Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and my wife and I had just started dating, she talked me into setting up a window flower box. We were in college, and she was going to be gone for the summer, so I think she wanted something to keep me busy. Me, I was just interested in the challenge. I’d never been a green thumb type, so I wanted to see if I could pull it off. Besides, when the girl you like asks you to plant some flowers, you just plant some flowers.

Picking the box was easy. I just went to the store and found whatever would find my window. Dirt was easy, too, since dirt was dirt. But picking the flowers to plant? Holy hell. I had no idea what I was doing. I got books from the library. I asked in at the local flower shop. I did everything short of consulting entrails and the stars to try and figure out which flowers were the right flowers to plant in my little window garden.

Then I decided to take a walk. I went up and down my street, and the street behind mine, looking at all the window boxes I saw. And there were plenty. It was that kind of cute little town. I started making note of the flowers my neighbors were growing in their window boxes. My theory was simple enough. If these flowers grew well in their boxes, there’d be no reason they wouldn’t work in mine.

After an hour of walking around, I had a good idea of what would work. I hit the store again and grabbed a bunch of seeds. And when my then girlfriend came back at the end of the summer, she was happy to see a box full of flowers on my windowsill.

And now I find myself in a somewhat similar situation. It’s one thing to say I’m going to do a digital garden. It’s another thing entirely to decide what I want that to mean. I could go down countless rabbit holes researching the right way to set up a digital garden. Or I could just look at what my neighbors are doing. It worked for me once, didn’t it?

So that’s what I’ll be doing next. Tomorrow being my usual research day, I’ll spend the day bouncing around the web, gathering ideas and examples from the websites I know and admire. Hopefully I’ll find something that sparks with me. And then I’ll do my best to make it my own.