Monday, December 15, 2008

Planning ahead

This is the time of year that, in addition to preparing to celebrate Christmas, I also start thinking about the new year ahead and what I hope to accomplish. High on that list is "more gardening," and last week I got a new planning tool I thought might be appropriate to share with some of my tea friends who also enjoy gardening.

"A Record of the Garden 2009" is the creation of my talented friend Katherine McCall. She writes, photographs and illustrates garden stories for our magazine, and I have been a fan of her artwork for years. When she told me she was thinking of designing a garden journal, I knew I would be one of her first customers, because Katherine's work is first-rate, and I was eager for the opportunity to purchase something with her artwork in it. Isn't this watercolor of a poinsettia just gorgeous? It's one of the seasonal page dividers in the garden journal.

She includes a calendar page for each month where you can record temperatures and conditions, a Planting Record for each month with notes about what to plant when, a page for monthly gardening notes, graph paper for landscape and bed planning, and pages for adding photographs and sketches. I like that I can personalize it and use or not use the pages according to whatever works best for me. Katherine sells this as a "filler set" like other planners you buy at this time of year. Using your own 1-inch or 1-1/2-inch notebook with a clear insert on the cover, you insert the artwork and pre-punched pages and voila, your own garden journal.

The notebook I'm using has pockets at front and back which I will use to hold seed packets and other garden-related bits as I prepare for some organized gardening efforts in 2009. Tops on my list: Trying again to grow my own tea plants! After ordering some seeds from overseas, my effort earlier this year bombed, but I soon realized why. I followed the directions to "file down" the covering on the seeds, but I never saw a sprout of anything once I planted them. My friend Deberah ordered some of the seeds too, but when hers arrived some of them had the outer shell already cracked open. Imagine filing down a peanut shell to get to the peanut when you should have just cracked it. I am quite sure that is why my camellia sinensis did not get off the ground (literally), but thanks to my new garden journal I am optimistic about trying again in the new year. I bought journals for myself and as a Christmas gift for a gardening friend, and if you want one for yourself (they're $15 + shipping), I checked with Katherine and she assured me she could get them to you in time for Christmas if you order now. If you're interested, visit her Thoughtful Gardener blog for a link to her Etsy shop ... or just enjoy the gorgeous photos she shares, and you'll see why I'm such a fan of her writing and art!


  1. That looks lovely. Many members of my family are avid, and even professional, gardeners. I must ask them if they have a planner on their wish list. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Very nice! My DH gets through the winter by planning his spring garden!

  3. Yes, the artwork is very nice and it is a wonderful garden planning tool.


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