Monday, January 15, 2018

New Year, New Start! Garden Journalling and Planning


Do you keep a garden journal?  If it's always on you to-do list to start one (or get better at using what you've got) then why not take the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start?  For my own garden records, I mostly use a combo of planner page notes (our mix-and-match printable journal pages are free for download), basic graph paper for layouts, and my camera.  Unfortunately, I'm a terrible procrastinator about keeping records, so in the new garden (we're moving this year) I aim to do much better!

For my own journal, I try to keep a simple binder with basic notes on what I plan and like/dislike for better future garden planning and growing. It's a basic hardcopy file of notes, sketches, and little tidbits like packets, labels, garden calendars, and guides, supplemented with my mobile phone for photos. I openly confess that I haven't been as good at keeping it up-to-date as I would like, and that's led to my losing track of some important information that I really wish I had recorded the names and sources for all of the specific plant varieties we've tried here at the current house so that I could source similar winners for the new garden and take better lessons learned away on the failures.

What to include in your garden journal really depends on your preferences and aspirations for your garden. It can be as simple as some sketches and notes on what you are growing and where, or as comprehensive as a full journal of your landscape plans, plantings, harvests, weather, pests, soil, and more. Keep it fun and interesting, and you're more likely to keep it up in the long term. I'm going to start incorporating more visual elements in my journal, since that's something I really enjoy and find useful.  Some mindfulness sketching and colouring might help keep me a little more motivated to keep my records up-to-date. 

I've recently started working on my garden plans for the new house. It's a new build, so it will be a garden from scratch. Because of the complexities of covenants on boundaries and mandatory plantings, we had a professional landscape designer help with the fencing and key garden bed vs. lawn vs. path layout.  They did an AMAZING job of translating our brief into a design.  The finer details, especially in our new edible garden area (a big potager....so excited!) are with me for dreaming and scheming. There are definitely some new printable page ideas in the works from things I wish I had for planning and/or wish I had been better recording to date.  Between this process and a few special requests for you our lovely readers, I'll be creating a few new pages to slip into our free printable mix-and-match journal pages a little later this year. Requests are welcome!

What are your top tips for keeping a garden journal? Favourite resources?  Go-to tools? Helpful tips? Goals and ambitions for future journalling? Success stories? Tales of woe?  Leave us a comment. :) We'd love to hear your stories and ideas. If you have your own blog/website or a favourite read you'd like to share and would like to leave a live link in the comments, just use the following format as a guide: <a href="http://www.yourlink.com">text you want shown for your link</a>

Wish that something was added to the coordinating garden journal printable pack?  Leave me a comment and I will see what I can do. :) Don't be shy - if you want it, there are probably others who do as well, and I might find it handy for my journal too!  


3 comments:

  1. I need to keep better records too. Spraying and fertilizing are always late or mixed up in our garden so something for that would be great if possible. And seed keeping.

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    1. Great ideas! :) Thanks for the suggestions.

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    2. Hi there! Just a heads up that we've refreshed the freebies and there are new downloads linked from the free mix-and-match garden journal post that now include options for detailed tracking on tasks like spraying and feeding. Thanks for your suggestions, and I hope they're helpful! Seed keeping will follow separately as I'm still working on something special for that. :)

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