Garden Dreams, Garden Resolutions, and a Sink Garden

“Life isn’t long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!”

~ Tasha Tudor

I’m not sure if this farmgirl is daydreaming or just plain tuckered out. Look at the poor girl with her tattered dress and long face. I’ll admit, I’m feeling a little sorry for her. That’s no way to go into a new season of Gardening now is it? I know it’s a stretch, but for the sake of this post let’s imagine she’s thinking about a tall glass of sweet iced tea dr’d up with fresh lemon and mint while she takes a short break. I mean, no great thing happens suddenly right? Especially, in the garden… I think a little daydreaming is in order!

While the ground slowly thaws along the Northeastern south coast and the first blossoms of early spring arrive, I’ve been keeping busy with some inside tilling. You’ll never guess what turned up!

My Garden Dreams Journal!

It’s nothing fancy but it’s perfect for use outdoors. I use a basic three ring binder and clear page protectors for clippings, notes, and plant info.

I love to sit down with a cup of hot coffee and flip through the pages of my garden journal in hopes of gathering new Garden inspirations for the coming growing season.

This is also the time of year when I add new clippings from current magazines and seed catalogues. My mind is bursting with ideas for my gardens at home and at the cottage. But before I wear us all out with that let’s take a peak at what made it out of DREAM LAND and into the dirt last year!

Oh yes! The lovely Russian Sage and Moombeam Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) I was coveting in early spring last year put on a wonderful show! I have to say girls, gardening in the north east along the shore is a piece of cake compared to the claypacked, rocky earth I cut my gardening teeth on in the high desert. So far, I haven’t had to rent an auger to plant anything!

I’ve borrowed some tips from one of my favorite legendary Gardner’s, Gertrude Jeckyll. She was known for planting in mass waves of color much like a painter would approach a work of art, ever aware that her canvas was always changing as she painted with flowers instead of paint. I like to look at my largest garden this way too. I stare and study to figure out how much red, purple, green yellow, blue, orange, white and pink I need and where. It’s an ongoing work in progress. But I like it that way!

The “rests” allow for true inspiration to bubble up on it’s own. One thing I don’t do is fuss too much about correct color combinations… I think it’s more fun to just play and let your instincts take over.

Gardens are a lot like people when you think about it. Some gardens are very tidy and orderly looking, while others are more care free and wild. What kind of Gardner are you? I love a loose, natural look in my garden with lots of color! I also like the idea of planting with a purpose so I created a bird and butterfly garden in the largest sunny patch of our back yard.

Our winged friends love Black-eyed Susans’ (Rudebekkia), Coneflower(Echinacea), and bright red Bee Balm (Monarda) which attracts humming birds and bee’s too. No Butterfly garden would be compete without a Butterfly Bush. I planted Black Knight because it only gets about five feet tall and the same in width. Although, the plant this male Swallowtail has lit upon is called Verbena — another butterfly favorite!

For year round structure and texture I planted Ornamental Grasses (Miscanthus), Lavender (Munstead and Helecote) and a


My hubby dragged this vintage sink home thinking we might use it indoors for one of our bathroom remodels, but it ended up outside after I saw a similar one pictured in a magazine!

Where was I going with all of this? Oh yeah! Garden resolutions for 2011!

I am RESOLUTE about two things: I’m still pinin’ for my small section of picket fencing. I’m the farmgirl who wrote A Pinin’ for Picket’s and I’ve yet to bring that dream into reality. This is the year and to keep me honest about it, I’ll do a post later on after it’s up and painted! See? Here it is in my garden journal!

Number two resolution is to add some raised beds for more veggie goodness! A perfect project for our home grown kids and I over spring break. We’ll be getting a call any day announcing the arrival that our 10 baby chicks are in. The run will need expanding and the “Three Cottage Hens” will need a talkin’ to before we introduce the young ‘uns into the flock.

That does it for this time, farmgirl friends! I hope I didn’t wear you out too bad!

Here are a few of my favorite links for more garden inspirations! Hill Top, Home of Beatrix Potter.

Be sure to leave a note today! I’d love to hear all about your garden dreams and resolutions too! Big and small, they all count! Tell us, when did YOU get bitten by the Gardening bug?

Meanwhile, back at the BEACH there’s much to be done as we open up the Cottage for another season of simple pleasures (if I can keep the daydreams to a minimum that is) by the sea. Oh, who am I kidding? That will never happen!

I’ll see you on the Shorelines soon! Pack your sunscreen, we’re headed to the beach!

Beach Blessings and Happy Easter!

Love, Deb

  1. Wonderful article! It had me pining for warm weather and the Beach all at the same time 🙂 It’s been such iffy weather this year on our coast that everything is still in my greenhouse. My hubby says we should be able to plant our garden this week though, so I’m just bursting…can’t wait to get "my fingernails dirty" as he likes to say!

  2. Bonnie says:

    I do not want to see any snakes in my flower beds this year. Yeah, yeah, I know they are good fellows etc., and they (probably) are not poisonous. Not so sure about the last one! I dream of snakes being driven out of my garden. St. Patrick can you hear me?

  3. Colleen says:

    hi there, I’m on the beach,(well close), on the other side of the country, in Oregon…we get LOTS of rain. Understatement, by the way…a cynical bit…:) I enjoyed your sink…almost like a bird bath drained and turned into a dude ranch for critters…pretty too…:) I love working with ‘found’ objects and making them new again…purposeful in a whole new way…I’m thinking of a project that helps older folks clean up and maintain their properties with what they already have..only more so…everyone has treasures..not everyone can figure out how to enjoy them…

    …can we have some of those stories?

