Planning for spring 1
Get set for spring by collecting ideas for your garden. You could follow our guide and make a collage or plot plan for plants and more.

Helpful information

Timing: Winter / early spring

Where to do it: Indoors

Garden space: Large garden, small garden, balcony, greenhouse

  • An inspiring activity to do indoors on a cold, wet day. Making a plan for your garden and what you will do in spring can fill you with hope and optimism for the future!
  • Suitable for every garden space. Whether you have a large garden or a narrow balcony, you can enjoy thinking about what you would like to grow
  • A creative activity, involving gentle exercise and dexterity. This could be a shared, social activity, where you can talk about what you like best in nature

Essential items

  • Sources of inspiration (this could be seed catalogues, garden magazines or gardening websites)
  • Paper
  • Pencil

Optional items

  • Plot plan - (we use these at our Thrive centres)
  • Colouring pencils, pens, crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ruler
Planning for spring 2
A person browsing through a gardening magazine

Before you start creating your new year garden plan, take time to immerse yourself in sources of inspiration. You could looking through garden magazines, catalogues or websites of your choice.

Planning plants

Think about any plants you would like to grow in your garden. There are thousands of possibilities! Some questions to think about, to help your selection, include:

  • What plants do you like best?
  • What are the growing conditions in your garden like. Will the plants you like be happy there? (e.g is your garden very sunny / shady?)
  • What is important for you in your plant selection? (e.g. sensory appeal such as smell, or plants you can eat)
  • How much care does the plant need (e.g. watering, staking) and are you happy to put that effort in? Or, would low maintenance plants be better?
  • Do you want a mix of colours, or lots of plants in similar shades? (e.g. pastel pinks and purples)
  • Do you want plants that help wildlife, like bees and butterflies? (you can find 10 suggestions here)
  • What budget do you have for new plants? (you may choose plants you can grow from seed, for example, to keep costs down)

Other features

As well as plants to grow, you could think about any other changes you may like to make to your garden. This doesn't have to mean big, expensive alterations. You could, for example:

  • Add an ornament, like a gnome or windmill
  • Build a bug house or have a wild corner with piled sticks for insects
  • Add some extra seating, or change where seats are
  • Have more pots and containers, or add hanging baskets
  • Put in a very small pond or water feature

Follow these steps to create your garden plan with ease

Step 1. Gather everything you need

Create a pile of garden magazines and catalogues, or have your favourite websites ready to browse. Along with these, have paper (or a plot plan template) and any drawing materials you would like to use (coloured pencils, pens etc.)

Step 2. Cut out pictures (optional)

Planning for spring 3
A person finds inspiring plant pictures in a magazine

You may choose to create a collage for your garden plan. To do this, carefully cut out any pictures of plants you love from your magazines using scissors. Place all the pictures in a pile.

You do not have to create a plan this way. You could equally just use your pencil and any pens / coloured pencils to draw plants you like on your paper.

Step 3. Roughly plan your garden

Take your piece of blank paper and decide how you would like to plan your garden.

You could divide your piece of paper into sections first, for different areas of the garden. This will help show all the different elements, like lawn, flower beds and patio areas. Don't worry if it doesn't look exactly like your garden space. You don't need to become a professional garden designer! It should just help give you a bit of an idea of what's there now and what you want to grow.

This will help you to get an idea of how everything will look before you glue it down. If required you can move them around, to see how they will fit, and decide which ones are your favourite.

Step 4. Add details and features including plants

Planning for spring 4
A rough design for a garden is drawn on a piece of paper

Now, you can start adding the details to your rough garden plan.

If you are using magazine cuttings, carefully glue pictures in place. Add a little glue to the back of the picture and gently press and hold until secure.

You can now use pens, crayons or coloured pencils to add other features. If you couldn't find the plants you wanted, or don't have magazines, you could try drawing the plants yourself.

Step 5. Make a list of plants and features

As well as the picture, it may be helpful to write down all the plants and features you have included. This will help you identify the plants. You could add notes about the growing conditions the different plants need and how big they may get.

Step 6. Put it on display

Planning for spring 5
A finished garden plan with plants and other features

Once you have completed your garden collage, you might like to display it somewhere at home. You can admire your garden plan and enjoy it all season long. Hopefully, you will see bits of it come to life in your own outdoor space over time!

Help us continue to make gardening accessible for all. Make a donation to Thrive today. Thank you.

Make a donation

Sign up to receive gardening inspiration and tips to get the most out of your own gardening space, and improve your health and wellbeing at the same time

Choose which aspects of the gardening information service you’d most like to hear about.

Double your donation today!

The Big Give is back! Any donations from now until 5th December will be matched. Visit our Big Give page today.

Find out more