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FOLLOW @PITHANDVIGOR ON INSTAGRAM

  • Came home to the beginning of dahlia season These werehellip
  • Nearing the end our road tripthis selfie with my favoritehellip
  • Got home last nightclimbed up to the new second levelhellip
  • White crepe myrtle could almost make me want to livehellip
  • My sister an elementary school teacher can always be countedhellip
  • New discovery at Stonegate Gardens todayloving the edged leaves ofhellip
  • It was harrowing but the galvanized metal roof is on!hellip
  • Beach towels and blossoms at my sisters house summer virginiahellip

Garden Record Keeping Ideas

I tell people I can’t grow Baptisia – but the reality is that about 5 years ago I planted 8 of them in the fall and then in the spring I (pretty surely) accidentally weeded them all out. I didn’t realize my mistake until later in the summer when I recalled planting them and wondered what happened, only to have it dawn on me that there were a bunch of really healthy looking weeds that I briefly pondered before yanking earlier that year.

It is a flaw in my personality that instead of admitting my forgetfulness that spring, and just trying again, I fear that perhaps this plant – that is meant to be a spectacular performer – just didn’t really like my soil/ their position/ the weather / me … or that perhaps (since we have already proved my inability to remember everything precisely as it really was) I might even be mis-recalling the weeding event. Either way, I deduce I have no business with Baptisia – it is a sign, that me and Baptisia, we are not meant to be.

Honestly though, there are days – particularly in the garden – when I have forgotten the name of the plant or that I even planted something somewhere, when I begin to wonder if I might have early Alzheimer’s. Do you ever feel that way?

garden scrapbook / notebook by rochelle greayer www.pithandvigor.comSo in the heat and humidity of late July, where I find my time in the garden limited to early mornings and late evenings, I’ve been thinking of ways to keep better records – so that I don’t feel like I have to store it all in my head.  I had my hand at making a page – for a yet to be created scrapbook – that documents some of the most recent additions to my garden.  Besides a picture (which for me seemed easily remedied by cutting up the beautiful Proven Winners plant tags that they came with), I made sure to note why I had planted it.  I had three goals and built my page around them:

1) Plant for fall berries that I can use in arrangements (Viburnum Red Balloon and Amethyst Coral Berry – Symphoricarpos x doorenbosii ‘Kordes’  where added).

2) Add plants around some of the structures that we have in the garden (namely the new pergola and the old fence).  Vitex ‘Blue Diddley’ now frames the gate to the veg garden and punctuates the corner. And Clematis ‘Sweet Summer Love’ is going to be amazing climbing over the new pergola (the idea of black and deep purple in the garden is very exciting to me!)

3) Have interesting and exciting container plants around the patio (you know, stuff that makes visitors ask what it is – so that I can publicly shame myself when I can’t remember).  For this, I’ve planted Chinese Fringe Flower in hanging containers so that I can enjoy it now, but can take it inside later this fall.

I’m not entirely happy with this page, but I figure it is a start… which is most important, as my biggest obstacle to good record keeping is simply making a habit of doing it.  I figure the artistic developement of it will happen in time, after I get over the hump of just getting started.

My record keeping efforts are inspired by others – namely these pages from Dan Pearson’s Vitrine.

Dan Pearson garden sketchbooks via www.pithandvigor.com

I love the time he has taken to draw and use water colors to capture his notes.  It seem luxurious but with practice and the conscious effort to remind myself that I can take a few minutes to be creative, I feel I would not only become a better designer and impromptu artist, but it will help me retain my sanity (and maybe even my memory) as I fly through my overbooked days. Read More –>

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Books + Newspapers + Magazines, Proven Winners 0 Comments
Where To Plant the Clematis Vine?

Where To Plant the Clematis Vine?

