On Keeping a (Virtual) Garden Notebook

It has been nearly ten days since I posted on HT and there are a number of reasons for this:

1. I have been dealing with a major issue re my eyesight.*
2. We have had a major snow storm in NYC (or shall I be saying have been besieged by a polar vortex) that has "dumped" 9-11 inches of snow in my garden, and as a result of this, I have been sidetracked by making sure I accommodate the needs of my array of birds which visit my place.
3. I have been drafting and re-drafting what I want to say re garden "record keeping," which is the intended topic of this long overdue entry that I've been mulling over and over as well as rehashing in my mind.

But, if I may digress, before I begin to discuss this topic, I'll share with you some of my photo-ops (1-24) of how a few of the array of birds that visit me weathered the polar vortex's snow storm.

And now, without further ado, my HT post on keeping a (virtual) garden notebook:

January, for those of us who have gardens but live in parts of the world that must endure the "W" (WINTER) word, can be wrought with mixed emotions. I know from my green-thumb comrades that there is often a feeling of relief from from the "tasks" of watering and organic fertilizing regimes, coupled with anxiety over what might not survive the season.

And I know that there can be a sense of loss from not being able to commune with one's flora in the same manner one is accustomed to during spring, summer, and fall. My HT post today is "designed" to help those of you who who can identify with this gardener-in-winter phenomenon by sharing with you some things I've done during the "down time" of gardening.

It was very late in the month of December 2011 when I came upon the idea that, just as media outlets cover events concerning a given year's "highs" and "lows," gardeners should also assess their endeavors every given year.

However, a given gardening year varies in my garden depending on when I winterize it (put the garden to bed for the season), a task which varies (date wise) according to the weather. Some years I've winterized in November and others I've winterized in January.
Therefore, for me, a year-end review does not coincide with a calendar year, rather it's a year to year of when I've put the garden to sleep (winterize) until it's time to wake it up for the growing season and until the time I winterize it again.

And, since my coming upon the idea of compiling a virtual notebook covering a year-end review of events in my garden, the process of putting it together has helped fill the void of non-gardening months while giving me a chance to assess my gardening situation.

It is for this reason that I felt compelled to share my ideas with HT readers that may have the same type of gardening situation (urban, containers, winterizing, de-winterizing etc) but in no way am I trying to impose this suggestion other than that it works for me and you might want to try it too.

In any event, back in December of 2011 when I thought it might be a good idea to do this, my plan was to have my review be in the voice — or from the perspective — of what I grow here.

I suppose my idea came from my having "produced" my first garden themed movie, "The Kiwi Speaks! Fifteen Minutes of Fame almost . . . " (on Vimeo @ https://vimeo.com/37027072) which was narrated by one of my kiwi vines.

Therefore, I had all my flora (80+ at the time) draw straws to see who could go first and my Echinacea was the winner. She chose to tell her year-end review of life in my garden via a virtual flip book that I helped her produce. If you'd like to hear her story, the book is posted on Vimeo (@ https://vimeo.com/35213748) and I've provided access to the Echinacea's story within this HT posting.

It quickly became evident that I was in way over my head in terms of allowing each of my flora to speak for him/herself, because I would be spending my time (and theirs) looking backwards.

However, before I abandoned my idea for that year, I did pay homage to my nasturtiums (a few of them can be seen in pictures 25-32) via a flip book (posted on Vimeo @ https://vimeo.com/34781380) and I did "allow" one of my Black Mondo grass triplets (all featured together in picture 33) to help me with this project by co-authoring a few entries within TLLG's Blogger pages (including a post @ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2012/01/ophipogon-planiscapus-to-host-or-co.htm

The following gardening year (2012-2013), for my year-end review, I posted a fifteen segment series from January 5th 2013 through January 20th 2013 in which I covered garden events on a month to month basis. Because of Hurricane Sandy, two nor'easters, and a major garden upheaval (due to a building renovation), some of the months took a few posts to discuss. This entire series can be found within TLLG's Blogger Pages preceding the brief posting on 1-21-13 (http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2013/01/consider-birds.html).

For my 2013 garden year-end review, I will be doing a posting at the beginning of each month in 2014 that reflects back to the given month in 2013. I've done this for January @ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2014/01/another-year-over-and-new-one-just.html.

This brings me to the conclusion of today's post, but, as you can see, there are a number of ways to create a year-end review for your garden, and I welcome hearing about your endeavors to do this.

