Daydream Your Way to the Perfect Garden

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Daydream Your Way to the Perfect Garden

Winter isn’t the easiest season for gardeners, because many of us would rather be outdoors planting; not stuck indoors.

I totally understand. That’s one of the reasons I wrote this Winter Survival Guide  for Fiskars last year:  So I could better appreciate and enjoy this challenging season myself.

But what if I told you that taking a winter break is good for your garden and your creativity? In fact, daydreaming in winter can lead to clever ways to improve and enjoy your garden the rest of the year.
In this hectic 24/7 world, we often think we must stay busy to be productive. But scholars are learning that daydreaming (or mind-wandering) can make it easier to solve problems creatively, according to this article in The New Yorker.  

This makes sense to me, as sometimes my brain needs time to relax and mull over things before making big decisions. And, besides, what better time to daydream than on a winter day, when you’re stuck inside?

Magazines and catalogs can be wonderful resources for ideas. So, allow yourself time to daydream as you flip through their pages. Fold down page corners, cut out pictures or pull out pages. Start an “idea file” with photos, growing tips and resources. Later, you can go through the file to determine what changes make sense for your garden, budget and timeline.

The rest of the year I’m often too busy gardening to read as much as I’d like. That’s why I try not to let winter pass me by without at least a couple hours spent flipping through my favorite garden reading materials.

Many garden shows are in late-winter and early spring, such as the Northwest Flower & Garden Show and the Philadelphia Flower Show. Personally, I love to attend garden shows of all sizes to recharge my creativity and grab good ideas for my own home.


Are you on Pinterest? This pinboard-style photo sharing website lets you create and manage theme-based image collections for your interests, hobbies, events and more.  Fans of Pinterest will warn you that many hours can pass quickly, as you have fun “pinning” more and more images on your “pinboards.” But Pinterest is also a convenient way to use your daydreaming time to get inspired and gain valuable information for your garden.

Follow Fiskars on Pinterest for lots of gardening, craft and cooking ideas. You’ll also find me daydreaming on Pinterest.


In winter, the bones of your garden’s landscape are exposed like no other time of the year. It’s the ideal time to ponder, “What’s working in this part of the garden? What’s not working as well? ”

Allow yourself to stand at the window with a cup of hot coffee, as you consider your outdoor spaces.  In my garden, if something doesn’t catch my eye on a winter’s day, I’ll make a note to add plants with more four-season interest such as colorful berries, stems or speckled tree trucks.

Here’s why evergreens are important to the winter landscape.

Your daydreaming times can also be well spent considering how to save work and money in the garden.  Is this the year you finally buy a rain barre l to reduce water use, or mow with a StaySharp reel mower that doesn’t need oil, gasoline or batteries?


Despite all the creative daydreaming, I’ve learned over the years to keep a notebook around to record ideas that pop up before they are forgotten.

Even something as simple as footsteps in the snow can give me ideas about where to add permanent footpaths in my garden next spring. So, I’ll grab my smart phone to photograph the scene, before the snow melts and the memory fades.
Be sure to stop daydreaming long enough to call garden professionals, landscape designers or workmen to discuss your projects. This will ensure you can get on their schedules, before the spring rush.

That way you can ensure all your daydreaming this winter pays off in the garden when the warm weather returns.