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.

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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!

    Like

  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!

    Like

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