Thursday, December 13, 2007

Memory Books for Lost Memories?

It was inevitable. Sooner or later I knew I would finally log in all of the plants I have planted and create a catalog file of them all. With all this rain what else is a gardener to do? Microsoft Excel is a great way to do this. I love using Excel. Prior to dumping my computer I used to keep a Microsoft Works Garden Journal for all of the plants and daily activities in the garden.

Works was not very functional for compiling a running list of plants I had and the costs I had incurred. The problem was you couldn't search for a plant or organize the plants. Now that I have switched to Excel with an external hard drive for a backup I should be more efficient with checking plants and varieties and tracking my costs (investment). No more lost data-hopefully. Finally, I got it!

In order to log in all of the plants I had to go through all of the plant labels I had been saving for six years. I have a huge photo album with plastic pages in which I placed all of the plant labels alphabetically by latin names. A little obsessive, I know. But I have found I need to refer back to these labels to remember what is where and what is what from time to time. It is so easy to forget even for diehard gardeners who work very hard on maintaining and improving their memories.

I used to be an air traffic controller in the Army. If there is one thing an air traffic controller needs to do the job, it is a good memory. I have tried crosswords, non-verbal clues and tips and notecards. I have tried to remember by looks and placement exactly what plant is where and what variety it is, but to no avail. My memory escapes me sometimes. Sometimes a suprise will pop up that I just know I didn't plant, which of course is wrong because if not me then who? Jimmy calls it the old age disease. Funny thing, Jimmy is forgetful too and he is only thirteen so I KNOW it is not old age. We all have memory lapses from time to time and it is ok. Alas, for me, the 'memory' book of plant labels is the solution.

Once the book was compiled (maybe a little too complied because now it doesn't close), I was able to log in the plants. I have, over the six years I have lived here planted over 300 types of plants, bulbs, trees, shrubs and vines. Annuals are not counted in the count-only plants that stay around more than one season. Not 300 plants-300 TYPES! That was way more than I had expected. Some have died out, some have grown like crazy and required division but most are all still here. It doesn't seem like it when I look at my garden though. It is no wonder I take so many pictures to keep up with all the plants, as they are not all in bloom at the same time. Probably a good thing too, as it might be kind of chaotic. Then again, it depends on the eye of the beholder.

How do you gardeners keep track of your plants?
Nina sent me a picture of her lovely 'Rose in Winter'. Who would believe you can have such nice flowers in December? Those of you up north will just have to enjoy the pictures. Camelias won't survive there and barely make it here. If anyone else has some pictures they want to share send them to me. It is a good opportunity to see how other plants are doing in the area. Thanks Nina!

in the garden....


  1. Yesterday I was in the yard stomping some mole tunnels when I spotted some blooms in the garden! I found several Black eyed Susans in bloom and a small perwinkle also! It is December right? LOL

  2. Hi Guys,
    Boy! I looked @ this and thought it was a rugosa. Beautiful picture Nina!

  3. Hi Skeeter and Dawn,
    It IS December though it sure doesn't feel like it. Flowers any time of the year are great!

    Dawn, glad you got your water back on!

  4. Hi Tina, I know I saw your comment on the other blog, like you and Mom, I found myself overly winded!
    Skeeter, saw your wish for water-I've seen that in the news for the last few months. Being rationed!?!
    The same frount coming for you is predicted to dump 2 ft of snow on us, our first nor'easter.
    Too funny, the teachers @ school are asking if Christmas has come! Nevermind December! Pick and vase those stay behinds!

  5. Yep heard that forecast on the news tonight! Will sure look like Christmas on the upper east! The front is to have us in the low 70's tomorrow LOL but then cold, windy and rainy on Saturday which stinks because the Saint has surprised me with an overnight stay in Savannah this weekend for our anniversary! We were planning on going for the day and now he surprised me with an overnighter. Will not know how to act sleeping in a big ole King sized bed without cats up our behinds! LOL

    Rain is rationed in certain places like around the Atlanta area but so far we still have water in our lake but about 12 feet below normal but it is a huge lake so still some water for drinking now. But it does make us conserve it more knowing what can happen if we dont start getting rain soon....

