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
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
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.”
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.