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Finally

After thirty something years gardening here in Abbeyside, I’ve got it sorted. I’ve tried several solutions down through the years, but never quite figured it out.

Here’s what happens when I get a new plant:

The Plant List
  • Step 1: Give it a label and enter it in the Plant List Book. The label I attach goes like this…. 21P114. The 21 is the year, P means plant, and 114 is the number of the plant. So, obviously the next one will be 21P115. Of course, if its a bulb it will be 21B115. I also use T for tuber and S for seed. As can be seen above, I’m up to 123 so far this year. Items next year obviously move to 22P001 and so on.
  • Step 2: If the item is one that I recognise easily, there’s no need to print out the label. I do print the label for seeds and for items I’m likely to forget.
  • Step 3: Add a page in the Plant Activity Book. Each plant has its own page, in which all details and activity are recorded. This doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it will happen only at the end of the season, during long winter nights. Most importantly, I record when and where the item is planted, when cuttings are taken, and if there are any problems. If the plant dies, we’ll that’s a final entry.
Pelargonium Vancouver
  • Step 4: take a photograph of the plant, and of the information on the garden centre label. In the case of seeds, I photograph the instructions on the back. These photographs are stored on my website alongside the plant information. This is supposedly up-to-date, but gardening sometimes gets in the way. My daughter recently reminded me of the motto “Progress, Not Perfection”. How right she is!

What’s the next item that needs my attention? I’ll think of something. I’m off to the garden now to plant the early potatoes.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to one and all, at home and abroad. Éirinn Go Brách!

Pádraig,

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    1. Pádraig

      Thank you, Eileen.
      Mostly not. The notebook I’ve currently got goes back to 2016. However, most of it is illegible, smeared and damaged by sunlight.

  1. CadyLuck Leedy

    What a good way to keep track of your garden! I will have to start doing a better job! I just keep all the labels: throw them in a plastic bag and then write the year on it! I do take a lot of photos though! Cady!

  2. SpruceKnob

    Very impressive. I always start the season with good intentions of careful notes, and by the end it all seems like random scribbles and maps.

    1. Pádraig

      I can relate to that. In my case, a year on I would likely not remember anythi g about it!

  3. Paddy Tobin

    I keep a notebook for snowdrops and label them well. Most things are labelled in the garden as I surely forget everything. Re general notes, records, recollections, details of where and when purchased, cost, associated stories, the weather on the day, people we met at the time etc I rely completely on my darling wife and she has never failed me.

    1. Pádraig

      That’s a decent balance, and it works. Maith sibh!

  4. Sel Calderbank

    Hope you had a good day for Saint Patrick’s. Impressive organisational skills! I sometimes write things down in various notebooks and then can’t find the right one!

    1. Pádraig

      Beautiful few days here, Sel.
      ‘Tis Gardeners Law #4… Never the right notebook!

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