Get this: a garden, by definition, is a planned space set aside for the display, cultivation, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature. And a gardener, by definition, is someone who tends and cultivates a garden. So, if you are growing plants, whether in a raised bed or a couple pots of herbs, guess what?
You’re a gardener!
Whether this is your first year or your fiftieth, you are a gardener, my friend. You don’t need to have a perfect horticultural record (I don’t) or know everything about plants (I don’t), and you don’t need to have a huge “planned space.” This is the beautiful thing about gardening and our lives: you don’t need to be an expert or have a flawless growing history or be greatly experienced to cultivate good things. (I have an entire two pages in my newest book about all the plants I’ve killed as proof!)
So, hello my fellow gardener. It’s nice to have you here.
(Go, ahead… say it a few times to let it sink in: I’m a gardener. I’m a gardener. I am an imperfect excited plant-loving GARDENER. 🙂 )
Welcome back for part 3 of Gardening 101! In case you’re wondering, it’s not too late to start your garden. In fact, it’s way too early to plant things in most parts of the country. You’re right on time. Here are the first two posts in this three-part series, if you’re just joining us:
Part 1: The Story of an Unlikely Gardener
Part 2: Seeds, Supplies, Soil, and Sunlight
In part 1 we made our dream garden lists, and in part 2, we considered several factors that helped us to pare down those dream lists.
Here’s the final roster of garden goodies I made for 2017. We ended up not doing several of these things on the list, and that’s the fun of gardening for me—I can make all the plans I want, but getting out there to plant is when I get to be creative and change things up!
Here’s my new list for 2018 below! We’re diving up the gardening spaces this year into two distinct environments: Gracie’s Garden in the main garden area (mostly flowers and fairy garden fun) and Josh’s Farm in the new back “Secret Garden” area (edibles!).
Make your list now too. I can’t wait to hear what you’re thinking of growing!
Once you have your plant list, you are likely wondering where to plant it all in your garden space. First, take a look at the different heights and sizes of each plant when they reach maturity. You’ll find the height information for each plant on the seed packets and in garden catalogs.
If I were to put all the tall things in the front, the tall plants might shade the shorter ones–and I wouldn’t be able to see the shorter things. If I planted something that grows on a vine, like cucumbers, in a tiny space with lots of other things, those cucumbers are no doubt gonna take over the space.
Our garden planning sketch from a couple years ago. Love that book on the top there!
So, when I am sketching out my garden, I think about space and size of what I want to grow. A great garden structure is not only essential for plants to have room to flourish, it’s visually appealing, helping you to enjoy the space more.
Make a list of the sizes and structures of what’s on your list. Here an example from my garden plans.
Tall stuff: tomatoes, corn, tall varieties of zinnias
Medium: peppers, carrots, peanuts
Short and sweet: marigolds, small varieties of zinnias
Vines: cantaloupe, watermelon, and pumpkins need a spot in which I know they will be able to spread
Space suckers: zucchini (our zucchini plant took over almost an entire 4′ x 4′ garden bed last year).
A peek inside my Joyful Garden Planner – I clip the pics of each thing I’m growing from various seed catalogs.
A note on herbs: I keep all of my herbs in pots because some of them like to grow big and fast, and who needs more than a few sprigs of oregano every season? I also like having them as close to my kitchen door as possible for rainy or cold days when I need to clip something for dinner!
Our garden plans: Grace and I love to break out the colored pencils and paints to sketch our garden plans. Remember, don’t compare your garden space to mine right off the bat! I have a lot of space (that expanded over time) and I’ve allocated time for tending to this space. Grow whatever is right for you in this season of life.
Now, if you are like me, it’s entirely possible your plans will change once you start planting. Many times, I get all my seedlings and seeds together and I end up shifting things around as I go. But, this plan helps me to prepare well and have an idea of what it might look like.
Companion planting: If you want to get fancy, look up companion planting (here’s one simple article and another list that’s helpful). Companion planting is like putting two great friends together to work for a common goal–two are better than one and can help each other to be more fruitful. I plant marigolds at the base of my tomatoes and peppers to keep pests away (and because they are so pretty!). I also pair carrots and tomatoes together.
Look at those sweet “married” carrots near my feet!
If I was starting from scratch and had one 4′ x 4′ raised bed (or two larger trough planters), here’s what I would grow and how I would arrange it. I hope this sample starter veggie garden plan helps to get your garden wheels turning. (If you grow this particular arrangement, be sure and email me a pic–I’d love to see it!)
I chose these plants because they grow well together (and taste great together too!), the shorter items are in the front with the taller items in the back, and this is a great garden plan to try if you have kids! The tomato spot in the back left would be great to fill with Sungold’s or Sweet 100’s (Josh and Grace looooove to pick these off the vine and snack on them). Be sure to give your tomato something to climb like this.
We love our Gardener’s Supply tomato ladders! Photo by Olivia from Nancy Ray.
If you choose the cucumber option for the back right, be sure to give it something to climb on too. Here’s a great structure, but even three bamboo poles put together like a teepee would be a welcome climbing gym for some pickling cucumbers.
Our lemon cucumbers made for great pickles a couple years ago!
What I love most about this sample garden plan is that it’s packed with flowers too! Marigolds are a great companion to peppers and tomatoes, and they come in beautiful colors. You have an option in the center for either marigolds (I usually buy mine at a local nursery–they are very inexpensive), shorter varieties of zinnias (like this favorite of mine or this beautiful mix), or chives (if you like them). If it were me, I’d probably go for the zinnias because I just can’t get enough of them. And if you do the zucchini, give him some space to spread. As previously mentioned, one small zucchini seed grows fast and wide!
Now that I’ve written about this sample garden design, I’m tempted to do this in one of my beds too! I’ll keep you posted.
Gardening with kids is one of my greatest joys. Grace has learned so much from the garden! One of the best ways to create a kid-friendly garden is to think on their level (literally). What can you grow that will be easy for them to pick? What would you not mind them touching or plucking often (rose and raspberry bushes, for instance, are not a good idea)? What would they most enjoy nibbling on? We have a mint garden just for Grace to munch on, and it grows with zero maintenance. But, a word of caution: don’t plant mint in your vegetable garden. It will take over and you will never be able to get rid of it! We have ours planted at the base of a tree in the front yard where it can spread out as it pleases.
Our tomatoes and pepper crop one year. So pretty and yummy!
I purposely choose to grow what I call “snacking tomatoes” like Sweet 100’s so Grace and Josh can pick and eat them. Herbs are also fun and totally harmless if your little one sticks a fistful of basil in her mouth! But, don’t do hot peppers within reach of little fingers and mouths. This all seems like common sense but it does take some forethought. If you want to get your kids to enjoy the gift of gardening, create a garden in which they can fully immerse their five senses–with nothing off limits.
Grace loves picking marigold petals to throw in the air in celebration, and I don’t hinder her from doing it. Grace also has a little “fairy garden” in one of the flower beds where she plays make believe, and Josh has a dirt patch that he loves to dig in. I let her water the plants, prune with her little craft scissors, pick, pluck, eat and dig as she pleases. And this is growing something wonderful in her–a love and gratitude for cultivating. This garden was meant to be a place of nourishment, play, and wonder!
Photo by Robyn Van Dyke when Josh was still growing in my belly.
I hope you have enjoyed this series, friends. I have so enjoyed writing this for you!
I’d love to hear what you are planning to grow this year. Are you excited to give this gardening thing a try? I hope so! Remember, no perfection required, my gardener friend. Get growing!
P.S. Keep up with our gardening adventures here on the blog, on my Instagram account, and on the Gracie’s Garden Instagram.
Now for an amazing giveaway! Are you ready for this?
This is everything you need to start your own garden–or bless someone else with one!
— Greenes 4′ x 4′ cedar raised bed kit (how cool is this!?) — Deanna
— A collection of best-selling Burpee vegetable seeds: — Robin
Tomato, Atlas F1
Tomato, Shimmer F1
Sunflower, Sunray Yellow
— Gardener’s Supply Company tool set — Sarah
— Floret’s Cut Flower Garden book and seed collection — Lindsey
— Park Seed Profusion double-flowered zinnia seed collection — Rachel
— A Joyful Garden Planner from my friend, Amber! Amber was kind enough to donate this planner, and give you 25% your order with code “CULTIVATE” if you can’t wait for the giveaway results! The code is good through April 30. — Rosanne
— And a signed copy of my book, Cultivate! — Sheena
Enter below. Giveaway ends April 9th!
I would so love to start my own garden and this would be the perfect way to do it!!
I love this post and giveaway!!! I have been wanting to get into gardening for so long and this would be an awesome opportunity to start.
We just moved, but planning on planting some zinnas from Floret Flower and probably some herbs. Still waiting to see what kind of light we get.
I’m SO excited to plant my Floret zinnia seeds too!
When my husband and I buy a house (hopefully within the next 2 years!) I cannot wait to start gardening. My grandparents still garden and there is nothing I love more than fresh fruits and veggies from their garden every summer!!! 🙂
I work at a local museum in Waco, TX and am taking over the garden in our historic village. I am still in the planning phase but this warm sunny weather lately has me longing to have my hands in the dirt. So far, I’m, thinking corn, beets, carrots, tomatoes, squash, and some pumpkins. Anything else I should include?
