Why you don’t have to keep a written garden journal and what you can do instead
I hear it all the time, the importance of documenting your garden throughout the growing season. It’s hard to argue with the fact that writing things down is a good thing. Looking back on notes from the year or years before can reveal important information such as varieties that struggled, a surprise favorite flower, or the amount of rainfall you received. This year I am going to try something new, I am going to record video garden tours of my garden.
Gardening is a Creative Outlet
For me, and so many others, gardening is a form of expression and a creative outlet. This is why instead of writing down my gardening journey, I photograph and take videos of my gardens throughout the season.
Gardening is a feast for the eyes. Vivid colors and interesting textures are what can draw a person into a garden. I find that I can capture that moment best with photographs and video clips. Where I live, the leaves are off of the trees for almost eight months out of the year. Seeing the stark landscape for so many months is a struggle. Although, as I have gotten older, I have learned to appreciate the beauty that winter brings. Rest is good for the soul and good for the garden.
Benefits of Keeping a Visual Record
During those long months, I love looking back at images taken throughout the years. It’s amazing how a simple photograph or video can take you back in time to the moment it was taken. I can almost smell the strong pungent smell of the Shasta daisy, my favorite flower, every time I look at one of my old pictures.
In the garden I am free to do what I want. For me, in the garden, I find a welcomed break from rules. In the garden I want to do things my way.
Yes, I have killed plants, and yes, I have moved things when I shouldn’t have and they have suffered. However, the feeling of immense joy that I get by allowing myself permission to play by my own rules is amazing.
I think this is why I have struggled with keeping a written documented journal of my gardening season. In my mind the act of writing it down makes me feel that some of my creative freedom is being taken away. However, when I take photos and videos I feel that I am not only capturing, but honoring the garden.
Images Evoke Feelings
Hostas peeking out from under the soil, buds breaking dormancy, and all of the little things add up and before you know it your garden season is underway. It’s amazing how longing for spring quickly turns into longing for summer. This year I want to savor every moment and every season of my garden. I don’t want to rush the process and miss what is right in front of me.
My photos and videos capture all of that in a way that I don’t think a written journal would. Now, I’m a visual person so that probably has something to do with it. However, looking at images evokes memories and feelings in ways that for me, a written journal would not.
Filming Your Own Video Garden Tours
This year, I’m going to make a point to take the time to stop and take more photos and videos. There is so much to learn from looking back and reflecting after the season has passed. That is why I am going to start filming video tours of my garden. My goal is to sit down and take an actual video of each of the sections of my garden once per month during the growing season. I am also planning on filming winter garden tours, yes even with all of the snow blanketing everything.
Look How Far Your Garden Has Come
Often times, we forget how far we have come. My hope is that through taking these tours I can not only enjoy the summer season during the cold months, but I can see how much progress I have made. Along with how much my garden has grown.