Thursday, June 27, 2013

a peek into my garden journal

Readers of this blog know that I have once again gone the kind of bonkers that only other gardeners know.  A little while ago, my husband invited some neighbors over for a barbecue and there was a veritable party going on in my house.  I'm skulking around the perimeter of the house tying this down, pruning that down, weeding this, watering that.  I'm near the screen door and no one can see me because it's already dark out, but I can hear them: Is Wendy going to eat anything? No, she gets a little crazy once she gets going.  Well, you can send her to our house!  

Then everyone starts laughing.  

Anyway, this year, my goal was also to fully EXPERIENCE my garden.  Unfortunately, I spend so much time worrying on little tasks that need to be done, that I'm never able to see and appreciate my garden like I would like to, just find things I need to do.  One way I was going to slow myself down was to OBSERVE things going on a little more.  Colors, fragrances, insects, birds... I bought a moleskine book to record my thoughts.  Contrary to how I'd imagined it to go, there is no poetry inside, no little philosophical garden-inspired insights.  Just more to-dos - but these are at least accompanied by sketches and other recordings.  

I've been hesitant to keep a gardening journal.  A few obsessive compulsive reasons have prevented me.

  • I like my journals to be pristine.  In the past, my perennial garden sketches have been placed in sheet protectors.  That way I don't get them dirty as I'm outside - usually with muddy garden gloves on. This year, I'm living on the wild side and the water spill that wrinkled the paper above doesn't even bother me.  
  • I didn't like the idea of mixing a permanent page (garden plan) with a more temporary page (to-do list).

  •  Recipes, of course, go in the recipes binder, not scribbled in the journal.


  • Temporal things (like seasonal veggie garden plan) should never be mixed with a permanent thing (like the recipe - that shouldn't be in the journal anyway).

What I love about this journal is that it's always by my side.  I don't have to go to several different places just to search out the info I need.  I also think that keeping all my garden-related info in one book - however disorganized and unpoetic- puts all the pieces together that make me a gardener.  I see all this and realize that I am a dreamer.  I am a designer.  I am a planner.  I am an executor.  I am an analyzer.  And I am also a mother and teacher of new gardeners.  Below, the scribble scrabble (that should have been scribbled on scrap paper and recycled) that illustrates to my 8 year old the importance of thinning the carrots in her own garden bed.  


  1. A garden journal is a great idea. It should be full of all sorts of stuff. Makes it more fun to read later.

  2. At some future date, this will be a family heirloom, treasured by your great-great-garndchildren...especially the carrot sketch.

  3. Perfect! I really enjoy journaling as well. When I studied art in college it was mandatory that we carried and worked in a journal for the year. Now I keep a little book given to me from my mom What an awesome way to share and teach...I love the pic that you drew and shared with your daughter!

  4. I don't have a garden scrapbook in pen and paper. My garden journal is in the form of photos taken and classified in folders inside my computer drives.

  5. I enjoyed the part of your friends thinking you're a crazy gardener. My friends and family think I have lost my mind. But it's true, too many times we get so busy we don't take time to enjoy it all. Love the journaling.


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