02 March 2011

garden journal

So, not to rub it in for you northern folk, but spring has sprung here in North Carolina. ahhhhhh, bliss. We've got a crop of daffodils coming up and the hellebore are in full flower. We're dreaming up a new vegetable garden and planning new flower beds.

One of my goals this year is to be better organized about documenting the garden. As a beginning gardener, just keeping track of what comes up when, what tasks I do when, and what plants I stick where is tough for me. I tried using a pretty, hardbound garden journal last year, but found it a bit bulky and generic. So this year I decided to just design my own pages and store them in a 3-ring binder. The first section of the binder is a monthly journal, where I can jot down a short entry each week about the weather, what's going on in the garden, and what I do.

The second section has simple grid paper for plans and sketches. Above is my rough sketch for our backyard perennial garden. We're slowly bringing this garden back from the jungle-like state we inherited--it's still full of phlox and sedum, and I want to fill it up with hostas, ferns, and other shade-loving plants.

The last section will help me keep track of the plants I buy--including details about bloom time, sun requirements, and all that stuff. I tend to just go out and buy whatever strikes my fancy at the nursery, then promptly throw away the tag with the pot. Hopefully this will bring some method to my madness (or at least document the madness in some small way).

I uploaded a PDF of blank journal pages that you can download if you'd like. I plan to just print extra pages as I need them and stick them in my 3-ring binder. I'm hoping the simplicity of the journal will help me stick to it!

Our first big project this year was re-edging the garden beds with river rock. I love it. We also carved out a new sitting area in the middle of the garden. Abby had trampled all the vegetation in this section of the garden so completely in her quest for squirrels that we decided to just give up trying to grow anything here. We mulched the area and added a scattering of big flagstones. With the fire pit and two new Adirondack chairs, it's a lovely spot for sitting.

Wishing you happy spring plans for your garden!


kat said...

how fantastic! am jealous that i will be inhabiting an apt for the next two years, but i suppose this means its about time to sow some herbs in pots atleast :)

Ann said...

Thank you for this! I, too, have been struggling with getting everything in my garden documented. Hopefully this will help. And it looks so pretty.

amy h said...

You are picking some good things: forsythia and hostas! Nice and easy. Mine are always happy even when I don't do anything for them. I was very enthusiastic about the gardens when we first moved in almost ten years ago, but since we've had kids, the yard has gone jungle. I'm hoping to reign it back in a little this year! (and resist the urge to just rip it all out)

Jennie said...

Lovely sitting area! I will enjoy it when I leave the tundra and come to the lowlands to visit. And that will be TOMORROW. YIPPEEE!!

maruette said...

awesome journal! I'm totally stealing this :) We have a new bed out front that Matt and I need to figure out what to plant in (we've got a few yellow stick dogwoods and some variety of juniper as a beginning so far) so this will be a huge help. I'm also hoping to start a shade garden too - I've been drooling over japanese painted ferns and want to find some good hostas to mix in. I hope March lasts awhile because I'm not sure I'm ready for April and May planting yet!

maruette said...

ha - this is Sara, btw - I didn't realize my google name was my gaming/online handle :P

julieree said...

Thanks everyone!

Sara, I've been eyeing those yellow twig dogwoods this spring--they're cool! And I love the japanese painted ferns too. I put a few in last year and sadly Abby has trampled the area so much that I'm worried they are not going to come back up. I'll have to get some more and put them in a more sheltered area!


Nancy said...

Thank you for the PDF's! I was just about to ask nicely when I saw you had kindly posted them. I want to try my hand at gardening again this year after a long hiatus~