5 Steps to Getting Your Garden Ready for Spring: $100 Sweepstakes

This post is sponsored by First Editions® Plants and SheKnows Media.

How do you get your garden ready for spring, or even start a garden at all? Don't worry - we're the garden experts here! Here are my 5 steps to getting that garden ready this year. #ad

As you know, our garden is sort of our crowning glory of our property and yard!

I remember the first time I saw it, and it was nothing special then. It was September and the previous owners were moving, so the garden hadn’t been tended in ages. And yet, I saw a beautiful eggplant bursting through – large and ripe – and knew this land was the place for us. The sun was shining through the windows and into the paths of the woods, and we put an offer on the house that same day, if I remember correctly! And luckily it got accepted, and we became home and garden owners! This was perfect timing because Scarlet was two at that point, and I was pregnant with Des the same week we got our offer accepted. We knew we were at the start of something special. It’s been a wonderful learning experience since.

I wasn’t born with a green thumb. My mom said I used to help her plant peas at our old house, and I somewhat remember that, but I have learned the most through Cassidy. I remember when he separated his shoulder and couldn’t do much, so I installed the garden’s irrigation system. We’ve done pallet gardening and vertical strawberry rows. We have planted trees, berries, and vegetables. Lately, we’ve been super into shrubs and trees, and that’s been part of our recent projects.

Every year is a chance to start over. So whether you’re starting a brand new garden, starting a brand new project in a garden, or just doing things completely differently, here are 5 steps to getting your garden ready this spring:

1 – Cleanup time! This is always the first because fall and winter do a real number on our land. Cassidy will first clear all the garden beds and pallets and then sweep the branches, leaves, and garbage that has collected on the lawn.

2 – Tool time! Your tools have been sitting around for 9 months or so. You have to make sure they’re ready for the job by cleaning them with soap and water and making sure the handles won’t give you splinters. Maybe invest in new ones.

3 – Soil time! A big part of the cleanup is that bulbs are going to burst out any day now. You also want your soil ready for new growth. Turn the soil over and clear out any weeds. We add fresh compost that we buy a few weeks before planting.

4 – Layout time! We actually make charts to see which fruits, vegetables, flowers, trees, and plants are will work well in certain light conditions, and also next to each other. For this, we often turn to the experts at the garden center.

5 – Shopping, planting and maintenance time! Shopping is my personal favorite, although planting is fun too! This year I was all about beautifying our garden with First Editions® Plants. Since Cassidy is traveling for most of this spring, I had to find a solution so that I could upkeep our garden. I love that I found a solution at our local garden center last week.

First Editions® Plants are easy-to-care for shrubs and plants. They create a vibrant and gratifying outdoor space, and are the perfect solution for hopeful gardeners who maybe don’t have a ton of time or help in the garden. I have Little Devil™ Ninebark, Amber Jubilee™ Ninebark, and Strawberry Sundae® Hydrangea. They have 125+ plant varieties! Just look for the purple pot and enjoy their premium assortment of shrubs and trees. I took such care in my selections for our garden:

First Editions® Plants are selected for success! They have been rigorously tested so I feel confident they will flourish this season. I love the wide variety and how much fun it was to find shrubs and colors for our garden. And, they have a guru who can help you with anything gardening. Check “Let’s Ask Amy” out here. And I know I had mentioned about pairing plants together, but here’s a wonderful reference for how to pair your plants. Isn’t it wonderful to simplify the beauty of gardening?

How do you get your garden ready for spring, or even start a garden at all? Don't worry - we're the garden experts here! Here are my 5 steps to getting that garden ready this year. #ad

How do you get your garden ready for spring, or even start a garden at all? Don't worry - we're the garden experts here! Here are my 5 steps to getting that garden ready this year. #ad

How do you get your garden ready for spring, or even start a garden at all? Don't worry - we're the garden experts here! Here are my 5 steps to getting that garden ready this year. #ad

Want to get First Editions® Plants for your outdoor space? Find out where you can buy them here.

What plants are you most excited to grow this spring? Answer in the comments for a chance to win a $100 gift card!

Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#Sweeps” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from SheKnows via the sweeps@sheknows.com. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/14/18- 5/20/18

Be sure to visit the brand page on Sheknowsmedia.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

How do you get your garden ready for spring, or even start a garden at all? Don't worry - we're the garden experts here! Here are my 5 steps to getting that garden ready this year. #ad

How do you get your garden ready for spring?

