Saturday, 20 November 2010

My Books of Garden Cuttings

It was raining for two days and I found this rainy days perfect to make an order in my scrap books. For more than ten years I've been keeping the record of the events in my garden. Over the years I have collected many scrap books that tell the story of my garden and serve as reference to me as well.

I bought this scrap book in the Kew Shop five years ago, when I came to London to do my horticultural internship at RBG Kew. I liked it very much at the first glance and wanted to buy it but, the price of 14 pounds seemed too much to me at the time, especially for the book like that. Three months later I paid only one pound for it! What a bargain!

The scrap book I bought in England is neat because the pages are sorted out by months. There are little drawings on the pages and different funny quotes about the garden. My other scrap books are not at all neat and tidy. But, I do not want them to be. Sometimes I have little time to make a note or paste the photo so, the handwriting is bad and sketches are rough. But, I find it important to do that or otherwise I will forget it.

I use simple school note books with no lines for the purpose. I love to draw and make sketches so, I prefer plain paper. I make the notes chronologically, by year and by month.

These are the things I make note of:  overall "to do list" for a year, planting schemes and sketches, newspaper and magazine cuttings on gardening, plenty of my own photographs ( excellent to track down how the garden changes and grows and to compare "before" and "after" look)...

... seed and plants orders and bills, plant purchases and bills from markets and shops, subscriptions to the magazines, books on gardening I bought, club memberships, photographs of other beautiful gardens (to steal ideas!), info leaflets from the packages of chemicals used (though I prefer not to use them, sometimes I have to, especially for the roses). When I have more time during the gardening season or in winter, I do researches on growing the plants I have in my garden. Sometime I write a few pages about the subject like I did it here - on peonies. 

I keep the record of prevailing weather and temperature by drawing simple sketches in the corner. Month by month I keep the record of the actions and work I done: mowing the loan, sowing, planting, sowing the seeds, pruning, taking cuttings, making garden features...
I use to fill in two to three note books per year. For each year I make the cardboard folder ( I recycle package boxes). I prefer to make my own to fit the amount of my notebooks.

The folders are kept at hand...

...underneath my computer/working table.

Do you too make the scrap books like that? I find it fun.


  1. Hi Kalipso - just wanted to say how very impressed I am with your orderly approach. Your scrapbooks with drawings, notes and photos are so lovely and a mine of information. Wish I had your approach but am too much of an impetuous gardener


  2. When I started it, I had no idea how helpful they will get. Now I have the record of my garden over the years and keep tracking how my garden changes and grows.

  3. Very impressive! I started to do this then ran out of time. But I can see that it saves time in the long run because you have all that information at your fingertips. I get very frustrated not remembering the names of plants in my garden!


I love your comments and appreciate your visit. Thank you!