It’s New Year’s Day–the say when everyone makes resolutions that last for about 10 or 15 minutes at least, right?
But we’re gardeners and we’re great planners. As soon as the garden is “put to bed,” we start planning next year’s garden, which is going to be bigger and better and every way. So why not gardening resolutions?
I’ve done this for a few years now–and I have to say that I am no better at keeping my “gardening” resolutions than I am at keeping any other sort. I think that’s the nature of gardening–I always plan and dream much bigger than I can ever plant (although in the last year or so there have definitely been circumstances that have gotten in the way–but I digress).
One way to keep track of garden resolutions is in a garden journal. I have one that I’ve kept for 17 years now. It’s not elaborate–it’s about an inch of space for every single day of the year. I write in it each night, without fail.
Don’t think you could find something gardening related to write about 365 days of the year? You probably could. Think about the weather (which impacts the garden); and phenology (what blooms when, when things are budding up, when leaves first start to change color or fall, the first snow falls, if you’re in that sort of climate); and I even record observations about my local wildlife–which also often impacts my garden, but too, sometimes birds like the junco, which are migratory, come back at certain times and indicate seasonal changes)–you’ll soon see how much there is to write about.
I also staple my garden-related purchase receipts into the journal–you can imagine how fat with paper this book has become, particularly in the late April–mid-June time frame!
Why do I do that? It’s short-hand. I don’t have to write in the journal everything I bought. Instead, I annotate the receipts with the plant names. Since the receipts are dated with the year, I can see what I’ve bought (and what I continually buy, year after year).
And this year, when The Spoiler asked me about where I was getting my Christmas tree (it’s always a fresh cut one) I told him where I always get it–at an independent garden center. There was one year we bought it at Costco. They only did it one year but even if they chose to do it again, I wouldn’t do so. Costco is wonderful for a lot of things. Fresh cut trees, not so much.
So maybe this is the year you resolve to keep a garden journal. Timber Press has two fabulous new ones out–one specifically related to gardening and one more nature themed. You can start them any time.
Give it some thought.
I also save my garden-related receipts so I can remember when and what I purchased AND I even go so far as to save the plastic perennial plant and shrub tags in a special box. That way, I have a photo, correct name and growing tips to refer to at any time!