Sunday, June 17, 2007

On record keeping

Sometimes, I wish I could always record life in terms of coinciding botanical events. "It was redbud season when I got that new job," for example; or "Our friends came to visit when the plums were ripe." I DO recall things this way. Redbuds will later remind me of starting that job, and I will have been glad we could share our plums. And I have always admired gardeners who were assiduous record-keepers ("On April 23rd the first of the lilacs opened, and the last Kauffman tulip opened, but last year they opened on the 18th."). I am not that assiduous. Nor am I that concerned.

You see, I am a big-picture kind of person. I have always seen my life and my gardens as being much more a part of a larger whole. Dates, then, are a part of a continuum that I can either recognize, or not. This water lily, for example. It is the second one to bloom, on the second plant. I had my eye on the first, and yes, it bloomed a week ago Tuesday (and that Tuesday was the first day I saw my first lightning bug (firefly)). But this date has only (up to now, anyway) been noted in my mind, not in a book. Would I be a better gardener if I had this charted somewhere? I am not sure.

I just go with the flow.


Carol said...

I try to keep records, but they are not the best, and mostly seem to be about weather and what I did in the garden. I record the first blooms in early spring, but then as things take off, I forget to write down later bloom times! Oh, but I always record the date I harvest my first tomato!

cookiecrumb said...

The cool thing about going with the flow is that you're likely to develop your own calendar with primitive ritualistic celebrations and incantations. I hope you will be holding an annual party on Lily Pad Day. Which may or may not occur in the third week of June. Whatever "June" is.

jules said...

I started this garden of mine this year (our first) with the grand aspirations of keeping records of everything. Got a book even. Never recorded the first thing. Yet. So far.

Maybe next year.

El said...

Yeah, Carol, I hear you about slacking off. Mostly, I make end-of-harvest notes about things, like, don't waste your time next year on those beans because they're awful.

CC, I do all types of strange ritualistic dances around here. Don't you know clothing is optional in the country?

Jules, it takes a couple of years before you get enough knowledge to write about anything, IMHO. So maybe next year. Or the year after that.