“Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there”…Thomas Fuller


Gardens can come in many shapes and sizes.  They can be contained or sprawling, big or small.  In the traditional sense, a garden is a plot of ground where flowers, shrubs, vegetables, fruits or herbs are cultivated.  I, however, am someone of a more non-traditional mindset who likes to think of a garden in a lot of unexpected ways.  To me, it’s a plot of ‘something’, where you can ‘grow’ just about anything.  You get to choose what you want to plant.  Here are a few creative ways for you to ‘get your garden on’ during the off season, and get you thinking about all the different things you too can cultivate in your own unique way.

Idea Garden – These are plots of paper where ideas are cultivated.  Plant your ideas regularly in a journal or sketchbook. They say, if an idea isn’t captured within the first ten minutes is likely to be lost forever.  Capture them, nurture them and watch them grow and develop.

Idea Garden

Handmade Flower Garden  – Install a window box on one of your interior window sills and then fill it up with a beautiful display of handmade flowers.  Experiment with different materials and techniques to keep things interesting.  Try wire flowers, bead and button flowers, fabric or metal flowers…you get the idea. Make additions throughout the year, change out during the holidays, etc. Plant ’em up and enjoy!

indoor windowbox

Rock Garden – You choose whether you plant rocks that are natural, painted or both.  Rock gardens are beautiful displays that can be enjoyed year-round. Experiment with stone-stacking as a meditative exercise. Carve out a designated area where you can plant yourself and your rocks.  Then, sit back and enjoy!

Water Garden – Water features are a beautiful addition to any home .  Simply gather up a water tight container and plant it up with a small fountain pump in the bottom or other decorative features such as easy to manage water plants that will survive indoors, or floating gazing balls made out of old light bulbs.  Maybe grow a goldfish or two, space permitting.

Art Garden — Plant up areas in the yard with artful treasures such as rusty metal blooms, sculptures, stepping stones, birdhouses and more!  An art garden is low maintenance, inspirational and another colorful example of a garden that can be enjoyed year-round.

red rusty


The traditional flower, vegetable, fruit and herb gardens go without saying, but when the ground is frozen, think of what else you can be planting and nurturing.   
There’s a gardener at the root of every garden, so regardless of what you plant where, plant it with care!  
What are you going to have “growing on” during the off season?



  1. nan beach says:

    I love these little things for adding color to my yard especially with this white frigid iowa winter coming upon us. Could you do a tutorial on your flowers? I was actually hunting around the internet for some different but yet cool art for outside ad when I just saw this I thought “I totally could do that”. I thought I saw something for some glass flowers on your site but when I was hunting around I couldn’t find anything.
    I have fallen in love with your site and blog. I just saw you on our PBS station not that long ago, that is how I discovered you.

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