What Moms Want: Caramelized Fruit and Mascarpone English Muffins

This post is sponsored by Bays® English Muffins. All thoughts, opinions, and original recipe photos are my own.

Enter the What Moms Want Sweepstakes with #baysenglishmuffins! And enjoy this delicious recipe for Fruit and Mascarpone English Muffins. It's the most perfect Mother's Day Brunch meal! #ad

We definitely need to talk about Bays® English Muffins. Immediately!

The thing is, it’s a bit of a love story. I didn’t realize you could fall madly in love with English Muffins, but you CAN! These are SO good! You can have them with butter next to scrambled eggs, and be completely happy. My kids like them with butter AND peanut butter (a new one for me, I admit) and have them every morning. I wanted to play, though! I love English Muffins for French Toast recipes, for Eggs Benedict, and for making Crispy Cinnamon Toast. There are endless ways to enjoy Bays® English Muffins. They have the perfect shape and perfect consistency. I knew I had to get fancy for Mother’s Day.

Gorgeous, right? Cassidy taught me how to caramelize the muffins in butter, sugar and cinnamon until they’re golden and crispy. Separately, we make a mean mascarpone topping. Then we add freshly sliced fruit! In terms of English Muffin toppings, this is the way to go for special occasions. A little basil and nutmeg on top, and you’re in flavor country. You can’t imagine the taste when you take your first bite! This is what moms want for Mother’s Day! And we have a lot to celebrate, so stay tuned for a recipe and sweepstakes. We’re talking all things Mother’s Day right now, and I couldn’t be happier!

Just for a quick shoutout, Cassidy bought this tablecloth/flowers for Passover, and they are still going strong:

Caramelized Fruit and Mascarpone English Muffins

Caramelized Fruit and Mascarpone English Muffins

Ingredients

  1. 1/2 stick butter (room temp)
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  4. Mascarpone spread:
  5. 8oz marscapone cheese
  6. 1/2 vanilla bean
  7. 2TBSP honey
  8. 1/4tsp cinnamon
  9. 1/8tsp nutmeg
  10. strawberries (sliced)
  11. bananas (sliced)
  12. fresh basil (finely chopped for garnish)

Instructions

  • 1. Put cheese in stand mixer and cut open vanilla bean, and then scrape vanilla bean seeds into the mixer too
  • 2. Add honey, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat until combined
  • 3. Combine butter, sugar and cinnamon
  • 4. Butter up Bay's English Muffins and place facedown on saucepan over medium-high heat
  • 5. Monitor closely and remove when sugar starts to caramelize, and muffins are crispy
  • 6. Top English Muffins with Mascarpone spread, and then fresh fruit
  • 7. Garnish with chopped basil and a dash of nutmeg. Enjoy!
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As always, feel free to email me with any recipe questions. We got it pretty perfectly on the first shot, but learned a lot along the way. Considering that we have three moms to cook for, we wanted to get it just right for Mother’s Day!

Tada! It’s like magic. You can do no wrong with English Muffin toppings, if you put that much care into them. Speaking of which, let’s talk about Mother’s Day. You can celebrate it with breakfast in bed, courtesy of Bay’s® English Muffins, and with a chance to win a spa gift card for a special mom in your life! Whether it’s your mom, your daughter, your grandmother, your aunt, your mother-in-law, your sister, your neighbor, and so on, make that beloved mom feel special all day long!

Enter the sweepstakes now, and every day until May 13th, for a chance to win a $200 spa gift card. There’s no purchase necessary. Simply enter the sweepstakes here from April 24th – May 13th. Official rules are at bays.com.

And to really get your taste buds going, check out this video:

Enter the What Moms Want Sweepstakes with #baysenglishmuffins! And enjoy this delicious recipe for Fruit and Mascarpone English Muffins. It's the most perfect Mother's Day Brunch meal! #ad

So what do you think? Ready to serve breakfast in bed, AND, enter for a chance to win a $200 spa gift card? I know I am. This is the perfect way to celebrate the wonderful moms in your life, and show them just how much you really care.

Tell me about a special mom in your life!

Enter the What Moms Want Sweepstakes with #baysenglishmuffins! And enjoy this delicious recipe for Fruit and Mascarpone English Muffins. It's the most perfect Mother's Day Brunch meal! #ad