I've already mentioned that I'm a listmaker. It's not just that lists are useful, I also enjoy the process. It is with glee that I take up the pens, ruler and coloured markers, or the keyboard and monitor, as the case may be. I gloat lovingly over the finished product. So when I decided this week that I needed (okay, could justify) one more list, I felt nothing but pleasure. And so far, I've been enjoying it enormously. So what is this new list?
It's one I could have used a long time ago, and I don't know why I didn't think of it before. It's simply a reference list of every plant in every garden bed: common name, botanical name, number of plants and the dates they were planted. It will make blogging about the garden so much easier. Imagine if I wanted to blog about this part of the garden. There are quite a few plants here.
I know the names: Lavender, Salvia, Sedum, etc. But which Lavender? Which Sedum? Which Salvia? I can't reliably remember all the botanical names and cultivars. Those I can remember, I may not be sure I can spell. Yet, this is the sort of information I find really helpful in the blogs I read, so I want to include it in my blog posts, too.
I have these details, but not in a very convenient form. They're in the book where I keep the labels of every plant I buy, or written notes if the plant was propagated rather than bought.
This book is in chronological order, so the only way to find a particular plant is to leaf through it until I see the picture or find the name. As the book goes back to 2004, this can take a while. And then, often the plant label doesn't have the whole botanical name, so I have to turn to the internet or a reference book. This takes time and is frankly irritating, especially when the books slide off my small computer desk and crash to the floor. So I am transferring all the information to a list, or rather a group of lists, with one table for each garden area.
I'm using Excel spreadsheets which means I can easily add or subtract plants to keep the lists current. I have completed the table for one garden bed so far. The picture below shows part of this bed.
Glancing lightheartedly at my list, I find that the plants shown in this picture are:
- Blue Agapanthus (Agapanthus orientalis)
- Dwarf Blue Agapanthus (Agapanthus orientalis 'Peter Pan')
- Pink Buddleia (Buddleia davidii ‘Pink Delight’)
- Catmint (Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant')
- Argyle Apple (Eucalyptus cinerea)
- Pink Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Pink')
- Red Autumn Sage (Salvia gregii 'Flame')
And then I am able to trip merrily on my blogging way.
The list will also be very useful when I'm adding new plants to garden beds. The Euphorbia below was planted as an experiment. Some Euphorbias don't grow well in my conditions, so I only planted one. It's looking really happy, so I'll definitely want to make this a whole group next spring. But what was it called, again? Oh yes, my friendly list informs me, it's Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Craigieburn'.
And how about that new Penstemon that looks so good with the old Wormwood (Artemisia arborescens) ?
Of course, it's Penstemon x gloxinioides 'Raspberry Flair'. Must get a few more of those.
This is going to be one of the great lists, I can just tell.
In other exciting news this week, Jane, from Tidy Gardens by Jane, has nominated me for a 'Very Inspiring Blogger' award. Jane is one of my favourite bloggers. She is a professional gardener who writes about all kinds of garden-related things in a relaxed, often very funny, style that always brightens my day. Thanks, Jane!
I'll think about who I'd like to pass a nomination to and write about it in another post soon.