My Morning Routine, What’s Yours?

My friend, Marie at The (not always) Lazy W wrote yesterday about her early morning routines of yoga stretches, meditation and writing before dawn. It got me to thinking about my lack of early morning routines (other than making Alan’s lunch). But upon further reflection I realized that I do have some after all. Some are new like watching the birds having breakfast outside my kitchen window and listening for the first horse drawn buggie to go by the house (we live in Amish country).

And some are older, things I’ve been doing for years without realizing that they are routine. The one thing that never changes is my daily entry into my gardening journal…….
Lee Valley
This is the second 10 year journal that I’ve had from Lee Valley and I try to write in it most days. It’s become a routine to check the outdoor temperature each morning and record it. Then during gardening season, I’ll make little notes about what’s happening. But at this time of year, it’s main purpose is to track weather patterns and record the status of my houseplants. I love to look back and see what the day was like last year, the year before and so on. It’s really interesting to see how similar things are year to year – how a deep freeze seems to come the last week of January most years, how there’s always a thaw in mid-February, etc. 
So this morning I was surprised to see that last year this time, there was no snow on the ground and that I had ventured out to cut down some magnolia branches for forcing. The photos shown here were taken in mid-March last year, two weeks after cutting the branches.
With this year’s deep freeze, I don’t think the buds are even swelling yet. So I’ll have to wait a few weeks before attempting to force them this year.
Forcing branches is really quite simple to do and can be accomplished with a number of flowering shrubs and trees – forsythia, flowering quince, flowering almond, witch hazel, apple and other fruit trees and of course, the majestic magnolia.
Just get a good pair of clippers and clip some branches from your garden making sure that the buds have started to swell a bit. I like to acclimatize them by letting them sit in a pail of cool water overnight. Then I trim the bottoms of the branches and place them in room temperature water in a decorative container – here I used an antique tomato jar. This year I’ll be forcing my forsythia in glass bottles like these to sit on the kitchen table:

But thanks to my garden journal and my morning routine of marking the weather, I realize I’ll have to wait a few more weeks before heading out to start this other (yearly) routine of forcing branches for an early spring show.

Boy this post really took a turn halfway, sorry. As usual, I started out being all reflective and deep and quickly turned it into something task oriented. No wonder the only journal I can keep is one that records things instead of thoughts.


  1. says

    What wonderful photos! And the garden journal is a wonderful idea for a birthday gift for my husband. He is always checking the temperatures. But I want one. I’ll order two! Thank you for reminding me to cut some forsythia blooms!

  2. says

    Weekday mornings have different routines than weekends. Hubby usually brings me a cup of coffee after he lets the dog out on weekdays. I’ll get up and catch up on emails before I have to get my daughter ready for school. Weekend mornings start whenever hubby says I should get my butt out of bed, LOL and I usually have to fight him for the laptop.

    I think it’s great you can keep a journal, some of us are a little challenged in that dept. Blogging is the best I can do for journaling of any sort and that’s not done on any kind of schedule. Best description for myself would probably be spastic, slightly worse than sporadic.

  3. says

    How cool… I have often scolded myself for NOT keeping a better garden journal, because those years where I do rediscover a pas year’s notes of one month or another, I am so interested in the info. Weird how much I just plain forget from year to year! LOL Thank you for sharing Heather!! And those photos are, as always, luscious. xoxo

  4. says

    Those magnolia branches are so stunning I might consider growing one just for that.

    I’m impressed by your diligence to keep a gardening journal. I have no such patience. That’s partly how I ended up starting the blog, because I figured if I was going to keep track of things I might as well share it.

    And my morning routing is a bore: Several cups of coffee (the first usually brought to me in bed by my husband when he’s home, I’m spoiled), a frantic shower and hair dry followed by running around looking for an outfit that sort of matches.

  5. says

    I like the idea of a garden journal, used to record weather etc on a pocket calendar but now I use my iphone calendar for appointments etc I tend to neglect the writing down of the weather. I do check the inside and outside temperatures each morning (have one of those digital ones set up on the deck), love to check the sky to see what the day might bring, always check the bird feeders and take a few photos (even though I have lots and lots), usually check out The Weather Network, then have breakfast.

  6. says

    My morning routine starts with having my tea while checking emails. After that, anything goes.
    I’ve never been good at keeping a written journal, kudos to you for your garden journal. It must be awesome to look back over the years.
    I’ve already got some forsythia blooming indoors, with some bulbs starting and the pussy willow. I’ve staggered them so I hope to have continuous blooms till spring. I love your magnolia blooms! Gorgeous.
    Debbie :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge