Garden To-Do List for the Winter

This winter we, on the Gulf Coast, are especially blessed because our weather has been so mild.  We’ve had some nights (maybe 3 so far) where we’ve had to bring the plants in or cover what we couldn’t transport.  I’ve put the heater on in my house a few times.  But for the most part it’s been mild so far. 

While you can spend the time outdoors preparing and planting your next garden, why not use this time also to redecorate? 

Can you  move your potted plants into a more delightful design?  Can you add art to your fence posts, wreaths to your porch walls, decorative bird houses on posts, gazing balls, bird baths, pergolas?  How about a stone or  pebble path in your grass where you usually walk?  

What about maintenance?  Does your raised bed need some repair?  Plants need cutting back for spring growth?  Garden beds need edging trim?  Does your patio need a good power washing?

Do you have a spot to add a gardening table or bench?  Is your patio or shed storage overflowing?  Let’s get it cleaned out and fixed up now.

Get out your gardening notebook and add the following categories to your garden bucket list:  art and entertainment fun.

My list contains a garden chess set.  I saw one in a magazine when I bought my first house 17 years ago.  (I still have the page with instructions that I tore out). It’s since been on Pinterest and might even be on my gardening board.  Using square patio blocks, arrange a chess board in your yard.  Between the blocks add a low growing grass some moss which you’ll never have to mow.  Find some large, unique, weather proof play pieces to get your game started.  Add some colorful Adirondack chairs or some other chair you prefer for you and your guests.  Get really creative and add landscaping around your seating area and a path that leads from your house to the game.

How about some art on your fence posts or patio walls?  When visiting a local nurseries I found a great idea: recycled or upcycled mismatched plates, bowls and lids transformed into garden art.  These would look just as great on a wall in your kitchen, dining room or other shabby chic decorated room. 

Basically you take several pieces of pottery or glass.  These could be plates or dishes of any size, bowls, cups, and candy bowls.  Use your imagination and visit some yard sales this weekend. Build these items up from the largest to the smallest and you’ve got something great to hang on your wall or garden fence.  As for adhesive, check with your local craft store.  I’ve read that gorilla glue, glass adhesive, and caulk are possibilities but get an expert’s advice.

I’ve seen similar items set upright on posts with bird seed in them.  I would suggest if you place your creation on a post, make it a water source.  A cup or bowl can fill with rain and sprout the seed or send it cascading to the ground.  Unless you don’t care, you’ll be growing an assortment of seedlings from the bird seed in your garden below.

Here are some photos of what I saw.  I don’t know who to credit this piece to so my apologies if you recognize it as yours.  I photographed at an angle so you can see the depth.  Group two or more together to make a statement.  On your left is a clear glass plate, topped by a ceramic blue/white plate, a clear glass bowl and a ceramic lid.  On the right: a clear glass plate, a blue/white plate, a white cereal bowl with blue flowers with a light blue drinking glass in the center.

Blue Plates

Decorative bird houses are great to group together but why not add some functional ones in your yard as well.  Do some research as to the birds in your area, which ones nest there and if they use nesting houses/boxes.  Remember that wildlife needs a food source, water source, shelter and safety for their habitat.  Learn about what you have and how to attract it.  You may even want to have your yard designated as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat. 

Start your work now on your yard so you can enjoy it when the real spring weather is here.  Check out your magazines and Pinterest for outdoor design ideas.  Send me some pictures of your finished project.

One thought on “Garden To-Do List for the Winter

  1. Those plates are pretty and an interesting idea. We’re pretty minimalist here, having recovered from too much stuff, but I enjoy seeing other people’s ideas.

    Not all bird seed would germinate unless the climate is just so. The Nyjer thistle is one and safflower is another. I do not know the growing conditions for Nyjer, but safflower needs a dry climate with a short rainy season.

    I need to start ordering seeds and such for attempting the food and native gardens this year. Attempt is the big word. Last summer was rather discouraging. One boy was out most mornings trying to keep the various beetles off his little patch.

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