I love the idea of a garden journal, but I don’t keep one. Then the other day I was looking through garden photos and found a color scheme I want to repeat this season. The problem is, I didn’t make any notes and never kept the plant tags. The photograph looks great, but I have no idea what plant varieties I used. Which got me thinking. I need to keep a garden journal.
The fact that many famous gardeners keep journals is not an accident. A garden journal allows you to track important information for future references like the date of the first frost, plant varieties that did exceptionally well, and what plants you saw on a garden visit.
The first thing I did was google the term garden journal. I found 577,000,000 results. Those search results convinced me that a lot of people are keeping garden journals.
The next thing I did was search for examples. This led me to my favorite website Geninne’s Art Blog. Geninne is a crazy-talented artist known for her bird illustrations, unique pottery, and amazing sterling silver jewelry. She also creates the most beautiful journal pages. She was kind enough to let me feature a few of her entries for this article.
Should I Keep a Digital or Paper Journal?
I want my garden journal to include pressed flowers, sketches, and plant tags. That type of stuff is easier to keep in a paper journal. But I also want to search my journal for information. It isn’t obvious if my journal should be digital or paper so I am going to try both. The main journal will be kept in a binder. I discovered an Engineering pad I plan to use for my journal by Whitelines.
This writing paper has an app allowing you to digitize your notes using your phone. That means I can keep an electronic copy of my garden journal using Evernote. My only concern is it sounds like a lot of work. I know myself well enough to know I am not going to spend time fussing around. I will keep you posted on my Instagram stories if this method works.
Here is an example of an Evernote journal entry.
What Information Will I Track in My Garden Journal?
- First frost date and last frost date.
- Pressed flowers (I want to create a Herbarium of my garden plants).
- Flatlay images showing what is blooming in the garden.
- Garden photographs (taken from the same angle every 2 weeks).
- Seed planting details (what seeds, time to germinate, time to flower).
- Sketches of garden layout.
- Notes about propagating new plants.
- To-do list for each month of the garden season.
I’d love to hear if you keep a garden journal and what challenges you face trying to keep it updated. I am concerned I won’t properly document the garden once the growing season starts, but that won’t stop me from giving this a go. I think it’s a discipline worth the effort and I will keep you posted on how it goes. Happy gardening friends!