  4. Margaret says:

    Beautiful! My dream is for a garden and I think I’ll start a binder like yours for inspiration! I have a problem with dear eating my plants here as I have no fence but hoping to relocate to a place where I can have a garden! There is nothing like working in the soil to refreshen your spirit! Have fun with all your projects! You’ve made me want to have chickens again also!

  5. Amy says:

    I love the sink garden idea! I also love that you were able to move to a place that you love. My husband and I live in central Wisconsin but honeymooned in Boston, Salem, Nantucket Island, and Cape Cod mass. We LOVED it there and always talk about moving to that area but are both held back by fears. We have a 5 month old boy and can’t imagine seperating him from the rest of our family or any future babies for that matter. We will vacation to the east coast again for sure. I love you magazine/website and blogs but can you include creative ideas for gardening for apartment living? We have no yard, just a balcony and I love gardening. Thank you for your time and creativity!

  6. Teri says:

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring daydreams and ideas! I can imagine how amazing your garden would be if you lived in California, where it’s sunny year round.

    I look forward to your next blog!

    Teri in Napa

  7. Barbara H. says:

    Great post! Loved the garden sink and need to get that binder started! I have lots of pages torn from magazines and more magazines unread – need to get going on all that. As a transplanted Oregonian (to NE Alabama) I’m beginning to miss beach days – your last picture tells me I need to start visiting the Gulf, at the very least. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  8. Julia says:

    Love Tasha, Love Gertrude! We are soulsisters! I too have a binder of garden dreams. I am aching to dig and get some good ole dirt under my fingernails! Garden blessings to you my friend!

  9. denise says:

    I love these articles, My also a farmgal in southern il. I live in a horse barn we restored a few yrs. ago I love it. I raise boer goats have 31, 2 horses 1 pony 2 dogs on 26 acres. keep the great articles coming

  10. Marji says:

    Absolutely lovely! I wonder what part of us gets so excited about gardening. You certainly captured it in pictures and words. I haven’t used my old garden book for several years. I pulled it out after reading your post and decided I need to put this years ideas in there. I hope your garden is fruitful and grows like crazy!! Thank you and Blessings to you and your family!!

  11. drMolly says:

    What a splendid idea! I keep a journal of sorts for my gardening/orcharding – results, etc. – but did not think about using it to plan ahead. Thanks. And those are lovely plantings.

  12. Bonnie says:

    Discovered your post tonight, and Thanks. Well, I really am not a gardener, but I have inherited one. My hubby was the avid gardener, and always kept it beautiful, summer or winter. i have that picket fence you crave. He died 2 years ago from a massive heart attack…(unannounced)…just went quick and without pain. So, since then, I stare and stare, and wish it did not break my heart to try, so, this year, I think I have the courage to attempt my hand in the dirt, and see what happens. Who knows, I might be a gardener…but only if he will sit on my shoulder and instruct. Your post inspired me, especially your approach to gardening. I will let you know how I do. Think about me when you take that coffee cup to your bench. Cherish your man.

  13. Debby C says:

    Oh my! I have afriend who would love your blog. I want to start a gardening journal too. You have inspired me…keep up the good work~

  14. Brenda says:

    love your post. That sink was really cute. I love seeing how others use things in their your garden dream binder too, that is a good ideal. Have one for my crafts that I am sure some day I will get around to do. Thanks again I love getting all of the post on Mary Jane’s sisterhood I am a member but that is about it. I do have to of the badges but haven’t had time for much more maybe I can get one in garden now that it is that time of year. Blessings to you can’t wait till your next post.

  15. Robin B. says:

    I’m with you, girl! I’m happiest and most at peace when my hands are either digging in my garden dirt or the beach sand at Cape May, NJ where we vacation every year.
    I’ve kept my own Garden Dreams Journals for many years now. It’s such a pleasure to delve back into them during our deep and long western Pa winters to relive and learn from the gardens of past years while I eagerly plan for the gardens to come.

    I love the eclectic and quirky and your sink garden really tickled my imagination. Looking forward to see what you come up with in your next post.

  16. Tammy says:

    I have a herb garden and this year my dream is to plant a very small vegetable garden. I loved your post and the sink is a great idea…too cute

  17. shirley says:

    Beach Farm Girl, Thank you for using the vintage photo of the tired farmgirl. I had trouble with my garden last year because of all our rain, and it has left me discouraged for this year. But I looked at the post and read what you wrote and I say I would rather be tired and discouraged from gardening than not to garden at all. Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Can not wait to go to the beach Deb! I totally agree with you about color in the garden-don’t over think it- just go on instinct. that is how some of the most beautiful and unexpected combinations happen! xo Caroline

  19. BeachFarmgirl says:

    A big THANKS to all for your lovely comments! It’s so nice to hear the anticipation for another great gardening season in your words… Amy, you asked about small space or apartment gardening. Here’s link for everyone who gardens in small spaces or not in their " ideal" garden spot! Very inspiring!

    See you soon and Happy Gardening,

  20. Karin says:

    I also have a garden journal, full of beautiful gardens and dreams. They are mostly cottage type gardens with some more structured ones thrown in. My problem is we bought our retirement home in the woods on the side of a steep hill. (Maybe I didn’t think this through enough). Anyway, now I have to figure out what I can do with very little flat land, not much sun because of all the trees, and lots and lots of deer (seriously, we’re talking LOTS of deer).

    Farmgirl #2708

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