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local dirt Message from the publisher

it takes an incredible amount of time and forethought to achieve my dream. I also needed to manage my time if I wanted gardens that looked beautiful with plants that thrived. The most important lesson I have learned is to


keep a journal. With smartphones and digital camer- as you can always take a photo record but I still like to keep my written notes to refer to and complement my photos. You can ‘geek out’ like I do by purchas- ing pretty floral books and creating sketches of your gardens or just snap photos with your phone and keep them in a file with a spreadsheet to fill out for your records; either way find a method that is enjoy- able for you. Journals help you to remember what you have

bought, planted and where you placed or moved plants from year to year. I find it extremely useful to have a record to remind me what's planted where so I don't dig it up the following spring. If you have plans you would like to implement in your garden, short or long term goals, this is the ideal place to record these ideas too.

Spring garden quiz

hen I purchased our current home I was overcome with the desire to fill it with gardens. Over the years I have learned that

They are especially helpful with vegetable garden

planning to ensure that you rotate crops. Photos and notes will help you to remember which plants didn’t thrive in a particular area and which over produced in fruit or blooms. You can record pest and disease problems to keep an eye out for any re-occurrance the following year. Take notes on which plants need to be divided or moved, or which you want to donate to a local plant swap. Recording things like rainfall and fertilization will also help you to under- stand why particular years may have been better or more challenging. Keeping a record of your garden will help you

to become a better gardener, even if you only have a small area. It serves as a wonderful reminder of your successes and insight into what may have gone wrong. However you choose to do it, I encourage you to start your own gardening journal and hope you enjoy it as much as you enjoy your garden.

Tania Moffat

? Test your garden knowledge What’s the buzz about pollination?

Test your knowledge by answering true or false to the following questions.

1. Seedless watermelons grow from seed. 2. Don’t bother collecting seeds in your garden until

fall. 3. Columbines are self-seeding annuals. 4. You can share your favourite columbine with your

friends by collecting the seeds and giving them away. 5. Most flowers pollinate themselves. 6. If you didn’t get around to planting some seeds

this year, wait until next spring and plant them. 7. Bees eat pollen. 8. Bees are attracted to the colour red. 9. The pistil of the flower is the female part of the

plant. 10. A single bee produces about a tablespoon of

Is the pistil at the centre of this tulip the male of the female part of the flower?

honey in its lifetime. Find answers on page 46.

Spring 2016 • 5

Photo by Peggy V. Photography.

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