Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
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Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
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Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
My garden journal and the shoebox I keep my business paperwork in are both stuffed full of notes and receipts, organized more or less chronologically. Once a year, I set aside a weekend to type up the paperwork in my shoebox, before turning it over to a professional accountant. My garden journal, bookmarked with seed packets and full of newspaper clippings, sketches, plant labels, and computer printouts, never gets this treatment. Its idiosyncratic organization and inserts will remain part of its charm.
Of course, a garden journal is the place to record plant purchases, note extremes of weather, celebrate successes in the garden, and bemoan the loss of a crop or a favorite plant. It is also a wonderful place in which to reminisce, to dig into seasons gone by — to compare prices or winters in other years, but also for the little hints and reminders of life’s events, experienced through the filtering lens of a pastime that fills a lot of my life. It always gives me pause when I find a pressed pansy or the scattered petals of a tulip in the pages of my journal.
Sometimes I pick a flower and bring it inside for a closer look, to savor its silky petals or to examine its intricate form under a magnifying glass. These blooms often end up pressed in my garden journal. My goals are not really scientific: flowers and leaves merely embellish my notes. Taking a bloom out of its context in the garden and pressing it in my journal helps bring the pages to life: I’ll be flipping through my journal in January and find a pressed tropical caladium leaf from a summer long ago, as thin and delicate as tissue. On another page, in another season, I have unceremoniously taped down the little ribbon-like blooms of a witch hazel.
Although I’m obviously not very strict about it, I am following a fine scholarly tradition. A botanist’s collection of dried plants, including not just the flowers, but also leaves, stems, and roots, if possible, with perhaps some notes on where the plant is found or what it is used for, is called an herbarium. A collection of herbarium specimens might represent the plants of a specific area, or the plants found on a voyage of discovery.
One of my favorite botanists was John Clayton, an 18th century court clerk in Virginia who studied botany and meticulously compiled the flora of Virginia. Clayton’s herbarium, preserved at the British Museum in London, includes more than 700 sheets. Many of his specimens are decorated with fanciful ribbons, hand drawn on the pages. Even scientists had fun with their pressed plants. That’s a practice I highly recommend.