Until last year, I would say that I had whatever the polar opposite would be of a green thumb (a black thumb perhaps?). Everything I had tried to grow died (mostly due to neglect admittedly). When we moved into our new house, the backyard already came with a raised garden bed, annual raspberry and rhubarb plants and a wide assortment of flowers. I was excited, and I wanted a second shot at having a garden that would make Ms. Martha Stewart herself impressed (ok well maybe not that impressive…). Last year was our first summer here, since we moved in the fall, I had no idea what was planted where and what would grow, so last summer was a lot of seeing what would come up and experimenting with what we had.
This summer, no more excuses.
I wanted to have a fierce, productive garden, full of produce and herbs and a lovely array of flowers. I hatched elaborate plans with my dad to construct a massive greenhouse-type structure to keep out the squirrels and rabbits that decimated my garden last year. See the awesome diagram below….drawn by my talented father (who also sourced and priced all the parts and estimated time just like a real construction project!).
I decided that I wanted to document my garden in a journal, so I created a garden planner. I was inspired by some PL cards that I received in a pocket letter swap from sweetgirldesigns which had a card that said “bloom where you are planted”. This card was the inspiration for the album. I used an old journal I had, I believe it is from Amy Tangerine, because it had lots of lined pages and a big centrefold page that was grid paper (for my garden map, more on that later). I used this cute PL card and glued it to the front of the planner. The planner had a half-page acetate cover that was printed with a blue design. It didn’t really match my colours, so I decided to cover it and embellish it with chipboard, twine, washi tape and enamel dots….
For the first page, I started with another PL card (given in a RAK so I am unsure of the kit) and added a May title page. If you follow my weekly PL, you know I love quotes. This one I loved, because I feel the same way, and because I love Margaret Atwood, so I printed it out on cardstock and cut it into strips and glued it on. I stamped the May phrase onto a paper banner I cut out and embellished with washi and a chipboard button.
The second page has the PL card that was the inspiration for this book. The next page, I detailed everything I planted, perennials and annuals and the dates I planted them. I used alphas from Amy Tangerine’s Penpal because they are transparent and almost look handwritten.
The next page had some clouds on it, so I decided it may be a good spot to document our very warm and dry May. The following page I titled “Ripe for Picking” and I listed all the food I was able to pick and eat in the month of May (I plan to do this for each month). The big flower embellishments are from the Basic Grey Highline collection and I used a lot of it in this planner. Both the PL cards I used to journal were from swaps.
My next page is my favourite I think. For the last page of the May section, I took a bifold card (from one of the Becky Higgins Project Life sets, unsure which one…again I got it from a RAK) and decided to make it into a little recipe book and feature two of the recipes I made with my rhubarb (which I was able to harvest in May). I took a picture of one of my rhubarb plants and glued it to the front along with a fresh circle (from the Highline kit) and wrote recipes in alpha stickers (also from the highline kit). I finished it off with a date stamp attached with a paper clip from Stampin’ Up, and made a little flip tag with some washi. For the background, I used another Becky Higgins PL card and added a noted label from the highline kit. On my computer, I printed the two recipes to be 3 x 4 so that they would fit into the booklet, and glued them in. I stamped “favourites right now” on one of the recipes (a Gossamer Blue stamp by Elle’s studio from the month Life Pages subscription) and added a enamel dot.
The next page is my June title page, and I used the “Feels like June” PL card from Heidi Swapp to anchor it (it was a printable freebie from her website). I used one of the larger 4×6 PL cards from the highline kit as the background and stamped June on a hand cut banner. I embellished with some mint coloured washi and some triangle chipboard stickers from MME.
For the next two pages, I used some Pl card for a filler page and then used the Amy Tangerine alphas again to right “Update” on the other side. I stamped the date of my entry and gave an update on the garden until now. I added some ephemera and chipboard to embellish. I plan on writing a little more towards the end of June so I left some space.
I used the next two pages to showcase some of my garden success pictures thus far, again using PL cards to frame the pictures and pages….
The last page will be another page detailing what I was able to harvest in June, which I will complete at the end, so for now I have left it blank and used a PL journaling card as the spot to record it. The next few pages will be for July, which I haven’t completed yet because I plan to add to my planner as I go…
The last pages I want to show for now is the centrefold. The reason again I chose this album was because the centrefold pages were on graph paper and I wanted to do a garden map to detail what was planted where. I mostly used drawings to represent what was planted, and I used some Teresa Collins Studio Gold circle labels to indicate the items I had in planters. I embellished again with floral elements from swaps and from the highline kit.
So part one is done! I am excited to see how my garden grows, to take notes of successes and failures to help plant for the future. I will be sure to post the final results when I am done!