How I Talked Myself Into Keeping a Garden Journal and Then Said No Way

I Love the Notion of a Garden Journal

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.

Plants purchased for patio containers in years past from my old garden blog AllAboutMyGarden.com

The fact that many famous gardeners keep journals is no accident. A journal lets you to track important information for future references. The date of your first frost, plant varieties that did well, and new plants you want to try.

The first thing I did was google the term garden journal. I found 577,000,000 results. Apparently, I’m behind.

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 beautiful journal pages. She was kind enough to let me feature a few of her entries for this article which I posted below.

Photo is shown with permission from Gennine Zlatkis showing a June 2009 journal page.
Photo is shown with permission from Gennine Zlatkis showing a June 2010 journal page.
Photo is shown with permission from Gennine Zlatkis showing an April 2010 journal page.

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.

Garden Journal – What Information to Track?

  • Frost dates.
  • Flatlay images of what’s blooming in the garden.
  • Pressed flowers
  • Garden photographs (taken from same angle every 2 weeks)
  • Seed planting details (what seeds, time to germinate, time to flower)
  • Sketches of your garden layout
  • Notes about propagating new plants
  • Monthly garden to-do list
Collage showing my garden during the growing season 2019.

Spoiler Alert!

After I wrote this article, I tried, but failed to keep a journal. As soon as garden season started, all the lofty plans disappeared like chocolate at a Weight Watchers meeting. This is what I did instead.

I’d love to hear if you keep a garden journal and whether it’s up to date. Hit me up in the comments below. I can’t possible be the only gardener that can’t get this right.

Happy gardening friends!

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