The beautiful red cardinals and the brightly colored bluebirds are singing joyfully as they gather nesting materials for spring. The Redbuds, Mexican Plums, forsythia, flowering quince are gloriously announcing spring.

Though the chill is still in the air the FarmGirls are jumping into the spring fling. We visited The Greenery this past week and the earliest spring color available included sweet smelling white black foot daisy, orange, yellow and purple African Daisy, sweet alyssum, jewel toned snap dragons, the boldly orange calendula and brilliant red geraniums.

Not all of these spring colors will resist our Texas heat but many gardeners are anxious to break the spell of winter with a welcoming pot of color.

The nursery was bustling as they prepared for spring. Garden whimsy or maybe garden scrabble was playfully placed in little vignettes. Huge metal letters spelled out inviting words such GARDEN, NICE, FRIENDS and the words embellished colorful and eclectic groupings of arondoneck wooden chairs alongside colorful pottery spilling over with spring flowers and ferns. Metal archways, boldly painted greenhouses, cedar carved mushrooms, indoor outdoor paintings, wagons and garden fun lured us into a dreamy state of landscape bliss.

Oh! The lures of spring, better make a plan before going to the nursery. Take the time to scope the area that is needing to be landscaped. Study the area for sun or lack of sun. A sun track is very important and can be easily accomplished. Simply document when and where the sun falls over the designated bed often during a day.

Be mindful of trees that may be deciduous and have no leaves now but will have leaves in late spring. Six hours of sun is considered full sun, 4 -5 hours in part shade, dappled shade is 2 to 3 hours with some sun getting through. Deep shade lets no light through.

Other considerations include water or lack of water, color and texture. Always incorporate evergreens and seasonal color. Be prepared to amend soil with expanded shale and compost when setting up the bed prep.

Hardscaping such as pathways, boulder, gazebos, water features need to be installed before plant material is installed. Measure the area to be landscaped and when selecting plant materials be cognitive of windows and architectural features of the home. When studying the plant material do not be confused by the size it is in the nursery compared to the height and width of mature plants. Use reality tools—yard sticks to prove the size of the mature plant before planting.

Lucy Harrell owner of Ladies of the Garden, an organic garden education and landscape company is our landscape and garden mentor. She has a wonderful CD for purchase called Lucy’s Picks. This interactive CD describes plants that will grow well in North Central Texas. It has great pictures, pruning information, shows plants that are drought and shade tolerant. This is one of many resources available to plan a Texas hardy landscape.

As you launch into your own spring gardens, stop by and see our friends at The Greenery and tune in to our weekly radio show, The FarmGirls Organic Radio Show on Fridays at 1 p.m. or online www.kaamradio.com and keep us with us on Facebook: Garden Inspirations.

FarmGirls of Garden Inspirations, a garden education company are Marilyn Simmons and daughter, Donelle Simmons.  You can email us at farmgirls@gardeninspirations-tx.com and join our weekly email by signing up through our website: www.gardeninspirations-tx.com, like us on Facebook!  Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. to the FarmGirls Organic Radio Show on KAAM 770 AM.