Simple Pleasures: Savor the First Spring Day in the Garden

The birds are chirping, the bulbs are blooming and the air is inviting. How will you answer the call of the garden?

By Laura Gaskill / Courtesy of Houzz.com

Is there anything better than that first spring day when the weather finally feels warm enough to really spend time outdoors? Celebrate spring with a full day spent puttering in the garden, tending to chores, sprucing things up and pampering yourself a bit as well. (Fresh herb-infused cocktails in the garden, anyone?)

Treat yourself to new garden gear. It’s nice to kick off a new season of gardening with a bit of new gear, isn’t it? Head off to the garden store first thing in the morning and scoop up what you need — a bright watering can, gloves or perhaps a wide-brimmed sun hat? 

Fill your steps with blooming bulbs. If you were wise, you may have potted bulbs in the fall, in which case, kudos! For those who did not plant bulbs, why not pick some potted flowers while you’re out getting your other garden gear? 

I can’t think of a cheerier sight than a stoop filled to bursting with pots of spring blooms.

Let hammock season commence! If you have a hammock, today is the day to pull it out from storage and hang it up. No one will judge if you decide to take a rather extended break with a book and a cup of coffee in said hammock, after you’ve got it up.

Make pretty plant markers. A fun little project for the first day out in the garden is to make a set of pretty plant markers. 

Sure, you can just write on Popsicle sticks with a Sharpie, but if you want to get fancy, try painting plain garden stakes with whatever leftover paint you have at hand, and then use alphabet stamps to label them.

Tidy up your garden paths. There is something incredibly satisfying about watching a barren, dull patch of dirt transform into an inviting path with nothing more than a bag of mulch and a few stepping stones. Get all of your paths shipshape, stand back and savor the feeling of accomplishment.

Tidy up the back entrance. The garden entrance to a house is always a mess, isn’t it? No one is expecting miracles; just do your best. Sweep the area out, neaten the tools and line up the boots.

Set up a potting station. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just a sturdy work surface that can get good and dirty. If you can wrangle something with a few shelves to store empty pots and bags of potting soil, all the better.

Use found objects as planters. Add a quirky element to your garden by planting an old rusted bucket or wheelbarrow with lettuces — even an old Wellie or toy dump truck can become a home for wildflowers. Let your creativity roam!

Give the outdoor furniture a good scrubbing. Make your outdoor sitting area more inviting by giving the tables and chairs a thorough wash with a bucket of soapy water. Use a stiff brush to give cobweb-filled pots and planters a quick spruce-up, too.

Add a bit of softness. Soft cushions with freshly laundered covers make an outdoor room feel so much more comfortable. Set out plump pillows and drape a throw over the back of a bench, for snuggling under when the sun dips low.

End the day with a tisane or cocktail with fresh muddled herbs. Snip a few sprigs of mint from the garden to make your own herbal tisane (simply steep in hot water) or muddle it for a cocktail. Other herbs make intriguing cocktail ingredients as well — rosemary in a simple syrup makes a fine flavoring.