Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Keeping up with the inventory — the plants that come and go from the collection — can be part of the fun. This bit of rainy-day bookkeeping reveals a lot about both the garden and the gardener. A record of your developing plant collections shows clearly which plants you really specialize in; it helps you keep up with the many kinds of daylilies, hostas, and daffodils in the garden, and gives you a place to officially note their colors and bloom times. It also helps you remember when you planted what and how the plants performed over the years. The notes on plant collections in your journal may even include reminders of plants you intend to buy, creating a record of your ambitions and good intentions in the growing life of your garden. Your journal can be tremendously informative.
Galen Gates teaches graduate-level courses in perennial plants at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and worked for almost 30 years as director of plant collections at the Chicago Botanic Garden. He took his professional habits home with him, too: he created a spreadsheet to keep track of the plants in his own back yard.
You don’t have to get fancy, Gates says. “I write down what month and year I purchased it, what I paid, where I got it,” he says. When a plant dies, he makes a note of that, too. “I want to know — and it’s helpful to know how long things live.”
My own inventory is more idiosyncratic than the Gates’s computer spreadsheet, but I basically follow his example. On my working list of native perennials, I write down each plant’s Latin binomial name (Iris virginica, for example) and common name (Southern blue flag), along with the height of the plant and its requirements for sun or shade, and moisture. Then I note where I planted it. My list is typed up, annotated in ink, illustrated with a sketch of the four flowerbeds near the front porch, and smudged with dirt. Some of those plants are just memories now, and, like Gates, I need to add a symbol or category for plants that just don’t make it in my garden — along with observations about what went wrong.
When my husband and I decided to consolidate our notes on the trees and shrubs in our garden into spreadsheets, I flipped through old garden journals, extracting details, while he typed. Our spreadsheets brought home the extent of our collections of boxwoods, roses, witch hazels, hollies, magnolias, and oaks. In addition to the basics, we recorded each tree or shrub’s size at the time it was planted, and left a space for comments. The printout— which, of course, is tucked into my garden journal — is annotated by hand on odd occasions. The trick is to also update it in the computer.
Formal lists and spreadsheets can help you organize the succession of blooms in your flower beds, keep up with the varieties of peas and beans you have planted over the years, and help you remember which of your dozens of kinds of daffodils is which. Spreadsheets will probably never replace thoughtful notes about great plant combinations and the proliferation of butterflies in summertime, but they are a useful tool. In your role as curator, you’re creating a formidable record of your garden that you’ll be glad to have.