Look out at your favorite garden or yard view and try to imagine – through the snow cover – what it will look like in full summer bloom. Now examine your least favorite view the same way. Ok … repeat these mental exercises as if you were in the midst of planting season and were trying to decide if a particular shrub, vine, perennial, statue, arbor, or tree will accent, block, or generally fit into an area you are trying to improve. Memory is not accurate. In trying to visualize a specific site you’re likely to miss or forget a very important point, but the memory-jolting solution is a just a shutter-click away with a digital camera.
A previous post outlines my experience with written – or word processed – journals. I have high hopes the current a hard copy system will fit my needs. My other valuable recordkeeping tool an Olympus, Stylus 600 digital camera – small enough to slide into a pocket – which allows me to take shots to share, but also helps photo-track various parts of my yard and garden throughout the seasons. Previous posts show some examples of different seasonal views and before-and-after examples. Each planting area is featured at its worst and best, with detailed enough close-ups to remind what is planted where. I have a bad habit of forgetting to label bulbs and then forgetting I planted them. I know, I know … this doesn’t reflect well on my journaling habits. There is an ‘up’ side though. I often ‘surprise’ myself when spring bulbs pop up in unanticipated locations!
The photos, cataloged by year and labeled according to planting areas in my computer, make year-to-year comparisons a snap. And in the dead of winter I can look back over the greener seasons, transport thoughts to warmer times, lift my spirits, and get my creative juices churning for ways to make things better, easier, and more pleasing.
Now, if I can just remember to shoot those daffodil beds as they emerge from the ground … nah … I’d rather be surprised.