After a week or so of unusually mild weather for February my thoughts turned to planning for the upcoming gardening season.   We went to one Seedy Saturday and another is scheduled for the end of this week.

I got a fantastic book in the mail to review, Smart Start Garden Planner by Megan Cain of The Creative Vegetable Gardener.

Smart Start Garden Planner by Megan Cain

 It is well laid out with lovely colourful photos throughout.  I met Megan online via a couple of gardening groups we both belong to.   She lives in Wisconsin, USA in a garden zone very similar to mine.   I’m Canadian garden zone 5b which is USDA 4b in south eastern Ontario.

Smart Start Garden Planner by Megan Cain

There are some worksheets in the book for you to record your info and thoughts.  I decided not to write in the book but create my own lists and plans.  One thing I really liked was that Megan mentions Canadian sources to get seeds in her book along with American sources.

There is all sorts of info on starting seeds, types of seeds, info on how to read a seed catalogue, ordering seeds, when to plant, growing times and so much more.  This book will be read a few times before garden season actually starts.  It isn’t all about veggies, but talks about flowers as well.  And a lot of the info can be applied to either veggies or flowers.

Check out Megan’s book here, if you think it will be something you can use.  There is also lots of useful information on her site.

planning the garden at

Plan your work and work your plan.  The planning has begun.

The book recommends a garden binder to keep track of things.  I use my website and my garden journal posts.  I use tags on my posts and keep a quick link to them all at the bottom of each post.   This way I can easily look back over the different years and see the progress and the things that didn’t work.  I call those things my ‘trowel & error”.  Once I actually get into the garden season I keep track of these at the bottom of each post as well.

This is a birds eye sketch of part of the back yard where the veggies grow.  I’ve listed the  beans, peas and tomatoes on here as well.  I grow my veggies in large containers on three plant tables.They are the rectangular shapes with squares on them.   My husband built these a few years ago after I had knee replacement surgery and found bending and kneeling a challenge. The top left area is the trellis garden where I grow the pole beans and an established clematis and honeysuckle vine.  Morning glory was grown up the arched trellis but this year I think I’m going to grow another variety of bean up there.  There will probably be the odd morning glory vine that will grow from the seeds that dropped last year.

Seedy Saturday is an event I look forward to attending.   It’s a chance to look over all sorts of seeds from local sellers, see some actual plants that have been started, attend some seminars and basically get your mind thinking about gardening.

Seedy Saturday in Picton, Ontario 2017

This Seedy Saturday is an annual event in Picton, Ontario and this year was held in the gym of the local secondary school.  The seed exchange table is always a place where everyone stops.  Vendors always add a selection of seeds to this give away table and the generous people that attend always leave lots of seeds for veggies, herbs, and flowers.

seeds from Seedy Saturday at

The top image is what I took to leave on the table – Egyptian walking onion top sets, canna root, Peruvian daffodil bulbs, herb seeds, veggie seeds and flower seeds.  I was more selective in what I chose to bring home this year, looking only for bean and pea seeds (see my list on the plan).  And I wasn’t disappointed.  I recently posted about the veggies I’m not growing this year so with that list in mind I picked out the seeds I wanted.

The weather continues to be mild for this time of the year.  Just about all of the snow has melted away.  The robins are still flitting around the garden.  And a couple of days ago we spotted Chippy out gathering seeds under the feeders.  Mind you last night the temperature dipped just below zero and there was a very light dusting of snow.

The mosaic/collage images were created in Photoscape this week.  This is a free program in Windows or Mac version that you can download to your computer.  There are options for up to 10 images in grid formation.  But what I like about this program is you can adjust the shape of the sections in the grid.  A lot of mosaic/collage programs that offer grid format are rigid, which after a while tends to get a bit boring.   There is also a paid version which gives you lots more options but I haven’t tried that out yet.

 Have you started your garden planning yet?  I’m sharing with Mosaic Monday.

the gardener side at

The Gardener Side

garden journals help me keep track of when the plants sprout, bud and bloom

2013 … 2014 … 2015… 2016 … 2017

This area will be filled in as garden season gets under way.

Sprouting: crocus, Egyptian walking onions

Planting:   Budding:

Blooming: Blooms finished: 


Trowel & Error:

Linda aka Crafty Gardener

Like life, this site, is a collection of many things... gardening, crafts, reading, photography and more.
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  1. Kea

    The seed exchange is a terrific idea!

