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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
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Communicate Your Garden


Anyone who knows me knows that I love journaling and photography. In recent years I've used those skills as a way to communicate my garden in a different way. By communicating my garden I am able to document its history and share it with others using a variety of methods.

Many people keep records of their gardens. My dad has kept garden and weather records on paper calendars for many years. For example, he can tell you when the Japanese beetle first emerged each year and when the tomatoes started to ripen.

I have two different ways that I record my gardens. I start with a blank journal where I record names of new garden plants each year and changes in garden design. I also use that journal to walk around my gardens each fall to record what worked, what didn't, and what I want to try different the next year. These fall notes have proven very useful when I begin planning my gardens the following spring.

I also have a three-ring binder with lots of garden stuff in it. I have garden designs sketched, maps of our property, and plant shopping lists going back to 1998 when we moved to this property. I also have a listing of all plants in my yard, which I handed out when people tour my gardens.

My favorite way to communicate my garden is through photography. If you are my Facebook friend, you've seen many of my photos in my plant of the day posts that I do every day during the 6:00 p.m. hour. They are also on my ILRiverHort Page at www.facebook.com/ILRiverHort.

Want to take more photos of your gardens? You can learn how during the "Don't Blame the Camera: How to Take Better Landscape Photos" Four Season Gardening webinar on July 28 (1:30 pm). The same program is repeated on July 30 at 6:30 pm. Or you can watch the YouTube video following the live webinars. Go to www.extension.illinois.edu and click on calendar for more information.

Chris Tidrick will teach you how to take great photos of your landscape—and he says that it has very little to do with the camera you use! Whether you shoot with a digital SLR, point-and-shoot or even your phone, you can take frame-worthy photos. All you have to do is learn a few techniques, and then shoot. Chris will teach you the basic techniques of garden photography that can be used with the camera you already own.

I invite you to capture your garden's beauty through journaling, photography, sketching, music, dance, drama, or other artistic skills.



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