Plant gardening ideas in an organizer

Well, like it or not, winter is over and spring is here – time to start thinking about gardening.

It would be nice to have a bit more snow in the mountains and water in the rivers and streams, but it looks like the mild weather is here to stay for 2005, and so the gardening season begins.

Organizing your ideas for garden design, tips and seeds can be fun and decorative as well as efficient, and this week’s column offers suggestions for attractive binders to suit your purposes.

Plain masks in various styles

Specialty feathers, faux butterflies and silk-flower leaves

Rhinestones, beads and sequins

Hot-glue gun

To make our seed binder, you’ll need a 3-inch, three-ring binder with transparent pockets on the front and back, and we decided to use some wonderful handmade papers from India to insert into the transparent pockets of our binder.

You can find handmade papers online by doing a simple search: we used “handmade papers,” and came up with several sources.

If you want to add letters to your binder cover, you can use purchased rub-on letters or stencils. We chose to leave our binder blank, with only the beauty of the paper as a cover. We selected a paper with floral imprints on a multicolored background and used pinking shears to trim the edges.

Measure the length and width of the transparent pockets on the front and back, and cut your paper accordingly, cutting a bit to the inside of the actual measurements to make sure the paper will slide into the pocket without problems.

For the seed binder, use photo pocket pages that have slots of at least 3 inches so that seed packets will fit into the slots.

Use clear index dividers to separate the seed binder into such categories as: flowers, veggies, herbs, gourds and miscellaneous.

Insert seed packets into the pocket pages and file accordingly.

In the front of the seed binder, place a few business card-size pocket pages to hold, well, business cards from appropriate nurseries, etc., and short tips on seed sources, growing flowers and vegetables, and anything else that’s applicable.

Our garden design and tips organizer begins, as with the seed organizer, with a three-ring binder; however, you can use either a 1-, 2- or 3-inch binder, as desired, and as many gardening magazines as you can find that are of interest to you.

To fill the transparent pockets on the front and back of the binder, cut inspiring photos out of gardening magazines and lay them out on a piece of construction cut to fit the binder pocket.

When you’ve selected enough photos to fill the space, trim them with pinking shears or decorative-edged scrapbook scissors and arrange them to suit you. Use small pieces of tape to hold the pieces in place, and slide into the pockets.

For the inside of the binder, you’ll need business-card pages (to hold small tips and ideas), photo pages in various sizes (to hold pictures and larger instructions from magazines), pocket pages (to hold larger photos or longer articles), and dividers (optional).

Organize the inside of the binder to suit your purposes and fill the various pockets and sections with tips, photos, articles and plans for your garden.

Prices: These organizers can cost as much or as little as you choose. Binders can be found for as little as $1 at dollar stores, but can cost as much as $5 each for better quality.

Pages for the binders cost between $3 and $12, depending on style and number in package.

Gardening magazines generally cost between $3.95 and $6.95 per issue, depending on whether they are monthly, quarterly or special publications.

Good pinking shears cost about $20, while decorative-edged scissors (used for scrapbooking) are generally $2 to $5 per pair.

Be sure to buy a separate pair of pinking shears for fabric and for crafting – and keep them separate. If you use them for both, trust us – you’ll have problems.

Decorative papers can cost as little as 59 cents per sheet or as much as $5 per sheet. It depends on where you get them, and whether or not they’re handmade.

Note: For gifts, you can also use the above suggestions to make cooking, sewing, crafting and other organizers custom-designed for friends.

If presenting these binder as a gifts, you can attach gloves, small gardening tools, and so on, for gardeners; small cooking utensils, hot mitts and other kitchen items for cooks; packets of needles, patterns, scissors or fabric store gift certificates for fiber artists; and any craft items that suit the recipient’s taste or need for crafters.

You can contact Jonetta Coffin at

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