I'm not the most organized person in the world, but a gardener once gave me a valuable idea that I still use. It's a garden notebook — a simple three-ring binder that you can use to keep a record of everything in your garden. You can make photocopies of seed packets, punch holes in the page, and put it in the binder. Then when you lose your seed packet or marking stick, you can still tell what variety of tomato you're growing. Some people mount the actual empty packet on a piece of paper and put it in the binder.

If you take pictures of your garden, you can put them in the binder to follow the growth of each area, or get a panoramic view to help with future planning. I like taking pictures of my bulb beds in the spring. Then, when I want to change or add to these beds in the fall, there's a record of what's already there. I never remember what color is where, so without the photos I'd just be guessing. The pictures in my garden notebook let me be absolutely sure of where everything is.

The notebook is also great for making seasonal observations and comments and keeping them in one organized place. I also put in tip sheets from nurseries, extension services, or garden centers, and I'm actually able to find them when I need them.

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