Have you ever wondered how you could prolong your enjoyment of time spent in the garden? Try creating a garden journal.
For gardeners, a journal is a way to document what you’ve done in the garden from year to year – what you planted, where and how you planted it, what worked, what didn’t – maybe with empty seed packets or sketches of planting beds included.
For non-gardeners, here are three great reasons to start a garden journal:
1. The perfect journal and tools
Many unique journals are available, with pages ready to be filled with your notes and musings. From Target to Etsy, you’ll find an amazing array of journals. You can choose from something inexpensive with a printed garden illustration on the front, try a notebook with water-resistant paper for jotting in the rain, or find a book filled with handmade paper for its blank pages, covered with decoupage of dried flowers.
Add the perfect writing instrument – a cedar pencil handcrafted in the US, a fountain pen filled with green ink, or a set of colored pencils for writing and drawing.
Having a lovely journal to write in and to savor later can really be an incentive to get a garden journal going.
With this approach, the garden might be secondary. It's the thrill of using those lovely tools that's the point of journaling!
2. A scientific reference and memory book
You’ve noticed that the redbud trees bloom about the first of March on your street. So, wouldn’t it be interesting to record seasonal events each year? The redbuds may bloom earlier or later from year to year. Your journal can track bloom times, rainfall amounts, when the leaves fall in autumn, the first and last frosts.
It can be fascinating to look back from year to year and notice the seasonal patterns.
Say you start tracking when the daffodils bloom. The journal gives you a way to remember natural events in your garden from spring to spring or summer to summer. And, in mid-winter, cracking open that journal provides something to look forward to. It’s February 21st? Ah, not too long till the redbuds bloom, then!
3. A record of your personal connection with nature
You can use the journal to document how you feel about the garden each day. If it’s gray and cloudy, write down how you felt when you saw the new dooryard garden near the patio door. Note if you were enticed to sit on the porch and listen to the pattern of slow-fast-slow raindrops as a storm moved through. Or you sat in the side yard for a change and really enjoyed the feeling of the sun on your shoulders because the light hits at a different angle through the trees.
Or maybe you spent some time slowly feeling the shapes and textures of the various rocks at the top of your rock garden. Your journal can collect your thoughts about how each rock felt, plus your ideas for finding smoother rocks, or feeling the textures when the rocks are hot from the sun or icy with frost.
In short, a garden journal is a way to take pleasure from your encounter with your garden.
Use it to explore it even deeper by adding your thoughts and sketches, adding to your delight by finding a most excellent way to acclaim and re-live your experience.
Ready to start a garden journal? Please share your comments.