“I planted some dahlia tubers and got some fascinating, gigantic flowers. A perennial hibiscus startled me with magenta flowers as big as dinner plates. Grandma Mary wanted to know what these plants were! And she is wise in all things plant, so that’s saying something.”
It’s excitement time when you grab your stacks of seed catalogs and your pencils and your big sheets of paper (or, for those of you who are savvy enough to be reading this book on a Kindle or Nook, your tablet with a landscaping app). Planning the vegetable garden is when you take all those bright ideas dancing in your head and try to put them on paper (or on a screen).
When I worked as a municipal horticulturist, I took care of twelve high-maintenance gardens, and a number of smaller ones, over I-don’t-know-how-many square miles of city, plus several hundred small trees, an insane number of shrubs, a greenhouse, and whatever else the bosses threw at me. I had to find a way to stay organized besides waking up at 3 a.m. to make extensive lists. My solution: keep a garden journal.
Early mornings are the best. (Once you wake up, that is.) A fall morning with roses is even better, despite cold fingers and nose. I’ve come out to clip the leaves and buds off the roses. I hate to take the buds off, since the roses have been blooming all …