Cuttings

Keep a Garden Journal

ILLUSTRATION BY CHELSEA PETERS

Do you remember the first frost date in 2017? Do you remember the date the reblooming iris showed a bud in the Fall of 2015? When did the hummingbirds arrive in your garden this Spring? When you were dreaming of your garden plans over a cup of coffee last Winter, where did you put those notes, lists, and sketches?

By keeping a garden journal, you can take notice of those seasonal changes from year to year, and keep your notes in one spot for easy reference. You will be able to check when you put those hyacinth bulbs in the refrigerator crisper for forcing in January. You will have a way to check what fertilizer works best for having those stubborn African violets bloom by the club flower show and when it is time to bring the cactus in from outside in the Fall.

The well-known garden writer Michael Pollan said, “As most gardeners will testify, the desire to make a garden is often followed by a desire to write down your experiences there in a notebook, or a letter to a friend who gardens…”

Keeping our garden notes and plans in a special garden journal gives us a sense of satisfaction. We’ve told someone, even if it is just ourselves, in a special place. Dates, events, seasonal changes, bird migration, butterflies, wet or dry years all are noted where you can find it again. When should I start cuttings for the annual garden sale? What variety of zinnias worked well this year? Which got powdery mildew? If you take notice, write it down. Do you remember how many quarts of tomatoes you got from how many tomato plants and which variety produced the best tomatoes?

Don’t lose those notes, poems, observations. Put them in your garden journal.

By Mary Selinski of Springfield, IL.


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