    I snapped pictures of our winter/summer flowers in the garden Tina… Will send them now…

  6. Skeeter,
    You are too funny, got cats like that too? We have a coon w/ a long coat, he craves affection awful, taken from mom when 7 days old. Thinks we are his surrogate. WEEEEE
    Have fun this weekend.

  7. hi guys, you guys are all funny. I just love this bloHave a great time Skeeter.

    Dawn, I hope you don't get too much snow. But it sure is pretty with the Christmas lights on. It started snowing late afternoon here but it was real fine and slow. Now it has stopped.

    Love ya girs.

  8. Hi Mom,
    Still spitting here, I have quite a bit, but what about Sunday? That was the storm I was talking about.
    Concert went good... Nikki saw Jack of all trades right away and when he went to the wall to record, missy may mouthed "Where's Dad", people in the row in front of me were telling me that, I'd pointed to him several x's. She found him.
    You know, last year rural school budget allowed for a 3 tiered riser for the small singers. I worried then about the k-garden doing "up on the rooftop" and wiggling up and down. Almost knocked off a friend son. Startled me, and Chris saw it, (was sitting with his Mom) Guess what? Happened today..5th Grader boy, In his attempt to be still, he locked his knees and went right off the top tier, got faint. AND, AND no one in a hurry to get to him. His Mom is a ed tech @ the school, she had a chance to get him when he went to the fawcett for a drink. He was quite dazed but o.k. , just the same.
    PS Jack of all trades wants to know about, what we talk about sometimes, what it has to do with gardening? I tell him we all have at least alittle something about it. Sooo Tina, in the spring--send me more pp please? When you get time.

  9. Oh, just discovered you can email a blog to a friend (the mail and pencil icon after comment count)Have to find Chris's moms email, she is the one w/sister in Tenn., by Knoxsville hill? They lost Dad in Oct., Sister is coming for christmas, maybe they want to converse?

  10. Hey everybody,
    It is cold down here but I sure am glad I am not getting snow.

    Skeeter, have lots of fun in Savannah this weekend. That is a beautiful city. Lots of gardens.

    Dawn, glad the concert went well. Hope the boy is ok. I am sure he is. Soldiers lock their knees ALL the time and fall out too. Never heard of one being seriously injured. Tell Jack of all Trades he should log on and find out for himself what we talk about. Mr. Fix it likes the blogs but he works too much to spend any time on them. Of course, he and I talk every day and it is not like the people on blogs talk in person everyday so the blogs fill that void for most people I think.

    Mom, I am so glad you are enjoying the blog and getting to talk with your two oldest daughters and making new friends too!

  11. Dawn,
    I forgot to ask-did the Pats win? Our Titans lost.

    I hope you all have backup generators for lost power on Sunday. Supposed to be a good one!

  12. Hi Tina,
    Yes, Yes, Yes the pats won again. Jack of all trades tells me only 3 games left but I believe there is more than that. New England is getting greedy again. Think we are another superbowl contender.
    Hope the power won't go out but doesn't look good does it? We maybe installing deck rails in the snow-do not want a mishap when we will be shoveling it off.
    Ed tech mom gets a lost stomache when see hears on the intercom "5th grade boy hurt" She just knows it is her son, it always is...
    Had to completely explain that to Nikki, seems to only happens to boys.
    (we were lucky he do not loss his lunch!)
    PS will try to send you pics of my snowy pines/evergreens

  13. I just poked at Daisy (Penn state) on the Pet People Blog about our cold front and I will poke a bit here too....

    Cold front finally came through down here in GA... Gonna be a chilly 71-degrees today! Burrr LOL

  14. Funny! I saw that on the Pet People blog Skeeter. You enjoy your warm weather! I am sure Daisy is warm and snug in her house (I hope)...I'm not, I think I have to turn up my thermastat because I am freezing!