REFERENCES: * https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/601750133207697?stream_ref=10 AS WELL AS https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/605810349468342?stream_ref=10
All is calm. All is bright in my terrace garden! The morning after our storm from the polar vortex.
"GOT SNOW?" (Image of Mac my visiting cardinal the during NYC's recent snowstorm (This picture was featured on TLLG's FB Page @ https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/605810349468342?stream_ref=10.)
Mac plays peek-a-boo with yours truly!
Cam's lovely beak — a beacon in the snow. (View One.)
Cam's lovely beak — a beacon in the snow. (View Two.)
HOW MUCH SNOW DID NYC GET By DAY 2 of NYC's SECOND SNOWSTORM? (We got soooo much snow that Mac perched in a feeder!)
HOW MUCH SNOW DID NYC GET By DAY 2 of NYC's SECOND SNOWSTORM? (We got soooo much snow that Cam ALSO perched in a feeder!)
Mac enjoys a laugh but Cam doesn't seem to think things are so funny!
Two dark-eyed juncoes having a convo in a feeder "hit" by snow!
A PENSIVE DARK-EYED JUNCO. (Pondering the Polar Vortex from the tabletop in my garden.)
Common Grackles spend quality time together within the "arms" of my kiwi vines!
A lone Common Grackle "models" his/her iridescent "coat."
Another lone Common Grackle discovers a peanut dropped by a jay (see next picture).
A "lone" jay doesn't let snow stop him/her from business as usual! (Details @ https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/599835053399205?stream_ref=10) BUT . . . (SEE NEXT IMAGE)
A Common Grackle uses beak as a nutcracker, a behavior he/she may have learned from a jay @ https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/599835053399205?stream_ref=10
Common Grackle discover the jay's feeder*! (View One.) *https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/599835053399205?stream_ref=10
Common Grackle discover the jay's feeder*! (View Two.) *https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/599835053399205?stream_ref=10
Common Grackle discover the jay's feeder*! (View Three.) *https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/599835053399205?stream_ref=10
Common Grackle discover the jay's feeder*! (View Four.) *https://www.facebook.com/TheLastLeafGardener/posts/599835053399205?stream_ref=10
A house finch appears to be wearing a puffy jacket as he watches the snow fall!
Another view of the house finch in his "puffy jacket."
Another house finch wears the same puffy jacket as his comrades.
A mourning doves does his/her "birding" ritual (watching birds at the feeders to see how its done).
Two shameless pigeons "enjoy" each other's company. AND WHY NOT? (For as the song says: "Since we have no place to go, Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow . . . ")
Featured in relation to both Henri Matisse and a year-end review on blogger (@ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2011/12/blog-post_31.html ).
Featured in relation to both Henri Matisse and a year-end review on blogger (@ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2011/12/blog-post_31.html ).
Featured in relation to both Henri Matisse and a year-end review on blogger (@ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2011/12/blog-post_31.html ).
Featured in relation to both Henri Matisse and a year-end review on blogger (@ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2011/12/blog-post_31.html ).
Featured in relation to both Henri Matisse and a year-end review on blogger (@ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2011/12/blog-post_31.html ).
Featured in relation to both Henri Matisse and a year-end review on blogger (@ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2011/12/blog-post_31.html ).
Featured in relation to both Henri Matisse and a year-end review on blogger (@ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2011/12/blog-post_31.html ).
Featured in relation to both Henri Matisse and a year-end review on blogger (@ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2011/12/blog-post_31.html ).
Black Mondo Grass Triplets have been in my garden since 2004 pr 2005 an one of them is a writer as evidenced @ http://www.thelastleafgardener.com/2012/01/ophipogon-planiscapus-to-host-or-co.html#more
Details re this video are @ https://vimeo.com/35213748

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3 of 7 comments
  • Teri
    Teri
    on Jan 25, 2014

    Birds of paradise. Bet they are ready for spring right now too.

    • TheLastLeafGardener
      TheLastLeafGardener
      on Jan 26, 2014

      @Teri I am sure some birds ARE ready for spring BUT the dark-eyed juncoes are not ones that share the feeling. They are snowbirds, after all, AND perhaps the inspiration for the song, "SNOWBIRD" (sung by the singer, Anne Murray).

      on keeping a virtual garden notebook, container gardening, decks, gardening, outdoor living, pets animals, urban livingon keeping a virtual garden notebook, container gardening, decks, gardening, outdoor living, pets animals, urban livingon keeping a virtual garden notebook, container gardening, decks, gardening, outdoor living, pets animals, urban living
  • Pamela
    Pamela
    on Jan 18, 2020

    Nice post ! My mom moved down to Florida years ago , and is no longer able to garden , and she never really liked the area for gardening . She missed the gardening in the north east . So I send her my virtual garden report every week

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