Saturday, January 7, 2012
Create Heirloom Memories from Your Gardening Days
I am on the road quite a bit going to garden shows, garden conferences, retail trade shows -- always set up with a booth, showcasing my products. The back wall of the booth is a 5' x 4' banner with a photograph of an old gardener's hand on the hoe, and daisies and a white picket fence in the background. Though it could be anyone's, the hand is my grandmother's, and the light that is falling on her hand captures the love for the earth that she felt. Underneath the photograph is a quote that we found in my grandmother's gardening notes after she passed away, written in her sweet handwriting: "To a gardener, no day is just another day -- it is always a new day."
This photograph and quote are the anchors for my business, and my life.
It is so very easy for me to stand on the frontline with that banner behind me -- it leads to wonderful stories and memories from everyone who visits my booth. I have heard many times how they, too, came across someone's gardening notes after they passed away. I constantly hear from people how much they wish their grandmother or their grandfather or their uncle who loved to garden or even one of their parents, were around today to answer their many questions about gardening.
Several years back, my Alabama roots finally called me home. All of the gardeners in my family had plenty of ideas and suggestions for me as I started to get into gardening (oiy). By far, the most valuable suggestion, the one that has been the farthest-reaching piece of advice, was very old school. It was to keep basic records of everything about my garden. They did it -- from notes about the weather, to who gave them some seeds, to what they planted and when they planted it, and how it all fared.
As soon as I started recording even the most basic elements, I realized that I was building a treasure-trove of information. I marveled. Now, as every season passes and I take a few minutes here and there to jot something down, the wealth of information expands -- my gardening record book has become one of my most precious possessions. If there were a fire in the house, I'd grab my dog and my gardening record book.
What amazes me today is how this idea, this simple, valuable task, has gotten left behind. Still, I believe so much in the very far-reaching value of having a special place to keep these basic records, that I put my money where my mouth is: the main product for my business is the Perpetual Gardening Record Book, designed exactly for this purpose. It is a daily calendar that you use for several years, plus Growing Charts, Sketch Pages and a Resource Page to keep your own favorite websites, seed sources, phone numbers, garden centers, etc. Scattered throughout it are quotes from my grandmother's notes, but there is still plenty of room to write your own. Often times at shows, customers will tell me that they hope someone in their family finds their Perpetual Gardening Record Book some day. They know they will find it useful in their own gardens, yet they feel like they are building their own family heirloom.
In this time of new beginnings, I would encourage you to try something old school, and marvel at all you gain. To see photos and learn more about the Perpetual Gardening Record Book, please visit www.cabintiger.com. In celebration of National Mail Order Gardening Month, we are offering FREE SHIPPING this weekend - through Sunday, Jan. 8!
Photo by Lauren Graves, Cabin Tiger Studios
Posted at 2:08 PM