My friend Kate has kept a garden journal for years, and what I realized the last time I paged through it with her is that it’s the story of a life: “Drove up on November 14, a sunny day.” “Echinacea patch replanted, August 2013.” “Went to the farm and bought avocados.”
On every page of a good garden journal, a memory comes alive. Here’s a photo of Kate’s roses in bloom last spring. Here’s the butterfly that loved the blue scabiosa. Poppies in bloom, kids home for a visit.
Kate is a lucky woman, flipping through the years, the pages of a happy life. It makes me want to keep my own garden journal. How about you?
Here are 10 garden journals to fill with photos, dried flowers, notes on the weather, memories:
Four Seasons Notebooks Above: Made in Japan, a set of Four Seasons Notebooks comes with a ruled insert to guide your writing; $22 from Alder and Co. Velvety Softcover Notebook Above: A Medium Model Notebook with a velvety cover and an elastic band closure is $22 from Merci. A larger Notebook is $35. Lined Leather Notebook Above: A leather Badia Notebook in Cowhide has lined pages and is available in five colors including natural as shown; $115 from Il Bisonte. Notebook Cover Above: A minimal leather Field Notes Notebook Cover protects any pocket notebook from wear and tear. A notebook and cover are $35 from LA-based 1.61 Soft Goods. Journal, with App Above: Moleskine’s Smart Writing Set ($199) captures hand-written lists and drawings and translates them into a mobile app: “Ncoded paper technology allows the Pen+ to recognize exactly where it is in the Paper Tablet and capture each stroke as you capture your thoughts..” Wooden Journal Above: A Coptic Journal “hand-stitched with antique flax linen upholstery thread has covers of reclaimed Walnut or Hickory and is a great journal for sketching and writing and opens flat for easy use,” notes designer Peg and Awl. Available with either a walnut (shown) or hickory cover, the journal ‘s cover can be custom engraved with up to six lines of text. Prices range from $50 to $70 depending on engraving. Flap-Tie Notebook Above: A large refillable Writers Log Leather Notebook is available in seven colors including Ocean as shown; it has a flap tie closure for extra protection and is $45 at Rustico (for an additional $10 it can be personalized). Recycled Paper Notebook Above: Made by Ciak, a Large Italian Notebook has ruled pages made of recycled paper and a “leather-like bonded soft cover with beautiful contrast inner cover,” notes retailer Everyday Needs. It is $35 NZD (about $24 US). Metal Edged Notebook Above: A sturdy thread-stitched Metal Edged Notebook has “nickel-plated edging on three sides for the roughest treatment,” says retailer Manufactum; €37. Handbound Leather Journal Above: A Handbound Leather Journal is available in three sizes (the large is currently sold out) at prices ranging from $44 to $56 depending on size at Peg and Awl.
N.B.: Wondering what to sketch and write about in your gardener’s journal? See
Dear Diary: A Garden Journal.