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Gardening Journal & Notebook

May 12, 2009


It’s that time, gardening time. I grew up reading The Secret Garden and with a mom who loved gardening. As a toddler I devoured strawberries off the vine with the juice dripping down my chin. We grew up with flower and vegetable gardens and I helped with them all. Our vegetable garden was often very large and I have many memories of rising around six in the morning to go weed for an hour or so before breakfast and the heat of the day began. I can recall freezing beans and sweet corn every year and selling our bounty from a roadside stand for several years as a teenager. So I guess spring and summer wouldn’t be the same without a garden of some kind. It runs in my veins.


So now, with a yard of my own, I’m busy with garden plans. To help me in this endeavor, I’ve started a Garden Notebook. It’s simply a binder with pages torn from magazines with ideas, plans, articles, etc. for gardening.


The front of my binder has a “contents” page that corresponds to the dividers so I can easily find what I need.


It organizes my plans for my future garden because I have more ideas than I have the time or money to implement in a year!


The other helpful thing I have is a Garden Journal. It’s a cheap Composition book and I decorated the cover. This is where I record what I plant each year. I’d never remember where I plant what, so this is where I write that along with any other pertinent information, like how many days until germination.


I also paste little tips from magazines I may cut out and draw diagrams of my gardens.


I’d never remember if what’s coming up is cantelope or cucumbers without writing it down. I’ve tried markers to stick in the ground in the past but they often get lost or washed off. So I’ve found that making note of it in my journal is the most surefire way of keeping track.

How about you? Got any gardening tips to share?

20 Comments leave one →
  1. zoanna permalink
    May 12, 2009 5:06 pm

    Thanks to you, I started a gardening journal last year and LOVE it.
    It’s just what I need to ward off the winter blues.

    Unlike you, my memories of rising to weed for an hour are NOT fond, and my biggest reason for keeping a veggie garden very small and the mulch very thick:).

  2. May 12, 2009 5:32 pm

    I’m going to pass this onto my older sister who has a virtual plantation that she calls a garden. ha! I’m exagerating a bit, but I think she may appreciate this strategy. I take baby steps. This year I am trying basil and cilantro from seed and maybe zucchini. I was going to try broccoli from seed until my sister said it’s nearly impossible. So, if my expert sister is telling me that, this novice is going to heed her advice. πŸ™‚
    As far as flowers, I typically just plant what I receive from others as gifts or what I can scrounge up from others’ excess. I did buy myself a lilac bush last year for Mother’s Day; it is my absolute favorite, and I’ve wanted one since I was single. I finally broke down and just bought one.
    I don’t have all that much room to grow stuff nor the time to tend to it, but I do have plans to keep “growing” in gardening. I know when the season is right, it will be a hobby I thoroughly enjoy and want to get into, and hopefully include my kiddos in as well.

  3. May 12, 2009 7:41 pm

    oh, i wish i were a gardener… very inspiring. and you know i love anything with notebooks. maybe one day i’ll attempt it… πŸ™‚

  4. May 12, 2009 8:57 pm

    I’ve got a gardening section in my binder – was enjoying scoping yours out last week, too! I love the idea for the whole journal thing, since I’m not much good at remembering where I planted what either.
    My big tip is to grow from seed as much as you can. Some stuff doesn’t start from seed well, but the veggies and flowers) you pay through the nose for at the garden centers(annuals, especially) can usually be started under a light in an old meat tray (true story). That way, if it all goes bust, you’ve only wasted a couple bucks.

    • May 13, 2009 6:32 am

      Great tip, Kelly! So true. It’s way cheaper to by seeds vs. plants!

  5. May 13, 2009 3:12 am

    I do miss gardening so much, and will try to live vicariously through yours, Danielle. We rent a house here, so all I can do is potted plants, which is fine, but not as motivating. And I love the notebook and journal idea. I’ve decided to start doing that to keep ideas for home decorating.

  6. May 13, 2009 7:54 am

    Neat books! I need to get organized like that for house stuff.

    I *wish* I had that gardening bug! I never grew up doing it–my dad did, but for some strange reason I don’t remember him involving us kids–and I love the idea, but I have no real desire whatsoever to actually do the work. Last year I borrowed a copy of Square Foot Gardening and it made SO much sense to me, so we gave it a try–or a modified version, anyway, in containers–but our yard just doesn’t get enough sun. Totally pathetic. Maybe I would be more into gardening/willing to do the work if I’d experienced success firsthand! As it is, I want the fresh, healthy produce without the work πŸ™‚

    So we’ve given up on gardening at this house–but I’m SUPER excited about being in a CSA this year–our first pickup is Friday!

