Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A new gardening journal



One of my presents this year was a new gardening journal. Ten years ago, it took a while to find the perfect one and fortunately the company that sells it still has it in stock. This one displays one day at a time so you can see a ten year history of that day on one page. I started my older one in 1997 and incredibly, I will finish it at the end of the month.

Keeping a gardening journal is something that gardeners are always urged to do but you wonder if it is a worthwhile activity. Believe me when I say it is! It will become a goldmine of information for any gardener, reminding you where you obtained a particular plant, what plants have failed and survived in your garden, comparing bloom dates and general weather observations. It will become an indispensable educational tool and one created by yourself! It can sometimes be a depressing document as well (did I really kill that many plants?).

Alas, I am not the best record keeper and I am often lax in keeping mine up to date. I still manage, however, to jot down general observations if I fall behind. In addition to gardening information, I find myself noting social events as well, such as who we had dinner with, appointments, movies we watched, etc. If you have a poor memory like I do, your journal can be instrumental in determining when significant events occurred. Just a few weeks ago, I needed to know when we had some electrical work done. Where did I find the information? In my gardening journal of course! But I digress.

I can think of one thing that would make a gardening journal more convenient and that would be an index. When I get a question or need to find information about a plant in my garden, I know I can locate it in my gardening journal but finding that one piece of information is not always easy. Being a librarian, you would think that I would do something about it but I haven't.

I suppose if a person didn't want to fool with a paper journal, they could use their blog as type of journal. Wouldn't this work? Heck, you would even have a built-in index. Hmmm....

Well, no matter which method you choose (and why not do both?), it is a worthy endeavor and you'll be glad you did it in the future.

9 comments:

  1. I have just moved from a paper garden diary to a blog for precisely the reason you suggest: it's searchable, which paper is not!

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  2. I have the same 10 year gardening journal. I am just wrapping up year 7 so I hope they are still selling them in 3 more years. If I get even a hint that they are going to discontinue them, I'll be tempted to order one, if not two, or three, more. I love mine, too.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

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  3. I started my blog for the purpose of being a photo journal of our progress. I do get concerned that the site could be discontinued at some point and all will be lost. I suppose a paper journal would be a good back up, but my goodness, for the price of that journal I sure could by a lot of plants or compost or apply it to buying my drip system or trellises or arbors... so many projects so little money! LOL

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  4. Randy & Jamie, it is expensive but when you consider that it will cover 10 years, it's not that bad.

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  5. phillip-

    i'm embarrassed to say that I tried keeping a journal one year and was not diligent at all. Your post might give me the incentive to have another 'go around' this coming season. Thanks for some good advice. Fran

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  6. I'm with you, Phillip-I keep a journal and the blog. The journal was started first, and I also record other info, mostly bird sightings and their seasonal movements (when to put out the oriole feeders, etc.). I like the look of yours, but for the broke and informal types like me, a dollar store composition book will do the trick. In this most recent edition, I wanted tabs for my two composter areas, etc. but did not want stuff sticking out. So I cut the corner off one section, and wrote the topic on the cut edge. Then I cut another section's corner slightly smaller (low enough to read the edge I just wrote on) then wrote topic along that cut edge, and so on. The end result was "stair-step" tabs I can see at a glance. Rudimentary to be sure, but it works for me. (Yours looks really cool, though! :)

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  7. I have notes that date back many years and journal records for more recent times. I need that paper and pen and use it for the blog entries too. Your blog has been added to my favorites over at Faire Garden. Now I need to catch up on your archives. Thanks for the good writing.

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  8. Looks like a great gardening journal. I have a gardening notes book that I just jot down plant names and instructions and results. I go back and amend to say how it did or if it had to be moved (or died :)) But a 10 year history- wow! that's impressive!

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  9. I also have the same journal. In fact, I'll be starting year 3 of my second book of it. I find it is an excellent complement to a blog. There's something about the handwritten hardcopy that has intrinsic value. For example, my handwriting is so revealing as to my mental, physical & emotional state. I have 1 entry from when my kids were babies. The writing is little more than a scribble & says "I'm so tired because a certain baby will not sleep well at night". In addition, 100 years from now, it's possible my grandchildren (or greatgrandchildren) will have this record of my life & garden.

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