Gardening Journal

My New Year's resolution is to get better organized, and that of course includes my garden and understanding how it grows. Recording the progress of favorite plant varieties, what grew when or didn't do well, can be very helpful with future gardening efforts. Creating a simple garden journal neatly stores important information about your garden. It's a place to file favorite recipes for specific soils, organic fertilizers, all those loose plant tags or even garden craft and flower arranging projects. 

 

Good Gardeners can easily get their journal growing by printing their favorite 'Good Gardening' ideas and instructions seen each Sunday morning on ABC7 News. I've selected several "How To's" to get you started (see below "Direct Links to Jill's favorite How To's.") If more ideas are desired simply go to the main page of 'Good Gardening,' then select and print the information. 

 

Before you get started a trip to the stationary store may be necessary if you don't already have a three-ringed binder, organizer pockets, clip board, Dry-Erase board and other odds and ends you might find useful to create a personal garden journal. 

 

I hope every Good Gardener finds my garden journal helpful, inserting each 'Good Gardening' tip and your own, into the journal. What a great way to end and start a new year, a neat and organized system to collect, chronicle and record monthly or even weekly events in the garden. Garden Journals also make great gifts for your gardening pals.

Monthly Good Gardening Journal
Materials
  • 'Clear Vue Presentation Binder' with three 2-inch rings. This binder has a plastic sheet attached to the front and back, which is needed to create a decorative cover. 

  • 2 inspirational pictures or photos to insert into the plastic that is both on the front and back of the journal. For instructions on how to make a

  • Yard Stick Frame Cover see instructions below 

  • 14 'Plastic Double Pocket' Dividers, some have computer printable inserts. 12 are needed for the months of the year; one tab will be labeled 'Flower Arranging' and the other 'Garden Crafts' 

  • 8 ½ x 11 3/4-inch clipboard, this allows you to walk around your garden without carrying the entire journal. The clipboard clips onto the inside of the front cover 

  • 'Dry-Erase Marker Board.' This is very handy for note taking or drawing garden schemes 

  • Four 1-inch strips of self-adhesive Velcro 

  • 8 ½ x 11 3/4-inch binder paper note pad with 3 pre-punched holes for standard 3-ring binders. The pad also has a perforated top edge to easily remove pages 

  • Graph Paper or graph paper tablet with 3 holes for standard 3-ring binders 

  • Plastic Zipper Binder Pocket for standard 3-ring binders 

  • In the zipper pocket enclose pens, pencils, hole punch, small measuring tape and package of Kleenex, etc., useful items while recording and working with your journal. The kleenex is useful not only for your nose, but also to wipe clean the 'Dry Erase' board. 

  • Hole punch for all those articles or instructions to go into journal 

  • Plastic Photo Holders to hold plant tags, also has 3 pre-punched holes per page for standard 3-ring binders

Directions
  1. Insert inspirational pictures into plastic covering of the binder. For instructions on how to make a Yard Stick Frame Cover see instructions below. 

  2. Write or use the computer to inscribe each month of the year on the paper tab inserts provided. Also make a paper tab labeled 'Flower Arranging' and another labeled 'Garden Crafts.' Insert all labels into the plastic tabs on each divider. Divide the journal into the 12 months of the year, plus the two additional sections. 

  3. Insert binder paper note pad and graph paper or graph paper tablet. 

  4. Insert plastic zipper pocket filled with pens, pencils, hole punch, measuring tape etc., whatever supplies you may find helpful in the garden. 

  5. Collect all those plant tags that are lying around then slip them into the photo pockets. 

  6. Attached self-adhesive Velcro to the back corners of the Dry-Erase Board. Now attach the other halves of the Velcro to the inside back cover of the binder. The right edges of both the Dry Erase Board and the binder should meet. This allows the journal to continue closing properly by avoiding the binder's rings. 

  7. Punch holes in the documents and insert them into the garden journal. Or simply insert them into the plastic pockets that divide the journal. If it's a topic that can be done anytime of year, such as a making a cake completely of flowers, (see Blooming Cakes on the 'Good Gardening' main page) insert the "How To" in the special section for either garden and floral crafts. 

  8. With the clipboard's clip, attach it to the back of the front cover of the journal 

  9. Insert these instructions into your garden journal.

Yard Stick Frame Cover
Materials
  • 2 Yardsticks -- Any color, however two different colors make the cover more interesting. If you cannot find colored yardsticks, stain or paint them. 

  • Measuring tape 

  • 6 ¾ long x 4 1/8-inch wide inspirational photo, magazine clipping or greeting card 

  • Double sided tape 

  • Hack saw 

  • Low heat hot glue gun and glue

Directions
  1. Select an inspirational photo, magazine clipping or greeting card. The picture should measure 6 ¾ long x 4 1/8-inches wide or larger. However, only the 6 ¾ x 4 1/8-inch portion of it will be seen. Stick double sided tape on the back center of the inspirational picture. Carefully insert it into the plastic front cover of the binder. Center the picture, as the frame will be built around it. 

  2. Measure and cut with hand saw, two 11-inch lengths of yardstick. Hot glue these two pieces horizontally to the top and bottom of the binder's front cover. The outer edges of the yard stick pieces should meet the top and bottom outer edges of the binder. 

  3. Measure and cut four 9 1/4-inch lengths of yardstick. Hot glue two of these pieces vertically to the left and right outer edges of the cover, in between the two 11-inch pieces. The outer edges of the yard stick pieces should meet the left and right outer edges of the binder. 

  4. Hot glue two more 9-inch lengths vertically, next to the other 9-inch lengths just glued in place. 

  5. Measure and cut two 6 ½ -inch lengths of yard stick. Hot glue these two pieces horizontally to butt up to the two 11-inch lengths. They should also fit snugly between the vertical 9-inch lengths just glued in place. 

  6. Finally, measure and cut two 6 ¾ -inch lengths of yard stick. Hot glue these two pieces vertically and next to the other vertical pieces. 

  7. Your picture should now be framed. Insert these instructions into your garden journal.

My best,