As you have probably noticed, I work with Proven Winners to test out their plants and then help you (through this website) learn more about them.  Every spring this means that boxes of new plants arrive for me to plant in my garden, experiment with, generally get inspired by and ultimately write about. This year…

Really Great Heirloom Seed Companies  (for USA and Canada)

Really Great Heirloom Seed Companies (for USA and Canada)

by Dave Ledoux Most gardeners just buy their seeds willy-nilly at the big box stores. But you and I are different, aren’t we? I want to let you in on a little secret … the world is filled with incredibly unique plants and vegetables. Most gardeners will never know about them. They’re called heirlooms. Imagine taking…

Strawberry Spritz – A Seasonal Strawberry Cocktail Recipe

Strawberry Spritz – A Seasonal Strawberry Cocktail Recipe

I’d like to introduce you to Joy Flanagan.  She’s the best bartender (and it’s not just me saying that) at one of my favorite local bars.  Armsby Abbey, in Worcester, MA serves a steady stream of original and interesting dishes made with seasonal local ingredients that are always great — and the ever-changing cocktail menu…

Je Persoonlijke Tuin – My book, In Dutch

Je Persoonlijke Tuin – My book, In Dutch

  Check this out – it’s my book – in Dutch.  I love all things Dutch – have I ever told you that if I could live anywhere in the whole wide world, I’d choose Amsterdam? (maybe someday that will come true). So, the fact that the first international translation of my book is in Dutch…

PITH + VIGOR One Year Later – The State of the Paper

PITH + VIGOR One Year Later – The State of the Paper

It is so amazing to me that just one year ago this week, I launched (with great trepidation) the indiegogo campaign that would kickoff the adventure of PITH + VIGOR – it really seems like ages ago and so much has happened in just one year (three issues done and a 4th in progress, a…

Color-Matching The House to The Garden

Color-Matching The House to The Garden

Cute summer towns are a haven for houses with adorable little gardens.  They are always tidy and like a properly dressed lady (whose handbag always coordinates with her shoes), the plants often coordinate with the house. I’m not exactly this type of gardener (or dresser for that matter) – I tend to either a) be too frazzled…

How To Pick Strawberries

How To Pick Strawberries

When you have picked as many vats of strawberries as we have (this year is just unbelievable!) you find there are a few things that just keep coming out of your mouth again and again each time a new picker comes into the garden….I’ve even heard my kids repeating these simple directives to their friends….

Perfect Pairings for Chartreuse in the Garden

Perfect Pairings for Chartreuse in the Garden

I’ve turned into a weird hoarder when it comes to Chartreuse plants.  They have always been a favorite of mine and it only takes a few to make a really big impact so I find myself taking extra efforts to place those that I have in just the right spot. I find that I think…

The Best Thing to Do in A Strawberry Situation

The Best Thing to Do in A Strawberry Situation

This is a post for anyone who is drowning in red berry abundance. I’m going to throw you a life vest. It is white and spongy and it looks like this:

Making Driveway Gardens (With A New Rototiller)

Making Driveway Gardens (With A New Rototiller)

I’ve had driveway gardens on my mind a lot lately.  We featured the makeover of Jim Douthit’s driveway in the summer issue of PITH + VIGOR — and then I was asked to be a contributor for Martha Stewart’s Website (a bit of exciting news for me!) – I’ll be sharing some of the Before…

Chelsea Flower Show: Views & Trends from Extremely Close to Exceedingly Distant – Part 1

Chelsea Flower Show: Views & Trends from Extremely Close to Exceedingly Distant – Part 1

The Chelsea Flower Show in London represents the pinnacle of garden design and is, without question, an annual opportunity to check in with many of industry’s leaders to see what they are thinking about and how they choose to represent their artistry and influence in the world. My personal experience of Chelsea was life changing…

Chelsea Flower Show: Views & Trends – A Spectators View – Part 2

Chelsea Flower Show: Views & Trends – A Spectators View – Part 2

by Gillian Carson Editor Note:  Gillian Carson of My Tiny Plot took in Chelsea as a spectator on press day as well as on public days. Her perspective comes as a British garden writer and blogger as well gardener (in the USA) who has made many Chelsea trips in the past and has seen many styles…

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