    • May 13, 2009 8:18 am

      Ooo, being in a CSA sounds so exciting! I want to become part of one here, but haven’t yet. Our veggie patch is so small, supplementing with a CSA would be great. I’d love to hear how it goes, Amy!

  7. Janice permalink
    May 13, 2009 12:30 pm

    Wow, this is truly inspiring!! I just wish I could plant a garden that wouldn’t get devoured by gophers, moles, and any number of wild animals. We live right next to ag land and as if the acres and acres of broccoli and romaine lettuce wasn’t enough, they think our backyard is for their nibbling pleasure. Drat. Oh well, I’ll enjoy your garden vicariously. πŸ˜‰

  8. Anne permalink
    May 13, 2009 4:53 pm

    my tip…Don’t let me help you garden.
    I ABSOLUTELY stink at it…I’m so bad.
    I want to be good at it {and enjoy it}, but I haven’t gotten into it well enough yet…everything I plant dies…wait I do have one plant that came back this year so WOOHOO for me.
    As for you, I’m way impressed, and inspired…keep updating on this so that when I do start that garden I have you as a resource!

    • May 15, 2009 1:36 pm

      Anne, you and I sound so alike. I’m not very good at gardening either.

      Danielle, I love what you are doing! Ted is feeling inspired to grow some of our own food. We just bought two apple trees and he wants to get some tomato plants. Any tips on tomatoes? I’m clueless. He tried growing some from seeds last year, but they died. So this year he’s thinking potted tomato plants.

      • May 15, 2009 3:36 pm

        I would never go to the trouble of planting tomato plants from seed, personally, Ashleigh. I’d definitely recommend just buying plants. And Martha Stewart Living just had an awesome article about growing tomatoes in pots, even giving you the name of the best varieties to pot. Check it out here.

  9. May 14, 2009 1:43 pm

    Ooooooh! I LOVE IT! Big surprise–me liking something organizational.

    I have other binders for address info., lists of who I send Christmas cards to, and budgeted gifts throughout the year, vacation rental info. and packing lists, maps and directions, etc…but I don’t have a garden binder. I’m totally digging the diagraming thing! (Oops, no pun intended.)

    So far my only “gardening” takes place in our front flowerbed, but like you I grew up tending and reaping the bounty of a large garden. For now, because our association imposes limits, we grow things in my parents garden. Natalia LOVES picking the peppers and tomatoes and she even helped some with the corn last summer.

  10. bethyoung permalink
    May 15, 2009 7:48 am

    My husband is the landscaper and I like to stick with the potted plants and flowers. I do have a question, though. I want a lemon tree really badly. I saw the Meyer Lemon Tree for $40 and obviously I can’t grow that outside, but I can inside. I’ve managed to keep two Palm’s alive inside the house for almost 3 years now. Do you know anything about Lemon trees? If not, I bet Bethany does πŸ™‚ I’m impressed with your garderning journal!

    • May 15, 2009 3:30 pm

      Beth, I don’t know anything about Lemon Trees, but I think maybe Bethany has one, so maybe she’d know what to recommend. Meyer Lemons are supposed to be so great!

  11. May 15, 2009 10:52 am

    I love this idea. Someday, when I’m retired like my grandma, I will have a garden. She had the best garden in the world, herbs and vegetables and strawberries and everything wonderful… I couldn’t keep up with it now, but someday…

  12. May 15, 2009 4:12 pm

    Thanks, Danielle! I’ll pass the link on to Ted. Yeah, after last year, he gave up the idea of planting them from seed.

  13. Caroline Swartz permalink
    May 18, 2009 7:46 am


    This is going to be my first year at a real garden. Up until now, I haven’t braved past the container garden. I love the idea of keeping track of what we plant in a journal. I wasn’t sure if I would remember later in the season what is what in the garden. This is such a fabulous idea! Do you have any experience with blueberries and blackberries? I wanted to plant a berry patch for my daughter, just not sure where to start.

    • May 18, 2009 3:29 pm

      Caroline, I don’t know anything about blueberries or blackberries. I think it takes a few years to get to the place where they bear fruit through, but am not sure.

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