The Charm of Keeping a Garden Journal

Reader Contribution by Trf Cullers
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Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s detailed, multi-faceted garden book, I started a garden journal last year. Like most of my projects, my aspirations were slightly greater than the finished project. I did, however, manage to create a colorful (and slightly muddy!) version of my summer as a gardener. Here’s what I put in my journal:

1. A layout of my garden plot: I drew a grid to the approximate scale of my present garden. This year, I will probably just cut out a square of graph paper and glue it on the journal page, as my grid squares weren’t always exactly square!

2. A list of plants that grow well together. I consulted a couple of online sites to get a general idea of companionable plants:

3. Shopping lists:
• Gardening tools and/or equipment
• Seeds
• Plants
• Soil boosters and fertilizers
• Potting soil
• Gardening/crafting books

4. A few pages dedicated to significant weather events and/or trends (rainfall amounts, extreme temperatures, etc.)

5. A planting log: I dedicate a page to each kind of seed I plant. I like to cut the label from the seed bags or the pictures from seed packets to show exactly what I planted for that season. I also list other information on the page such as where I bought the seeds, planting dates, whether I started the seeds indoors or outdoors, when the seeds germinated, and the results of the harvest.

While I will likely never reach the heights of Mr. Jefferson’s agrarian chronicles, I am enjoying keeping track of my garden adventures. The older I become, the more I enjoy linking the pieces of my life together. Gardening, writing, and journaling make an uplifting combination of “favorite things.”

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