My favorite days are those with quiet moments of reflection. Beginning my days by writing Morning Pages encourages me to nourish my creative soul. Ending my evenings with quiet time to write in my Gratitude Journal comforts even the busiest of days. As a new gardening season dawns upon us here in the Midwest, I’ve been thinking a great deal about the different ways I have preserved my garden memories over the years…
Thirty years ago this Spring, I bought my cozy, little bungalow with its large, mature garden. Oh, my! There was so much to learn (and remember) ~ both inside and outside!! My dear, sweet parents would come visit every weekend to help with house restoration projects. My mom offered her sage wisdom as she taught me all about gardening. (Heartfelt thanks, Mom, for sharing your passion for gardening with me!) I definitely needed a place to hold all of this new learning!
That Spring, so long ago, my garden memory-keeping began…
My earliest garden journal was a simple, spiral sketchbook, filled with pencil-drawn maps of each flower bed. As I learned the names of my plants, I would happily add them to the little maps. Plant tags and empty seed packets were taped into my journal as my garden grew. I took careful notes of how many flats of each annual I bought to add instant color on planting day, every year in mid-May.
Over the years, my gardening style evolved into cottage gardens filled with old-fashioned perennials… and my garden journal grew even more important. Each year, I happily dug, divided, and moved my perennials around and created new flower beds. Every Spring, I was so grateful that I had those little garden maps to help me identify the foliage as the perennials peeked through the soil!
Years later my garden grew again, as my dad and I worked together to build raised beds and a white picket fence to create my Herb & Tea Garden. My garden journal was filled with dreams, measurements, lists of culinary herbs and herbs for tea. (Huge thanks, Dad, for making my garden dream come true!)
Every year, I took photos to document the changes as my garden grew. With the advent of digital photography, my garden memory-keeping took a different turn. Instead of pencil and paper, I began recording the changes in my garden with weekly photographs of each perennial and herb bed. At the end of the growing season, I looked forward to creating a digital slide show of the year in the garden. I adored those slide shows, burned them to CDs, and shared them with family and friends. What could be sweeter on a cold, Winter’s day than to take a year-long ‘walk’ through the garden, while enjoying a cup of tea! It was also a great resource as I planned for the next gardening season.
For the past three gardening seasons, my blog has been a handy place for garden memory-keeping. It’s fun to look back to see when my perennials bloomed and to plan for changes in the garden. It has also been a great way to share plants with nearby friends. After seeing blossoms in blog photos, several friends have come to dig flowers to start gardens of their own. Sharing plants is truly one of my favorite joys of gardening!
Last summer, inspired by the wonderful book The Right-Size Flower Garden, I began making some very big changes in my garden. I decided to eliminate my large Cutting Garden bed, and transplanted several old-fashioned favorites to the borders of my Herb & Tea Garden. Next, I eliminated a very wild Butterfly Garden bed and created a History Garden bed filled with perennials that have been a part of my garden since long before I moved here. After all of these changes, I sketched and watercolored two new garden maps. Thank goodness for the garden maps! Now it is such a delight to watch the foliage of those perennials emerge in their new beds this Spring!
There will be many more big changes here during the 2017 gardening season as I continue to ‘right-size’ my perennial beds in the front yard. It feels like this could be the year that my garden will undergo the biggest changes of all. In addition to garden maps, photos, and gardening blog posts, my heart has been wanting an extra-special way to preserve this year’s garden memories.
So, I have just begun keeping a journal of “Garden Joys.”
I think it will become a wonderful place for quiet reflection
and feelings about all of the changes ahead in my garden this year.
I’m excited to use a few art supplies from my little Paper Garden studio downstairs
as I document this year’s garden!
There will be a bit of doodling, along with bullet-style journal entries.
So far, I’m really enjoying this style of memory-keeping!
It’s inspiring to try something so different from my earlier garden journals.
It’s a fun way to nourish my creative soul and grow… just like my garden!
Do you keep a garden journal or preserve your garden memories in some way?
Hope you will share with all of us!
If you are curious about some different ways
that people document their gardens,
be sure to visit my blogging friend at Jean’s Garden.
Jean has done some interesting research on different varieties of
Garden Record-Keeping and has some very helpful tips to share!
Thanks so much for stopping to visit!
Wishing you gentle showers followed by warm, sunny days…
It’s your time to bloom!