Ahh...January. Well, actually almost February. The Holidays are over and gardeners are beginning to long for spring (well, we always long for spring and summer since that's what we do :-). I was playing this morning on Better Homes & Gardens' website and they have a great online garden planning tool. Go check it out at http://www.bhg.com/. Our daughter has long been talking about putting in a garden sanctuary, as she calls it, behind our home. We thought it was just a passing phase, but turns out she's very serious about it and has designed on paper just how she wants it. It's quite detailed too. There's a pond (in addition to the large pond we already have) for her pet turtle, "Squirt." There is a park bench, a picnic table and chairs, a three-tier fountain with statuettes around it, stepping stones, a pool (for us humans), a pergola, an arched entrance with a garden gate and lattice fencing, and 4 separate garden plots. One for vegetables, one for cut flowers, one for herbs and one for fruit. Oh, there are also fruit trees scattered throughout. I wonder who's going to harvest everything and can it all? :-) Who do you think? At any rate, the time is now to get out your drawing paper or garden journal and start planning what you would like your garden to look like this year. Would you like to add more perennials this year or maybe a rose bush or two? How about some type of water feature or updating the sitting area of your garden if you have one? Get those juices flowing and search the internet for some great ideas. Go to the local library and take out some gardening books (it's nice and quiet there too)! See what others have planned and design something that reflects your family's tastes and needs. Having some family input keeps everyone involved and you can be sure you're not neglecting anyone's ideas. Then everyone will be sure to enjoy the new garden. (Hint-if they are involved with the planning, you may get them to help take care of the garden too). After all, it should be a place you can come home to after a long day and just unwind and relax. Once I get the final details from Chuck, I'll post a list of what we are growing for this spring's gardens. That should help to give you some ideas and perhaps remind you of what worked well for you last year and what you might like to have this year. Some very vigorous and low maintainence plants we grew last year were Angelonia, Diascia, Alyssum, Stock and Snapdragons, to name a few. We're sure to have those great plants for sale again this year, and probably some new ones! Happy Planning Everyone!