Sunny days are a coming.
January is definitely not my favourite month, February is slightly better but not much - it is cold, grey, wet and with the dark nights that feel like they are never going to end. But sunny days are coming and Spring Equinox will soon start to brighten my mood, so much so I started to think it is about time I take a look at my notebook.
I live and die by my notebook, I make wish lists of all the plants I see, hear and come across on social media. The one must-have for me this year is a Dahlia called Cafe au Lait Royal.
I saw this beautiful dahlia all over social media late last summer and it will look fabulous on my patio but more importantly, fabulous in my cut flower vase.
Herbaceous plants: I make a note of my purchases and where I planted them. Little stick markers soon disappear and I never remember exactly where and what was planted. Planting too close or even over the top of another leads to digging up spring bulbs which is just frustrating.
I draw out borders, not perfect or precise but as a reminder, then add a simple circle with the name of the plant to mark its position. Finally, I record the date and price of plants as a little reminder of how much I have spent that year.
Bulbs: I record colour pallet and bulb type with flowering time and height. Keeping a record has been a perfect way of keeping the border consistent and colourful for longer because (trust me) you will insist the tulip bulbs were different to the actual ones you already have planted. In my early years of gardening, I had a proper mix match of strange colour. Also, I mistimed the flowering of some bulbs so they coincided with the herbaceous plants, whilst they shot up in the spring weather the bulbs were too small to compete and were lost in the greater plan.
This brings us to the veggie records, especially important if you are growing something new.
I have paid a lot of money for some seeds to only produce 2 plants and not much produce, so it acts as a little reminder to consider if I should shop here again.
As for keeping a note on spending for vegetable seeds, it is essential in my case as I could order everything from the catalogue and as soon as they arrive I regret my decision - I don’t have the time and more importantly, just don’t have the room. Seeds will get put to one side for the following year and yes I will order the same ones again, then I'll have 2 packets. It helps to avoid unnecessary spending.
Keeping a record of what you want, have or tried to grow, whether its bulbs, plants or veg saves guesswork and helps when trying to focus on a plan.
Notes don't need to be too detailed but can act as a guide to the history of your garden. They can be incredibly satisfying to look back upon when they show you how far you've come.