You know these Gardening years don't always have to take a YEAR, right? They can take a month or two or a few years...go at your own pace!

So, you have a few good basic tools, and you've played around with fun seeds and a solid plant. Are you ready to figure out where you are going?

This is your junior year, where guidance counselors try to get you to figure out what you want to be when you grow up. Did anyone really know? Seriously? I am turning 30 this year, and I am just now figuring it out. I digress. In the gardening world, you should have a little more foresight than when you were a raging hormones and all that. So, this is the time to start dreaming and start planning if you have decided this whole gardening thing is for you!

First thing you need? A journal. You can buy a nice one, or use a cheap one, or use something you already have. It doesn't matter AT ALL. Some people like to carry their journal around the garden...if you do make sure it is water resistant! I prefer to doodle in mine before bed, so it doesn't need to be particularly tough.

I do have to admit this isn't my only journal though....I have a more detailed garden journal where lists and plant tags are the main elements.

Then there are these little notebooks I carry around everywhere to sketch in and make on site lists.

You don't have to be an artist...clearly...

Pool Garden Plans 2011

What should you write in your journal? Thoughts on your world view and deep emotional journeys? Not so much. Record when the first daffodil pokes it's head up from the ground (right now!!) and when the first crocus blooms. Record exactly where you sowed a few seeds or where you transplanted those day lilies. It doesn't have to be pretty, just factual so you have a guide the next year. If you have a late frost or a crazy windstorm, write that in there. You don't have to write everyday if you don't want to. This is not your life, it is just your garden. This is supposed to be fun, so if you hate it, stop and find a new hobby. Give it a try for at least a summer'll probably be hooked :)

Here are some examples of what goes into my main journal...primarily lists, crossed off lists and sketches...
lots and lots of sketches...and lists....and sketches...and lists...

After you have your journal it is time to think about your grand plan. This is the best part and the hardest part. If you are really into designing a garden space, this is the time to go to the library and check out book after book after book after book about gardening. Check out books with lots of pictures and books with just tips on how to be a frugal gardener. Check out books about garden styles and how to compost. Learn everything you can before you design your master plan. If you are fast, you can read your 20-40 books in a week because you are crazy excited. You could also go slowly and take years. Up to you...I read 6 years of Fine Gardening magazines and a HOST of gardening texts over about a 6 month period. The point is, learn a little bit before your really start digging.

Did you think I would give you a simple easy design plan? 
Sorry...this part takes work, but if you like plants...the work is kind of fun! 
Don't worry....senior year is coming up :)

Once you have a record of what is going on in your garden, a vast knowledge from all of your research 
and a hardy little sedum growing out there in you yard, it is time to sketch a few plans. ...and then you get to be a's so fun!


alison said…
i keep a 3 ring binder with pockets, blank pages and sheet protectors...the pockets are useful for tucking seed packets into for safe keeping, the blank pages for sketching and the sheet protectors for holding inspiration pages torn from magazines...couldn't live without it! your journals are lovely...very detailed and i adore blank sketch pads for all sorts of reasons.


stuff and nonsense
Your blog is like my Mecca. I feel like I've hit a treasure trove here! You have so much great info and it's so well written AND a bonus of pretty pictures! :D

I had a garden journal that I kept at my old house, but I have forgotten to pull it out and start using it again at our new house. I need to make a note to 1. Find it. 2. Get mad that I can't find it because I can't find anything anymore and 3. Buy a new one. :)