As you know, I’m deep into my end-of-season garden assessment. This week I’m ready to wrap things up (as far as the assessing goes; the gardening will continue) with my final notes for 2023.

Assessment, Part 5: The 2023 Garden Post-Mortem

I’ve talked about this before, but I’ll mention it again. . . I keep a little “garden journal” that I use to document All Things Garden each season. It’s just an inexpensive little journal I picked up at Office Max (or is it Depot? I can never remember. . .) that can fit in the back pocket of my overalls. It’s not lovely (although I do stick washi tape in it sometimes . . . because what else am I going to do with all my washi tape, y’know?). It’s dirt-smudged and water-stained. It’s stuffed full of receipts and random notes and and coupons. Sometimes I attend (or watch online) gardening seminars, and I use my little journal to take notes. I use the same journal until it’s full, so often I end up with 6 or 7 garden seasons in one little journal. I love it!



My little journal is quite handy to have around as I’m buttoning everything up for the season and doing my annual garden post-mortem. If I didn’t make my lists of what-worked and what-didn’t . . . and then top that off off with my reminder for the next year . . . I’d forget all about everything by spring.

So. What did work this year? And what didn’t? You can check the photo of my list at the top of this page if you’re really interested. There’s a bit of this and a bit of that.

What worked?


Generally, it was a really good garden year. My bulbs are multiplying. I had lovely surprise blooms. I got ahead of the weeding and mulching this year – which helped all season long. No deer in the back! Our weather wasn’t terrible. Lots of wildlife. Did a lot of transplanting. Loved my patio ferns. NO external house projects! My new greenhouse.

What . . . didn’t?


There are always . . . problems. It can’t be helped in any garden. For me . . . we can begin with my herb garden. This year, my herbs had a slow start because it was too wet. And then, well. I had a lot of bunnies Taking Advantage! (Especially when it came to the parsley.) The deer continue to decimate my unfenced areas in front. (Sigh. It’s bad.) My pollinator garden (the right hand photo, above) . . . is just a disaster. The deer eat all the buds, so nothing actually blooms anymore. It’s hard to attract pollinators when there are no blooms. (Just sayin.) This will be one of my major thinking-through-the-winter projects: What To Do About the Pollinator Garden. (Early thoughts: move everything to the back; plant more decorative grasses up front.) (In other words . . . Give. Up.) (The deer in my neighborhood are Out. Of. Control.)

My end-of-season assessments – and keeping track of them in my journal – help me to hit the ground running . . . come spring. My little journal helps me keep track of my current work lists and reminders for the future, too.


It’s a system that works well for me.

And there you have it: Assessment 5 (and actually . . . the entire season) in the books!


How do you assess/wrap up your gardening for the season?