We made it, fellow West Coast Gardeners, through another summer season and into the autumn! Although we still have another month of warm weather and blooms to look forward to, with some gardens continuing into October (much to the chagrin of our colder cousins in the east) the first of September has arrived.
Soon there will be more leaves than grass under our feet, hoodies and cardigans will pop out of our closets, and everything we eat will include pumpkin spice as a main ingredient. Ah, the joys of Autumn have arrived!
Not so fast, gardeners! Before you move forward into fall you need to take a moment, look back at your growing season this year and write a few words about your gardening endeavors for future-you (a little bit older, just as good looking, and much wiser of course).
To make this super easy we’ve created a free five page Garden Journal for you to download and print, with questions to jog your memory and keep you organized!
What’s that you say? You don’t need to write anything down because you’ll remember all the details by the time next year rolls around? Not to rain on your parade, but do you remember what you had for breakfast three days ago? Us neither. Grab that pen and let’s see if we can make future-you one happy gardener!
Spring Time - Page 1
We’ve organized your Garden Journal into five pages with pertinent information that can make future-you’s life much easier! First we want you to think back to Spring this year, when the rain was finally ending and the cherry blossoms finally appeared.
If you planted seeds (or even seedlings) in your garden or greenhouse, take a moment and jot down your choices and the results. Maybe with hindsight you can even offer some suggestions to future-you about next year’s efforts.
You may have to plant annuals every year, but you don’t have to repeat mistakes or complications in your garden annually. Future-you could probably benefit from some advice about when you planted your annuals, which were your favourites and which ones you would have skipped over given another chance. Everyone likes to give good advice, right? So go ahead and give yourself the best advice you’ve got!
Observations - Page 2
Uh oh, we’re asking you to draw? Never fear, West Coast Gardener, no one will make fun of your tulips if they end up looking like bow-ties on sticks (except possibly future-you, but they can’t draw either).
What you really need to do is create a simple diagram of your garden area, using big shapes. Include each garden bed and any major trees or landscape accents. Now pull out those pencil crayons or gel pens you normally reserve for colouring books and start marking up your diagram. We recommend using notes or highlighting areas that get the most sun and the most shade during the summer months.
As well, add in your vegetable crops so that next year you can plant them in a different spot for a higher yield. Each crop uses different nutrients in the soil and by rotating them you ensure your garden beds aren’t leached year after year, but stay healthy.
We’ve also included a troubleshooting area for you to fill out, to gently remind future-you about projects they should get going in the garden during the spring months before things start growing. Does the fence need repair? Perhaps there’s a boggy area in your garden you need to remember to add peat moss to before planting, or a particularly hot spot that could benefit from a large bush or tree added to your yard?
I Must Remember… - Page 3
Sit down with a cup of something relaxing and start reminiscing about this year’s garden. It’s a bit like giving yourself permission to brag to someone who’ll appreciate it (future-you will be impressed) and make suggestions to someone who’ll probably listen.
If the family can’t look at another zucchini or radish after this year’s harvest, kindly tell future-you to try out a lettuce or tomato patch next year. Everyone will thank you.
Looking Back - Page 4
You’ve worked hard on your garden this year, don’t let yourself forget that. Time for a pat on the back from future-you. What new features did you add to the garden this year? Is there a new patch of soil, garden space or perennial that you want to remember adding?
A few notes about BBQ’s, birthday parties, Canada Day or evening events can inspire you next year to start calling up friends and planning new memories. Time travel isn’t quite ready to go yet, so these little notes can transport future-you back to this summer to relive some of the fun.
For Next Year - Page 5
Slugs, bugs and deer, oh my! What uninvited guests harassed your garden this year? Is there something that you could do preemptively next spring to make it easier on yourself? (We’ve got a few suggestions for keeping pests out of your garden in this blog post)
We’ve even left you space to dream about what next year’s garden will look like, so if you’ve got big ideas then this is the place to write them down and kick future-you into high gear! Is there another garden bed you want to add or maybe you’ve always wanted a koi pond? Let your imagination run wild!
We may not have time machines yet, but we’re pretty certain that next year’s garden will be as amazing (if not more) than this year’s! Keeping a few notes can give you a head-start next spring, and who wouldn’t want that? Enjoy a few minutes of garden memories with our easy Garden Journal pages, it’s a gift from us to you!