Although the ground is still covered beneath a layer of hard, icy snow, I’ve been dreaming about summer. Specifically, I’ve been dreaming about gardening and entertaining in my backyard.

As a result, I’ve been cruising the internet, looking for garden supplies and décor to use when the snow finally melts and the temperature warms up. Being an optimist, I firmly believe this will occur sometime between now and June.

The products below come from a variety of places, but they all caught my eye. Perhaps they’ll wind up in your backyard too!

Serious Fruits and Veggies

Our backyard has a lot of trees and we have two, big energetic dogs. Why do I mention this? The only sunny spot is small patch, smack dab in the middle of the backyard. That’s why I’m particularly intrigued by the Vegtrug™ patio garden. Made of sustainable wood, it’s a raised bed planter that’s perfect for people who have trouble bending or have space constraints.

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VegTrug™ Patio Garden | Amazon/Gardener’s Supply

Garden Patch™ Grow Box™ promises 60 pounds of delicious tomatoes and other veggies per box. This is another item perfect for small patios and backyards and/or novices since it’s self-watering and fertilizing.

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Garden Patch™ GrowBox™ | Photo: Dennis Alton

These Colorful Tomato Grow bags have garnered great reviews for their sturdiness, good looks, and ability to fit on a sunny front step in summer before folding up neatly in winter.

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Grow Bags for Tomatoes, Peppers, Potatoes | Gardeners.com

Last but not least, the most popular story ever on BombayOutdoors.com, The Potato Barrel: How to Plant Potatoes, is a “how to” piece on growing many pounds of potatoes in a barrel, not the ground.

Flowers

If you give me a copy of the White Flower Farm catalog, I’m like a kid in a candy store.

All their plants, from raspberry bushes to roses arrive in wonderful condition and ready to plant. These three new flower collections, Summertime Splendor Dahlia Collection, Tucson Sunrise Annual Collection and Bounty of Blossoms, offer just a small sample of their wares.

Dahlias are native to Mexico, Central America and Columbia — and are the national flower of Mexico. There are nearly 40 species, and While Flower Farm’s new Summertime Splendor Dahlia Collection is a medley of hybrids, with different colors, sizes, and shapes.

The elegant planter holding these succulents unfortunately is not part of this offering by White Farm. But the five annuals are. Here, Blue Senecio is in the center, surrounded by Kalanchoe on the left, Sedum in front, Echeveria on the right, and Princess Pine Crassula in back.

Being succulents, these annuals love full sun and don’t need much care. Just a little fertilizer and a splash of water if it hasn’t rained for awhile. What a lovely container garden for a sunny spot.

White Flower Farm’s Bounty of Blossoms Collection is an assortment of six annuals that not only put on a color show from June to October, but also attract pollinators — bees, butterflies, hummingbirds.

The collection (which doesn’t ship to NV, OR, TX, UT, or WA due to state agricultural restrictions) includes Gomphrena globosa ‘QIS Purple’ and Verbena bonariensis and Rudbeckia hirta ‘Prairie Sun’ — Rudbeckia being a species most of us know as black-eyed-susans or coneflowers.

Other plants in the collection include pink and purple Cleome hassleriana ‘Rose Queen’, Zinnia ‘Zowie! Yellow Flame’, star-flowered Pentas lanceolata ‘Ruby Glow’, Gomphrena globosa ‘QIS Purple’ and Verbena bonariensis.

Overall these six plants cover 6 square feet of space.

Serious Garden Supplies

These next three products are for gardeners who like “playing in the dirt.” The Puddle Proof Field Bag from gardeners.com is big enough to hold all your gardening supplies and has a  waterproof bottom so even if you set it down in early morning dew or after a thunderstorm, everything stays dry.

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Puddle-Proof Field Bag | Gardeners.com

White Flower Farm’s Dutch Hand Weeder for Small Hands is perfect for weeding around seedlings, stays sharp, and is quite lightweight; it could be a perfect addition to the Puddle Proof Field Bag.

Ever been gardening all day only to find that the dirt is so ground into your skin that mere soap cannot touch it? Gardener’s Hand Cleaner from veseys.com is naturally organic and just a small amount combined with water acts as both a cleaner and skin conditioner.

Bird feeders

I admit it. Even though I enjoy gardening, my favorite thing to do in the summer is sit out on my patio with a cool drink and either talk to my friends or watch what’s going on in my backyard. That’s why bird feeders bring me so much joy. Radically different in style, the three here are just a small sampling of what’s available on Etsy.com.

This French Farmhouse bird feeder seems like it comes straight from Provence.

Do you or your birds like modern décor? If so, you’ll like this Modern Bird Feeder.

The sparkling glass of this Colbalt Blue Bird/Butterfly feeder really caught my eye. It’s not only practical, but also a piece of garden art.

That finishes my brief sampling of garden supplies I’m excited about. What about you? What are the tools or décor you can’t live without during the summer?