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A Bright Spot in Cold Times

I think I've hit a low point. Winter is starting to get to me and even when the sun in shining I can't shake the feeling that spring is a long way off. I can tell myself that I'll be planting within a couple of months, but it doesn't help. I need to see the blooms, smell the dirt. Not happening.

My short term solution is, of course, waiting for me at the local florist. A bouquet or a potted indoor plant could certainly help. On a side note, I have managed to keep alive one of the three orchids that my husband gave me for our anniversary back in August. It looks like one of the buds should open any day. This may be one of the most victorious moments of my entire life

Since outdoor planting will have to wait I decided to make an effort to research what I can start doing in preparation for gardening season. From planning my garden spaces to pre-purchasing seeds and selecting necessary supplies, there really are a few great things to keep my spirits high during the winter months. Here are a few ideas to work on if you need a little lift too:

Start dreaming! What is more fun than possibility? Even if you dream bigger than your yard can handle, why not enjoy the thought of what could be? Think about layout, hardscapes, plant choice, maybe even think about larger items such as new patio furniture or planting trees.

Once you start to dream, remember that now might be the time when you can find some great deals. Start looking regularly at second hand stores where you might find lanterns or pots at a fraction of the price that you would pay at your local garden store.

When you've had your fun dreaming, start to get realistic. What will you really plant this spring? Take this time to educate yourself on what works well in your climate and focus on plants that have the best bet of being successful and fruitful! Find out when and where your local home and garden show will be taking place and it might be a perfect place to get some practical advice on your home garden. The Colorado Home and Garden Show starts February 12.

There are many online resources for purchasing seeds and starter kits. Over and over when I read about gardening I find that most recommendations are for online retailers. I'm sure this is in part to the fact that the readership is spread across a region or a nation. On the other hand, you can find some interesting, lovely, and distinctive seeds that many garden centers just won't have. Two sites I would recommend: Cook's Garden and Botanical Interests (a Colorado company).

Did you garden last season? Is so, take inventory on what you need to assemble to start fresh. It may be the simple and basic things like potting soil or a trowel. Or it could be items that require more thought such as herb clippers or a specific organic fertilizer. By purchasing these items ahead you accomplish two things. First, you spread out what could be a significant investment. Not only that, but you can shop without rush and find the best tool rather than running to the closest store with the item in stock. This could be a smart time to create a list that you can use annually to check supplies and be aware of supplies you need to shop for.

When my orchid blooms I'll be sure to post a picture. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about what your plans are for your garden. OR, what about your favorite bloom?

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