Warm days provide chance to spruce up gardens ahead of spring


ST. LOUIS – A couple of days of sunshine and temperatures in the 50s have people getting outside while they can. When the temps pop in the winter months, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a great place to visit. The lack of leaves reveals all sorts of fascinating views.

“One thing I love about the winter time is that because of the leaves have dropped off the trees, you actually get to see the form of each specimen. Just to see how they are growing, they’re branching. It’s amazing,” says Daria McKelvey with the Garden’s Kemper Center for Home Gardening.

During 2020’s stay-at-homes orders many returned to gardening or picked up the hobby for the first time. Mild winter days can be a great time to do some pruning and decluttering of your gardens and time to think of changes you want to make.  

“This is where you assess what you did last year. What you did like. What you didn’t like. And start thinking now. Go outside and look at your landscape. Are they’re plants you were really happy with. Or are you looking to add some color, or fragrance, or shape to your garden.”

Daria recommends getting a soil test so you know your what nutrients you have to work with and to go ahead and start that compost pile. 

“You can start compost any time. This is a great time to do. And we’re all for compost here. Actually, that’s what we use to cover some of the beds,” says McKelvey.

And when the temperatures dip again, which they always do this time of year, don’t forget about fun inside projects for you and your family. You can make newspaper plant pots for seedlings which you place directly in the ground or create some cute and functional plant markers out of spoons or popsicle sticks that will be ready for your spring planting.

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