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Preparing for Spring Gardening- Desert Inspiration

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.

~Bern Williams

Purple Pansies before Spring

Early March Pansies

Pansies growing in the winter brighten a desert garden that would otherwise look barren and void of color except for faithful evergreens.

Gardeners who thrive on decorating a rustic garden never run out of ideas for places to plant flowers. The pansies in the photo above were planted in a glass pitcher that was broken. I watched a woman setting the pitcher in a corner outside a store. She left, and I investigated the pitcher. Broken, it was missing a chunk of glass. Not good for pouring tea or lemonade, but it made the perfect planter for my rustic garden ideas.

Spend time outdoors at different times of the day and just observe. Now is the time to do that with the recent springing forward an hour. Planting flowers or sitting a spell to enjoy the warmth of the sun, you’re bound to feel inspired by nature’s sounds and observances of the garden. Whether planting in odd-shaped discarded containers, freshly painted dilapidated chairs with missing pieces or a broken pitcher, designing a rustic garden can incredibly inspire the mind.

Listen to the sounds of the garden. Watch the movement of little creatures – like a cat ready to pounce on a bird making a nest.

Cat spying a bird building a nest

“Is it worth leaping into the cacti?”

Friday, March 20th, is the first day of spring. An easy way to tell if the ground is ready for planting, according to, is to stick a shovel or pitchfork down into the ground about six inches. If it’s muddy when you pull it out, it’s not time yet. Plant when you pull the shovel out and it’s clean.

Tall weeds have shot up higher than ever before in my desert cottage garden. The lavender plant showed its colors in spite of the weeds however. Finally being cut down the weeds will not be able to hide the perennials any longer – lavender, salvia, mirror plant and another pansy that somehow has thrived through the weeds.

Lavender Perennial

Early Lavender Bloom

White and Purple Pansy

White and Purple Pansy Hiding in the Weeds

How can a gardener, itching to plant flowers, keep from working in the garden when spring is around the corner? Even weeding satisfies the gardener’s craving to dig in the ground when spring has not yet arrived.

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