That is exciting!! If you have some space, english cucumbers make beautiful vines. You could add a couple simple structures for them to climb. They are great at covering a whole wall if you need them to! : ) I can’t wait to see what you grow!
This would be amazing. I am growing sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, kale, and a bunch of other things 🙂
We loved doing sweet potatoes a couple years in a row — the harvest was messy and awesome!
Love all of this content Lara!! We live in California and started out seeds a couple of weeks ago and everything looks like it is just about ready to go in the ground!! So excited for this year’s crop!!!
Starting a garden for the first time this year!!! So excited about it!
Lara, thank you for the gardening encouragement! I started a 4×4 garden last year and it did well for a while, but I lost steam in July. This year I plan to start fresh and guilt FREE!
Yay for starting fresh!
This is so exciting! I can’t wait to grow some zinnias this year. My mom always had them when I was growing up and I loved when she let me pick bouquets for the table. I can’t wait to have fresh flowers on my table this summer!
Oh this makes me so excited to hear! The generational legacy in gardening is strong for me too. My mom loved picking fresh flowers (wildflowers and weeds sometimes too!) to arrange in pretty vases. I loved that growing up!
Love it! Do zinnias keep pests away as well as marigolds?
Have you ever tried jalapeños?
I don’t know of any research on zinnias keeping pests away, but what’s great is they attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. This greatly helps with pollinating veggies! Yes, we did jalapenos a few years in a row and had way too many. One small plant is enough to keep a hot sauce factory in business. But, if you use them often, go for it. We ended up freezing a bunch too!
I am so looking forward to gardening even as my garden is completely covered in snow today! I LOVE zinnias, so that is probably the thing I am most looking forward to, but also tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, strawberries and rhubarb! Thanks for putting together such a great giveaway!
What a great post getting us all ready for the spring! This is really a great activity to do as a family.
Love your post on your gardening! Looking forward to start our garden with my new lil one like you did Gracie! Hoping we can start with flowers and eventually add veggies!
This is our first summer in our new home and I can’t wait to plant a garden in the existing garden boxes in our backyard that the previous owners had installed! Cheers!
My husband and I were just talking about starting a garden this past weekend! I am so glad you posted about this because I’ve been afraid I might kill everything we try to plant! So excited to start gardening now!!
Yay, Catherine! Wait till you see my list of all the plants I’ve killed ; ) Thankfully, gardening is a pretty low-cost investment for seeds so you can always try again!
I am so excited about this as it has been motivating me to learn to garden. My husband and I are currently looking to buy our first home and as we look at homes in the Raleigh area, I keep having these thoughts of Lara and Gracie’s garden and I have this longing to create my own garden. I think gardening (I only have 3 plants I take good care of in my apartment) is quite relaxing and creates a sense of mindfulness+self care for my social worker’s heart/mind. It’s such a great way to disconnect from the stress of my job and care/tend/cultivate something amazing.
When you first announced this series, I wasn’t too interested. “Gardening is not for me–I kill everything!” is what I told myself. Besides, if I were to take the time to plant and cultivate anything, it would be vegetables because that’s “practical” unlike “unpractical” flowers (which I do love when I walk by in the store, but growing them myself just seemed like a waste of time that could be used for something more practical). But God and I have been doing a lot of talking lately about various areas of my life. And one of them is this propensity towards only doing the practical or almost utilitarian thing. So as a reminder that God has made beauty just for the sake of beauty, I’m branching out. I just bought some Floret Flowers seeds that will grow nicely on our sunny apartment patio in San Antonio. And then I came here to read those gardening posts I had avoided. 😉
Thank you, Lara. Thank you for inspiring me with beauty in so many ways. And thank you for all the garden pictures and no resources that have me on my way to planting, cultivating, and enjoying God’s beauty. 🙂 (And who knows, maybe we’ll add some tomatoes to the flowers soon enough 😉 )
Taryn, your comment has me SO PUMPED! This is exactly why I wrote this series. Yahoo!!!
So, I failed miserably last year, but pulling my gardening gloves back on this year for another round! Tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce and I want a trellis with cucumbers so badly! I may do a bean teepee as well! I’m so excited!
Hooray for trying again! I’m excited for you! Our bean teepee was fun last year : )
I want to start a little flower/herb garden someday. I would like to begin this summer, but am expecting a baby at the start of summer so I don’t know how feasible this will be for me. If anything, I would like to start some little seedlings and some larger green plants in the house. Thank you for your helpful hints and inspiration!
I had a little porch garden last summer, but I am so wanting to dig deep this summer and plant much more! I can’t wait to give your garden plan a try!!
My husband and I have been dreaming about our first garden ever since we bought our home in August! This series has already taught us so much!
I’m so grateful it has been helpful! And yay for your new home!
I love this series. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I can’t wait for us to relocate this summer and plant a fall garden.
This is our first summer in our first home, and I’ll be attempting my first garden! I’ll be planting zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and green beans. All foods that my toddler loves and that I’ll be introducing to my 6 month old!
For the past few years I have grown herbs and flowers in a few pots on our apartment balcony. This year, I am branching out and attempting to start my herbs from seeds and even try some tomatoes and peppers in containers. This series has been very helpful! One day when we have a house and some more space, I’d love to have a flourishing garden like yours! There is something about gardens I find so healing – so full of hope and new life. I am completely loving my new hobby!
Yes, I love what you said. Gardening has been incredibly healing for me in many ways, and always reminds me that new life is just below the surface!
We’re growing lots of blueberries, tomatoes, mint, broccoli and kale, and trying out strawberries! Oh, watermelon, too!
^My garden helper is my 3 year old son- he is excited for another year of being the gardener-in-chief!
This takes me back to when I was a little girl and would plan the garden with my mom! Love this so much!
I CANNOT wait for your book on gardening to come out 🙂
Just moved to a new home that allows gardening and hoping my sweet 3 year old will get into it too!
Kids are napping so I’m gonna start writing down my plan- in my powersheets book non the less so it will remind me to get it done- double win 🙂
At one time we had a thriving vegetable garden for several years. We’ve since moved, and I am now in a rough season of life. In a time where it doesn’t seem like this would be the best thing, I keep feeling the Divine Nudge to put down roots… literal roots and create a veggie garden again. Thanks for all the tips and thoughts!
I’m sorry to hear this season has brought challenge, my friend, and I am sending love and prayers!
I’m planting herbs! Basil, thyme, rosemary, cilantro, oregano, dill, and working on a succulent garden. I’d also like to do some veggies, but this is my first year so I might start small 🙂 This is an amazing giveaway! Thanks for the beautiful garden inspiration!
my mom has tomatoes, cabbage, cucumber, carrots and other veggies in her garden
I’ve loved learning through this series! Hoping to start our first garden this year, and would love to win the giveaway! Thank you for all of your tips and sharing your stories!!
Stopping to kiss and hug my daughter, tell her I love her and that she is one of my most favorite people on the planet! We also talked about planting herbs and succulents together when it’s warm enough 🙂
Ahh! I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a giveaway?! I’ve LOVED this gardening series, Lara! I’m so excited to slowly start gardening for the first time in our new home this year! I’m also amazed at how much JOY I was able to capture each time we did a mini garden photo shoot and LOVE that last photo of Gracie! You’ve done such a beautiful job of creating a place of “play and wonder” for your kids and I know this series will inspire and bless many. p.s. Love those married carrots! 😉
I forgot to say what we’ll be planting! I’m hoping to plant hydrangeas this year (long time dream!) and some potted herbs! 🙂
I forgot to tell you when you came over today that I mention your beautiful gift of hydrangeas (after Josh was born) in my book. : )
Yay, Robyn!! I am so grateful for your photographs and excited for you and Jordan!!! : )
I would LOVE to have a garden, but usually I just fill my window box with whatever flower is the cheapest! I need to learn a thing of two, though… because they always die! lol
I encouraged someone by telling her she was a great friend and I’m always here for her!
Totally would love to plant dahlias! also, my encouragement was directed towards my son who is in the middle of potty training. Ha!
Such an amazing giveaway! Thanks friends! I truly need to learn more about my soil. My dad is very into soil analysis but I haven’t looked into very much. I live in Raleigh. We planted daffodil bulbs a couple of years ago and they grow but never have blooms. This year I am going to do a container garden for my family and my mother-in-law OR if I can convince my husband, a square foot garden. We want to put zucchini, tomatoes, squash, peppers, and maybe a small herb garden too. Ok I am so excited now! Hooray!
This is awesome! I already have the Cut Flowe Garden (and will gift it to a friend if I win!). I’m doing a real garden for the first time this year and I can’t wait for spring!
Thank you thank you! I am so pumped!
I can’t wait to ry gardening this year! I’m going to try sunflowers (they remind me of my home in KS) and Lavender as well as herbs. I’m starting small. 🙂
What an amazing giveaway! Your love of gardening is contagious 🙂 I commented on Instagram yesterday about planting salad greens and I so appreciate that you wrote back!
