Plan Your Garden: Keeping a Record

Do you ever find yourself at a loss when someone asks what variety of hydrangea you’re growing? Or wonder which kind of begonia it was that performed so well in your beds last year? Give your memory a little help this planting season by organizing your garden notes, plans, and ephemera with these easy and accessible ideas.


garden journal

For those of you who prefer a thorough presentation, go all out with a bound journal. (This one is large and leather-bound with hand-made paper—I meant it when I said go all out.) Paste in seed or plant information as well as plans, sketches, decor ideas, and useful magazine and newspaper articles on specific species. Add your planting notes.


garden journal detail

This kind of organization system acts as a sort of history of your garden, allowing you to keep all kinds of information from planning to implementation and from year to year. Tuck in a small pocket to hold receipts for any high-ticket plants that come with a guarantee. Those are the ones that go missing when you really need them several months or even a year down the road.


garden notebook

Dedicate a sketchbook to your garden. Use it to jot down ideas for plants, draw plans, and sketch garden beds. Keep a bag of graphite and rainbow pencils with you so that you can dream in color.


sketch of garden bed plan

You don’t have to be a gifted artist to sketch garden ideas. Simple shapes are really all you need to guide your selection of plants and how to place them to best effect.


supplies for garden recordkeeping

A quick stop at the office supply, discount, or dollar store or an online shopping session is all you need to stock up and put your garden note organization plan into effect.


planting info organized in index card box

Set up an index card file box with dividers for different areas of your garden. Insert plant tags, seed packets, and notes on note cards.


plant tags in ringed notebook

Purchase a small set of cards on a ring with a handy elastic cord to bind them together. Tuck in a pencil so that you can take notes and make observations. Hang your notes by the ring from a hook near the door for easy access when you head out to the garden.


plant tags attached to shipping labels 

Attach plant tags or seed packets to shipping labels and slip them on a key ring with a label identifying a specific bed or border. If you have multiples for one kind of plant, glue the front side of the tag to one side of the shipping label and the reverse side of a duplicate tag on the back of the label. If you have only the one tag, staple it at the top so you can peek at the reverse when necessary.


plant tags on key ring

A hole-punch and a key ring is all you need to set up this easy tracking system. Add a tag that identifies the location of the garden bed or container in question and hang it from a hook with or next to your gardening hand tools.


plant tags sorted into plastic bags

For a down-and-dirty (well, wipe the tags off first) organization system, use a permanent marker to write the bed or border location on a plastic sandwich bag and fill it with seed packets or plant tags as you plant them. Store the bags in a box on your potting bench or where you keep your gardening tools.

Do you have any garden info organization systems you find useful? Share them in the comments section below!


© Caruth Studio

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