I know that birders keep life lists of all the birds they see and those they want to see. They get very excited when they get to add a new bird to their list or cross off a bird they were hoping to see.
There are also general life lists which some people write up to set goals for what they want to do before a certain age or just in general.
These lists are full of different adventures like “see the Indianapolis 500 race in person” (check), “attend an NBA game at Conseco Fieldhouse” (check), or “have dinner at the top of the John Hancock building in Chicago” (check).
So why shouldn’t a gardener keep a life list?
I’ve searched online and can not find reference to a Gardener’s Life List, so maybe I’ll just make up my own.
It might include:
Plants I have grown that bloomed in my garden.
Plants I want to grow in my garden and see the blooms of.
Plants I have seen in other gardens, in bloom.
Plants I want to see in other gardens, in bloom.
Gardens I have seen.
Gardens I want to see.
I wouldn't try to include every plant I’ve ever grown or every plant I’ve ever seen. That would make the list unmanageable. I’d limit my lists to the plants and gardens that are of most interest to me.
For example, I would include Lilacs under “Plants I have grown that bloomed in my garden”.
If you live where Lilacs don’t grow, you would definitely want to put them on your list of “Plants I want to see in other gardens, in bloom”. If you didn’t, then I will have failed in my mission to make you want to see and smell the bloom of the lilac.
Today the first lilacs are starting to bloom here at May Dreams Gardens and they smell like… lilacs. They make us forget all about the cold and snow of winter.
On my list of “Plants I want to grow in my garden and see the blooms of”, I would definitely include the Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina ‘Arnold Pink’)
And then tomorrow or this weekend, when it is finally in full bloom, I could move it to the list of "Plants I have grown that bloomed in my garden", a dream fulfilled.
Under “Plants I have seen in other gardens, in bloom”, I would include Texas bluebonnets because I saw them blooming in several gardens and public spaces when I went to Austin for the Spring Fling. I could also include the rare tiger orchid that I saw a year or so ago in a nearby conservatory.
For “Plants I want to see in other gardens, in bloom” I might include azaleas in South Carolina in the spring, even though I’ve seen azaleas in bloom. I assume ‘down south’ they would be spectacular.
For "Gardens I have seen", I could include Thomas Jefferson’s Gardens at Monticello, along with those of Annie in Austin, MSS at Zanthan Gardens, and Pam/Digging, three of the famous Austin garden bloggers.
For "Gardens I want to see", I could start with George Washington’s garden at Mount Vernon. And maybe I would put some gardens in England on that list?
Yes, if I can keep it to manageable length, a Gardener’s Life List might be just the thing to have. It would be another type of garden journal, about a lifetime of gardening and seeing gardens and special blooms and not about the minutiae of what goes on in my own garden day to day, year to year.
Any suggestions on what else I might include on my Gardener's Life List?
What would you put on your list?