Nurturing Nature: The Story Behind an Artist's  Gardening Planner.

Nurturing Nature: The Story Behind an Artist's Gardening Planner.

Artist in the Garden

In the heart of every gardener lies a profound appreciation for the intricate beauty woven into nature's tapestry. It's in the delicate unfurling of a rosebud at dawn, the verdant tendrils of a thriving vine, and the symphony of colours that paint the landscape with each passing season. For me, gardening isn't just a hobby; it's a harmonious blend of artistry and cultivation—a canvas I paint with seeds and soil, nurturing life into breathtaking fruition.

Why a Gardening Planner or Journal?

While you may know me as an artist, you may not know that I’m a mad, keen vegetable and fruit gardener. I have a cherished collection of my favourite gardening reference  books like ‘The Cooks Garden’ by Mary Browne, Helen Leach & Nancy Trichborne “Organic Gardening’ by Peter Bennett and the ever-trusty Yates Garden Guide. While all these reference books focus on Australian (and New Zealand) conditions, our specific environment has unique ‘quirks’.

Garden Planning in Practice.

I’ve been gardening on the Mid-North Coast for over 40 years. My first garden was rich volcanic red dirt, the next was black sand, and the current garden is highly reactive clay. The soil we begin with makes a huge difference. That’s just the beginning of the variations I’ve learned.

I wanted to keep track of what works and when to be on the lookout for helianthus caterpillars (destructive buggers!) and other pests. When to be ready for optimal planting in this unique climate and soil type. The gardening lessons are recorded, and maybe one (or more) of my nine grandchildren might take up growing vegetables, and they will have access to the lessons of a lifetime.

As an artist, I also wanted it to be inspiring and beautiful, a place where I could keep track of the exciting, beautiful perfection harvested from the garden daily.

I’d like to record when my strawberries began fruiting last year so I’m aware of the lack of fruit. Is it because I’ve enriched the soil too much with nitrogen? Or is it that it’s not yet the right time?

Family Collaboration

While I could take out a notebook and record observations, sadly, with my messy approach, it wouldn’t be easy to find what I’m looking for in the future.

I decided a digital (with a print-at-home version coming soon) version would be wonderful. I can add images, write notes, and tap on a link to find the section I search for. I gathered what would make a perfect Urban Garden Companion and collected pretty images to make it aesthetically pleasing. After weeks of collating, I handed the manuscript to my highly skilled Graphic Design daughter Natasha.

She ensured everything flowed as it should, the images pleasing and order restored.

Planning Perfection 

I’m so excited to have my Digital Urban Garden Planner on my phone or iPad and quickly add notes on the go. I can prepare my garden rotation plans and note when I’ve added which fertiliser so I know whether I’ve over fertilised my Strawberries (or not).

Apart from soil conditions inherent in each garden, the amount of rain also has a big impact on how well the vegetables are produced from year to year. That's why I’ve included a rain record.

Turning Setbacks into Success: Building Confidence Through Garden Failures

Nothing is worse than that sinking feeling of failure when a crop fails to produce, and it can happen often! But with an accurate record of the rain, fertiliser, and other garden conditions, I will finally have the confidence to prepare and prevent future failures.

So, if you are like me and love nature, beauty, and a bountiful urban garden, you will love the Urban Garden Planner. You can download it and use it immediately; it runs in note-taking apps like Goodnotes and others. Click here to learn more.

Conclusion:

Join me on a journey where art and nature converge—fuelled by curiosity, creativity, and an unwavering appreciation for the beauty surrounding us. Together, let's cultivate not just gardens but works of art—a testament to the natural world’s transformative power and the human spirit's boundless potential.

Learn more about the urban Garden Planner here.

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Watercolour Flowers Workshop

Sunday June 9th, 9-12.30 At Eungai Hall, New South Wales. Details here