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This has been the craziest start to a year …. EVER. I’m in the middle of a big writing project; I’m setting up a new business with a friend and the tiny matter of weekly trips to the fracture clinic with my temporarily incapacitated husband (he of the shattered elbow) has meant that I have had no time for the January blues and life has taken on the feel of a military operation. Organisation is my middle name!

Happily the #britishflowers folk had picked up on my mood last Monday. Here’s the round up from Sara.

As the first hour of the New Year we thought it a great idea when Organisational Hints and Tips was suggested as an area to cover – so that was the evening’s theme.  As usual it was an hour full of excellent advice, as well as lots of catching up.

Labels prompted a lot of discussion.  From the resolutions made this year to label everything, and not rely on memory (a personal one and I wasn’t alone) to how best to tackle them:

Write them now, whilst waiting for the weather to be right to sow seeds (but don’t then forget where you’ve stored them.  Suggested putting them in the seed packets.

Buying of labels – LBS were recommended as a supplier.  Angled tall types with upward facing surfaces were desirable types to go for and coloured marker pens were popular.  Sharpies were mentioned, I think they are a type of marker, they got good and bad reviews.

Coloured labels were suggested to help keep track of succession sowing.

Make your own labels by recycling white plastic food containers

Sounding totally gorgeous were labels made from cutting old slate roof tiles – definitely worth trying if you have time to spare. Another lovely creative idea was using old wooden spoons.

Scrap wood painted with big lettering.

Making (and keeping notes):

Keeping a diary was mentioned many times – and recording weather information, seeds sown, germination times etc.  Some preferred to take photo records, or make notes on phones – but whatever the method chosen, keeping some form of notes deemed invaluable.

Anyone who has devised a fool proof spreadsheet system for seed sowing and wanting to share it, you’ll have plenty of takers!

In the Sarah Raven diary there is also several pages of seed sowing tables, hints and tips – worth a look on the website as they are probably reduced now.

Make a note of the last frost date each year and transfer this to new diary (ongoing) to help maintain a record of when you will aim to be sowing.

Storage:

Use curtain poles to store ribbons, string etc (also try keeping string in recycled jars)

Pencil storage pots (desk tidies) good for storing wire

Plastic business card holders for storing pins

Seeds stored in sowing order was a good idea (you can also alphabet sort them if you like to be orderly)

Pinterest was mentioned as a great way of saving ideas – think of it as a digital scrapbook, if you’ve not tried it yet, be warned, it’s addictive! (Tip, get a ‘pin it’ button for bookmarks bar, it makes life a lot easier – I’m going to have to try this one myself)

Google cal was recommended for time managemente start of the growing season

‘Favourite’ things that appeal to you on Twitter and then transfer them at a later date to the Notes app on your phone so always with you

Take lots of photos – they are a great way of keeping records of time and place, as well as something lovely to look back on.

Making your plans:

If you are a Mind Map sort of person, the Simple Mind app (for iPad) is great fun and easy to use.

Well there you have it but don’t worry. You still have a few more weeks to get everything ship shape for the start of the growing season.