Garden Journals for The Digital Age

On Friday I talked about my favorite garden journal, which is a decidedly old fashioned paper journal.

But few folks actually write anymore. In fact, friends of ours tell a story about their grandson who couldn’t distribute the packages under their Christmas tree because he couldn’t read the tags, which were written in that most archaic of languages, “cursive.”  I’m still marveling at that.

So if some of us would prefer to keep digital records of the garden, that’s certainly possible. Our phones date stamp everything (never mind “geo-tagging” it, unless we have that feature turned off) so we would know the approximate date we bought it (presuming that we took the photo on the date we bought it.)

Subsequent photos of bloom and foliage would also be date stamped so we could see those dates as well.

And there are plenty of online places to post our photos and to create our online digital garden album, from Pinterest to Instagram to the places that actually let you print the photos and create an actual album like Shutterfly.

Or you could merely store them on a flash drive.

The danger in all of that is that the photos would become like my plant tags thrown in a file or shoe box after awhile, of course–unless they are properly annotated, they just become a collection of pretty photos. And of course there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you like–but it wouldn’t really be a “journal” or “record” in the sense that you had the proper names of plants so that you could know what varieties you had if you wanted to add more–or wanted to know what never to add again!

Again, a simple way to solve for that is to take a photo of the plant, and then its tag.  But that requires a lot more organization and discipline than most of us have!

2 thoughts on “Garden Journals for The Digital Age

  1. The Chatsworth Lady March 10, 2015 / 11:21 am

    Although I do take photos (and yes! they live on a flash drive, LOL) I also started a “digital directory” at Garden #3. It’s just a Word document in which I broke down the garden into named areas, such as “teak bench bed”, “chocolate garden”, etc., under which I listed each type of plant alphabetically. Also noted the mature size, appearance and culture notes, year planted, source, how many (if more than one)… and any followup comments from experience. And for any that subsequently died, I changed the black font color to red. 😉

  2. gardendaze March 10, 2015 / 11:33 am

    You are far ahead of me in terms of organization! At least your plants–or their names–live somewhere in a catagorized manner. (Or as I say in my lectures, “Do as I say, not as I do….”).
    There’s nothing wrong with any method of record keeping (including flash drives). Something is always better than nothing and you are doing far more than “nothing!”

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


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