Keeping a record of what happens in the garden is not only highly entertaining but also helps to inform us of our future gardening decisions.

The Victorians were great diarists, everything was recorded in minute detail and then in-depth papers were written on a myriad of horticultural topics to fill monolithlic libraries. Luckily such records have survived to contribute to our understanding of the subject.

Our own record keeping does not need to be so precise. But something as simple as recording our thoughts and ideas can help us keeep record and plan our future endeavors.

For Instance, we may record how many years it took a prized specimen to flower. Of course this means nothing  to the layman. But may make for an afternoon of gardening comeraderie with like- minded folk.

The same can be said as to keeping a record of the sowing of annual plants. On which date  were they sown ? How quickly did they germinate ? Most importantly, how long did they take to flower? I’ve often kept such records and now know if I sow on a certain date I will have plants in flower when I need them. A note on temperatures and weather conditions also makes for fascinating year on year comparisons. I’m often being told that it’s not as cold as last year and that my customer has records to back it up.

It doesn’t have to be a diary a scrapbook would also make a fine companion for cold winter afternoons with a cup of hot chocolate  beside a warm fire.

A photographic record may also be kept. How nice to see your child standing next to a small tree planted on its’ birthday and then again twenty years later both the tree and child fully grown.  A unique memory. An extension of this would be a photographic record throughout the seasons to remind you of your successes. I often find it hard to believe my garden can look so good when it’s bare in the middle of winter.

Finaly should we move on from our treasured garden we can take our memories with us or leave it as a record for the new custodian.