Friday, April 09, 2010

Record keeping or The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

This morning I have mostly been sowing runner beans; 'Lady Di'.  I think I've grown this variety before. I think it's about the right time to sow them indoors too. To check this I did what I usually do; rummaged through my pot of used plant labels and looked to see if I could find one from last year or the year before. This blessed pot is my planting guide. I reckon that if the variety and the sowing time worked then it should be OK this year too.

I sense you all sighing and muttering 'stupid woman should keep a proper record.'

You are all right - of course I should. Better than relying on a plant pot of muddy labels or my dodgy memory. I would know where the snowdrops and daffodils were planted when I come to plant more in the autumn; I wouldn't be surprised when I discover a Peony already growing where I want to plant a Peony this year.....and I would know which varieties have proved themselves worthy of a seed drill.  For me it's a counsel of perfection keeping a written record - this doing things properly. I know I should have a Garden Book, a Hen Book and a Deep Freeze Book. When there were bees there should have been a Bee Book, but there never was. I would have known what to do when, and where. I have ambitions and good intentions but somehow it peters out after the first page.

There is a lot of nonsense sloshing around in my brain - some vivid memories surface apropos of very little.......I can tell you exactly where I was when I heard that Kennedy had been assassinated (sitting on a grey hearth rug in front of a rather nasty log-effect electric fire with a ill-tempered, long haired cat called Tinkerbell) - or where I was when I heard of John Lennon's death (taking the boys to school and crossing the bridge over the Stockport - Manchester railway line - the same bridge incidently where I heard that Freddie Mercury had died too. Henceforth it will be known as the Bridge of Rock Star Doom....) I can only hazard a guess at the year, never mind the day, that Harry Nearly Burned The House Down. Details of that evening are engraved on my mind and include the spoonful of vanilla ice cream en route to my mouth when a complete stranger broke in and rushed up the stairs shouting 'Fire!'  What use are those arcane bits of information? Even to me. I need facts and dates, times and temperatures not vague sensations to make my garden grow.

This year I shall try harder. Today I have sown those runner beans under glass. Potatoes are chitting (for variety click the picture) and the itsy seedlings are Basil - still sitting on the warm bench. Tomatoes were potted on 12 days ago and are looking good - roots nearly showing at the bottom of their pots when they will be ready to move on again. 96 onions potted on. Leeks (Porvite) ready to go to the cold frame. Ditto Sweet peas. Peppers, bless'em, such fragile seedlings, little tiny things as yet only 12 days old - keep warm and not too moist (Inferno, Thai Dragon, Anaheim and Tasty Grill). Melons have germinated. Lettuce sown - red Cos, Webbs and Little Gem. Broad Beans (Express) are in the ground planted 2 days ago. Also shallots. Cleaned out hens.
The weather has been wonderful.

I think this is a record.

12 comments:

elizabethm said...

This is definitely a record. I had a go at recording by blog last year but somehow retreated to my tatty exercise book. Must try again. I tend to record in a haphazard but enthusiastic fashion in the spring and peter out by early July. Must try harder. I do love knowing!

Angie said...

What a display of wonderful veggies you will have ....remember next year that you talked about your seeds etc and thus you have a record to look back on.

Julia Dunnit said...

I'm exhasuted! The record keeping - a thng of mystical and amazing proportion for those of us that dont do it. I think it kinda makes scientific something that I want to remain organic, intuitive, spontaneous.......how's that for an excuse?!!!

rachel said...

I suspect that meticulous record keeping wouldn't make for interesting blog posts after a while.

But we DEFINITELY need to know all about When Harry Nearly Burned The House Down.

Come on, do tell! You know we love a bit of drama!

Twiglet said...

Brilliant start to your gardening year there - hope they all come to a great harvest of fruitfulness! Who needs records - go with the flow - it obviously works for you.

Pondside said...

People keep records? Interesting.
I have the same sort of debris sloshing around in my brain - it makes me a great Trivial Pursuit partner!

her at home said...

Record keeping? Well blow that for a game of smarties as they say chez nous... planniNG takes all the fun out of life!!

Frances said...

Well, please take note that this post of yours really does make me a bit sick that I don't have a garden, or really any hope of ever having one.

I don't write that as a moan, just to let you know how much I would love to be a bad keeper of garden records, just to have the space to try a garden.

xo

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Sitting openmouthed at the sheer productivity and the energy displayed !
Are you Digging For Victory singlehanded ?

Friko said...

So, if I asked you in the summer about varieties you'd still know?
Keeping records is absolutely essential, I wish I wouldn't always put it off for a bit, just until I've done this or that; by the end I have a pile of labels and pits of paper, barely legible, and absolutely no idea what particular plant they represent.
At least I only do flowers, it's not so important there, except when it comes to passing them on and people ask me for the name.
Still, it's a gift horse, etc. . . . .

Flowerpot said...

That puts me to shame. Very industrious indeed! Allk I can boast of is some purple tulips, daffodils and a white hyacinth!

Chris Stovell said...

Your photos tell a different story - you look very organised from those, but I understand that might not be how you feel.