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It's March!

And just like that, it's March and I have flowers blooming all over my garden. Mostly crocuses and reticulated irises, with a sprinkling of snowdrops. A good start!  

I'm excited for the upcoming growing season. There's nothing like a winter-cleaned garden, waiting to grow again!


Do you occasionally get an email from me with this banner? Well, good if you do! This is the look of the email that comes out whenever I publish a new blog post. Getting these emails allows you to read the entire blog post without ever clicking over to my website. That's good... it makes it easy for you to read a post without an extra step. But I miss your comments so if you've ever have something to say back, click the link to view the post on my blog and leave me a comment.

Oh, you don't get the blog post emails? You can... just one extra step. Go to my website, enter your email on the subscribe button at the bottom and then click that you want the blog updates too. You'll get an email, etc. Or if you just want to hit the easy button and have me add you to the list of emails that get the blog post updates, reply to this newsletter to let me know and I'll do the work for you. You are welcome!


I've been hopping around in my reading and had several "did not finish" books in February (as happens sometimes), but I did finish The Last Garden in England, by Julia Kelly.  I had it on my hold list at the library and a reader of this newsletter also recommended it. I'll admit I struggled to get into it initially but then I found out it was the next selection of a garden book club I joined via Zoom so I carried on and ended up enjoying it. It had lots of twists and turns I didn't expect as we jumped around between the early 1900s to the 1940s to the present day. 

In other garden book news, I have to give a shout out to two new gardening books that came out this spring... Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden, by Jessica Walliser and Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, and Grow What You Love, by Loree Bohl. I received review copies of both books and they are staying in my library. I recommend them for any gardener!  

(Check out my Goodreads profile for more on my reading history.)

(What? No affiliate links to buy the books? If you want to buy these books, please go to an independent bookstore near you to buy them or buy them online from Bookshop. On Bookshop, you can choose your favorite independent bookstore and all proceeds go to them. Don't have a favorite bookstore? Pick mine, Wild Geese Bookshop in Franklin, Indiana


Doing is gardening now that it is March... and there is much to be done. How do I keep track of it all? Well, this isn't my first gardening season, for one thing.  After decades of gardening, I have an experienced sense of what needs to be done in the garden and when it should be done, so I just do what my little old inner gardener tells me to do. 

But there are aspects of my life that could be better organized and for that I am now messing around with an online tool called Trello. Any other Trello users out there?  

Okay, many of you just got a glazed look in your eyes, but for those interested, Trello is a project management/organizational tool. Yes, it is used by project teams in real companies. But you can use it to organize just about anything! For example, some authors use Trello to organize their books as they write them. I've also seen examples of using it for meal planning, vacation planning, keeping track of books to read, home maintenance... really, it can be used for anything you want to organize a bit more. And you can share your Trello boards with others for collaborating. Plus, you can view your boards on multiple devices... phone, iPad, PC. It's web based, so it's always with you if you have a device nearby.

I'm going to use Trello to organize my garden club activities as I take over as the president next month. (This garden club has been around since the 1940s, I hope it survives my presidency!) I might use it to organize some gardening stuff too. And my own writing. And other stuff. 

How does it work?  My simple answer is it's like a giant bulletin board with sticky notes organized however you want them organized. I'm using the free version and so far, well, geeky Carol likes it!


Oh, it's still coming, this new book of mine, Digging and Delighted: Live Your Best Gardening Life. I'm in the "patience" phase of launching this next book. This is the phase when I finish all the final edits, check those Ts to be sure they are crossed nice and straight, and verify that all the commas have uniform tails. Plus, wait patiently while my graphic designer finishes the cover.

In the meantime, I'm celebrating the first birthday of Creatures and Critters: Who's in My Garden, which came out on March 10, 2020.  Poor little book didn't hardly see the light of day before that virus showed up and every one of my in-person speaking events was canceled. (My last in person speaking event was March 11, 2020!) Those in-person events was where I sold many copies of my books...

Hey, I've got an idea!

Pretend this newsletter is an in person event and go ahead and order a copy of Creatures and Critters. See above under "reading" about where to get it.  I happen to know that Wild Geese Bookshop in Franklin, Indiana has five signed copies on their shelf of gardening books because I was just there last week.  If you are in the area, stop in and buy one of those copies, and tell them Carol sent you!



It's pansy and viola time in my garden.  Last week, I bought flats of violas. This week, I've purchased the pansies. As you can see from the picture, many of the pansies don't have blooms on them yet. That's fine with me. I think they are the perfect size for transplanting. In fact, I often look for annual flowers like these without blooms when I'm out buying plants.

The younger pre-blooming plants seem to adjust more quickly to their new containers and overall produce more blooms than if I had waited a few weeks and purchased bigger plants in full bloom.  

Yes, pansies and violas will survive frosts and cooler temps and then as the days get hotter, they'll eventually fade out, just in time for me to pull them and plant summer annuals.  

Next week, I'll be heading out to the vegetable garden to sow seeds for peas, plus kale, radishes, spinach, and lettuce. On the ends of my raised beds, I'll plant snapdragons and alyssum, two more annual flowers that withstand frost.

Thus begins a while new season in the garden!

Wrapping Up

Well, that's it for this newsletter. I hope you found a few nuggets to help you in your gardening/reading/living life. Look for the next newsletter in April, by which time the snowdrops and crocuses will have faded but daffodils and tulips should be in full flower and we'll be closer to the frost-free date and, dare I say it, summer!

As always, I love to hear from readers with suggestions for books to read, flowers to plant, recipes to cook.  Hit reply and share your suggestion with me!

With a shared love of gardening,


P.S.  Don't forget, every week Dee Nash and I record and publish a new episode of our podcast, The Gardenangelists. We enjoy talking about all things gardening and think you'll enjoy listening to it!

P.S.S. My books are always for sale on my website or can be ordered wherever books are sold, including independent bookstores.  

Carol J Michel Website Carol J Michel Website
May Dreams Gardens Blog May Dreams Gardens Blog

Copyright © 2021 Carol J. Michel, All rights reserved.

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