Fun things to do if you’re ready for spring, but it’s not here yet

Spring Garden Inspiration

Last week I woke up to a colorful riot of blooming crocuses by my front door and then a few days later, snow and ice blanketing my garden. I’ve lived in Wisconsin long enough now to know that this is what spring is like in my adopted home state. It swings wildly back and forth between glorious warm days bursting with hope and gloomy, gray ones that make me think winter is never going to end.

If you’re a cold climate gardener like I am, I think you understand! At this time of year our bodies and souls are more than ready for spring, but Mother Nature isn’t quite keeping up with our desire to sink our hands back into the soil.

For many of us, this can be one of the most difficult times of the gardening season. I have to admit the waiting starts to weigh on me. I want to be in my yard already!

I’ve found myself reading my garden books, looking at photos of gardens on the internet, and dipping into local nurseries “just to look around”. I even signed up for a last minute class this week at my local botanical garden. I went with the hope that looking at more photos of gardens would calm my impatience!

If you’re like me, sitting on your (too clean!) hands waiting for the green light to starting planting, what do you do in the meantime to satisfy your gardening urges?

For this week’s blog post, I thought I’d put together a list of some ideas of things you can do to help keep the inspiration flowing and your hope blooming. Spring really is coming, I promise!

vegetable garden in spring

5 Things to Do If You’re Ready For Spring, But It Hasn’t Arrived Yet

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1. Take a virtual garden tour. The easiest way to go on a virtual garden tour is to lose yourself in Pinterest for awhile. I have tons of photos on my page if you want to start there. You can also take a peek into my home garden here. Sometimes a little eye candy is just what the doctor ordered.

2. Request some gardening books from your local library. I get up early every morning and sit with my cup of peppermint tea in my favorite reading chair with a stack of books next to me. This stack always includes a few gardening ones. I’m reading this book from one of my favorite perennial garden designers and this gorgeous, new book about growing flowers right now. You can find more of my favorite book recommendations here.

spring pot with flowers

3. Take a class or attend a conference. Many local botanical gardens and nurseries have lots of spring classes this time of year. Many master gardener groups host educational conferences open to the public. Gathering with other passionate gardeners is always a fun way to get excited for the upcoming season.

4. Visit a local garden or conservatory. Most big cities and towns have at least a few gardens that are open to the public. Early spring is a great time to study the bones of those gardens. You aren’t distracted by the showy summer flowers and can concentrate on the trees, shrubs, paths, fences and stone work that make up the structure of the garden. I’ve learned a lot about how to construct a garden with four season interest from visiting my local botanical garden in winter and early spring.

5. Pop into a local nursery “just to look around”. I’ve done this twice in the past few weeks. At one store I walked around in their greenhouses and took lots of deep breaths! Then I bought a pot of hyacinths for my dining room table. (That smell!) At the other, I shopped for a new houseplant and had fun looking at their racks and racks of seeds. Just being in a garden store made me skip with joy on the way out to the parking lot.

I’d love to hear what you do to keep the hope alive this time of year! Share with us in the comments below this post.


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    • So glad! Let me know which of these you do!

    • I raise Poultry so have lights I use to brood chicks ducklings etc . Think I might try using them to start seeds . What do you think?

      • Hi Amanda – I think it depends on what kind of lights you have. I use a long shop light. A single bulb light won’t work as well because the seedlings won’t get even enough light and will likely get spindly trying to reach for more light.

  • Of course, the most lovely way I bring spring into the house is to grow seedlings for the garden! We came home from a short vacation to find snow on the ground, but my tomato seeds had germinated (yay!) and my pepper plants are now 3-4 inches high. Spring has arrived in my sun room!

    • Yes! I totally agree, Joan. Starting seeds is such a fun way to start the gardening season early. I can’t imagine my life without it!

  • I sprout and grow microgreens on a small scale.

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