    I admit I’m not a gardener. My fantasy is to have a real backyard…and a landscaping design company to come in and design and plant, plus have someone maintain it. 🙂

    When I was growing up, much of back field was our mixed veggie garden, the front field the potato patch. Oh how I hated weeding, harvesting, chopping and blanching! Now I wouldn’t mind a little bit of this and that, or better yet, container gardening, but I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t put the effort into a big garden.

    However, I reserve the right to change my mind when I’m retired and actually have time/energy (if that’s even possible) to put in the effort. LOL.

    • I love my container gardening, so easy to reach, weed and maintain. You can get some great tomato plants for containers. Just one will give you lots of tomatoes with very little work. I love it now I’m retired, lots of time to do just what I want to do.

  2. Our seedy Saturday is in two weeks. I plan to go. I plant most of the things in my floating garden from seed, but things like tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers I buy as starts at the nursery. If we leave the cabin this time of year the temps can get down to freezing so I don’t try to do any of my own. Wish I could get onion sets as cheap as yours. Little bags here cost more than twice as much for half as many. Do you grow pickling cucumbers? If so, what’s your favourite kind? – Margy
    Margy recently posted..“Tide Rips and Back Eddies” by Proctor and MaximchukMy Profile

    • No I don’t grow pickling cucumbers or regular cucumbers Margy. I did years ago and used to make freezer pickles, a recipe from my mother in law, but now we eat virtually no pickles. I buy my tomatoes ready started as I just don’t have the set up to start seeds.

  3. Wonderful post and photos so full of info about one of my favorite things , gardening . This year I would like to get into veggie container gardening just to do it again, last time I veggie gardened was with my mum on the farm eons ago . I will have to get Papa to build me a nice table . That book looks and sounds amazing I will have to have a look at her site to. Thanks for sharing , have a good day !
    Elaine recently posted..Things Are Springing Up HereMy Profile

  4. Your enthusiasm is infectious and the new book looks as if it’s full of ideas, love the seed exchange too. However, I have decided that after 20 years of growing vegetables and herbs in the potager that it’s time to hang up my hoe & spade. I plan on seeding the beds to create a lawn but still keep one bed for herbs and soft fruit.
    Happy MM.

  5. Good morning Linda, have enjoyed your post, could feel your enthusiasm building up. I will look forward to your gardening post, starting with your organization of what you will be planting. Wish I had been in here years ago when I was making gardens, would have been a great help.

  6. Hi Linda, looks like you are well under way with your garden plan. As this will be our first summer in this house I am not quite sure where to have a veggie garden. A friend with a farm has offered us a plot to grow whatever we want. But I do love having veggies right outside the back door. Maybe we will do both!
    Isn’t this weather wonderful? Enjoy your week!
    Robin recently posted..“Animal Attraction”My Profile

  7. Oh I do love a bit of garden planning – you’ve certainly been busy! Every year my kids draw a plan for their little allotment plots, we haven’t done this year’s yet though so we’re a bit behind. I wish there was a Seedy Saturday near me, it sounds brilliant! Just really enjoyed your Driftwood Spinners post too, thanks for linking up with us again at #NaturallyCrafty 🙂
    Catherine – Growing Family recently posted..Naturally Crafty #32 – a Nature Craft LinkyMy Profile

    • Hi Catherine, our grandkids are sprouting bean seeds as an experiment for school, lots of fun. They love to help with the veggie gardening here and they also help a senior neighbour next door to them. He has them help plant and then lets them harvest at the end of the season. A great experience. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. No actual planning has gone on here, yet, although I’ve started cleaning the beds and my husband added compost from the bins on the weekend. Today the snow is falling thickly and it doesn’t feel very spring-like. I’m sure it will disappear quickly, but it’s a winter wonderland out there just now.
    Lorrie recently posted..Reflections: Mosaic MondayMy Profile

  9. Your plan looks very practical Linda.
    I have raised beds in part of my garden which is marvellous at my age and helps me continue to work in it.
    The love the idea of Seedy Saturday – we don’t have that in New Zealand but friends share seeds which is nice too.
    Megan’s book looks wonderful – I could be tempted but I already have way too many garden books!!!
    Shane recently posted..Mosaic Monday – Ahoy There!My Profile