My pleasure, Amy! You got me thinking about planting arugula – one of Ari’s favorites!
I am so excited to grow flowers this year, and to be able have fresh cut flowers in the house. Zinnias are my favorite! Love the beautiful pictures of your garden!
Love this series! Just starting to try my hand at gardening and have had lots of fails but a few successes! Just like you mentioned I have learned to grow my herbs indoors! Thanks for sharing all your great tips!
Lara I can’t thank you enough for sharing your wealth of knowledge! You have inspired me to start gardening and I just had my first zinnia seed sprout today! The feeling of joy is absolutely inexplainable and I literally jumped up and down screaming! I can’t wait to continue this journey!!!!
Loving this series!!
We have raised beds estbliashed before we moved in, but I’ve been so intimidated from planting. I love the simple starter plan and hope I can have success getting that going this year! Thanks so much 🙂
I am so excited to start my first Garden! I will definitely be planting Zinnias, yours look beautiful!!
Yay for zinnias!!!
Oh this is such a great giveaway! I’m definitely going to put that garden plan to use – I love the idea of having pretty flowers mixed in with the veggies!
I remember reading a book once where the Native Americans had the “three sisters” of corn, beans, and squash. The beans would grow up the corn and the squash shaded the ground to protect from weeds. I really want to start growing something on my apartment’s balcony this year. I’m thinking tomatoes.
I love the thought of that trio together. So lovely!
I hope to start growing a little garden with tomatoes, peppers, and herbs! And flowers of course (:
This is so fun!! I keep planning and hoping for one day to be able to have the space for a garden!
This is an awesome post! So excited for our veggie and cut flower garden this year!
Thank you so much for the garden inspiration. I travel a lot for work, but I can’t help but plant a few veggies and flowers in hopes that they flourish in spite of my limited care.
I’m so excited to start our garden at our new house! These blog posts have been awesome for starting points and things to think about. I’m hoping to do veggies we eat, a pumpkin and flowers!!
This year I’m trying to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and carrots, as well as a “cut and come again” garden with zinnias! If ANY of my plants bloom and then live for a week it’ll be a HUGE record. 🙂
Yay! Cut and come again are some of my favorites! #ZinniasForever!
I have loved these gardening 101 posts! I started following you on Instagram a couple of years ago and you inspired me then to start my first garden. I always look so forward to updates on Gracie’s Garden 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us!
Oh that makes me so grateful to hear!!!
I love this! I’m trying to start a garden and I find all of your posts so encouraging!
I grew up eating veggies from my grampy’s garden. He taught me everything I know about gardening; when to plant seeds, when to start seeds indoors, when to prune, pick, and taste. Gardening is something that is in my blood. It is a part of who I grew up to be. This year is the second year I am planting my very own garden in my own house! Of course, it was Grampy approved and this year we decided (since he is unable to kneel for a period of time) I would plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, basil, lettuce, brussel sprouts, zucchini, squash, and a bunch of different herbs. I am going to take your suggestion on planting those in pots on the back porch! I can’t wait to get outside (when it’s warmer!). I started my seeds last weekend! Eeek!
Thank you for sharing your gardening insights! I look forward to your posts 🙂
I love your story! My grandfather was my gardening inspiration too. Love all that you shared!
What a great giveaway! Thanks so much for entering me in the drawing! I love my happy little garden and it brings me such joy, even if it is a beautiful mess. 🙂
I am so excited to start! I have no idea where to begin & we own a home building business so I need to start with what I can manage. I literally get tingles thinking-i will be a gardener!!
Forgot to say, but I’m planning on some tomatoes, peppers, zinnias, herbs, and more flowers. I would love to grow dahlias this year which I’ve never grown.
Love this! I just started gardening this past fall from seeds on our patio in Las Vegas. I didn’t think anything could possibly grow in this heat but turns out October-may are great months for gardening here! Not so sure how the summer will be. But I’ve planted some wildflower mix of seeds, cherry tomatoes, jalapeños, spinach, basil, and corn. Being raised in Indiana I had to try out corn! Everything has sprouted at least one sprout so I’m very excited to see how this season goes! It’s a newfound passion of mine and I’m happy to have found your IG account for more inspiration. Can’t wait to have a home some day so I can do more!
I’ve already started seeds for a few types of tomatoes, tons of herbs, Floret cosmos and zinnias, and another flower mix! Also hoping to plant peppers, zucchini, and onions. Trying my hand at dahlias and corn for the first time too, so we’ll see how that goes! Once the snow melts we’re planning to build two raised beds. Your gardening photos and tips are so encouraging, and I thoroughly enjoy them!
This post is so timely considering I decided to watch the Secret Garden today!
I was JUST asking my husband (the gardener) most of what I am now reading in this blog!! So awesome!
We are planning on expanding our garden this year and I am most excited about all the new vegetables we are going to attempt this time around!!
Thank you for all of this amazing info!!
I love your 4×4 garden plan! I want to plant everything in that except radishes 😉 Maybe some beets instead?
Yes, that would work too!
I am so excited to plant my balcony garden this year!! We only have room for a few flowers, a few herbs, and a tomato plant, but I had so much fun getting into it last year! I did not, however, want to have to do a ton of research. This series is amazing for the basics I need to know to make a little progress!
Yay! This series is wonderful! We are hoping to grow zinnias and herbs this year. I so enjoyed your tips for involving kids with gardening.
Love, Love. Love this post!!! I am hopeful that if we move into a new house I can invest in making a beautiful garden over time. I have some seeds right now that I am trying to decide how to divvy up! The garden image you have posted has made me think! And I just may use that as inspiration.
Taking Lara’s sage advice, I would love to start small ( zucchini- tomatoes- and maybe some herbs). One day
, I would love to grow lavender, tulips, peonies, and hydrangeasa. A girl can dream!
Taking Lara’s sage advice, I would start small ( zucchini- tomatoes-maybe some herbs). One day inlwoukd love to plant lavender, tulips, peonies, and hydrangeas. A girl can dream!
Lara, this series has been so helpful. Around this time each year I get super excited about gardening, plant too many things, then the heat of summer hits and I don’t keep up with any of it. And truly, there has never been a better metaphor for my life ;). I tend to start well, finish poorly (or not at all). But I’m praying through the possibility that this could be something I’m meant to cultivate slowly and with purpose, forcing myself outside to spend time in prayer and thought. To that end, any encouragement or tips on sticking with it after the initial excitement dies down?
I would love to start a garden this year…although we’re planning on moving, even a couple pots would work! Can’t let it stop me! Tomatoes and flowers are on the top of the easy list.
Met with a friend for tea and encouragement! Cultivating community is special!
Every year I grow a few tomatoes and herbs, but this year I’m totally take in by Floret’s website, book and all her gardening advice. I’ve already planted seed starts for sweet peas and poppies and started seeds for tomatoes and some herbs instead of buying bigger, established plants like in years past.
Thank you SO much for this series, Lara! It’s been fun to dream about my future once-we-get-a-yard garden and plan my right-now patio garden. I always do pots with herbs and tomatoes, but this year I want to try some marigolds and zinias!
We enjoy growing sunflowers, but I am excited to also try zinnias this year. We’ve also done tomatoes, okra, green beans, and an unsucessful green pepper last year.
Oh my heart. Best. Giveaway. Ever.!!! I encouraged a friend, already joined your mailing list, and here I am. But truly- thrilled to see how our little starters do this year. You have been a tremendous inspiration- thank you for sharing your journey with us 🙂
Thank you so much for all of this information! Perfect for my plans for my very first garden this year!
Not sure if you have seen this yet, but I thought this aligned so well with what you have shared about gardening. Bees are key. And if you complete the link, you can get a free packet of seeds! What are great way to start or add to a garden! 🙂
I want to grow myself from learning to garden! My husband and son are already pros, but in the past it’s been “too slow paced” for me! This year I NEED it!
I’m so excited to grow a garden this year. I’ve had one before, but it really was a flop. My brother and I are going to do one together at my house (3 raised beds, some potted herbs, and a couple vine plants in the ground). I have high hopes of a bountiful harvest, but even higher hopes in sharing this with my brother 🙂
I love this so much!
Love this little starter garden plan! Trying to start small in a new house with a lot of shade in Ralrigh!
I’m going to grow florets zinnias, nasturtiums, and snapdragons. I’m also going to do squash, green beans, melons, carrots, and hopefully a few more!!
Growing tomatoes & cucumbers this year. And herbs!
Zenias are my favoirite. I have grown them for the past five years and I use them to bless so many others!
I don’t want this series to end! (but ending with a cool giveaway is pretty nice of you!) We are going to do some small flowers (marigolds) strawberries (tried last year and it only grew ONE strawberry, but it was yummy!) carrots and some herbs in pots I think. We don’t have garden space yet (waiting to sell/move!) but even so, I think we will start out slow and steady as I am the known as “the killer” to many garden plants in the past! :-} gaaaah! Thanks for all the amazing info!
I sent this post to my sister- she tried a garden last year and had lots of issues of things not growing and was pretty frustrated..so thought maybe some of your ideas would be helpful and encouraging!
