How to Use a Garden & Landscape Journal wallacegardencenter

How to Use a Garden & Landscape Journal

A gardening notebook is the perfect place to jot down ideas, explore design trends, plan your next moves, and keep note of exciting things you find seasonally!

Sometimes the rush of creativity or the passion for a new project can keep you scattered when it comes to the finer details. If you’re starting a garden this year or wondering how to keep a better schedule, we’ve got some great ideas on how to keep a journal for all those tasks!

How to Start a Gardening Journal

Any type of notebook will work fine for your gardening journal, but many gardeners like ones that include a calendar to keep track of important dates and schedules. Separate your journal into sections so you can clearly find what you’re looking for, and add as much flair as you like! This journal is meant for you as a place to jot down ideas, explore design trends, plan your next moves, and keep note of exciting things you find seasonally.

Reasons You Need a Journal for Gardening

You might wonder why on earth you would need to keep a journal for your garden, but if you look at all of the little things that go into a successful garden and outdoor landscape, it makes sense to keep track of what’s going on. Here are some of the best things you can use a gardening journal for:

Wallaces Garden Center-Iowa- How to Use a Garden and Landscape Journal-landscape sketch

Sketches & Diagrams

Start out by including a sketch or “floor plan” of your garden and landscape. It’s easier to plan for changes and additions when you have a working map to look at. Make sure you include in what parts of the garden get sun vs. shade, any structural obstacles that might impede planting, buildings, water features, power lines, and fences.


The journal you keep for gardening should have a working list of all your plants. You can divide this section into planting zones or by type, but be sure to include when they were planted, overall growth and health, and what (if any) diseases or problems you have had with them. This is also a good place to add what types of pollinators or other insects seem to be attracted to your plants.

Calendars & Schedules

With so many plants to keep tabs on, your gardening journal is an excellent place to record important dates for planting seeds and best practices for each type of plant. Some seeds require indoor germination for weeks before the spring, so keep your timelines written down in your gardening journal to avoid the disappointment of missing a planting window. Your gardening journal is also the best place for keeping note of watering and fertilizing schedules. This is especially helpful if there is more than one person tending your plants, or if you happen to go on holiday and have some help from friends or family.


Another great feature in your gardening journal is to have an inspiration section primed and ready for your new ideas. If you happen to be outside in the garden and spot the perfect place for a new flower, shrub, or perhaps a birdbath, add it here! It's easy to forget these sudden inspirations, so make a habit of brainstorming regularly.

Wallaces Garden Center-Iowa- How to Use a Garden and Landscape Journal-spring flowers

The Extra Stuff

Your gardening journal will become a special book to record your personal experiences while gardening. Leave a section open for observations, passing thoughts, meditations, and leftover seeds. You might even want to keep some dried and pressed flowers as a keepsake, or a small feather left by a passing songbird in your garden. These are the little things that make your garden memorable for years to come, and are something you can share with others that share your passion.


Something fun you can add to your gardening journal is a section for wildlife buzzing in and about your garden landscape. Many gardeners spot not just bees and butterflies, but migrating birds, amphibians, rodents, and even predators coming to explore your lush paradise. Take some pictures if you can, or at least record what you see and the dates! If you’re excited about starting a journal for gardening in the Bettendorf area, visit us at Wallace’s Garden Center. We have an abundance of ideas to get you going, and we’re here to help you along the way!
Back to blog