Saltwater Sounds: Embracing the Unexpected in This Garden Journey

Welcome to Saltwater Sounds, a collection of ideas, tips, and inspiration. Here, I share everything happening in the world of Shiplap and Shells, what’s to come, and the inspiration I’ve found from other bloggers around the web.

spring patio on a sunny day

This and That

Welcome back to the blog this week, where the only predictable thing is unpredictability itself!

In gardening, as in life, there are many times when, despite our best plans and preparations, nature has a playbook of its own. This week’s weather forecast was not what was expected.

seedlings in greenhouse

I should have gone with my gut when it came to average last frost dates.

In 2024, our area’s date was changed from April 18th to March 21st, which felt a little wonky. It had never changed since I started my garden almost 12 years ago (at least, I don’t think it has).

I’m sure you can tell where this story is going.

seedlings in greenhouse

I sowed all my seeds indoors a month earlier than usual. These cut flower seedlings should have been transplanted into their new raised bed homes by now. They are getting BIG! And I’ve had to transplant most of them to bigger pots. This is the first year I’ve had to do that.

But the weather forecast for Tuesday evening called for a low of 34°F, and I didn’t want to take the chance that it would dip even lower.

seedlings and geraniums in greenhouse

The seedlings had been on the deck 24 hours a day the week before, but we had to move them all back into the greenhouse overnight, just in case.

I’m glad we did. We woke up to frost.

geraniums on greenhouse floor

So, the young plants and overwintering geraniums had to spend a few more days on the deck while I took a girls’ weekend trip to Palm Springs.

I came home today, relaxed, rested, and ready to spend the week planting in the garden! I can’t wait, and I’m sure those seedlings feel the same way as I do.

Remember, our green thumbs are more about adaptation and resilience than control. Patience is a gift as a gardener.

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Earth Day is this Monday!

greenhouse patio in the spring

The daffodils are spent. I miss the bright pops of yellow on the patio.

alliums getting ready to bloom in the garden

It’ll be just a short color break until the alliums bloom. As you can see in the picture above, it’s almost time.

But for now, we’re enjoying the pansies, peonies, ranunculus, and snapdragons.

different colors of marigolds

The carload of annuals I bought last week for the flower containers and window boxes will hopefully be planted next week.

Look how beautiful the marigolds are. I use them at companion plants to put near tomatoes and other flowers the deer find tasty.

greenhouse in the spring
new fern fronds in the garden

Do you remember me cutting back all my outdoor ferns every year? Here are the new fronds. They’ll be full and gorgeous soon.

I love having a bay leaf tree in our yard. The branches are actually a great filler for flower arrangements.

At this time of year, the tree has yellow blooms.

I didn’t notice until I added this picture that some of the leaves are spotty and have some sort of disease right now. That’s why knowing what’s going on in your garden is so important. It’s a small section that can be cut off.

hellebores, tulips, and Japanese roses harvested for a flower bouquet

I made the prettiest flower bouquets with whatever was blooming in the garden last week.

informal flower arrangement with hellebores, Japanese roses, and bay leaf branches

The hellebores (lenten roses) are still blooming beautifully. I mixed a few tulips, Japanese roses, and bay leaf branches for an informal spring floral arrangement. Easy peasy!


swimming pool in Palm Springs
pool area from trip 2 years ago

I’ll share more about our annual Palm Springs girl’s trip next week. It was sunny and in the 90s, something I hadn’t experienced since last summer.

swimming pool in Palm Springs
pool area from trip 2 years ago

And, of course, it’s been all about the amazing conversations, catching up, and getting some much-needed downtime.


Garden Supplies and Tools

Check out my favorite garden supplies and tools for the growing season. Whether you’re looking for potting soil or deer repellent, you’ll find what I use in my own garden.

My Gardening Tool and Product Favorites for April

From the Blog

greenhouse and cut flower garden with dahlias in the summer evening
pink cosmos growing in the garden
reddish orange coneflower

What I’m Loving This Week

The Flowering Farmhouse owner among dahlias

My friend Jen at the Flowering Farmhouse has created The Dahlia Patch, an online learning community where she helps cut flower growers become knowledgeable, confident, and excited about growing abundant dahlias in their gardens!

And that’s not all! My friends at Revival Rugs are having an Earth Day sale! Right now all sustainable, recycled and upcycled products on their site are 20% through Monday, April 22.

Revival Rugs has so many beautiful collections, including my favorites the Matta, and a collection of one-of-a-kind new and vintage rugs that are handpicked by the Revival Team. They even have eco-friendly machine washable area rugs and runners. (A MUST if you have pets like me!)

Hurry and stop by Revival Rugs to check out all of their collections, and use the code LOVEYOUEARTH at checkout to take advantage of great deals on some gorgeous rugs.

seasonal checklist

I finally have a place where all my freebies are available to Shiplap and Shells subscribers! Here, you can get helpful gardening printables.

If you get my emails every Sunday, you’ll find the password to my library listed there every week.

If you haven’t subscribed to the blog, you can access the resource library by clicking the button below to set up an account.

I LOVE everything about planning my garden! Whether strategically planning for the upcoming season, making notes regarding my garden supply inventory, or brainstorming about what worked well (and didn’t), I love using my garden planner throughout it all!

FREEBIE: I’m offering the monthly planning page and seasonal checklist printables, a total of 6 pages, as a gift. These pages are part of my Ultimate Garden Planner, which is on sale now.

gardening planner

ON SALE: My 35-page Ultimate Garden Planner is on sale now for $4.99. Click the button below to learn more about what is included in this planner. I’m pretty sure you’ll love it as much as I do!

My Favorite Inspiration Around the Web This Week

I found the most amazing home in the Marie Flanigan Interiors portfolio.

I don’t think you can get any better than banana bread carrot cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting, do you?

If you’re thinking about creating a spring-themed dinner, here’s your inspiration.

I had so much fun reading about repurposing old tools into succulent planters.

How about some lazy girl tips for growing zinnias in pots?

Want to make delicious smoked food at home? All the info is here.

These packing tips to travel light came in handy this weekend!

These classic no-bake lemon berry cheesecake cups would be perfect for Mother’s Day!

I’m loving this Havencrest remodel.


Seed Starting Supplies

Check out my favorite supplies and tools for starting seeds indoors. Whether you’re looking for grow lights or a seed starting mix, you’ll find what I use in my own greenhouse.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and let me know what you’d like to see on the blog! Thank you for being here.

Until next time,

Wishing a wonderful week ahead,

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  1. I hope you had a fantastic time on your trip, Kim. I could use a girl’s weekend right about now! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe to my lemon berry cheesecake cups. I appreciate it!

  2. Your garden is beautiful and your girls’ trip sound fabulous! I’d take that 90 degrees! Thanks for another week of beauty!

  3. That is strange that your zone’s last frost date was changed. I live in Zone 9 in Central Florida and our last frost date is March 15th. We live on the dividing line of where frost stops. My mom lived about half an hour south of me and she rarely got frost.

    1. It is really strange Tammy. I know Stacy @Bricks ‘n Blooms said that her entire hardiness zone changed. Crazy!

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