So I’m moving my happy little herb bed this year to a bigger location in our yard because they are overgrowing our sidewalk. I’m terrified but excited, too. I’m going to use their spot for happy annuals. 🙂
We are first time gardeners and are hoping to grow tomato, Rosemary, and sunflowers!
Thank you for reminding us (me!) multiple times that you can (should!) start SMALL. I’ve always had big dreams of what I wish my backyard garden would look like, but with such an overwhelming goal (and more shade than sunshine) I never knew where to start, and so didn’t. Oh yeah, and that pesky fear of failure. Thank you for so much practical information and candor – I’m determined to grow something!
I’m grateful this encouraged you! Small gardens are still gardens!
I love all of this and I’m so excited to put a garden in at our new house!
I’ve never had a green thumb, but I’ve always wanted to be good at raising a garden! I’ve just recently been feeling the urge to start one since everything is starting to get green here in Oklahoma! I’m getting married in June, so I’ve been thinking about the best way to plant a couple of 4×4 beds in my fiancé’s back yard this spring. So many possibilities! Thanks for the guidance! These posts and plans are great!
How exciting! Congrats on your upcoming wedding!
My seedlings are dying to get out into the big garden so we are anxious for the weather to stay warm!!! This is the first year we did seeds and so far they have done great! I too had to make some changes once we actually build the beds. I could have filled up a huge garden and needed to tapper back a little. It will be helpful to see how things do this year to plan for our needs next year!
This is so exciting! So many good tips Ne a great giveaway. I am trying a wildflower mixture this year to attract pollinators. I’m usually very disciplined and OCD about where to place things in the garden. This year I’m going to just let it do what it wants and enjoy the beauty of nature!
Great content, thank you for sharing your knowledge! I will definitely be using some of your insight on companion planting this year in my garden. Love this series!
You have really inspired me with these posts! We have a small patio but will be doing a few veggies this year and maybe strawberries. I would love a lemon tree but I dont think we have enough space. Your garden is beautiful!
Love this! Especially the template for the garden.
Omg!!! This is such a wonderful post!!! I’m in love with your gardening tips and so thankful you are sharing them!! I’ve never had a successful garden but am starting seeds this year!!! If the strawberries ever show up we will have them, tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumbers! I definitely will think of adding some flowers and maybe carrots!! Have you ever done haybail gardening?! I’m strongly considering it!
last year i had a veggie bed & a blooms bed. the veggies didn’t do so well but my flowers were wonderful! i was able to share with so many! last fall i planted about 60 tulips. only one stared making it’s way up before this cold snap. i’m a little discouraged but i’m going to try again! & i can’t wait to enjoy the experience again with my 2 year old. she will be a bit more aware this year!
Love the garden updates!
Hello! I’ve loved the Gracie’s Garden IG account, so it’s so fun to see these blog posts too. I’m excited to grow a lettuce mix … it is easy and establishes well and early from seed. Also looking forward to cucumbers, mastering carrots (haven’t been successful at that one), and tending to some brrries. Along with summer staples of tomatoes and peppers! I was in my second and third trimester last summer and definitely had a hard time toward the end of our growing season trying to care for our garden. This year though will be great as I have two gardening buddies now and I can bend over easier 😉
And flowers!! I would love to have a flower corner. It flopped last year, but I’m seeing signs already this spring of hollyhocks coming up!
Loving your tips for a full and beautiful garden! My roommates and I have started small the past couple years (basil, squash, peppers) and I’d love to mix in some beautiful tomatoes (that picture of your crop, WOWZA!) this year 🙂 thank you for offering this giveaway, too! Excited to take my little South Carolina garden to the next level.
This series has been so helpful and inspiring. This year we are going to try zucchini, lettuce, green beans… and a fourth thing that I keep forgetting! It’s time to get our ideas down on paper. 😉
I’m hoping to plant what I’m calling a salad garden, so I will have fresh vegetables and goodies for my daily salads. I’m also hoping to get two avocado trees!
Thank you for this simple, intentional gardening how- to! I have always dreamt and longed for a garden, but have let the unknown and fear stop me! No longer! With your blog posts, I now have the tools and courage to take a step in faith and begin something new!
Thanks so much for doing this series! I’ve been trying to start a garden and wasn’t so successful last year. I’m hoping to have lots of cut flowers this year!
Thanks for this wonderful post!
I am hoping to start my first vegetable and fruit garden this summer with my kids! Would love some tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries for sure!
THIS IS AMAZING! One of my 2017 Powersheet goals is to get serious about planning and cultivating a garden of my own but I had no idea where to start. Now I feel like I have some direction. Thank you, Lara!!!
I’ve never had a garden of my own, but I’ve had many little herbs, air plants, succulents,(many of which have died) but currently one aloe plant that has lasted me two years!! Huge accomplishment for me because as I normally tell people, I have 0 green thumbs, but I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS wanted to have a garden of my own. Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember by dad having this wonderful garden box in the very back of our yard and the only thing I remember ever growing in it was pumpkins, but I thought that they were just the most wonderful thing. I know you get it because I see it in your enthusiasm, but there is something so amazing and wonderful about knowing you put in the work to grow something and tend to it, and then you see the fruits of your labor and its such amazing. And I want that. Although I am a gardener now, by your standards :), one day I will have a flourishing garden. I am determined!
We live in Wisconsin, so we have a little while until planting time – we’re covered in snow yet!! I can’t wait to get my flowers going again. I think we are going to try a few vegetables and some herbs this year too!
So inspiring! It’s so cold today I’m having trouble imagining a beautiful garden, but I hope this year to really take good care of my herbs. Then next year, maybe tomatoes!
What a help! Hoping to turn from a plant killer to having a green thumb in time!
I just love this post! Can’t wait to get started on our family garden with the kiddos!! My favorite thing about having a garden is the quiet prayer time I have when I tend to the garden daily.
I’d love to plant herbs like chives and basil!
Oh this is such fun!!!. This year I’m planning to grow mostly veggies and a few flowers. Caught in the tension between beauty and hunger! Chard, cherry tomatoes, sweet peas, celery, cabbage, carrots, radishes, beets and a new asparagus plant!!!
Summer time is my saving grace. As a high school teacher, I get so much joy from solitude in the garden! I especially love early mornings while the sun comes up! Thanks for the opportunity
Entering for my wife to win!
Entering for my wife to win!
You are a great husband, my friend! : )
Lara, thank you for writing this series! My husband and I have independently been dreaming of starting a raised bed garden for past few years. He started building our raised garden bed last weekend. We have a little one turning one this summer and I am excited about gardening with him. This series is perfectly timed!!! Thank you for what you are doing in the Kingdom! You are making a difference in the lives of families.
OOOH…I just hope to win!! I’ve been inspired, but not where to start on a raised garden!! I get so intimidated, but this series is lovely!! I hope we can at least plant some herbs and maybe peppers and cucumbers this year!
I would love to win! We’ve had raised beds for a year now and they were not very successful last year. I think due to poor sun. We’ve moved them and I’m feeling SO excited for the tomatoes, basil, peppers, and other herbs!
Lara, thank you so much for this series! It has fired me up to start where I am with what I have and not worry about having a full garden right out of the gate. Starting with flowers in a half-barrel planter this year and hope to grow to a raised bed next year or even later this year with a fall/winter garden! And I have loved all the resources and tips! I can hardly wait for April planting!
I love it, Marcella! Half-barrel planters are so beautiful!
I plan on starting a new garden this year for the first time now that I have a yard. I am not sure what I am exactly planting yet but I know lots of flowers and veggies 🙂
I would love to grow all the veggies we use most often!! Kale, spinach, tomatoes, peppers sweet and spicy, cucumbers and zucchini!! I’d love to have an apple and lemon tree too!! We go through those like crazy!!
Great post! I just recently became an Extension Master Gardener, and your 101 series is so inspiring and a great resource for anyone wanting to give it a go. Can’t wait for summer to get here so I can work in my own garden!
Gardening is my therapy. I’m not the greatest, with two little ones running around but when I have the time, I so enjoy potting herbs and attending to my flowers. We’re moving in about a month, I would absolutely love to do veggies in a raised bed this summer. Thank you Lara for creating this post. I hope to read again when the girls are down for their naps. Have a beautiful day.
I just have to say that you have totally inspired me to grape things!! I, too, have had a history of killing things, but one of my powersheets goals (thanks to you sharing your house plants with us) is to keep my house plants alive! So far, so good. I’ve also started preparing the bed for my herb garden and I’m looking forward to playing the dirt again! Thanks for all the encouragement!
I have done a veggie garden the last few years, but am inspired to try flowers this year too.
We are doing a straw bale garden this year! The past few years have not been good garden years so we are trying something new! Lots of tomatoes, okra, potatoes, herbs, squash, honeydew melon, and more! Yum!
Love this series and can’t wait to get started!! In the words of my wise friend, I will be starting simple and growing slow!! xo
I really want to start a garden this year! Thanks for the great post to get me started.
