Winter can be a good time to pause, reflect, and observe. It can be a good time to look back on the previous gardening year. And to look forward to the months to come. Whether you are new to gardening, or an old hand, the extra time you may have over the winter could be well-spent in getting to know your garden better. Knowing your garden is essential – no matter what type of gardening you are engaged in. And no matter where you live.
You might feel that you already know your garden well. But in a garden there is always more to discover. Knowing your garden well begins with looking at the sectors – sunlight, wind and water. Gathering sectors information and making a sun map can be a good place to begin.
Understanding the soil where you live can also be very important. You can simply and easily gather information about soil type through observation. Get the soil in your hands, get up close and personal… look at the plants already growing in it as these can give you some clues about what it is like.
While you may understand the climate where you live, observing the garden closely over the course of the year can help you understand how micro-climatic conditions come into play. For example, in winter, it can be helpful to observe where there may be frost pockets, and which areas are slowest and fastest to warm up.
Beyond looking at sectors, however, there are also a range of other observations to be made in a garden that can be very helpful. Whether in a casual or more scientific and rigorous way, it can be helpful to monitor the wildlife in your garden. From watching the birds and thinking about how many visit, to counting earth worms present in your growing areas… collecting biodiversity information can help you to see what is going well, or what might need to be improved.
If you need some help to analyse observational data you have collected in your garden, please do get in touch.