A garden journal can come in handy

Published on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 16:38 - Written by ANNE PATULLO, Smith County Master Gardeners

What was that beautiful yellow flower that bloomed in my garden all summer long, requiring minimal care and adored by bees? What variety of tomato did I like best that resisted disease and had big leaves to protect the fruit from sun scald?

Who can remember every detail in the garden?

A great way to enjoy your garden and remember the details is to combine photos in a journal. This can be a great project for those hot, humid summer afternoons when no one wants to be out in the heat. If you take pictures of your garden each month throughout the year, you can watch it grow and change with the seasons. By putting your pictures into a scrapbook and recording pertinent information, you will have a great record to refer to for several seasons to come.

Jot down the names of plants you buy, especially the particular cultivar, and take a picture of them in their new garden home and then several more pictures throughout the season. You also can embellish your scrapbook with the plant tags or dried blossoms. Take time to make a note about which plants looked great together, which ones grew too tall or too large for the space you provided them and, of course, which ones were dazzlers and which were duds. Be sure to include dates when different plants begin their bloom and when they were at their peak. Comment on the weather and any insect or disease problems.

These kinds of records are very helpful when choosing new color and texture combinations for your garden or filling in gaps when one plant goes out of bloom. Having this permanent record of your gardening efforts is satisfying and helpful, and can even make a nice coffee table book.