Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
And, yes, I have underestimated what it takes to take a project from dream to reality. Now my contractor is booked, my design isn’t done, and my project won’t happen for months. Probably, I should have known better. Each spring following the first sunny weekend, my design office gets copious, excited calls from homeowners anxious to design and build their new gardens -- immediately. Guess what? Calling in spring means your design project may begin in spring, but quite likely your garden installation won’t happen until much later in the year.
The reality is planning your spring garden design should begin in winter – if not much earlier. Whether you’re hoping to put in a new veggie bed, renovate your mixed ornamental shrub borders or start over with everything from scratch, it’s important to jump into the planning phase while icicles are still dripping from the eaves. If you wait until the spring thaw to start planning, be ready to wait even longer to see your garden begin to grow. Don’t let winter get away from you. Dive in to your project now – even if every pond is frozen and your garden beds are buried in three feet of snow.
If you haven’t already, start by filling a scrapbook with photos of gardens, plants and hardscape that you like. In addition to tearing out magazine photos, add in shots from your own garden – hopefully a collection illustrating the elements you adore as well as the areas that drive you mad. If you know the names of any of your dormant perennials or leaf-less trees, make a list of them. Know when and what color your azaleas bloom? Jot down that kind of detail as well. This collection will help you and your designer accurately develop a garden design style to fit you and your garden spaces.
Set a budget. Even if you have no idea what your dream garden project should cost, you likely have an idea what you can afford to spend. An experience designer, armed with an understanding of your finances, will help you prioritize while also working with you to reconcile your gardening wants and needs to your bottom line. The good news – gardens can be installed in phases, so dream big and aim for the garden you want!
Test your soil. If you can still get a spade into the ground, gather some earth for laboratory testing. Although labs like Amherst Soil Lab will send your results to you quickly, actually getting the soil to change through amending can require much more time. Investing in your soil is one of the most important things you can do to protect the expensive investment you will make in new plants. Plus, if edibles – including berry shrubs -- are to become a part of your new garden borders, it’s important to be sure they won’t be growing in any toxins.
Visit garden shows and public gardens for inspiration. Many garden shows, like the Northwest Flower & Garden Show and the Philadelphia International Flower Show, happen in winter. They’re great places to find design inspiration as well as designers. Too, your local parks and botanical gardens may feature plants that perform beautifully in winter. Explore them now; add them in spring; enjoy them in the winters ahead.
And, of course, start designing your spaces. Those who wish to work with designers should begin gathering referrals, making calls and setting up appointments right away. If you start working with a designer by January or February, you’re much more likely to have a ready-to-install design by spring. If you’re a DIYer, get outside to measure your beds on a clear, dry day. Then, when you’re stuck inside, shivering in the frustrating throes of cabin fever, restore your faith in spring by drawing out your own healing garden spaces. Visualizing our new gardens through design can help each of us break through the gloom on even the shortest, darkest winter day.
Whether you plan to design on your own or bring in a professional designer to help, don’t let your inspiration to plan a new garden hibernate all winter long. Start designing now and by spring you’ll be well on your way to creating and enjoying beautiful new garden spaces.