Ann Wright: Dreaming of spring, summer gardens

January, especially on these rainy days when we can’t or shouldn’t be out in the garden, lest we smash down the waterlogged soil, is the time to put garden plans to paper.

It’s a new year, and an appropriate time to share this quote by Josephine Neuse, author of The Country Garden (1970) – “Anyone who thinks gardening starts in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with a dream.”

Some dreams for this new year may be for abundant rain – which we are currently celebrating! And now we can extend our dreaming into the boundaries of the garden. January, especially on these rainy days when we can’t or shouldn’t be out in the garden, lest we smash down the waterlogged soil, is the time to put garden plans to paper. There are a number of garden planning websites to help record your plans, which can be reviewed later to compare what did or didn’t do well in one growing season. Likewise, plain old paper and pencil is also good — to sketch out where shade, water sources and other elements of the landscape are located. Regardless of the method, it will be helpful in the future to have some type of garden record or journal. Include an inventory of the plants currently in the garden and where they are located. The sketch can help identify plants you would like to relocate or change.

Ann Wright is a Nevada County Master Gardener