My husband and I are going to attempt a garden this year! My family has had a huge garden the past few years and it always turned out great, so want to continue it now at our own place! Working on a list of veggies yet 🙂
You make it sound so wonderful…but…I’m 55 and have never had any luck with my gardening. When something goes wrong, I don’t have the seasoned wisdom to know how to adjust course. Still, I delight in the digging and watering – and watching things grow for a little while! LOL!
Oh this is so sweet! The more I have been watching your Instagram stories, the more I have felt pulled to help *something* grow. It reminds me of my grandpa’s garden from when I was younger…we would only get to visit it maybe once a year, he lived in Myrtle Beach, we lived in Vermont. But it was always such a treat to have him walk me through the garden when we visited, noting this, and showing that. I’d love to build that passion back up!
Oh this is so sweet! The more I have been watching your Instagram stories, the more I have felt pulled to help *something* grow. It reminds me of my grandpa’s garden from when I was younger…we would only get to visit it maybe once a year, he lived in Myrtle Beach, we lived in Vermont. But it was always such a treat to have him walk me through the garden when we visited, noting this, and showing that. I’d love to build that passion back up!
Love this series. I have a garden at school and I’d like to have one at my house as well. You’ve done lots of planning and it shows. Well done.
Oh, and I am going to share this post with the garden committee at my school.
We are trying asparagus for the first time this year! We’ve so far only attempted tomatoes, blueberries (killed it), lettuce, strawberries, and beans. Can’t wait to get going on this year’s plot! Pray for the asparagus lol
I’ve never really gotten into gardening, but am so inspired from this series. I’m especially interested in that cut flower garden book! Now that we’re homeowners, there’s a little more incentive and space to grow a garden for the first time.
I have always wanted a vegetable garden! My hubby and I eat a whole foods diet and it would be so cool to grow a bunch of our own food!
I have been gardening for years now. It is fun but can also be challenging from year to year, depending on weather. Don’t let “bad” garden years get you down and keep at it. Last year was my first year of only raised beds – so much easier! The Square Foot Gardener is one of my favorites, too!
Thank you for the helpful tips! I’ve already purchased a variety of bulbs, including zinnias. I’m just waiting for the weather to warm up. I’m close by you, in NC!
I LOVE growing my garden each year! My parents instilled this in us when we were young as I remember many summers pulling weeds but then enjoying the tasty delicious juice from our sun warmed tomatoes. I’m so excited to now pass this on to my own kids! Loved this post! Thanks so much for this amazing giveaway!
I started a community garden at my church, and hoping to grow it!
That is so wonderful to hear! I’d love to see it!
We live in the city in Upstate NY (Rochester area) and the soil is ROUGH. But we try! This year my husband built an indoor kitchen garden and we’re starting with basil, sweet peppers, beans, coriander and some flowers. But we really want to grow some melons (er… I DO.) Every year we’ve tried and failed! 🙁
How inspiring! We just moved late last year and it’s like having a new yard to start with. My yard needs more color, so right now my plan is to plan it out. I would love to plant some peppers and tomatoes but am afraid the squirrels will get to them.
So thankful for you taking the time to write these posts!! We bought our first house last Fall and I have been so excited to start a small garden in our new backyard. These posts have been so helpful. I just got my seeds yesterday – starting this year with zucchinis, peppers, and cilantro!
I LOVE this blogpost series! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and getting me excited about our garden this year!
I planted my first garden last year. We are probably mobing this spring, so i will wait to see where we end up to finalize plans, but after a few failures a few successful veggies, I can’t wait to try again 🙂 I especially love the sample garden plan provided here!
We just moved into a new house and this series has inspired me to start a little garden in our new backyard. It’s a little toasty in Houston during the summer so I need to do some research on the best time to start planting 🙂
I have “planned” aka imagined for the past 3 years that my 2 daughters and I would grow our very own garden. And each spring that passes I say oh it’s too late or I’m too busy. The truth is I’ve never made it a priority to actually read about how to get started and I think I actually get a little overwhelmed because how in the world can I grow a garden when I struggle to keep a potted plant alive. This winter God literally stopped all the busy excuses and has opened this new season for me. One with more focus on priorities, cultivate more passion for his love and grace. The desire to actually grow a garden is now filled with more purpose…to connect with my girls to help guide them in the process of what growth is. It’s hard sometimes, really messy too…sometimes it doesn’t work out. But if you adjust the planting timing, focus on maintaining the right amount of care…in the end you have this amazing bouquet of flowers or food that will not on fill you but remind of the beauty in everything that you do and that it’s all in how you cultivate it!
Your comment makes me want to follow along on your gardening journey! It sounds like you have some wonderful stories in your future 🙂
Thank you for writing this! I’ve been wanting to garden for so long but I always had trouble figuring out where to start. You’re gardening posts make it seem so doable!
I love your tips and tricks for gardening and I can’t wait to become a gardener myself. For now I’m going to keep all your info handy cause one day, Lord willing my family and I will be out of our apartment and in a home with room to grow. I may attempt container gardening this year, but we just got another 3 inches of snow so it’s hard to think spring! 🙂
Oh HOW I want to plant a garden and grow my own food. AND I want to let my kids play in it like you do. So awesome.
We are a military family and currently renting a home. So I get a little discouraged at starting a garden that I can only keep for 2-3 years. Perhaps I should start with plants in pots??? Thanks for sharing this. GREAT INFO!
Containers are a great option for you if you don’t want to invest in a raised bed. But, you could also get a raised bed kit and deconstruct it when you move! They are easy to take apart. : ) Thank you and your family for your service and sacrifices!
This is so neat and such a fun idea….My oldest daughter 20 and I plant tomatoes and some peppers every year..mostly b/c we only have so much area to work with but WE LOVE IT…and my other two high schoolers are in 2 environmental clubs at school save the bees and recycle 101…I appreciate
what teachers are trying to help re-enforce so our kids will have mother earth around still..
I am putting in landscaping in my backyard this year. Lots of bushes and trees, but would love to intersperse some vegetables in the beds too.
I’ve always wanted to garden, but never knew where to start (even with all the books and websites out there to help)! I also have to plan where to put a garden that my dogs won’t tear up!
I love your sample 4’x4′ bed. We have 4 beds and 5 mega buckets that we plant in, but every year I struggle with where to start and how to maximize the space. I’ve always hesitated on carrots and radishes. I think this year we will have to give them a try! Also, can’t wait to check out the tomato ladders. They look perfect! Thanks for sharing the joy of your garden. Every time I see your Instagram posts it makes me smile!
So enjoyed your post about gardening. I’d love to try but the family of rabbits living in our yard might benefit more than my own family. Any suggestions?
There are some harmless borders you can put around your garden – Greenes Fences has a few great options. Hope that helps! We had a bunny too and ended up just growing extra sweet potatoes for her to munch on the vines : ) A family of rabbits is a whole different story, though!
What a super give-away! I’d love to start a garden using these resources. Thanks!
This looks so fun! I love the idea of breaking up the vegetable garden with flowers. Although I would to have to add a bigger section of basil because I love and use it so much. 🙂
This has been so helpful as a beginner! Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂
We just bought a house and I am looking forward to putting a garden in. I like the idea of working with raised beds to contain things. I had zucchini and squash (one plant each) a few years ago and they were out of control. I didn’t get a lot out of the plants, but I did get two enormous zucchinis that were quite entertaining. Tomatoes are always a must, and I’d love to grow green beans.
What a generous giveaway! I can’t wait until it warms back up so I can get my hands in the dirt again. Spring therapy at its best.
I bought a friend a Trader Joe’s Potted Herb Garden and am dropping it off today to encourage her!
I was able to encourage a friend this morning by giving them a phone call and reminding them why i’m so grateful for our friendship! 🙂
That is awesome! So kind!
Love this! I’ve really been wanting to start a veggie, herb and flower garden! This would be perfect for when we move to our house that has a huge yard! Thanks
I’ve been wanting to garden every since we moved into our house last May. It’s coming up on a year and planting season! My coworkers all have flourishing gardens but I don’t know where to start! This is the best series I could’ve asked for!
My husband and I are growing our first vegetable garden this year and we couldn’t be more excited! Last year was a year of refinement for us… with starting a new business and some unexpected financial setbacks we found ourselves eating fast food dollar menu because it was the cheapest, fastest thing and we were complained about how eating “healthy” was outside our budget (and at the time, technically, it was in all honesty). During that time i saw and felt what eating things that provided no nourishment did to us, and that put a fire in us at the start of the year. We didn’t care if we had to start everything from seeds, we knew that we never wanted our finances -or anything- to be the excuse for not taking care of our bodies. So as of today we have about 40-50 veggie seedlings growing in practically every window seal in our home (actually quite comical, but lovely) and are in the process of building our first raised bed so that in a few weeks we can transplant them outside. This has already been so fun and the Lord has cultivated resourcefulness in our hearts in such a sweet way to show how He can provide in all circumstances.
ps- I’m looking forward to our sweet potatoes most I think, but Im pretty sure if my husband could do a whole field of jalapeños…he so would. He is so excited about them!
Super excited about this series! And I plan to refer back to it often!
