With the reduced schedule that came with COVID and retirement (which came within a few days of each other), I have had a year to go through drawers, cabinets, and closets. I have unearthed treasures and a great deal of no longer needed items and a few items that I wonder if I ever needed. And, don’t even know where they came from! 🙄 So, in a few places in our home, we now have space to grow. It may not last but I have enjoyed the process. Our home is small and I like opening a drawer that is NOT full. 


  • What do I have? 
  • What do I need? 
  • What do I want?


I have plenty of seed starting trays and pots for “potting up”. I saved almost every pot that came from the garden centers last year – well the black ones anyway. Even in the garden and potting shed, I like for things to match. 🤦‍♀️  It was sort of like the stories you hear from World War times, I was saving everything as we didn’t (and still don’t really) know where things are going as far as the pandemic is concerned. Remember those empty shelves in the grocery store? We still rarely see well-stocked shelves of toilet paper and paper towels!!

There are even things I have, that I never had before …. Carry out containers! Before COVID we either went out to eat or cooked. Now carry out is a common option. So, I’ve been saving carry out containers. There are so nice. I think they will make fabulous mini seed starting greenhouses! Mr. G drilled holes in them for drainage!
I’m wondering what you saved last year that you had never saved before?


Seeds. I have some leftovers from last year but not very many. They were hard to find last year! I was very glad that I had been somewhat of a hoarder where seeds were concerned.

While “hoarding” is not my nature, having the “extra” seeds on hand was a big help. I also learned that seeds last longer than we think. Some of these had been around a long time! With limited access, my son and I were trading back and forth to get the seeds we needed and could share!

To date, I have seed orders coming in, have purchased seeds from Lowes and have one more seed order ready to go. I thought I was “done” ordering but the Select Seed catalog came and I have sticky tabs on about every page. 😉 We are quickly moving beyond the “need” stage.


The past two years I have tuned in to English garden shows and podcasts and follow a ton of UK gardeners online. I love them! This has led to a few purchases. First was my beloved Hori Hori knife. I don’t know how I lived without that one.  Thanks Rosie!

Now I am obsessed with “ROOT TRAINERS.” I have been gardening for 35+ years and I had never heard of root trainers until I had so many UK friends!! So, I bought some to try. I will use for sweet peas as they recommend. Now I have grown sweet peas without root trainers for most of those 35 years but still, the root trainers beckoned me and this could be the best sweet pea year ever!! I’m up for that!


We are not going to talk specifically about how many garden books I have. Remember when I said I did not have hoarding tendencies – I guess I am a “selective hoarder”. Don’t ask Mr. G about my garden book “habit”. Friends, they are everywhere – I use them as a primary decorating tool. They are in most every room except the bathroom and laundry room! Mercy. Mercy. I tried to “reduce” books and maybe 2 – 3 found their way to the box. I’ll try again later. 😅

As you know the potting shed is tiny, but there are books — lots and lots of books. Shelves of books. Last night I climbed on a very sturdy chair and started rearranging books! Getting some I want at my fingertips during the spring! And, some that I love dearly as old friends and don’t want them far from me. 

Several books that are now at my fingertips are old “friends” as we have been through many garden seasons together like Smith & Hawkins Book of Outdoor Gardening (1996). The first 16 pages are of beautiful gardens providing all the inspiration you will need to take their advice and create your own masterpiece! 

Others books are fairly new like Monty Don’s  Down to Earth, which I bought in England while with my daughter last year – makes me feel closer to her to see it. The book is written just as Monty talks. If you watch Gardeners’ World you can hear him as you read. Chocked full of inspiration and gardening information based on his 50 years of gardening. Of course, US gardeners need to tweak some of the information dependent on their growing zone and taking note of plants that do well in England but might be invasive in their neck of the woods. 

There’s Tasha Tudor’s Garden and another Smith & Hawkins book, The Potting Shed. I get almost giddy touching the books and rearranging them. What’s your favorite garden book? 


The organizing process even extends to my iPhone. I am going through apps I no longer need and photos.

Oh my word, how many pictures do you have on your iPhone??? After spending nearly an hour going through pictures and deleting what I didn’t want or need, I looked at the total 16, 483. WHAT??? How did that happen? So, now I am getting them into albums. It will probably take me until spring to accomplish this. But the upside is going through all the pictures!!

