Monday, January 4, 2010

Garden Journal

The groves were God's first temples.  
~William Cullen Bryant, "A Forest Hymn"

Thomas Jefferson kept a garden journal for sixty years. I've been meaning to start one for the past four. Not that I've done much in the garden. I sometimes spend an entire weekend picking up sticks and branches, and though it is a necessary task, it hardly seems worth writing down.  I find the time I spend outdoors doing these seemingly menial or trivial tasks actually provide a space in time that is otherwise difficult to find in the everyday sense. 

I enjoy being out there with the birds and the dogs, and I am constantly looking around the property while performing needed chores, dreaming about what I could do here or there, envisioning a pond or an orchard, a vineyard or a hedgerow. My perspective on much around gardening and property management has changed. I used to rake leaves; now I am gathering raw material for organic compost, for use in a future kitchen garden. My compost heap is several hundred cubic feet, and will eventually yield a ton or more of the stuff each year.

Someone gave me a $50 Visa gift card as a Christmas gift, and I will use it to order 500 pine tree seedlings from the state's forestry service today, for delivery in February. I will soon learn something about tree planting, and plan to capture some reflections of the experience and post some images here.

Image: here


  1. The image you have posted is pure beauty! I am not a big gardener myself, but I like to putter around and even though I don't do it myself, I do like to mow the's very gratifying. and I love to planr flowers every spring- I love geraniums and fuschias- I am sure your property is breathtaking and very rewarding for someone who seems to care so much. Bon jardinage, jamesxvi!

  2. I, too, would plant pine seedlings. I have wanted to do that in our field for the past 3 centuries that a neighbor harvests crops for his stock each year instead. Bartering has been a part of our neighborhood forever but somehow, I am feeling selfish. I envy your dreams. Some of them are also mine,-productive orchard, pond, vineyard......someday. Til then, have an exciting New Year and
    Blessings Be Yours
    Blessings Be Yours

  3. Beautiful image.
    I admire those who journal, but I suggest a calendar as a journal for gardeners like me - journaling is just never going to happen.

    I keep a calendar and just make quick notes of new plantings, feedings, budding/flowering dates, etc.

  4. Good luck with the plantings. Do make sure your pine trees are hardy for your area. There are some nasty things killing pines across the country.

  5. Hi James,
    Happy to read you're thinking of gardening already...I'm longing for the spring to come myself & planning on changing or adding new plants & trees.
    Wonderful picture!
    Good luck with the pine trees,

  6. James, just a quick note to let you know that as I enjoy reading your blog so much I have tagged you with the Kreativ Blogger Award. Please reveal seven things about yourself and then pass the award along to seven more creative bloggers.
    Look forward to reading many more wonderful posts from you in 2010!