Montessori gave my son a love of grandening! Sadly, 2 years of personal and family health crisis, our backyard is an unlevel, over grown, weed filled mess! Goal this weekend, we reclaim the 1 exsisting bed and finalize plans for building or buying containers!
I love this post SO MUCH!! I have already repeated to myself “I am an imperfect gardener…..”!!!
I grew up in RI with my dear sweet grandpapa – he was a wonderful gardener – I can still see him handing me a WARM TOMATO from the garden, washing it off with his garden hose, and handing it to me, still warm from the sun. Great memories.
Now I have a small garden in memory of my son Jonathan, who passed away on 3/1/12 at the age of 24. His sudden passing left me weary and sad…..one of the many beautiful memories I received was a beautiful stone that says “Jonathan’s Garden”. It was exactly what I needed. We grow simple things but I imagine Jonathan watching me, and my little memory garden :):)
Thank you for this series – so many good things!!!!!!!!
This is a wonderful giveaway! I haven’t had a garden for two years, because we cleaned up our backyard in order to sell our previous house. We’ve been in a rental while we build our dream home, and I can’t wait to get back into gardening. I love growing tomatoes because they’re so versatile. This year, I want to try to make and can my own spaghetti sauce and salsa.
I hope to grow plenty of salad greens, sweet peas and maybe, hopefully, we will get peaches this year?!
I’ve been dreaming about our garden all winter and have plans to excavate a space this spring for our new garden space. We can’t wait to dig in!
I don’t have a yard, but my parents (who lives blocks from me) do! We’d love to start a small garden and I dream of growing beautiful, colorful flowers.
I love this! My dad planted a garden for me last year for Mother’s Day. My oldest daughter and I loved tending to the plants, and she loved the cucumbers! I would love to refresh it for this year!!
I LOVE to have fresh veggies and flowers to enjoy in the summer! Makes all the dirty work worth it!
I encouraged someone today by bringing a coworker a cupcake as a thank you for helping me with one of my projects 🙂
My husband and I have always wanted to garden, but have been too scared to try given our track record on keeping plants alive! I’m excited to dive in to your course, to see if I can tackle this one day! Would love to win the giveaway!
Lara! Thanks so much for sharing this! I live in Atlanta and just planted our spring garden (baby lettuces, kale, broccoli, arugula and peas) but we’ve gotten some cold nights the last few days, fingers crossed that everything survives!
We are growing tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, okra (our favorite!), peppers, potatoes, and onions. 🙂
What great timing! We’ve been thinking about doing a veggie garden for a while now and getting our two daughters involved.
This is so helpful! I’ve been planning our garden for this year because I have successfully kept Succulents alivw for a year lol
I’m adding the steps to my powersheets!
I cannot wait to start my own garden this summer!!! I just bought all my seeds yesterday and began planting today!! 🙂 Your blog inspired me. xoxo.
Can’t wait to start my garden this year! When I planted my garden last spring, God also planted some noticeably big seeds in my heart, and I loved seeing it all grow together. I’ve only planted a flower garden before (I have to use a trough), but I would love to do a small veggie garden too! Do you think veggies would grow ok in a trough too?
I have gone back and forth with my gardening habits – good years and bad. I am excited this year to grow vegetables again. I had the best luck with Yellow Pear tomatoes and with Black Cherry Tomatoes in the past and hope to have good crops this year. I already have the Cut Flower Book and it is inspiring me to have an area dedicated to cut flowers also. What is better than fresh flowers for your table? I have been encouraging my youngest son to work on reading out loud because he has a speech challenge.
Eek! I’ve never had the nerve to actually try gardening, zero green thumb here! But you’ve written it out so simply, your sample garden feels attainable! I think I may give it a try
Oh my word I am SO inspired reading this blog post. We have been renting (are still renting) for the past four years. And we have either not had a yard to garden in OR we’ve moved in the spring/summer and I didnt get to plant my garden! I worked in greenhouse all through highschool and college so plants and gardening and cultivating are special and important to me. THIS IS THE YEAR! I have an 8x16ft plot in my yard and i am so ready to get to it. I learned how to can from my aunt and grandparents last summer so you just cant even imagine the amount of enthusiasm RIGHT NOW!!!!
I’m renting a house this year, so my garden may be very limited. My landlords planted a tree on the front lawn, but its just a baby, so I’m hoping I can sneak in a few herbs or veges while they can still receive sunlight.
Hi Lara! Apartment patio garden aspirer here. 🙂 Thank you SO much for the message that gardening can happen in any space and with any amount of experience. I only have a small apartment patio and for years, thought that I could never fill it with fun plants. Thank you for your encouragement to all!
My husband LOVES to nurture and grow things- plants and animals! God has been growing a desire in me to start gardening, too- this would be a special thing for us to do together!
I would LOVE to win this!! What a great giveaway!!
This is a year of restoration and intentional growth for our family. Thank you for sharing your gardening love and knowledge! So many beautiful (and sometimes hard) truths to experience!
Love this post! Thank u for all the tips and ideas!
Wow, although the odds aren’t in my favor, I have to share just how wonderful this opportunity is and how much I’ve learned. I really would love to plant flowers this year but my green thumb needs a little work.
Im encouraging my friend who is in the midst of a spiritual storm. Praying for strength and wisdom for my dear friend.
i want to try my hand at flowers from seeds this year
I’m planting tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, basil, and some flowers. I also started a worm farm. Eek!
I have baby #3 coming in late spring, and it would be wonderful to have a garden kit to make everything easy this summer! I love using the EarthBox gardening system for tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers, but have never branched out to a full-on raised bed. 🙂
I LOVE gardening! I come from a long line of farmers <3. We're military, so we don't get to pick our house with a garden in mind 🙁 last year I thought I had enough sun for some veggies, but it didn't do so well. So i'm growing zinnia's in the raised bed (that the tomatoes failed in!). Probably some basil too because it lasts FOREVER in a vase and smells/looks amazing in arrangements with zinnias and my hygraneas out front. Zulilly right now has some cool plants in a boutique, I think I'm ordering a patio peach tree for my front bed! One day, i hope to live on a ton of land with room for a great garden!
This will be my second year to vegetable garden and I love all these tips! I am hoping for a much more bountiful year.
Loving this series! As a renter, I have to be pretty creative in my gardening efforts. Thankfully my husband built me a ladder type”standing garden” that leans against the house so as not to kill the grass. Can’t wait to fill it when it gets warmer! 🙂
We just moved into our very first home and are excited to see what sprouts up in the gardens! Growing up, I’d always plant tons of veggies in our garden, but I want to plant some gorgeous flowers this year, too!
I can’t wait to start a garden this year. We just moved into a new house…so that means all new flower beds/plans!
I would love to grow kale! I loveeeee me some kale chips 🙂
I would love to grow vegetables! There’s nothing better than fresh produce!
I want TOMATOES and herbs and my husband and I would like to plant mini-citrus and avocado trees. I have always dreamed of a mature avocado tree producing hundred of avocados just for us!! Waiting 10-years for a fruit tree to produce requires patience and I’m ready. 🙂
I’m a flower fanatic and love flowers that attract bees and butterflies during the summer, so my mom and I plan on growing tons of wildflowers! I’ll also be helping grow tomatoes in my grandmother’s garden (she also has a peach tree, which we cannot wait to eat when they ripen)! It’s great to see some wonderful garden inspiration here, so we may add more to our list in the coming weeks!
Love this post Lara! After gardening at work for the past three summers I’m so excited to start my garden in my new home! I’m thinking two 4X8 beds to start with one all flowers and the other heavy on salad greens, peppers, black cherry tomatoes and basil! <3
We’re planning on planting this weekend! Tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers!
Thank you for the encouragement ripple effect aspect of your giveaway requirements! Just texted a note of encouragement to a friend powering through a stressful trip.
I love this giveaway! I have some child-sized gardening tools all wrapped up for my daughter’s first birthday gift–I can’t wait to share the joy of gardening with her!
I would love to grow carrots and radishes like my mom did when I was very young. <3
This is so timely! I’ve decided to start a garden this year and looking for all the help I can get. 🙂
I’m looking forward to some sweet 100s and some flowers. I’d love to try s 4×4 raised bed!
This info is INCREDIBLY helpful!! I planned and planned and planned a garden last year but it just never happened. I got so overwhelmed in the implementation and wasted lots of seedlings. This collection of info has given me a boost! I’m definitely going to jump in and get it started! I have 4 year old and 2 year old girls who are very excited about Mama’s plans! Can’t wait to get our hands dirty & pick yummy treats off the vines & plants! Thank you again for all the work you put into sharing this!
I’d so love to get into gardening this year and this post was especially encouraging! It’s a good reminder that we don’t need to have a green thumb to be successful – just a plan and dedication 🙂 This will be my GREEN year!
Encouragement is so vital to the spirit of community! Just left an encouraging voicemail (complete with impromptu song Haha) for a friend who’s going through a tough job transition. Can’t wait to see what God has for her on the other side of this!
I’m a garden newbie and I love your post. Thanks so much!
