This morning, the post brought my copy of the 2009 Toronto Gardener’s Journal by Margaret Bennet-Alder. What a delight!
The author began this project more than 17 years ago, inspired by her son who had created a journal to help him deal with a medical condition. Last April, as she writes in the intro to this year’s journal, Mrs. Bennet-Alder suffered the loss of her husband, and almost considered folding the journal, which has never been a big money-maker for her. After a time, she reconsidered – which is our gain.
In my days as a Master Gardener, I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary copy of one of the first editions of this handy garden journal and source book. Then my sister gave me a copy of the Lee Valley Ten-Year Gardening Journal, and I thought: Why would I need two?
Well, let me tell you: in the intervening years, the Toronto Gardener’s Journal has become a book that every Toronto Gardener should have at their fingertips.
There’s a regional frost guide that might surprise you (downtowners do better than you’d think). A Toronto area soil map makes it easy to see just what lies beneath the surface. In the journal section, you’ll find week-by-week reminders of likely garden chores; and room to record what’s growing when, what you planted where (easy to lose track of from season to season) and to note monthly delights and disappointments. Plus, there’s a long, long list of gardening references, people, places and events. All for $24.95, plus the usual pluses.
The journal calendar begins in January, but for anyone who doesn’t start their own seeds, now is the ideal time to have a copy in your garden-grubby little hands. (Note that I get no benefit from writing this, other than the pleasure of passing along a great tip to other Toronto Gardeners.)