I’ve got a plan

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not much of a garden planner which is contrary to almost everything else in my life (no one has ever accused me of spontaneity). I buy plants that look fun and different from what I already have. I buy plants that have survived well in the past but in new colors or shapes. And then I plant them wherever I can find an empty spot.

Garden bed in NW corner of my yard with lilacs, forsythia, weigela, roses, daylilies, hibiscus, oriental lilies, iris amongst other stuff I haven't recorded yet.

My gardens of colorful and interesting but a bit of a patchwork quilt. I tell people it’s a cottage garden concept, but really it is just an avant garde attitude toward a passion in my life.

It isn’t uncommon for me to plant new additions too close to an established plant because it hasn’t emerged yet. I regularly forget what is where and plant a tall something in front of a short something. Don’t even get me started on bulbs that go in the ground in the fall when the greens from spring are no longer visible.

In hopes of being a better planner I’ve decided to create a garden journal.

Here’s my plan. I’m going to…

Create a garden plan that names each of my flower beds so that it will be easier to identify which location I’m recording information about. Most advice columns suggest free-hand drawing your garden plan and there are lots of software packages that will help you draw your garden electronically (here’s a free one). I’m lucky. I still have the original plan from when my house was built five years ago. So all I need to do is scan it into my computer.

Create a garden folder in my computer’s document folder that will hold:

  • Journal pages
  • Photos
  • Garden plan
  • Excel spreadsheet of costs (scary since I’ve never tracked what I spent before).

Photograph each bed and in some cases specific plants every two weeks.

Journal pages will record bed-by-bed:

  • Photographs with text listing what is in each image on each date.
  • Planting and transplanting dates and locations
  • Source and cost of plants and seeds
  • Plant characteristics (size, date they emerge, color, problems or things to watch for)
  • Date and type of fertilizer, pesticides or other chemicals applied, and to which plants
  • Any other observations

Other pages will record:

  • Wish list – plants, tools or structures I would love to have
  • Fun stuff and inspirational thoughts as I love collecting flower trivia
  • Gardening website URLs that include notes about which vendors are best for what types of purchases.

It’s a pretty aggressive plan. So if I do even a quarter of this in my first year I’ll consider it a success and will continue to build on the journal in subsequent growing seasons.


About Kary Beck

Mother and wife, gardener, wine enthusiast, avid online bargain hunter, and owner of two black-and-tan cocker spaniels.
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2 Responses to I’ve got a plan

  1. MjP says:

    Good luck!


  2. Jeanne Engle says:

    My guy has wildflowers and hundreds of trees that he has planted in his yard over the past 30 years. (I’ve helped with a few of these plantings.) He says his plan is like that of Mother Nature – no plan!


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