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How to Create a Garden Journal

Photo: depositphotos

By Emily Henry

If you love gardening, then you may be able to benefit from keeping a garden journal. You don’t need much to get started, other than a blank notebook and some empty seed packets. With it, you can keep track of what you have planted, and start improving your garden. Here’s how you can start your garden journal and make the most of your planting. 

Understanding Gardening Journals

Firstly, what is a garden journal? “Quite simply, a garden journal is a record of your garden and what’s growing in it” says garden blogger Peter Yates, from Boom Essays and Paper Fellows. “It will help you keep track of what’s happening in your garden, so you can stay on top of it.” 

You’ll be able to record what’s working in your garden, and what isn’t. Because of that, you’ll be able to learn from your past work and use that knowledge to bring improvements in the future. If you’re a vegetable gardener, you can also use it to keep track of crop rotation. Overall, it’s a very helpful document to have. 

Remember That There Are No Rules

example of garden journal
A garden journal can be as simple or as complex as you like. Photo: @alirichartz1012, Instagram

Firstly, remember that there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to garden journaling. It’s very similar to the concept of bullet journaling, where you keep track of everyday tasks. 

When starting a journal, you can include and exclude whatever works for you. Use this guide as an overview and take any aspects that look good to you. If anything won’t work with the way you garden, then you don’t need to put it in. 

You can try things in your journal too, as it’s a working document. If you start something, like a list of plant sources, and you don’t think it works, you can leave it and carry on with something else. 

Overall, your garden journal is unique to you. You can include whatever you want and lay it out in a way that suits your needs. 

Take a Look at Other Garden Journals

Example of garden journal
Look at other people’s garden journals for inspiration. Photo:

If you’re not sure where to start, you can give a thorough look at other garden journals online. There are lots of people who will take pictures of the spreads they make and share them. You can find these on social media sites like Instagram, and it’s something that you’ll want to take a look at. 

These pictures will give you a lot of inspiration for your garden journal. There will be lots of beautiful journals out there, and they may be just what you’re looking for. You don’t need to have real artistic skill, though; you just need to be looking for layout styles and ideas for your own journal. 

Think About What to Include in Your Journal

There are all kinds of things you can track in your garden journal. What you include will depend on you and your garden. You can pick from any of the following ideas:

  • Sketches of your garden layout, in every season
  • Expenses and receipts
  • Bloom times
  • Pictures of your garden
  • Successes and failures to avoid next season
  • Seed start times and transplants
  • Dates to divide your perennials

Have Fun with Your Journal 

Once you have your journal, make sure you set aside some time every day and write in it. “Having that time to sit and reflect on your garden every day is so helpful” says writer Jemma Lyle, from Essayroo and State Of Writing. “You can take time out, write about the plants you’re planting, and think about what you want to do next.”

Illustration of woman dreaming while writing journal.
Keeping a garden journal should be fun! Ill.:

The most important thing that you should remember is that keeping your journal should be fun. If you’re finding yourself stressing out over your layouts or sections, then don’t keeping persevering with it. Instead, just let it go and try something else. Your journal should just be for you, so don’t worry about it being perfect. 

A garden journal is something that’s very unique from one gardener to another. If you’ve never tried one before, grab a blank notebook and see what you can do. You can create a journal that’s perfect for your garden and will let you make plans for the future. Give it a try and see for yourself. 

Emily Henry is a writer for MBA Essay Help and Academized. She focuses on gardening and gardening news. She is also a tutor with Coursework Writing Service

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

21 comments on “How to Create a Garden Journal

  1. Daryl Dixon

    I’ve always believed that keeping a garden journal is a wonderful way to document the journey of gardening. Emily Henry’s insights on the importance of a garden journal and how it can be tailored to individual needs are spot on. The idea of including sketches, bloom times, and even failures is a great way to learn and grow as a gardener. I’ve been considering creating a research paper on the therapeutic benefits of gardening and journaling combined. I stumbled upon a that assists with academic writing. Has anyone tried using such services for their research needs? Would love to hear recommendations!

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  11. I love this idea. I think creating a garden journal would be a great winter project. I’m always looking for ways to extend gardening into the off-season. Thanks!

  12. Pingback: Garden Journal | Strafford County Master Gardeners Association

  13. I was hoping for a more in depth look at garden journals here. I would love to see a discussion about the use of on line journaling for garden use verse the use of a paper notebook. I am alway interested in what more “professional” gardeners are using and why. Thanks for writing but was hoping for a bit more.

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