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Gardening season is in full swing here in Boston, and after such a grueling winter, I could not be happier. Over the past month, I’ve been preparing my garden and daydreaming about all the possibilities for this season and beyond. I tend to plant perennials in my garden beds; there are plants that re-bloom each year as opposed to annuals which die at the end of the season. If you are wondering how to get ready and make the most of your garden this summer, here are some ideas:

Maintain. Take the time to spread compost and fertilize your garden. For compost, I like using Coast of Maine Lobster Compost. Just work it into the soil and it will give your plants the nutrients they need to shine all season long. Most perennials will respond well to an all-purpose granular fertilizer. I use 10-10-10 in the spring and then again in the fall. (The numbers refer to the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium—all of which are critical to plant health.)

Brainstorm. Think about how you want your garden to look in a few years and what steps you can take this season to get closer to that vision. It takes a few seasons for perennials to establish themselves, so it’s important to be patient as you work towards your goal (I’m not good at this because I lack patience). Make a list of some plants you want to try and figure out if they will do well in your garden considering light and soil conditions. Have you always wanted to grow peonies? Try it if you have full sun, and see where it takes you. I’ve always been fond of lupine (see below), and apparently it can take part shade (or so the tag says), so I’m giving it a shot this year. 

Enjoy. I love watching my garden come to life at this time of year. Although there isn’t much in bloom, I love to walk around in the early morning with my cup of coffee and see what plant has decided to make its debut. This morning I saw signs that my sweet pea is alive and well. So exciting!

Once the National Stationery Show has passed, I will head over to Mahoney's and purchase some annuals for my window boxes and perennials for my garden. I’m hopeful that my wonderful husband will come through with his annual nursery gift certificate (hint, hint, Randy). Enjoy the season everyone!

(image: lupine and a lady bug!)