Crafting | Gardening

Garden Journals: How to make a homemade garden journal

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words.” Lydia M. Child

Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved journaling. During the years, I’ve created several Garden Journals to document my gardens’ growth and changes.  I’ve included magazine articles and pictures that have inspired a new creation or idea that I’ve wanted to incorporate into my gardens. As the years have progressed, I’ve been able to visually see the changes and growth that have naturally taken place.  Another benefit to keeping a journal is that it allows you to see what worked or didn’t work as well as what may have died. I take photos every month to have an accurate idea of what was where and when it bloomed. This aids me in knowing when I don’t have enough things blooming so I can add or replace plants.

Here are the supplies you’ll need to make your own homemade garden journal:   garden_journal
Blank composition book
Patterned paper
Glue stick
Bone folder or wallpaper squeegee
Craft knife
2-inch-wide self-adhesive linen tape- be sure the color matches your theme. This can be purchased at most craft stores.
Journal How-To 
1. With a ruler, measure the front cover of a blank composition book.  Adding 1/2 inch to all sides, measure and cut two pieces of decorative paper to size.
2. Apply a thin layer of glue to the front cover of the composition book including the spine. Lay a piece of decorative paper patterned or a photocopy of one that you have chosen side down on a work surface, and carefully center the book’s glued cover on the paper. Turn the book over, and use a bone folder or squeegee to smooth out any wrinkles; let dry. Carefully trim excess paper using a craft knife. Repeat process with book’s back cover.
3. Cut a piece of adhesive linen tape slightly longer than the book’s spine. Remove the tape backing, and carefully center the tape along the spine. Adhere the tape to the spine; use a bone folder to smooth out any wrinkles. Carefully trim excess tape using craft knife.
Here are some other things to store in your garden journal
The Side Garden
*Receipts – Create pocket pages in your journal to store receipts and the tags from the plant. This is very helpful with larger shrubs and trees. I recommend taking a photo to keep with the plants. If you need to return an expensive item because it died, you’ll have all the documentation.
*Magazine pictures – I often see ideas in gardening magazines that I’d like to incorporate into my gardens. If you don’t want to rip pages out of your magazines, photocopy it and place the copy in your journal, along with the name, issue date and page number of where you found it.
*Garden Plans – I always draw up a garden plan when I’m getting ready to design a new bed. I keep this in my journal as a guild. I include all plants and any hardscape elements that I want to include.  Then as the project starts, I take step-by-step photos of the progress as documentation. Keeping a garden journal will give you years of pleasure as you’re able to page through and see how your gardens have grown.
Happy Day,
Jean Smith
Jean Smith is a mother of six, organic farmer and freelance writer dwelling with her family on their five acre farm in the Thumb of Michigan. She is a self professed master gardener with over 15 years experience who loves to write and teach about her passion for and knowledge in organic gardening. You can read more of Jean's writings at her blog, For Dragonflies And Me