Thinking About Spring/Summer Container Gardens

candles and old photos

Boy, it’s cold! I went out yesterday to run a few errands. Pick up a prescription, go to Trader Joe’s for food. I love that place. It has just about everything I need. I love their yogurt and the pupsters love their non-fat cottage cheese.

Oh, and their turkey corn dogs. I hadn’t eaten corn dogs since my fair days when I tried theirs last year. I like to dip my corn dog in mustard.

Do you have a favorite food at Trader Joe’s?

It is just gray and cold and blah outside. The birds are hovering in the front bushes. Poor things. When a bird perches on the back fence, it fluffs out its feathers to keep warm.

leafless tree

I’ve been reading a lot at night. Over the weekend I finished two books. “The Baby Plan” by Kate Rorick. That was a fun book that brought a lot of laughs. I also read “Force Of Nature” by Jane Harper. I recently read and reviewed her book “The Dry.”

I’ll be writing up the reviews this week for those two books.

“Force Of Nature” kept me turning the pages to see “whodunnit.” Great book.

I don’t know which book I’ll start tonight. I’ve thawed taco soup for supper. Then I’ll take my shower and figure out a book to begin.

This is real reading weather. I like to snuggle under a quilt with the sound machine tuned to rain while the pupsters snooze.

That’s the good life.

I keep going over to the patio doors to envision my spring/summer container gardens. I will soon be digging out all my old gardening magazines to thumb through for inspiration.

Gardening is about the physical act itself. But part of the fun is in the planning and pondering. It helps get me through the cold winter days.

I think about perky little pansies in the spring and fluffy petunias in the summer. I think about what colors I want to use. How I’ll put the containers together and what tall plants I’ll put in the background to fill the spaces.

I think about what herbs I’ll mix with what annuals. I think about what plants I might use to spill over the edges, like golden pennies and white alyssum, which is so wonderfully fragrant.

It’s so much fun just to think about! Do you do this too?


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  1. Well we haven’t had a real winter here in the middle of California. Not like last year when it never stopped raining until early May. We have springtime weather here, trees are blooming and it has been in the 70’s. I have a need to plant. This yearning I have…but I know all to well with experience our nights do drop down to freezing through early March. But it has been glorious here the past few weeks. I have bought some tubers and lots of seeds. Now I need bags and bags of soil.

  2. I won’t think about spring until bulb flowers start sending up some foliage, maybe in mid- to late March? As for Trader Joe’s, the nearest one is maybe 30 miles away, which isn’t bad. But it’s on a really busy section of a 6-lane street so I don’t go there often. I try to stock up on favorites when I do go. They include Basmati Rice Medley, Fig Butter, the pineapple salsa and harvest salsa, and Midsummer Night’s Cream moisturizing lotion. I don’t eat corndogs often but if I do, I definitely like to have them with good old yellow mustard. I’ve never tried Trader Joe’s corndogs so I’ll have to look for them.

  3. Yes, I absolutely do start thinking and planning and visualizing what I want to plant where, especially when the gardening catalogs start coming. I think I’ve gotten two so far.

    It is so darn cold here and we got a big snow storm again last weekend. I think we’ve had enough of this freezing, snowing, blowing grey sky winter by now. It’s so cold I can’t even stand to take my big dog for a walk and he is getting so bored he’s into everything–stealing food off the kitchen counter, even getting stuff out of my purse!

    Guess what? I’ve started reading mysteries! I have been reading the ones that are titled with the alphabet letters. Can’t think of the author right now. They are very “mild” mysteries, though, so I don’t think they really count! I love crawling in bed with a book, too. It’s a real luxury, I think!

    Well, stay warm! Give the pups a pat and a scratch from me.

  4. I am a real fan of your Blog and envy your cozy home and patio garden. I love Trader Joe’s too. I totally absorb all the coziness you convey about your home and imagine myself there. Ahhhhh…now I just need to get me some Turkey Corn Dogs. Score one for Trader Joe’s! :0)

  5. I’ve never been in Trader Joe’s, but I love Sprout’s. My daughter recently took me there and it’s definitely my new favorite grocery store. The fruit and veggies are great!

    For my corn dogs I put a dollop of mustard on the plate and a dollop of ketchup and then dip my corn dog in both! Yum!

    Brenda, I’m ready for this crazy Oklahoma weather to figure out what she wants!

  6. I think my post today is exactly the opposite of yours, ha ha!! I love almost everything at Trader Joe’s – the produce aisle, the bakery, the cheese section, the freezer section…..too bad it’s an hour away!

  7. I have been doing the same thing about my containers on the deck… The deck is empty of every thing right now… as we have pressure washed and will be re-sealing …. Then my patio table and chairs will go back up… and then …I sooooooo want to start planting and replanting my pots …. even here in North Florida though… I know its a little too soon !!! excited for spring !!!! PS: I love to “dip” mu corn dog in mustard too !!!! lolol

    1. I don’t know when I started dipping a corn dog in mustard, but I can’t see myself dipping it in anything else. Such as ketchup. I know I can’t plant here till the middle or end of April anyway.

  8. just recently found that Trader Joes provides you with a LARGE shopping list of the completely Vegan foods they carry. it’s amazing! I walked around with it.
    so nice of them.
    and I also recently found people who have tried the different products and showed on their videos which were their favorites. it was like Christmas for me!
    one of the recent ones I watched showed if you use one banana (not over ripe but just nicely ripe not green) and MASH IT! and then stir it well… that it is a substitute for an egg in whatever you’re baking. it’s not supposed to have that banana taste either. can’t wait to try recipes with it.

    1. Well I’ll have to remember that about the shopping list. AND the banana! Because I don’t often buy eggs.

  9. I’ve been thinking, about planting, as well. My container garden never really does well. What kind of soil do you use? I’m thinking that might be the problem.

    I’ve been making a list of all the books you have reviewed! I will attempt to read some of them before summer and keep the list going so I will have enough to read next winter!

    Grace & Peace,

    1. I typically use the soil for containers I get at my favorite nursery. I get a big bag for $6.99. It is quite comparable to what I would get for something like Miracle Grow at somewhere like Lowes or Walmart.

  10. Yes, I love to envision my flower gardening plans at this time of year too. Years ago we got seed catalogs and nursery promotions in the mail after the holidays. Just seeing all the possibilities gives us hope for springtime. Now I frequent the library and websites to find materials. Today it is 14 degrees in St Louis. Brrrrrrr.

    1. So far this year I’ve only received one garden catalog. I typically just end up buying from my nursery anyway, seeds and annuals and herbs. I’m reading a novel that is based in St. Louis.

  11. I’m very much looking forward to filling my containers. They are looking so sad. I don’t like to plant annuals elsewhere. We moved in June so I have a couple of areas the former owner used for annuals that I will plant perennials in. I need to find something that will thrive in partial shade. There are a couple of hosta there now which are lovely but I want to add some more color.

    1. I garden on a large fenced in cement patio. This winter has been colder than normal, so some of my container perennials might not have made it. I bought a tree last fall I have in a rolling container. It’s okay so far. I use a lot of annuals for color and I know they won’t live more than one season anyway.

  12. Cold here, too. Maybe we’ll see snowflakes! My kid’s PE class started their rotation of kayaking on a local lake. Not exactly great weather for it! At least it isn’t windy. They are not supposed to get wet.
    We planted sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes in containers, and they worked great.

    1. Not windy here today, thank goodness. That always makes the cold much harder to bear. And OK is a windy place.

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