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Help on buying garden planner, journal, diary etc

Good afternoon

As a new gardener I’d very much appreciate being pointed in the right direction towards a good garden planner, journal, diary etc in which I can write up topics, save info and will be given help in what to do when.

I know these are very subjective; what one person likes another loathes, but there seems to be thousands out there and any help would be most appreciated 



  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,922
    Hello Lesley  :)
    I think you're right, it's going to be a very subjective choice. The problem with a lot of the garden journals is that they try to be all things to all people. You might be better off having maybe 2 record keeping things, one to act as a garden diary, and another with 12 sections to keep information etc applicable to each month.
    I find that spiral bound folders are useful as you can open them out flat. Something such as Pukka pads

    They might not be as "pretty" as a specific garden journal, but you might find them more practical. 
  • LesleyHLesleyH Posts: 124
    Hi @AnniD

    Thats such a good idea, I hadn’t thought of that. So much more customised by me for what I want and need! Thank you! Yes, that’s the best way to go for me! 


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,628
    I think @AnniD is right. I started off with a RHS Gardeners Five Year Record Book but soon found there wasn't room for all my notes. I use the Pukka pads, one for each year and keep a daily record of what I've done in the garden, plants bought, projects started etc. I've got an RHS year book and Alan Titchmarsh's general book for what to do when which is jolly useful.
    This GW website also has handy guides on what to do and when.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • LesleyHLesleyH Posts: 124

    Yes, makes total sense. Looking at them online most were so pretty and beautifully put together but I can see that they’d ultimately be quite confining. So, many thanks to you too, Lizzie27, I’m going with Pukkas which are lovely and big and substantial.

    The other thing I thought of after reading @AnniD reply is buying a really lovely A4 file, dividers, file paper etc. I could then also have wallets, plain paper, graph paper,  transparent holders for seed packets etc and add or discard anything in the sections. I could also change round the sections if the layout didn’t work for me (Hm… I’m talking myself into this instead, I think! ).

    Thanks Lizzie27, 

  • SYinUSASYinUSA Posts: 232
    edited July 2022
    I just use a composition notebook to write daily what I've done that day in the garden, task lists for the week, what's blooming, what's struggling, etc. Just bullet points. I also keep an Excel spreadsheet with a list of plants in each bed and when they bloom. This helps me visualize what colors appear together and fill in gaps as needed. I need to find the gumption to break the months down into weeks for more accuracy in the bloom times.

    I keep my plant tags or empty seed packets in envelopes labeled after each planting bed. 
  • LesleyHLesleyH Posts: 124

    That is SO impressive! I have got to do something like that Excel spreadsheet. I’m making new flower orders and visualising colours, foliage etc is proving very difficult. Can I pinch this idea from you!?  You have a rain garden east fence? That’s intriguing! 
    You have DAs Scepter’d Isle. I kept wanting to buy that, then went with St Ethelburga which is said to have a stronger scent. But I’m determined to buy it for one of my other new flower beds, it’s such a beautiful rose, isn’t it? 
    Thank you so much for replying xx

  • SYinUSASYinUSA Posts: 232
    Pinch away! 

    By UK standards, my yard is rather large - about 1/3 acre. The back yard is sloped toward the house naturally, but a previous owner installed a berm/swale that directs a lot of the water diagonally across the yard away from the house and to a depression in a shady area under some large trees. After heavy rains it can hold water for a couple of days. "Rain garden" might be a little lofty for what it actually is at this point  :D  I have the outer areas planted already (lots of ferns, heuchera, hostas, a flowering dogwood, hydrangeas, fatsia, elephant ears, Persian shield) but the lowest areas that get the standing water are still bare. I have some natives picked out (Solomon's seal and callicarpa americana) but haven't driven the 40 miles to the nursery that carries them. Everything is in its first year so lots of filling in left to be done.

    The St Ethelburga is so gorgeous! My "want" list grows every time I visit this forum...
  • SYinUSASYinUSA Posts: 232
    PS The St. Ethelburga registration name gave me a giggle - BEAbimbo. 
  • LesleyHLesleyH Posts: 124

    your garden sounds gorgeous xxx. You’re so lucky to have the room to be able to develop different areas. I must get more ferns, they’re such a lovely plant in a shady spot, aren’t they? Mine is very small so I’m trying to get an English cottage garden vibe with planting. Yes I’m very struck by St Ethelburga (and it’s reg name!). I’ve just bought another rose from my long list of wish list roses - Eirene. A beautiful rose. I’ll be interested in how it does. X
  • ErgatesErgates Posts: 2,402
    Some great ideas here. I inherited an A4 address book when I retired, very functional looking but plenty of room. I make a note of plants alphabetically under both their common and Latin names, with any notes added re pruning etc. 
    Im also trying to make a few notes in my favourite gardening books. It goes against the grain, having been brought up to regard books as almost sacred, and not to be defaced, but my ancient Delia Smith cookbook has benefitted hugely from additional notes re quantities, timings and substituted ingredients. 
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