Ran across one of my very favorite images of the ‘Queen of Bourbon’ as she looked in 2013 – she’s at the top of this post. ⬆️ I don’t think she has been that spectacular since then!

And, photos from a day my daughter and I made flower crowns.

I am very grateful for the convenience and quality of iPhone photos but seem to spend a lot of time looking for images. I think having albums will help. If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them!

Hope you have a great weekend. Til next time … bloom wherever you are planted!


  1. I completely understand the book problem. I thought I would use these pandemic days to get rid of a lot of books because the shelves are spilling over. I did make piles, but then there was no place and no one to take them! Oh, well. I am looking forward to Peter Kukielski’s new rose book ROSA. Met him some years ago and he is a wonderful rose gardener.

  2. So happy for you to have gotten so much organizing done! Thanks for introducing me to ‘root trainers’, I had never heard of them. I am a newbie at starting from seed but have sown more than ever before this year. All those companies like Floret with those gorgeous photos!!! I am fortunate that I can direct sow many things here, don’t think I’d have the patience or skill to start things indoors. I love my gardening books too. I think my favorite is one called ‘Dream Gardens Across America’ that was put out by Better Homes and Gardens. I couple of the gardens featured there are just gorgeous!

  3. Hi Teresa! I so needed your post today! 🙂 Love the Queen of Bourbon photo, it’s such a beauty! It would be nice to see that photo on Helpmefind! There really isn’t much commentary on this rose there.
    My absolute, all-time favorite garden book that instantly lets me escape to another world is “The Garden at Highgrove”. It makes me happy just looking at it!
    I download my rose pictures and screenshots on my computer sorting first by my personal garden folder that has many sub files labeled for each year, then each picture within a sub file is named by year-month-day name. This way I can see exactly what was blooming, when and for how long.
    Love your posts!

    1. I took your advice and uploaded the Queen of Bourbon image to Help Me Find. I have had that rose for 20 years or more. It is a beautiful one-time bloomer. It is usually one of the first to bloom – along with Veilchenblau. “The Gardens at Highgrove” sounds wonderful. The gardens in England are certainly very special!

  4. I a slowly decluttering here as well. I was not able to get some seeds for this year, and will have to look back at my stored extra seed stash for some things.

    I like the rootrainers idea. I’ve never seen them here, but I’ll look for them.

  5. ” I use them as a primary decorating tool.” I’m going to borrow that line! I don’t have the shelf space for all the gardening books I have, so they are just stacked on any flat surface. I considered going through them this winter, but my library is currently not taking donations, and I couldn’t just throw them out. Perhaps when it is warm enough to visit outdoors I will invite my garden club over to choose what they would like.

  6. I know you must know about seed stratification, especially when it pertains to seeds from trees. A very long time ago owning a lot of books was a symbol of a person’s wealth. It is hard to part with books especially if one loves books. I do recycle a lot of newspapers and other papers though. I really enjoy reading our newspaper every morning with coffee, but it is getting to be rather expensive to be a subscriber. I learn so much from reading it including gardening, history, cooking, etc.. And I have donated a lot of items to a children’s hospital thrift store in our area. You could donate books or whatever to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, DAV, children’s hospital, etc., as they are still taking donations. One just drops off his or her donations at a backdoor, and sometimes they will give you a receipt for tax purposes if you want one. They are non-profit, and books are a great item for them to re-sell. We even have a Restore, too, where one can donate items. They will even send a truck to pick up one’s donations. Just leave them in your driveway providing it is not raining or snowing if you have a Restore in your area. We have donated a table and chairs not too long ago. I finally learned how to “drop-box” my beautiful floral pictures and other pictures from my cell phone onto the computer and into a file. I, too, have way too many pictures on my cell phone. And I really need to back up my phone pictures. Stay safe and well.

    1. The children’s hospital thrift store is a great idea. We have an excellent Good Will store in our town and that is where most of our items go. Love that someone else can use them! When it comes to my books, I am becoming resigned that few will leave my side – they are such a source of joy! Have a great week! 🌹🌹🌹

  7. Hello, I had not been on the computer for the past few days, so I was looking for a new blog from you today, Sunday, 01-31-2021. Just wanted to tell you we got two inches of SNOW in VA after not getting any for the last three years except maybe a light dusting. So pretty! The children who were virtually learning from home got a SNOW day, too, to play in the SNOW. I took too many photos on my phone to share with others.

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