Right after a whole post on not giving advice…… here I am in the very next breath doing just that. But it’s garden advice, not personal – aimed at no one except those who wish to improve upon their gardening practice.
I don’t know about you, but I have tried to keep garden journals over the past several years. You know, where you record the weather, what’s good in the garden, what pests or problems you encountered – all with the aim of being able to compare year-to-year and improve your gardening knowledge in the meantime. I think this is an admirable practice, for sure, but I have never been able to stick with the garden journal for more than a few weeks before I forget about it in the dazzle of greater sun and warmth.
So much for my fantasy of impeccable garden records – after three years of gardening in this spot, I have all of five garden-journal entries to show for them. BUT! What I do have by the dozen are photographs.
I started photographing my garden as a kind of artistic activity – working on my macro-photography skills and capturing particularly artistic aspects of plant life. From moving into our house, I have also blogged extensively about our yard landscaping and work – and photographs are an essential to showing you all what I am trying to describe. Between these two practices, I have discovered what the real advantage of taking endless garden photos is – it has made me a better gardener. How so?
My best photos, I upload to Flickr, adding notes and tags to aid my memory. The rest of them get sifted and sorted into appropriate folders on my laptop just in case I want to reference them later. I don’t find I go back to those much, the general outlines on Flickr being enough to remind me what each plant was doing and when. I think this year I will aim for a lot more photographs, in particular of the frontyard as we move ahead on the second phase of landscaping and plant new and exciting things….. this photographing being something better than a journal for helping me imagine and organize my outdoor spaces!
It’s funny, I sat down to write a post on exactly this topic, and this turned up in my feed. I am so terrible about keeping a journal, but I take tons of photos of my garden and it’s so helpful to be able to look back at them.