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Instructions for a Homemade Garden Journal

What You'll Need

You can include or exclude, any of the materials listed. We've included the purpose of each material, so you can decide if you need it or not.
  • material for front and back covers. We suggest construction paper or something heavier. If you've got it, a water resistant material would be nice.
  • graph paper for your overall garden plan and individual garden bed plans
  • full-page vinyl pocket pages, 3-hole punched, for articles
  • vinyl pocket pages with up to 4 pockets, for multiple pictures, 3-hole punched
  • photo albumn pages - 3-hole punched
  • 3-hole punched lined paper for notes
  • tabbed dividers - monthly if you plan to keep your journal in date order, or blank for you to design your own dividers
  • something to keep your pen and pencil in, while you're in the garden
  • a means of holding your garden journal pages together, which might be a binder, ribbon, raffia or anything else that appeals to you.
  • different colours of paper for different seasons, or for different purposes, as you wish, making it easier to find things if your journal will be a fatty
  • journal paper - this can be plain white, lined, or designer stationery, formatted or unformatted - this is what you will use for your notes.

      How to Get Started

      If you have a large existing garden, it may seem overwhelming to begin keeping records, now. Where to start!
      • Begin with a rough hand-drawn garden plan, laying out your garden beds. We suggest one plan for the front yard, and a second for the back yard. Do a third plan if you have substantial side yards.
      • Transfer the individual beds on your main plan to separate pieces of paper, and tackle each bed individually. It breaks up the task, and lets you actually accomplish something.
      • Map groupings of plants, rather than individual plants, and make it really rough. You can do more detailed, scaled versions later.
      • If you plan to keep records on each plant or type of plant, you'll want to create a separate page for each plant species in your garden, and record where they're located as well as their descriptions, proper names, and as much information as you now know about them. Begin with a separate page for each, and fill them in later.
      • Take pictures of plants. If you have a digital camera, it's a lot less costly over time, and you can take pictures willy-nilly, then cull them out later. Otherwise, at least take pictures when they're in full bloom.
      • Record your activities, including creation of the journal.
      As a general rule, it's a lot easier to get started and keep motivated as you begin your journal, if you split big tasks into a lot of manageable little tasks.

      Garden Journal Templates

      We've included a few samples of garden templates you may find useful. Most are very basic, and can be created using MS Word or any other wordprocessor. You can be as fancy or as simple as you want. Just click on the link and either view the template in Word, or download the template for free.

      2-box plain template
      named 2-box plain template
      plant detail garden journal template
      plant detail with clipart garden journal template


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The Garden Management System

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