Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Planting Notebook

A couple of girl friends and I took Sunday off and went to the flea market in Wichita.  We then spent the afternoon visiting 2 antique malls in west Wichita that none of us had ever been to.  Every time I have driven past them for the last 10 years I vow that I will stop someday and check them out. .and BOY am I glad we finally did!! That was where all the action was and we had a great time!! It was certainly a great mood lifter for me. .and got my mind off the lack of spring for now! Hoping to do a post soon showcasing my fun purchase!  But for now. .I wanted to share with you the project that has beens sitting on the floor of my bedroom closet since our trip to Oklahoma for pond supplies early last fall. .And before that. .was crammed in notebooks, closet cubbies, and desk drawers!!
Now, I'm not a hoarder, usually. .but I can not bring myself to throw out garden planting tags unless the plants are really dead.  A few years ago on Gardening By the Yard (once on HGTV, but now no longer produced), The gardener guy, Paul James, showed a segment about the notebooks that he kept with his plant tags and garden layout.  For his own information, and to pass on to the new owners when he moves.
What a GREAT idea, I thought!!
You can see the mess I started with. .plant tags. .pictures. .articles clipped from magazines. .highlighted gardening catalogs. .and old invoices!
I bought a cute 3 ring binder. .and then some vinyl dividers with tabs and folder space.  I made sections for garden ideas, plants I have, wish list, and holiday ideas--but you could customize it to your own needs.
The section that took the most time to create was the "plants I have" section.  I had cut out many catalog pages with my plant list highlighted. This will help me remember plant names when my mind gets feeble.  It will also remind me about what conditions the plant likes, hardiness, bloom times, moisture needs etc.
I also added my plant tags to this section.  I taped the tags in. .and added photos of the plant in my garden if I had them.  I also tried to add the year it was planted if I could come anywhere close to remembering.  Since the bulk of my plantings have come from the last 5 years. .it wasn't as hard as you might think.  I think it will be fun to pull the notebook out in 10 years and see how the landscape has changed over time!
Here's a page of my little plant tags for the rock garden by the pitcher pump.  I never knew how many varieties of hen and chicks there were in the real world. .a LOT!
The wish list section is exactly that. .a wish list!! I started to name it "plants I NEEEEEEd" but that just sounded greedy to me :-)
Note the dog-eared magazine page. .most of my gardening magazines look like this!!! I finally resorted to removing the pages that I just had to have. .because I never have time to re-read old gardening magazines. After 6 months or so, I drop the old magazines at the recycle center. .so if you are a magazine picker that locates one of my magazines there. .it may be a page or two thinner. .sorry!
Is that not the most beautiful bleeding heart flower you have ever seen?? I will be on the lookout for that baby this spring!!
I also read once that you should clip out pictures of ideas that you love. .for that is the way you can actually make them happen!! I loved the succulent gardens in San Diego. .and would like to try to replicate one to some degree in my own garden. The bottom picture was snapped at the Wichita garden show years ago. .it just LOOKS like something that you should see at my house!! I can't quite get J convinced to drag one of those old buzzards up in my yard. .but someday I WILL win!! And it will ROCK!! (no pun intended) There were succulents and plants thriving on the truck bed and under the hood!! How cool IS that!!
I also had some ideas for cool things cut from magazines. .like this living wall created using simple posts and a wire. .the climbing roses were trained along the wire. .creating a privacy fence!

After a couple hours of choosing, cutting, taping, and making notations. .the book was finished. .just waiting for the new tags and photos of the season! I think it will be a great way for me to track my garden plans and plants. .and a fun thing to cruise through in the middle of a looooong winter! Enjoy your week.


  1. You know...you may have just crossed over in to the "hard core" category! ;)
    Love it!!

  2. I am curious as to which antique stores you stopped into in west Wichita. I can spend an entire afternoon in the Paramont?(farthest west on hiway 54). And the ??Moose one is always good for a few hours, too.
    I love your notebook idea. Wish I would have done that in my active gardening years. Spring WILL come!

  3. I miss Paul James' show.

    Your notebook is great. I have photos of the garden but they're not organized with the plant tags. I have all the plant tags though! Last summer I sat down and did throw out several from plants I know have died. I have more landscape maps like the one I shared with my 'forest' post. I understand my organization, but I'm not sure anyone else would. Ha! I'll try to share my crazy file folder one day too.
    I also tear pages from magazines when I need space on my "garden shelf." My mom shares magazines with my sister and I when she's done with them. Occasionally, my sister doesn't get all the pages (nor do I!) I never thought about noting what year I planted everything. I guess I have the trees documented with my photos but nothing else.
    Those red flowers you saved a page about are pretty. I'm thinking of making one of my new beds all red flowers. I need a big "wish" file.
    I hope you have space for all your pond plans!

  4. Oh Melanie....I too have a 'gardener-wanna-be' notebook....I have a pale green thumb but my eyes and heart see full on timberwolf green..so I faithfully keep a tag of each thing I purchase, note where I planted it and when it died and WHY i think it died...I even have some photos of my 'garden' each year and at some different times of the 'season'...I am only good for one ya know the long hot dry windyone....to prove what did survive ....I do manage to have a few blooms and I can grow a MEAN border of mums....you encourage my heart....I am hurt !! i am not on ONE mailing list from a seed company....HOW do they know about me....HAHA I do enjoy your knowledge about plants....I barely know the name of stuff after I bury they roots in the ground

  5. Wow! That is an awesome idea! I love it. How wonderful that you took the time to record all that grows in your landscaping! I especially love it that if you ever do move, either soon or many years from now, the new owners won't have to guess what kind of bush or tree it is. That's great!

  6. Oh my gosh! LOL! That is so funny. I can't belive it. I do the same thing. I always wanted to keep the tags so if I tried something new I would remember the name of the plant. I also clip photos from magazines. I have a couple of photos of our yard when we moved in 15 years ago. Yea! I'm not the only crazy one. Ha ha

  7. Very good idea. I might have to start one of my own, because I can never remember what I have planted.


  8. That's great! I love your notebook! I need to do this for my own garden for the people that might come after us someday. What a thoughtful thing to do. You know, I think my dad could make that truck idea happen. Honestly, I could do that at their place - I'd just plant things around all the existing pieces of junk! I mean, treasures. ;)

  9. I'm a plant tag keeper too! I have them from every flower I've ever owned, even the annuals. It's a sickness. ;) I love your idea for putting them in the notebook! I need to do that!

    I do have a section on my garden blog where I put info about the perennials we have growing, and when we've moved or transplanted stuff, but I need to update it.

    When we moved here, the people we bought the house from gave us all the tree and shrub tags and that was SO helpful. I hope we live here a long time, but if we ever do move, I'd like to do the same for whoever buys our house.

  10. I have a VW bug body that would be PERFECT for your plant garden. Delivery could be arranged! DJ