Keeping a Garden Journal

As part of our travel series I wanted to promote the use of a garden journal.  On this trip we’re using the journal to take notes on the plant varieties and garden styles and designs we see in our travels to possibly incorporate them into the garden back home.  This is a great way to remember what we saw and why we want to use it.  In the next post you will see some of the things we added to our journal.

A garden journal can help you manage the ever-changing design of your garden.  What is a garden journal, you ask. . .  A garden journal is pictures and notes about your garden in every season.  So in the fall you have a reminder or description of your spring design so you can see where you may want to plant bulbs, for example.  And by referenceing your summer and fall notes you’ll know what areas need attention, like dividing and moving certain plants.

Below is a picture from my journal that shows the spring view in my mum garden.  Clearly this area is barren in the spring and with theese notes I plan to address this in the fall by planting bulbs.  The summer picture of the same area, in the center of the photo, shows a much fuller garden which tells me that the bulbs I plant should finish their growth cycle by early summer to make way for the other plants.


I also see that there is some room for ground cover in the summer and these pictures help remind me how much shade this garden gets when it is in full bloom so I pick the right ground cover.  In this case I want to choose a ground cover that grows no more than six to eight inches tall, has a leaf color outside the average green range, and likes a lot of shade; maybe spotted dead nettle would work here.

Get yourself a spiral notebook or three ring binder or even walk around with your iPad.  Take notes, take pictures, and create a record of the evolution of your garden.

Stay tuned for scenes from the Berkshire Botanical Garden.


btw – Thank you to my sister for her excellent suggestion about garden journals.


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