I've been sharing my lists with you for the coming growing season. Now, I'm going to share with you the "records" for Garden on Sherlock Street.
We closed on our house in December of 1997. We moved in the first weekend of January 1998. All we knew about the garden was that there was a fruit tree, two large bushes, a handful of small evergreens and some perennials along the foundation. Everything was asleep.
My wonderful husband and I took a landscaping class from our local horticulture extension agent that February. We received a lot of written information, a template of circles, a ruler, graph paper, transparent paper and great advice. Our first "homework assignment" was to measure our garden and draw it on the graph paper. In addition to the size and shape of our garden, it shows all the hardscapes. Anything not soil or plant. It didn't look like this when we started. I draw in changes as we make them to the garden.
On one of the transparent papers, we made notes of what we had in the garden when we moved here (turns out it was a cherry tree which has since died, two lilacs, some arborvitae, Russian sage, purple irises and sedum autumn joy), what we hoped to have in the garden and conditions outside the garden we needed to consider such as planting tall evergreens along the driveway to screen the view--done!
On the other transparent paper, we draw all of the trees and shrubs. Since these are large plants that take a serious commitment to plant or remove, they get their own layer on the large maps. I update this layer as well.
From the large maps I made smaller maps. I photo copied the front garden with the hardscapes, trees and shrubs, and the back garden with the hardscapes, trees and shrubs. I made multiple copies and use them to mark where different things are in the garden: paths and walkways with yellow highlighter, soaker hoses with orange marker, ground covers, perennials and bulbs. For the perennials and bulbs, I use numbers on the maps with a list of the plants and varieties along the sides. I use pencil because something gets erased every year.
I also keep the tags, catalog descriptions and receipts of as many plants as possible. A lot of my plants were given to me by friends or family so I'm guessing on those plants sometimes. I have a pocket for trees/shrubs, bulbs, ground covers and perennials for both the front and back gardens just like I have the maps for those categories. I try to write the number from the maps on the tags. I never leave the tags outside with the plants. They won't last and I'd lose all the information. I'm considering making some plant markers that can survive our weather; but as of yet, nothing in the garden has a label by it.
plan hope is to make a list of all the plants on the computer so I can search it easier. My little maps work fairly well and I will still use them, but a searchable list will help with finding the info I need about a particular plant.
I also need a place to put garden ideas and information about plants I hope to add to the garden. Every gardener should have a wish list!
I've seen some great ways to organize garden records on blogs this past year. What ever plan you use, try to keep up with it. It will keep you from accidentally digging up something because you forgot it was there while it was dormant. Been there, done that.
I also started keeping the lists and notes about the vegetable garden and containers from previous years so I can check on what I did.
This year, I'll also have this blog. Yea!!
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