Friday, April 15, 2011

Creating a Garden Journal

Joe and I are going into our second spring since owning our home, and this year I decided to start keeping a garden journal. 

I sat down a few evenings ago and came up with a list of things that I'd like to keep track of throughout the growing months. Then I made a rough draft of the categories that would help keep me on track-- I didn't want it to be just another unorganized notebook. I'm pretty awesome at keeping jumbled notebooks...I'm one of those people who just opens it to some random page and starts writing. Being unorganized is one of my worst habits!

Anyway. After a couple hours of planning, I made a list of what I needed from the store and went shopping when I got off work. PS: it helps to come up with your color choices before you head to the store.

What you'll need:
- 3 ring binder
- lined paper
- graph paper for plans and drawings
- plastic sleeves for articles & clippings
- magazines to gather photos & ideas from
- decorative paper to divide journal into sections
- pouch to keep supplies in
- pens, markers, scissors, tape (i'm going to get cuter tape from etsy), glue stick, etc.
- hole punch (a 3-ring punch will save you lots of time...i didn't want to buy one, though.)

Total cost: $28, although you can make yours for less. I gathered everything I needed from Target and Archivers. When I searched "garden journal", I saw directions for one that said it would cost $60...not really sure what all that money went towards, but I'm pretty happy with my total cost of $28. I think I could have spent only $20 if I had the tape, glue and ink pads already.

Total time: I spent about 2 hours shopping (i like to look at everything) and then about 3.5 hours assembling, although you could spend less. It all depends on how much you want to get your craft on...and how many photos you take and edit if you blog.

I cut my decorative paper into strips to add a little visual interest to each section. I could have saved a lot of time and some money by just using the actual piece of decorative paper, but I didn't want the journal to feel too chaotic so I decided to use thin strips on blank paper.
Once I had all my strips glued in place, I used my Dymo printer to make section titles. I ended up putting November-March in one section since gardening in Wisconsin is pretty much at a stand still during those months.
In addition to monthly categories, I came up with about 5 others as well so I could keep everything sorted out.
A now that it's finished, I can start keeping notes and ideas! I'm pretty excited to have something like this to keep me organized, and it will be a lot of fun to look back at throughout the coming years. I will most likely use the same journal until it is completely full and just keep adding paper to the sections as I need it.
In case you are interested, here are the categories I included, although I'm sure I will think of more as time goes on:

- each month has it's own section, other than the winter months
- plants and flowers: i'll keep an ongoing list of plants that i see & like.
- inspiration: i will keep my clippings in plastic sleeves in this section. 
- care and keeping: fertilizing times, what works/what doesn't, problems that arise.
- plans and ideas: i put my graph paper in this section. i'll draw my sculpture and bed plans here.
- etc.

And that's how I spent my Friday morning. What are your plans for the weekend? Joe is getting off work in about 20 minutes, but I'm not sure what we'll do yet. It's really windy outside and I think it's only about 45 degrees- no fun for outdoor stuff. Ah well, it's a good day to start filling my journal. :)


Pravina Studio said...

Great idea! I'm so jealous, I dream of having a garden. I had a tiny one back in Madison the last couple of years but in Boston I just have some pots on a deck :(

Run Lori Run said...

Beautiful journal! I've been researching ideas and plan to make one this weekend... Hope your garden is gaining speed!