This is a wonderful gift – and thank you for the opportunity. My next garden will have a number of our favorite veggies: cucumbers, bell peppers, banana peppers, squash, zucchini, and of course, tomatoes. 🙂
This is super helpful for mommas like me who have put off planting a garden year after year in fear of killing everything! I love your simple chart of produce and flowers! Would love to win giveaway!!
I am a beginner gardener. I hope to grow sweet peas and other pretty flowers. I would like to plant a small vegetable garden with tomatoes and other yummy veggies. Thank you for such a wonderful give away.
I have gardened the last four years with not much success. This year I think I might scale it back and just try a couple of things so that I can figure out what might be wrong. Thanks for the post!
We have been living in PR for over a year and had a fruitful vegetable garden. Moving back to PA this Spring and hoping that I can bring to life some veggies even though it’s not the perfect tropical climate of PR!
I did my first year of gardening last year! I definitely made the mistake of planting too much in a small space and not learning about soil needs. Definitely learning points for this year. I have a small plot a the local community garden where I’ll put my full-sun plants, and I plan on adding a bed or two in the only part of my yard that gets sun for some plants that don’t need as much sun. Thanks for putting this together for the newbies!
thanks for the insurin inspiring tips lara!! we are going to do raised beds for each of our three kids! and follow your vegetable garden layout!
My husband and I are starting our first garden this year!! We already have the potatoes and onions in the ground! Praying that we get the fence around them before the hogs figure out there’s food under those rows!! We have seeds started inside for purple hull peas, banana peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, black beans and a few more things I can’t think of! So I’m either going to save a ton on my grocery bill or write a book on what went wrong!!
I have never done gardening before…but I’m seriously considering starting one this Spring. Thanks for the encouragement.
This makes me want to start planning my garden ASAP! I am hoping to have a vegetable garden this year, last year I paused due to moving/engagement/wedding and it was hard to say it was not the right season and this year we hope to have a home with a outdoor space by summer and hopefully we can have a garden or at least prepare and get ready to cultivate a garden the following year. I definitely learned a few tips and tricks and am looking forward to your post about house plants too because that ends up being my garden for many months in Minnesota!
We just moved into our home a year ago. There are already raised beds. I’m gonna start slow so I just hope to grow zucchini and some flowers with my daughter!
So last year we decided we wanted zucchini in the garden. We started everything from seed in red solo cups lol. Two of the zucchini plants really took off. I named them Zeus and Apollo. Well…. Apollo literally took over our garden. He was massive idk how else to say it. We ate at least a dozen zucchini off this one plant. One as long and big around as my arm. It was just as tasty as the smaller. We did a completely organic garden which is a challenge in itself but I feel like our veggies & flowers flourished because of it.
I love that you named your plants! We do that too, and it makes it much more fun! : )
I can’t wait for it to be spring to spruce up our gardens. We bought a new house in October (Minnesota so we are still under winter’s blanket) and the gardens were beautiful then. We have Spirea’s that surround the house and beautiful shade garden in the back. We have tall Lilac’s where we put up a winter bird feeder and have a Cardinal couple that visits here every day besides the regular Chickadees and Dark-Eyed Juncos. My husband though is itching more than me and that says something. 🙂 Can’t wait to read your new book!
Thank you for this series- I really want to try some pots this summer and get over my fear of gardening!
Amazing content! Super helpful! I’m starting out with potting succulents, hoping that they stay alive! I’ve done several vegetables over the year, but haven’t gotten into flowers much. Cut flower garden is the goal.
This year I’m hoping to plant flowers for cutting.
I am so inspired to plan out my garden this year! Thanks for the helpful nudge, Lara.
Once again you encourage me to make it happen! Thank you for the abundant information and helpful tips! For my garden this year, I’m thinking–lots of flowers, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini, squash, lettuce, and spinach. Lots of yummy things! I hope it turns out as well as yours does every year! 🙂
I’m getting up my courage to attempt gardening this year; we will see how it goes! I passed on a bit of encouragement today to my sister-in-law…she’s my homesteading/farming inspiration, but she was nervous about some tasks with some new babies on the farm. I looked through a Farmer’s Almanac and gave her a little bit of old knowledge to give her a little push. 🙂
I love this series so much! Thanks s for all the tips! We are renting a townhouse, but still feel so inspired to try my hand at potted plants on the patio and get our 2 year old involved! Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂
You have inspired me to start my own garden this summer. I am most excited about growing grape tomatoes to snack on!
I’ve always wanted to start my own garden after years of gardening with my mom. This is very inspiring!
I am so excited to have a space to begin the hen garden I’ve always wanted in August after Our wedding! I am excited to start this endeavor as a family and all enjoy the fresh herbs when cooking together!!
I truly can’t wait to start cultivating a love for growing things in our family.
Last summer was our first in our new house and we planted two gardens to experiment with the sunniest sides of the yard. We learned last year when one thrived and one didn’t, and plan to move both to the more successful sunny spot this summer. Can’t wait to get our hands dirty and watch the kids explore, play, and eat the fruits of our labor!
I am hoping to plant what we eat the most of … snow peas, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and perhaps some lettuce greens!
My sensory kiddo had to have bloodwork today (fun times, sarcasm font). Although she fell apart during it, I could tell she was trying to be brave … I made sure to tell her I noticed her bravery.
Lara, I am so excited for this inspiration! Through your book, as well as through the Power Sheets, I have been teetering on the verge of really diving into gardening. I love how you draw references from it for life. My mom is an avid gardener, and has her whole acre covered in projects all the time. I am really excited to give this another go. Your series here was just what I needed to tip me over the edge. Thank you!
This is seriously the most informative blog I have ever read! I am sooo inspired!!
This is so exciting and helpful!! We are making our garden plans now! Planning on tomatoes for sure.
This is our first year in a home, and my husband and I are very excited to start a garden. We are total newbies, but we are stoked for spring brewing in Michigan. 🙂
Hi Lara! I am soo enjoying your gardening series and everything else about the planning and goals . You are so inspiring me right now and I so appreciate what you are doing. I’m loving the word “Cultivate” right now. Tending to what the Lord has given us. You inspired me to grab a seed catalogue and sit down with my son. We had so much fun looking at the different plants. He loves planting and working in the garden and while he does a lot of this with his father, this series has made me be more intentional about doing small things with him and making it a more regular part of our week. I’m going to do a blog post about it in the next few days hopefully with what we’re doing for our” imperfect just do it” garden. =) Lots of Love!
Last year I had my first trial with gardening and it was fascinating how nature works so perfectly! This year we will continue and I would be glad to expand our herbal section… We will see 🙂 thanks for the amazing g tips! Little Izak is still too small to be active in the garden, can’t wait to have him participating 🙂
My grandad loved gardening when he was alive. It’s something that was passed to my mom and myself. I would like to start at my own house. We moved to a house with 3/4 of an acre and would love to start our own garden + flower beds. This blog post is great.! I can’t wait to get started (well when the weather is warmer) 🙂
This is the first year we are starting our garden. I’ve wanted to do it for years and now that my daughter is 3, it seems like the perfect age to start this new tradition. We are both so excited! ❤️
Thank you for the inspiration!
Thank you so much for this series. By breaking it down you have given me the tools to finally cultivate the garden Ive been stalling on for years. I am most excited to connect my kiddos to the earth and to what THEY can do. They are very picky eaters and I think this is going to help us a lot. I love my healthy foods and I hope to help them find that love for nourishing their bodies as well!
Thank you for sharing your garden planning process! One of my birthday requests growing up was a backyard garden and I’ve loved being in the soil and tending growth ever since! I skipped a garden last year, but I am hoping to grow this year. I want to plant tomatoes, peppers, herbs and squash. The process of watching growth in gardening is such a beautiful reflection of the miracle of soul growth and I love how it is such a tangible reminder for my heart! Thank you for sharing your heart to grow slow and for the garden tips. Happy gardening! : )
I LOVE learn more about gardening! The process and picture of new life and growth miraculously unearthed from the soil is such an encouragement to my heart of the ways we grow and how it is a miracle and we have a Great Gardener tending to us and loving us deeply in the process. Thank you for sharing!
Beautiful photos. We hope to grow flowers for cutting and herbs for cooking, among other things.
I love that you combine growing flowers with your veggies. I love the beauty and the practicality of having a garden and need to start planning my beds for this year!
I’ve had a vegetable garden for a few years but skipped it last year. I also planted lots of flower bulbs in the fall, looking forward to seeing how things bloom.
I am so excited to start a small garden this year with my kiddos!
This post is everything I need! I grew up in a family of green thumbs but never really attempted gardening. Now that we’ve bought our first house, I’m dying to start gardening!! I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that the giveaway ends on my birthday 😉
I love the prompt to encourage someone. I need to be more intentional about that. I encouraged my best friend Ariel, as she prepared to run her half marathon in the freezing cold rain this Saturday. And she rocked it!!!
thank you for this! This is my first year trying a garden!!
Lara, thank you so much for doing this series!! As another person who has killed a LOT of plants, I am encouraged and excited to start a garden this year. Your tips are great and I have already looked into the resources you shared. I can’t wait to get started!! 🙂
I’m so very excited to get started this year!!!
I’m growing mostly veggies this year, but hoping to grow a few fruits, too, for the first time. And, I’m getting honeybees!
