Thursday, May 5, 2011

KEEPING A GARDEN JOURNAL -- IT'S A GOOD THING!


There are many ways to help you as a gardener.  One great way I've used religiously over the years is to keep a GARDEN JOURNAL.  Whether it's a scrapbook, notebook, file, map, or journal that you can refer to when you need inspiration, remember where you've planted something, or when you want to find a particular plant's name so you can order more, these record-keeping systems become a valuable asset in successful gardening.  And, I can tell you from personal experience, they sure have come in handy over the years.  Take for instance, I opened last year's journal to the first week in May, and I could see what was happening in the garden.  On May 7th I wrote of a terrible disaster in one of the garden beds--a raccoon destroying several plants--peonies, iris and daylilies, (which, in my reading, I could see were much further along than this year).  I also read about a hard freeze--in the 20's--on May 7th, and the damage it did to certain plants and blooms.  And, then, I wrote of my first iris bloom on the 18th of May.  It's interesting and very informative to read about previous years--you forget exactly when and what happens from year to year, but when you record it, you have it to read and compare, or learn by.  It's a great way to keep notes about plants you already have, including planting dates, bloom times, plant performance, insect problems and solutions.  I, like many gardeners, take pictures of the gardens every week, or even more often, and use the pictures as part of my record-keeping system, as a pictorial journal.  I also have a plastic bin that I keep all my plant tags in, with the information on care, size, sun/shade requirements, etc.   When I remove a plant, or when one dies off, I take those tags and put it in another bin, so I still have the information on those plants that didn't do so well, for future reference.   I also have several large 3-ring binders with plastic pages and pockets to keep records of each bed, bloom times, and any changes that I make in the beds that year, with 'maps' of each bed.  I have one whole binder dedicated to nothing but iris, with all the information regarding them at my finger tips.  These have proven to be invaluable to me--and have not only saved me much time, but have made me a better gardener in the long-run.  If you don't have a record-keeping system, I highly recommend you start one now, you'll be glad you did!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

1 comment:

  1. It's unbelievable how efficient you are, great idea!

    ReplyDelete