Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... 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 »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... 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 »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... 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 »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... 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.