Our yard is covered in giant mature trees, which I love, but the only thing we have success with are containers that can be put on our top deck, and herbs. Someday I’d like to move someplace with land and have a giant garden.
This is my second year growing a garden and I can’t wait to grow a little bit more this year!
I can’t wait to start my garden! I just downloaded Floret Flowers cut and care guide and am so pumped!
This couldn’t have come at a better time. My husband and I have spent some time the past few days walking around our yard trying to decide what to do with it. I’ve been wanting to plant a small garden but I didn’t know what to start. Thanks!
PERFECT timing – I am just starting my a more extensive vegetable & herb garden plan this spring. I live in the northeast so it’s not quite planting season, but I am in planning motion. LOVE how you organized it in a binder. I am a HUGE binder organizer geek :)!
I just spoke with a friend…we lift each other up when things get low. She works in an inner city middle school where there is very little respect. Sometimes her days are long..we share the hard stuff, send each other positive, uplifting encouragement (just sent her a verse) & pray for each other in good times & bad.
I grow aeroponically indoors and just planted my garden yesterday…. I’m the queen of kale…. but I threw in some bok chow… egg plant… lettuces…. and a bunch of herbs. Love having my garden right in my kitchen. 6 feet of green.
Your photos are so beautiful and so inspiring. I think I have a brown thumb but still love the beauty of the plants and flowers.
Thanks for giving me the inspiration I need to finally make my backyard garden dreams a reality!
I love this! I have been wanting to start a garden for so long, but haven’t lived in one place long enough to do so! This year it’s GOING to happen!
This year I hope to grow petunias!!! We had a plethora of them at our old home. Since we moved, I’ve slowly added flowers and can’t wait for happy flowers to bloom!
Thank you so much for this series!! I’m so excited to get started!! Planning to do a bunch of veggies (I still need to sit down and plan) as well as try out some flowers, which I’ve never done before. 😀 😀 😀
Today I encouraged a friend who just had a baby sending a note and a handbook for life! 🙂
I’m growing two twenty foot beds of cut flowers but would so so love to win this an do some veggies too.
Super excited to plant at our still new home this year … would like to try starting seedlings this year. Planted just a few annuals and had a container of cherry tomatoes last year. My dog snitched most of the tomatoes… I found joy and humor in watching him eat them right off the plant!! I hope to expand a little more this year – grow more flowers so I can create some arrangements to enjoy (color and happiness inside and out!), as well as grow some of our favorite veggies and herbs with the hope of eating many and preserving some! I love your Gardening 101 Series because I’m inexperienced but totally game to be in for whatever happens… I love your perspective and am thriving on all the info + resources you shared! Springtime will bring so much more than muddy footprints to my home; thank you!!
I CANNOT wait to get started on our garden!! I’m chomping at the bit to get going on it. We typically don’t start preparing our garden until early to mid-April in Northeast Ohio.
This year, we plan to grow tomatoes (with Marigolds!), sweet peppers, spaghetti squash, zucchinis, cucumbers, among many others! Our list is always endless! Right now, we have strawberries and blackberries growing in our garden, and two blueberry bushes and a red current bush growing just outside the garden fence.
One question I had for you Lara…how do you protect your skin? I am fair-skinned, just like you, and I know sunscreen is always a must for me. But I’m in search of a good gardening hat to help keep the sun out of my eyes and off my neck. Any tips would be great!
Whoops I’ve been forgetting to leave comments on my encouragement. I’ve been texting, calling, and sending happy mail to some fellow mamas in need of encouragement… All those things have definitely helped me in the last few months so it’s great to pay it forward!
I love this whole series. I’m planting a mini-garden in front of our apartment. 🙂 I think I finally figured out what to do with the big patch of dirt next to our tree: MINT! It’s the perfect spot for it! Tomatoes are a must this year. Thanks for all your encouragement! <3
I would love to grow some herbs because I use them so much in cooking, but so far I haven’t been doing too well with keeping things alive! Going to try again this year, though!
Thank you for these awesome tips! I’m inspired to try!!
As I watched and read I got excited. Oh! the joys of growing, plants and myself, from a seed to bloom. Righ now the Lord has me in a gardenless house and if I want to watch something grow it has to be in a pot. Right now the hope for a house with a yard is only in my dreams and in my prayers. I hope that my focus on my personal growth will be rewarded and my steady work will be evident to those around me.
This is it! So encouraged and inspired to get my hands dirty and do this with Anna! Thank you so much for sharing your how tos!
I have always hated gardening mostly because I get eaten up by bugs but my husband and I have been dreaming of growing a garden I feel myself being pulled towards slowing down and nurturing. SO thankful for you sharing your tips!
So pumped about this blog post
this is so helpful because we’re starting our garden for the 2nd time this year and want to do so much more and learn so much more! thank you!
I recently had a baby and want so much for her to grow up understanding where her food comes from and to watch me cook from what we grow. But I’m so overwhelmed by the prospect of starting a garden, even a small one!
This is so timely. Growth is my theme for 2017. I just started my own blog called Mert’s Farm. I am inspired by gardening, cultivating and pretty posies. This post was super helpful. I only hope to cultivate a garden as gorgeous as Gracie’s. Gotta start somewhere 🙂
Would love to win this!! Love gardening with my boyfriend and always love being able to pick vegetables straight out of the garden for dinner!! Thank you for all of the great tips & advice!
SOOO excited about doing a garden this year and sharing this new health journey with my mom!!!
To be honest…I’m nervous to enter this giveaway because I kill every plant I try to grow. BUT, I have wanted a garden for so long! I can’t wait to see what the winner does with this!
Finding this blog has given me such encouragement and enthusiasm to take on something I have never tried, gardening! I’m definitely going to start small and see how it goes but I have hope! God bless!
Encouragement note: I’ve been popping little books in the mail to friends by Tim Keller. It’s a teeny book called “The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness.” This has been working on my heart, and, as someone growing up hearing the self-esteem movement stuff, this book is so revolutionary. Snail mail is always the best, so I like to send it out. I get happy thinking of someone opening their mail box and finding love in there!
I bought so many seeds after your post! I have been itching to try to bring a green thumb to life and add some flowers to our landscaping as some have left us over the years since we first moved in. My other goal is finding something to add to an antique plant stand outside. I want to be able to see life on it in the summer, just need to figure out what will stay and not fall over there!
My daughter shared your blog with me and what an encouragement it has been to my heart. Because of allergies to grass and plants, I have never had a garden. However, with gloves in hand-I am wanting to plant some vegetables and flowers this year. I pray with expectancy that it will bring great joy and fruitfulness! My family loves cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and beans-and colorful flowers!!
When we first moved into our house the entire perimeter was covered in ivy. Over the course of a few years we pulled it all back and discovered the perfect place for a garden. After a miscarriage in spring 2015 we tackled building the rock wall to define the space and it was amazing to find a way to grow something beautiful out of our struggle. So far we’ve only grown flowers but that’s been fantastic. My 4yr old LOVES being out there with me, and I love being out there when I sometimes (or a lot of times) need a break from the craziness of 2 kids! I’ve followed Gracie’s Garden for awhile now and it’s been awesome to see you guys grow yours and such an inspiration!
For years I’ve been a container gardener. This is my first year with backyard space for a garden. As soon as we’ve seen the last of the spring snow we’re still having in New England, I will be setting up raised beds for planting a mix of veggies, fruit and herbs. I can’t wait to embark on this new and exciting gardening adventure.
Hi there! Wondering if you can recommend a great vegetable gardening for Beginners book I can be reading over the winter & prepping. Thanks!
I’m super excited for planting time this year. We moved in November to a home with a very large yard for lots of space for gardening. I was like your Grace when I was a child and have mourned each year that I’ve lived somewhere where I don’t have the space for more than a potted plant or two. What really excites me is the home we moved to I knew the original owners growing up and I remember how Ms. Reba cared for her gardens and although they have been neglected since she passed away I really look forward to restoring their beauty and adding my own touches here and there. I know I will spend most of this year making what’s already here shipshape so I’m not making too many grand plans but will “go wild” next year 🙂
Yay to starting a garden!! I started my first garden two years ago in my backyard. Just a 4×6 planter. I used my own compost and it was amazing and grew fruit and veggies so well! I even grew sunflower plants over 12ft tall because of how rich the soil was! It was crazy!!! This year I really want to start a new garden in my backyard for summer!
Katie | http://www.sunshinestyleblog.com
I love gardening and am dreaming about what mine will look like this year! I can’t wait for spring to really arrive!
The sample plan is really helpful, as someone who wasn’t sure where to start. Thank you!
I would love an eclectic garden- veggies mixed in amongst colourful, radiant flowers!
I encouraged my sister via text. She is a medical student halfway around the world working diligently for the Lord!
I love this! Thank you so much for the advice and ideas. There really is nothing like the joy that gardening brings (as I’m learning).
Yesterday, I saw a bloom on my watermelon plants!! And last week I harvested my first three flowers. I could not be more excited. Thanks for the intro to this amazing hobby!
I am trying seeds this year, but so far it is not going so well 🙁