Why keep a garden journal? The information you gather will help you become a better gardener. Here is how to create a garden journal.

How to make a garden journal

What is a garden journal? A garden journal is a record of information about your garden. There is no right or wrong way to write a journal. It is your journal! You should create it based on the types of information you want to track to help you with your garden experience.

One of the reasons I started a journal for my garden was to track epic failures and successes. My home, landscape and gardens are new. I am learning what works best in certain areas of my yard. Azealia bushes at my old home grew beautiful. Yet at the new home, I have lost several bushes. My journal will capture key facts about the soil in yard and sun exposure for the best placement of plants in my yard. The weather for the season can have a significant impact as well.

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First let’s make our own unique garden journal. It’s a fun way to be creative while being efficient too.

  • Three ring Chipboard Album with page sleeves ($7.99 Hobby Lobby)
  • Modge Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Rice Paper
  • Burlap Garland (5″ x 20″ roll)
  • A large button
  • Embroidery floss (optional) for button
  • Sanding block
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Chipboard garden journal

I am using Ancient Mud Cloth Rice Paper from Dixie Belle Paint Company. You can adhere it with either Modge Podge or apply Clear Coat on the area where you want to place the rice paper.

Cut the border off of your rice paper. Trim it to the size you need to cover the front and back of your chipboard album.

Apply Modge Podge or Clear Coat on the area where you want to place the rice paper. Have the rice paper placed on top of the Modge Podge or Clear Coat while it’s still wet.

You can apply another layer of Modge Podge or Dixie Belle Clear Coat on top of the rice paper. I choose not to put a coat on top of mine.

Once the Modge Podge or Dixie Belle Clear Coat has dried, you can use a sanding block to smooth out the edges of your journal. It will knock off the excess paper.

To create the burlap pocket, run the burlap garland to the length of the chipboard album. Fold a piece of the burlap up to create a large pocket. Trim the top to align with the top of the album. Run a bead of hot glue across the top to adhere the burlap to the rice paper and journal.

With your hot glue gun run a bead of glue to adhere the sides of the burlap to the journal. Next add glue to each sides of the pocket. The burlap is porous. To avoid burning yourself, use a pencil or plastic scapula to press the burlap down onto the garden journal.

You can embellish your pocket with a simple large button. I used olive green embroidery floss to create the “sewn X” in the center. Add a dot of hot glue and press down. I placed the scapula inside the pocket. This way it did not glue my pocket shut.

The pocket is the perfect place to slip a plant tag or plant receipt.

What should be in a garden journal? Some of things you could include in your journal are:

  • Seed starting and planting dates
  • Garden layout and design with plant locations
  • Plant tag information or seed (bulbs) packet information
  • If doing a vegetable garden you may want to have a crop rotation plan
  • Watering schedule and/or method
  • Wildlife sightings (the good and the bad)
  • Information about the plant
  • Climate and weather changes for the season
  • Seeds saved and stored
  • Inventory of plants
  • Fertilizer application type and date
  • Insect pests and organic pest control used
  • Unsuccessful plants (failures and issues)
  • Dead heading and pruning date
  • Photos of your garden or clippings of inspiration gardens
  • Special projects
  • Soil maintenance (treatments or amendments)
  • Mulching

Your journal does not have to be perfect. It’s to keep track of what’s working and not working in your garden. You can have clippings from magazines, slips of paper with information and ideas that can be tucked into your journal. It’s all about your observations in the gardens you created.

One of the main items that I like to keep in my journal is information about the plant. Where it was purchased online or specific local nursery. In case, I want to purchase more of that particular plant.

Did I receive it from a family or friend’s yard? I love to get plants from my mother or my friend, Robyn’s yard.

What is a garden journal

The planting zone that plant grows best in. The soil and drainage requirement for the plant. What is the sun requirement? The type of fertilizer that worked well.

Other notes about transplanting to a new spot if the plant was not doing well. Hope this provides you with some ideas of creating a simple journal of your own.

A garden journal is a powerful tool that can elevate your gardening experience from season to season. By tracking your plantings, weather patterns, and successes and failures, you gain valuable knowledge that will transform you into a more confident and informed gardener.

May you have a wonderful day, sweet friend.

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  1. Love this! I always have great intentions to follow through with my garden journal. Thanks for the reminder to get it done now.

  2. I love this idea, Tammy! Big Al and I have bought quite a few new plants and with the large raised bed gardens, this would really come in handy!

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