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Record Keeping

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – February 16th

In reviewing a talk recently I came across a photo of my jar of plant labels. This is my impromptu, imperfect way to remember what I’ve planted. Each season, as new plants are put in the ground, I take the tags from the pots and stick them in a jar. During the winter I unpack those descriptions and enter the names in a file that lists plants according to the different areas of my garden. Not the slickest of recording methods, to be sure, but one that at least allows me a place to look when a name escapes my memory.

Usually I don’t remove names from this list when a plant has died, although I might make a note of its demise and the year it went missing. I’ve learned that something I’ve thought was long gone can appear six or more years later, either from seed or root, so it behooves me not to erase data that might prove useful.

Imagining a future, tech-savvy garden, I can foresee a time when one might point a smart phone at the plant label and have the variety recorded. A GPS feature might even locate the plant in the section of the garden where it’s been planted, thereby eliminating my somewhat inadequate system of naming my beds “dry bed,” “side of the drive,” or “entry garden.”

I eagerly await this “planting app” all the while knowing that perfection and ease is usually an illusion.

Low-tech record keeping.

One Response to “Record Keeping”

  1. 1
    Forest Keeper:

    Every year I start off with the greatest intentions of keeping track of everything that I’ve done out in the garden, only to look back at the end of the season and think, “well Maybe next year”
    It’s funny how certain things that I REALLY want to do, i just can’t seem to remember once we’re underway.