Sunday, April 19, 2015


Each Spring ( and sometimes in Indian Summer too ) a gardening instinct, sure as the sap rising in the trees, stirs within us. We look about and decide to tame another little bit of ground.

From Cream Hill, Lewis Gannett, 1949                           

 And what better way to get started "taming the ground"  than beginning a Gardener's Journal. A gardener's journal is a simple pleasure for all gardener's. Whether you have a very large garden in the country or you garden in pots on your balcony, a gardener's journal is a delightful way to slow down and enjoy your garden in a whole new way.
I just purchased "The Gardener's Journal, An Old Fashioned Keepbook" at a yard sale for 50 cents! It was in "like-new" condition as if I had just purchased it at my local bookstore. While my plan initially was to sell it at my Spring vintage occasional sale, upon perusing it, I got caught up in the delightful pictures, quotes, and artwork.  So I began musing about about what I might do with this pretty little book. And I decided to keep it!

In it, it explains why we will receive pleasure in keeping a record of our garden. "It will", it says, " inspire you to be more observant, so that you develop a deeper interest in your garden". The book also reminds us that "gardens and gardening have also served traditionally as metaphors for earthly paradise and for the business of life itself". It was for this last reason that I decided to keep this journal to keep notes about what I can learn from gardening. The weeding, watering, waiting, sowing and reaping, the bountiful harvest, and yes, even the droughts can be metaphors for a rich new way of understanding our lives. Luther Burbank says, "Trees, plants, and flowers are all educators in the right direction."

My new journal is designed as an old fashioned keepsake, or "keepbook" as they call it. It has beautiful floral pictures and whimsical artwork reminiscent of an earlier era. It has pages to plot and plan your garden even while the snow flies in winter. It offers pages of quotes like the one here:

"One bright branch growing against the wall is grace."  George Washington Carver

While my own living situation limits me to growing my plants mainly in pots, this little book has inspired me to keep an ongoing gardening journal for practical gardening notes, but mainly for the inspirational metaphors of which they will remind me. I also plan on adding more quotes about gardening in my keepbook.

Why not try this for yourself? If you prefer not to purchase a new book, you can create your own by writing your garden plans down on plain paper and use graphed paper for plotting your garden design. You could put it in a notebook, adding favorite quotes and even doodling your own little flowered artwork. Don't worry about what it looks like. It is all for your own simple pleasure.

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