Monday, February 25, 2008

Garden Management Software

I've been researching several programs for managing my plant information on my computer. Right now all of my information is in various hand-written journals that I keep from year-to-year. When I want to look up a specific plant I have to go to the year and try to find the info on this plant. This takes a lot of time, and I would love to also have a photo of the plant without having to print it and paste. What a time I've had trying to fine a program! Last fall I purchased a program from Canada: Garden Management System. I was really excited, thinking this would be the ideal system, but I am not satisfied with it for various reasons, mainly that the garden description information for each plant is very awkward. I also have trouble returning to the main menu without having to completely reopen the program each time. I am going to return this product.

So.... on with my search. My next choice that got me all excited was Premier Gardens Management System. This program would be just about perfect it if worked. I downloaded the free trial. I've contacted their support several times with no response and am about to give up on this one, much to my regret. The problem is that it will not let me enter all of the plant information that is needed. I thought perhaps because it was just a trial version. But again, they will not respond to my emails.

Another one that looks like it would be good is Garden Tracker. But again, I cannot find a way to purchase this product and have not heard back from their email service. Guess I'm just going to have to give up on this entire project.

This was my big winter project. Now I'm way behind in everything because of being sick with bronchitis. I thought I was over it and got a relapse, so here I am again! I've been dealing with this thing for a month now and am really tired of it. Not much energy to do very much. Hope I will be better very soon!
UPDATE: Well, I made up my mind and ordered Garden Tracker. They were very responsive to my email inquiry and the program does everything but wash the dishes. It has all sorts of reports you can generate, you can make labels for all sorts of things, a handy workbook, etc. I didn't order everything, just the software version because I doubt I will have the time to use everything it offers. Now I'm excited about receiving it and hope it meets my expectations.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Love Is In The Air...Count Those Birds!

I've noticed some subtle (and some not so subtle) changes in the animal/bird behavior in my backyard. Every morning, the first thing I do is take feed out to my platform feeder and check the water in the birdbath. What's that I'm hearing??? Little house finches are starting to make some noises... little chirping sounds that will soon lead up to their beautiful mating calls. There is nothing so beautiful to hear first thing in the morning. The Eurasian Ring Necked Doves are mating, and so are the squirrels (they're the not so subtle ones). And the Flickers are beginning their mating calls. Could it be that Spring is in the air??? Yea... can't come soon enough for me.
To celebrate, I submitted my list to the Great Backyard Bird Count that is now in progress until the 18th.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day 2008

Happy Valentine's Day 2008! Another milestone towards the arrival of Spring....and Color... and Flowers! It feels as though it has been ages since I've been able to smell my roses, walk in the sunshine, marvel at my gardens. Sigh!!!!

It's another cold, snowy day here in Colorado. Yesterday in was about 60 degrees. Can you believe that? Yep, that's Colorado. My husband got out the frozen hose and watered for me. I'm still recovering from bronchitis and need to stay quiet a while longer. Six weeks my doctor says until I'm over this thing! Meantime, my seeds have arrived from Park Seed. Where in the world am I going to plant all these??? I've started a database for my plants, which is not going well. I plan a post about it as soon as I have worked with this program a little more. And yea.... I've purchased my 2008 hand written journal. Every little sign of progress is met with enthusiasm and joy on this cold, winter's day. My DH is going to get us some takeout so I don't have to go out today. What a gem!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Four More Weeks... So They Say!

A weatherman said that we only have four more weeks of winter! Hah! If only. I'm really sick of snow. This has been another of those winters where a system rolls in every couple of days. Luckily we haven't been really dumped on like last year (knock on wood). In anticipation of the end of these "four weeks" I just HAD to see some color, so I'm posting a few of last summer's photos, just to see something other than white!

Having been down with a nasty virus the last week or so I'm now far behind in my winter chores, but I DID get some seeds ordered from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and they are on their way! Mostly lettuce, spinach, cucumber, herbs, and squash. It will be fun to try some new varieties. And I continue to gather ideas for my back yard birdbath garden makeover. One of these days I will draw out a plan. In the meantime I continue to enjoy all of the birds, especially the Ring Necked Doves, but NOT the damn starlings that make a mess out of everything. I hate these birds as much as I hate the grackles in the summer. Always something!