If anyone knows the value of learning from history, it’s got to be gardeners.
They know from last year’s experience that a particular spot was a tad too shady for the tomatoes. They’ve made a note that x variety of rose bloomed spectacularly, while y variety was a wash out. They know which pests visit when and are armed (organically, of course) and ready for them. They know when and why the lettuce bolted so early three years ago. They know there’s no point in planting broccoli because no one is going to eat it.
Does this describe you?
If so, great.
It might have described me at one point, but it seems that at the same point when life started getting especially complicated, my memory decided to take an indefinite sabbatical. Sure I’ve saved the seed packets and scrawled notes on little pieces of paper, but . . . Well, my “system” isn’t really working.
That’s why I’ve decided it’s time to get a gardening journal.
Gardening Journals: I Will Get It Together
I’ve looked at several, and so far, the ones that appeal to me the most include a rather traditional, diary-like one, one that is more pre-organized, and one that covers five years.
The Gardener’s Journal is spiral-bound, 7.5 by 9 inches, and has 200 pages. It comes with prompts about things like weather and wildlife (which could be very handy), and it’s printed on recycled paper with soy ink.
Then there’s the Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal. Now, it’s Moleskine, which is attractive in itself, but it also comes with themed sections, tabbed sections you personalize, and 202 adhesive labels (for more personalizing). It’s 8.2 by 5.4 inches and has 240 pages.
And, finally, there’s A Gardener’s Five Year Record Book. This looks like a book I might want just as it is. It’s by Brent Eliot who is the Royal Horticulture Society’s librarian and archivist, and he’s illustrated the book with artwork from the society’s collection, including the Phytanthoza Iconographia (1737–1745) — the first European botanical work to be published in color. Oh, yeh, and it does include lots of room to record things like the weather, chores that need to be done, possible plant purchases, and even gardens to visit. It’s 8.4 by 9.1 inches and has 136 pages. (By the way, this one is a little pricey, but you can actually buy clean used versions.)
So . . . now I have to decide which one of these I’m going to get. I think I know, so I’ll get it and let you know how it works for me.
Do you keep a gardening journal? If so, what’s it like and how long have you been keeping it? Has it helped or is it more like a diary? Post a comment and let us know.
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