower farming and gardening. Harvest is the best, but I love planning and dreaming about all the beautiful things I can grow.

Each year I start planning for the next season as soon as the flowers start blooming. I might not get it all written down, but the ideas always keep coming. So by October/November, I have a pretty good idea of my Wish List for the next growing season.

One of the hardest things to do is to order for the space I have. For my birthday, my husband got me the best garden planner I’ve seen, and I’m really, really looking forward to filling it in this year. Technically, most of the jobs will be for next year, but I need to get seed orders in soon so I’m working through it now. It’s the Rural at Heart Garden Planner, and I’m pretty sure Vanessa’s (the creator) mind must work just like mine. The planner has places for everything I want to include, and some I hadn’t even thought of!

Image of January calendar and drawing of garden plans

I’ve been adding to my ‘wants’ list (I always am!) and have just added my first order for 2023 to the budget section. It’s a great way to record exactly how much I’m spending because it is so, so easy to go over budget!

This year my seed starting success was… very minimal, to say the least. I didn’t record germination or success rates because I never thought of it. But I love that the Garden Planner has space to record that for each variety. And hopefully, each year, I’ll improve my success rate! 

I just recently ordered a lot of tiny plugs to get me started more successfully next Spring, and I’m looking forward to recording how my plugs and seeds survive in the garden. Not only that, but I will add all the plants I’ve ordered to the garden plan pages so I can map out exactly where they all go and how many will go in each section.

For next year’s bouquets, I’m trying some new flowers that I’m really excited about. Some I tried to start from seed this year but wasn’t successful with. Others are completely new to me, and I’m treating myself by not even trying to start them from seed.

Photo of light pink lilies with blue background

Here are my top 5 new plants I’m trying:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Hypericum, aka St. Johns Wort (a shrub with berries)
  • Delphiniums (multiple colours!)
  • Different colours of lisianthus

Some other surprises will include:

  • Hydrangea
  • Scented geranium
  • New dahlia varieties
  • Lilies 

As the weather gets colder, I get more and more into planning mode. First, I make very long lists of all the flowers I’d like to try. And then, I check the catalogues and online to see what is realistic to grow – and what fits into the budget! Of course, this means that about half of what I dream about never makes it into a seed order. But as a grower, there is always next year! 

Winter is more of a dreaming season, where I can dream about everything we can plant and do during the summer. And I love that this year I will have a very organized place to write everything down and keep all my dreams organized. Now I just have to hope that my seed starting success rate is better than last year!

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