Are you ready to grow your best garden ever?

Download my FREE monthly checklists.

Learn what to do in your garden right now.

Cheryl Spencer, Certified Gardener

Hi! I’m Cheryl.

It’s so nice to meet you!
If you want to create the garden of your dreams, but aren’t sure how to do it, you’re in the right place. Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down strategies that make working in the garden a breeze and give me more time to enjoy my garden. I started Simply Smart Gardening to help you get the same results.

About

Hi there! I’m Cheryl, the creator of Simply Smart Gardening. 

I’ll show you how to garden smart, not hard.

Cheryl Spencer, Certified Gardener

If you want to create the garden of your dreams, but aren’t sure how to do it, you’re in the right place.

Over the past few years, I’ve nailed down strategies that make working in the garden a breeze and give me more time to enjoy my garden.

I started Simply Smart Gardening to help you get the same results.

My Mission

I’m here to help you grow your best garden ever. Whether you want to grow a few fabulous plants on your deck, create a new garden, re-do an existing garden, or learn how to garden in a challenging environment, I’ll show you how.

My Story

I’m a home gardener, just like you.

I have a suburban yard, lots of sunshine, and a passion for plants and nature. That’s what this site is all about.

I garden in Colorado at 6,000 feet in elevation. It’s a tough place to garden, no question.

The terrain is a challenge. Parts of my yard are so steep it makes you ponder gravity and question your own sanity for gardening on it.

The climate is a challenge. My yard has little tree cover and faces South, so it gets baked by our intense high-altitude sun. And since I live at the foot of a mountain, I have wild weather:

  • hail,
  • severe temperature swings,
  • crazy wind,
  • and sudden, severe downpours of rain.

So what made me want to garden here? One word: hummingbirds.

When most people house-hunt they care about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms a house has. Not us. Our number one must-have was hummingbirds.

When we moved into this house I created a garden we and the birds could enjoy.

Growing up in upstate New York, I had a blast helping my mom tend her vegetable garden. I weeded in exchange for as many homegrown tomatoes, grapes, and strawberries as I could eat. I also spent many summer days in the vacant lot behind our house picking wild raspberries. I always ate more than I brought into the house, they were that good!

Those moments turned me into a gardener. — Homegrown fruit and vegetables will do that to a person.

Since then, I’ve spent 25 years fulfilling my need to grow things by gardening on balconies, a small urban lot, a community garden, and now in the suburbs.

But I’ve made many mistakes along the way.

I have:

  • killed plants
  • planted things in the wrong spot
  • and planted thuggish plants that took over a large chunk of my garden.

But over time, I learned as much as I could about gardening, kept records of what worked and what didn’t and created systems that improved my gardening.

Those systems streamlined my gardening tasks and keep my garden running like a well-oiled machine. The best part is that I have more time to enjoy my garden.

And who doesn’t want that?

I never stop learning about gardening.

But I reached a point where I wanted to take my gardening knowledge to the next level. So I spent six months becoming a certified gardener.

That knowledge combined with the systems I’ve created were critical when my husband and I moved to our current home, and we wanted to grow a garden.

One feature of the house appealed to the gardener in me — the large lot it sits on had no landscaping. It had a lot of lawn and a few pathetic plants.

The yard was a freaking blank slate! To many people, that could seem daunting.

What made me think I could create a garden on this blank canvas?

Systems.

I was ready to tackle the project because I’ve created systems that make starting a large garden from scratch doable.

Those systems made it possible for me to:

  • plan out hundreds of square feet of beds,
  • plant over 500 plants in one season,
  • and plant 4,000 bulbs in a few days. Uh, yeah. I really did plant 4,000 bulbs in just a few days!

Little did I know when we moved to this new house that I’d also battle deer, rabbits, and voles and they would encourage me to develop even more systems. I love wildlife as much as anyone, but not when it’s determined to destroy my garden. I learned how to encourage the wildlife we want and discourage the intruders.

When you plant a garden, you also create a habitat for wildlife. It’s automatic. As I’ve watched our garden attract increasing numbers of birds, insects, and reptiles, I’ve become interested in how we can include spaces for wildlife in our suburban and urban landscapes.

Planting a garden is one of the best ways to do that.

And I’ve learned that to have a successful garden you must plan.

Luckily, organizing/planning is one of my superpowers.

  • I use my label maker at least a few times a week.
  • I could spend days in the Container Store.
  • And if there’s a way to organize a project on a spreadsheet I’ll find it.

I’ve channeled my obsession with planning into free downloads for you.

My freebies will help you organize and manage your garden like I manage mine. But spreadsheets and checklists aren’t my only obsession.

I’m also obsessed with taking deep dives into the topics I cover. I spend my days creating courses, resources, and guides to help you grow your best garden ever.

You’ll learn a lot from my in-depth articles, newsletter, and online courses.

So, how in-depth do I go?

Well, when I worked as a paralegal, I wrote the firm’s procedure manual. We always joked that it felt more like the manual for running a nuclear power plant than a law office. It was that detailed. But you know what? Everyone always knew how to do their job.

And I put that same amount of effort into everything I do on Simply Smart Gardening.

Even after I spent 20 years writing briefs as a paralegal I can’t stop writing and doing research. Weird, huh?

My articles and courses give you all the information you need to complete a task or tackle a big project.

Nothing makes me happier than knowing that the work I put into these resources will help you grow your best garden ever.

I’m glad you’re here.

Let’s grow, together!

What do you need help with?

Gardening 101

Get the help you need to start your garden right.

Pro Gardening Tips

Go beyond the basics & learn how to garden like a pro.

Dry Climate Gardening

Learn how to garden successfully in a harsh climate.

What do you need help with?

Gardening 101

Get the help you need to start your garden right.

Pro Gardening Tips

Go beyond the basics & learn how to garden like a pro.

Dry Climate Gardening

Learn how to garden successfully in a harsh climate.

JOIN MY COMMUNITY OF SMART GARDENERS!
Every week I send out gardening advice, tips, and in-depth articles.

JOIN MY COMMUNITY OF SMART GARDENERS!
Every week I send out gardening advice, tips, and in-depth articles.