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Not all of us are lucky to have a green thumb (myself—that's Molly—included). We try and try to keep indoor plants to bring life into our homes, but even the hardiest of specimens wither and die. With spring springing, we’re all eager to see those little green shoots in the dirt. And since luck favors the prepared, I asked our resident gardener, Kate, to get her tips on how to start the season off right.

Get in the mood. Kate’s first tip is to take some time this month to visit your local nursery or plant store. Kate’s favorites are Mahoney’s in Brighton and Ricky’s Flower Market in Somerville. Not only is walking in greenhouses just an uplifting activity this time of year but it will get you thinking about possibilities for your own garden. While you’re there, buy yourself one or two plants for the indoors to you hold you over until the snow piles have melted and you can actually get outside. Kate just bought a variegated jade which are quite easy to care for (hint, hint). She also took on the challenge of an asparagus fern (see photo below). Beware that ferns are fussy and high maintenance! Even Kate hasn’t mastered caring for them but she loves their delicate texture and is determined to master them.

Journal. Kate recommends keeping a journal to record your gardening endeavors. Write down when you plant things, what seems to grow and what doesn’t, and your favorite finds. Kate is already reading journal entries from last fall to understand how the season went and letting that steer some of her decisions. “Those dahlias? They didn’t fare so well without full sun. Won't be buying more of those. The window boxes for the shade flowers? Huge success! Definitely recreating those with the plants tags I’ve saved.” (For the newbies, plant tags are those plastic tags that are inserted into the base of many plants at the nursery. They outline the sunlight needed for the plant and its growth habit, so don’t throw them away!). 

Thanks, Kate! These are great ideas, and something we can start doing right away. Next in this new series, Kate will pass along more of her gardening tips. Maybe we’ll be able to get our hands dirty by then!