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As we wait for spring to kick in (51 days, but who’s counting?), there’s still plenty we can be doing—even though it might not involve getting our hands dirty. Making lists of plants to buy and try, planning a new vegetable garden, and taking care of tools are just a few things to keep us busy. Whatever this season finds you doing, I hope that you’re able to find some “garden time.”

Plants of the Year

Are you looking for an annual, shrub, or perennial that you can really count on? One that’s easy to grow, looks great, and provides outstanding performance and color? For 8 of the best, check out Proven Winners’ 2021 National Plants of the Year.

7 Steps to a Perfect Cottage Garden

Best known for their informal and romantic style, cottage gardens are full of colorful flowers that invite pollinators of all types to drop in. Read more about this English-inspired style and get ideas for designing your own enticing cottage garden. (Hint: The ‘Rose of the Year’ above would go beautifully in a cottage garden!)

6 Steps for a Successful Vegetable Garden

A record number of people grew vegetables for the first time last year—and many are planning to do so again. If you’re one of them and are a little overwhelmed, don’t be! Just follow these six steps and you’ll be well on your way to harvesting your own fresh veggies this spring and summer—and even into fall.

Get Your Garden Tools Ready for Spring

Are your garden tools as ready for spring as you are? Now is a great time to give them a once over. Learn how to keep them looking and working their best. Also, check out 12 must-haves for your tool shed.

Winter-Blooming Aloe

Aloe flower stalks are beginning to bloom with bright orange, yellow, and red flowers. Pollinators are grateful for the winter treats when little else is available. Find all you need to know about growing and caring for these winter showstoppers—and learn about an alternative if you can’t grow aloe in your neck of the woods.

Frost & Succulents

Depending on how cold it gets and for how long, some succulents may show signs of frost damage, like this agave. Learn what to do, which succulents are more tender and which ones can take the cold, straight from the Queen of Succulents herself, Debra Lee Baldwin.