Whether you are a brand new gardener or you’ve been doing gardening for a few years, using garden prompts in a journal is extremely important. It doesn’t matter if you are a straight to the point garden journal-er, or someone who is more fanciful and elaborate. Journaling specifically for the garden is going to help you improve your garden year after year.
Who Is Using Garden Prompts
That entirely depends on the gardener. I’ve noticed that there are usually 4 types of gardeners: The Utilitarian, The New Gardener, The Fanciful Gardener, and The Chaotic Gardener….. One guess which one I am 🙂
The Utilitarian Gardener
This gardener KNOWS the importance of their garden, but at the end of the day, it’s a project, chore, or other responsibility. It’s a place were they go to plant, weed, grow and harvest. They are very proud of their garden but it’s not their heart and soul. They’ve probably been gardening for several years but the wanderlust of the garden isn’t lost on them.
This gardener is using garden prompts as part of a system to improve their gardens year after year. Their garden and garden journal is probably a spread sheet and is extremely organized. There are lists of where they bought seeds, if they saved seeds, what they pruned and experiments they are running.
The New Gardener
This gardener probably doesn’t even know they should be keeping a garden journal. This is their first or second garden and they aren’t exactly sure what they are doing or when they should be doing it. The entire garden is an experiment in growing food. They are are super excited and tell EVERYONE about their garden.
This gardener is also absolutely enthralled with the coming and goings in their garden. They are usually a Google machine because they are constantly looking up things like “Should I prune tomatoes?”, “Why does my zucchini leaves have spots?” and my favorite (from personal experience) “What do I do with all these beans?!”
But they don’t write anything down. By the end of their 4th or 5th garden, they are questioning their sanity because they KNOW they planted tomatillos but there are NONE in the garden. They finally figure out they should be keeping track of SOMETHING and start working on their journals grudgingly.
The Fanciful Gardener
The Fanciful Gardner is the one that has plants EVERYWHERE! In the bathroom, the kitchen, an old boot in the garden. Their beds are overflowing with flowers, herbs and vegetables. They have, or are working on, harvesting the power of soil.
This gardener’s garden is probably pretty wild just like them. Their garden journal is a tattered notebook that is filled with random tidbits, pressed flowers, and notes. There’s seed packets, garden plans, sketches, dreams and poems.
PS this is the gardener I want to be but alas…. that is not the case.
The Chaotic Gardener
This is the gardener that always starts with a plan but it is abandoned within 10 minutes of planting their garden. Everything is done in fits and starts because ADD/ADHD is real. Their use of garden prompts is more a checklist to ensure that they don’t forget to plant the tomatoes…. like they did last year.
They constantly ask themselves, “What did I plant here?” because they deviated from the plan so spectacularly, they put the wrong plants in the wrong garden. And labeling things? That’s for someone with time. Their June and July gardens look like an August garden because they totally overcommitted themselves with not just one garden, but three.
Using garden prompts for them is an insurance policy that they KNOW they have to pay in full, otherwise they will forget to make the payments. And yet, they still manage to miss the payment and now their garden is overgrown.
Which One Am I?
Well, I want to be The Utilitarian and The Fanciful. But the reality is that my brain doesn’t work on a wavelength that allows for either. In fact, as I was writing this blog post, I was trying to figure out where I fit in to these categories.
Where Do I Fit In?
I am no longer the new gardener that is absolutely clueless and growing food despite of myself. Though, I still grow food despite my best efforts at unintentional self sabotage, like NEVER hardening off my plant starts and then wondering why they died.
I am definitely not The Utilitarian Gardener. I have a very utilitarian journal that I update as the seasons pass but my go to journal would make The Fanciful Gardener proud.
I am more The Fanciful Gardener who plants things where ever I want, simply because I love them.
But at the end of the day, month or season? I am The Chaotic Gardener, meandering through the garden, hacking away at unsuspecting tomato plants while Jared gasps in horror. Pouring mulch on weeds that I am WAY to lazy to pull. I am constantly complaining about chickens getting in my gardens with no intention of actually getting them out of the garden.
I will never be one to keep up with labels, instead always being surprised when a zucchini plant turns into a patty pan squash. Or that time I could have sworn I planted watermelon only to realize WAY to late that it was ACTUALLY a pumpkin…. oh well.
Why I Use Garden Prompts
I started creating garden prompts as a way to reduce my stress and overwhelm in the garden. But as I started to use them more regularly, I realized that when I take my tattered notebook into the garden, I can write about whatever I want. There is no set thing that I HAVE to write about. As I look at past garden journals, I see how far I’ve come.
Are you getting overwhelmed in the garden? Stressed? Or just not enjoying the garden like you used to? Check out our garden prompts! We send out weekly emails that get you back in the garden and out of your head! Turn the garden back into a place of love and joy instead of frustration and headache!
My first garden journals were an attempt at being something I’m not. Again, I am a Chaotic Gardener so trying to smash myself into the mold of being Utilitarian or Fanciful just isn’t going to work. But because I KNOW which gardener I am, I can use garden prompts as a way to keep me on track.
My garden journal and subsequent prompts are a mash up of homework, tasks and journal prompts. I’ve got over 600 prompts that I put into seasons to ensure I don’t get behind in the gardens. This allows me to track my gardens, plan my gardens and, most importantly, ENJOY my gardens.
Should You Be Using Garden Prompts
In short, yes. Everyone should have a garden journal. It doesn’t matter if it’s a spread sheet, notebook, old journal or a bunch of papers. You should always have a garden journal. You should absolutely have garden prompts that help guide you.
Like journal prompts for mental health, creative writing, or ANYTHING else. But you don’t have to use the prompts every day. You don’t have to write a garden journal entry every day. The prompts are simply a tool to help you enjoy your gardens while also allowing them to be the most productive.
Plus, who doesn’t want to gush about their garden to a captive audience.
Buying A Garden Prompt Subscription
Remember me telling you that I have over 600 garden prompts? Well, I created a garden prompt subscription that sends you weekly emails to help you if you are looking to be more intentional in the garden. When I tell you this saved my gardens as a semi New Gardener, I’m not lying!
I can’t tell you how many times I would forget to plant things or get overwhelmed with the sheer square footage of my garden and just start throwing seeds in beds. Yes, that happened. In my defense, I was OVER it that day. But as I grew my prompt list and started journaling, that stress and overwhelm subsided and I was able to enjoy my gardens again.
Creating Your Own Garden Journal Prompts
You can absolutely create your own garden journal prompts. In fact, I think it’s a great idea! My prompts are semi universal but also semi specific. While they can be used for anyone in any season, the reality is that those prompts aren’t specific to YOU and YOUR garden.
Be aware, it takes a LONG time to build up enough prompts to not repeat the same journal entry over and over again. It can also be hard to figure out where to start with your prompts. Do you want to focus your garden prompts on a task list? A reminder? Or do you want to wax poetic about your garden for every entry?
Lastly, the biggest problem with creating your own prompts, at least it was for me, is consistency. It’s very hard to start a habit of journaling in the garden. Especially in the winter or “off season”. That’s why I set up our email list to send out two emails a week. But you could put reminders in your calendar or on your phone.
Which Gardener are you?
Are you The Utilitarian, The New Gardener, The Fanciful Gardener or The Chaotic Gardener?
Let me know below which gardener you are and if you journal for your garden!
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