In March I “semi-officially” started gardening. It was a modest (tiny) attempt with just three pots and one type of plant in each pot. As I begin my first seasonal shift in gardening, I started writing in my Garden Journal (something I won a few years ago in a giveaway!). While wondering how many bell pepper plants I should try to grow next year, I started thinking about seasonal journaling and how we should do it for life, not just for our gardens!
The update on our garden is short but growing. You can see where it all started in this gardening accessories writeup. The lemon tree is still working on its lemons. This tree will, hopefully, be in the pot for years and years, so it requires a lot less work than anything.
The three bell pepper plants each did quite well and we had a number of bell peppers (in the final weeks of a second harvest). In total we probably had about 30-40 bell peppers. They were all fairly small but had good taste! I learned a bit of how much shade they like and the joys of overwatering. Moody suckers!
And then I planted some zucchini seeds in the early summer which yielded a huge plant and just a few fruits before we had two months of grey skies and an attack of aphids. Zucchini love some hot, hot sunshine, so the smoke layer didn’t help us there. I’m probably going to pull this plant out soon. And I’m thinking 2 zucchini plants next year might be ok for us!
And looking into the fall/winter. I’ve planted a lot of carrots (from seeds), some wildflowers seeds (purely for joy and hopefully some some tabletop bouquets), and I have some broccoli to plant after I pull the other plants out.
It’s fascinating to me that even just my little garden of three pots yielded me so much peace this summer, gave me a to do each morning that pulled into a happy space, and has left me with so much more to consider for even just doing the same plants next summer!
But while I’m figuring out if 4 or 6 bell pepper plants is good for us, I’m wondering about doing this journaling session for the rest of my life this summer.
I’m not a frequent journaler. Well, I take that back, I have a website and social media accounts where I share a lot of my thoughts and life, but I don’t journal in the pencil and paper sense of the word….though I do love the idea and think it’s such a great practice to get into.
So if we think of doing a seasonal journaling exercise between each season – that’s just 4 times per year. I feel like that’s manageable even for those of us who ‘don’t journal,’ right?
And it doesn’t have to all be serious. Two examples that came to mind for us were our use of a flannel sheet to block off the sunlight into our laundry room instantly cooling off the area of the house and then the use of lentil beans in a sock to block off the cool air flow in the winter months.
Those were just two good ideas I didn’t want to forget about.
And what about the sustainable swimwear companies I learned about this year? I will not be thinking about swimwear until at least next summer. But when the time comes, wouldn’t it be great to have written down the companies I’d hoped to support at some point.
You know, and then comes the more serious stuff. Like rediscovering a hairdo fit for a mom’s life in the summer, how I felt and overcame the struggles of not wanting to turn on the oven for four months, and how my husband and I have weathered through the last few months.
May we all never have to repeat this year, but one way or another, there have been lessons learned about ourselves and those we live with. While the situation may change, there are likely some teachable moments to pull from and grow from.
2020 might be a lesson in what we really enjoy doing that we’ve been unable to do. It may also be a lesson for many of us about alternative ways to run a business. It might also be a lesson in what hell can feel like at some moments. We’ve all been there, so I have no shame sharing that.
How to Journal Seasonally?
In my garden journal, there are short sections to enter plant names, plant date, bloom date, harvest date, yield, and notes. Maybe for our lives we can think of it like the following…
OVERALL TOPICS: Me, family, friends, food, health, home, work, play, travel, and earth (the last one is my sustainability conscious stepping into the game).
SUBTOPICS: And then within each of those topics think of high points, low points, achievements, what needs work, and future plans.
Obviously you can make your seasonal journaling session look however you want, but I think the general act of reflection (and recording) is a great one!