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A Guide to Landscape Journaling

Salisbury Landscaping-Alberta-A Guide to Landscape Journaling-landscape design drawing

Playing in the garden can unleash all sorts of creativity and has been known to inspire many gardening enthusiasts. However, keeping track of your garden and all the ideas you have for it can often feel overwhelming. That’s where a journal comes in handy! By jotting down those sudden inspirations and practical aspects of your gardening adventures, your landscape will benefit from a solid planning foundation.

Must-Haves for Your Landscaping Journal 

Here are some of our favourite ways to use our gardening notebooks:

Salisbury Landscaping-Alberta-A Guide to Landscape Journaling-blueprint for garden


Before you know where you’re going, it helps to know where you are! Your landscaping journal should start with what your garden currently looks like, including locations of key elements like water features, retaining walls, slopes, decks, or large trees that fix the overall design. Like designing a room in a home, a sketch helps you plan both minor and significant changes to see how they will impact your garden’s overall efficiency and flow. Include seasonal notes of your garden’s sun and shade spots for future reference as well—this especially comes in handy when looking to add more plants later on. 

Key Features and Elements 

Your journal is a place to record observations and any new ideas that might make the garden work better. Therefore, we recommend keeping a journal section where you jot down key features in your garden and how they are—or aren’t—working in the landscape. This section is also an excellent place to track any problems with main landscape features and ideas for alteration and maintenance. Do you have some great ideas for a larger fountain? Or perhaps you’ve instead found the perfect place to add a pond. Add these larger elements to separate pages or sections of your journal so you can weed out the finer details later. 

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Plants and Trees

Keep your journal up-to-date with your garden’s trees, shrubs, and planting zones along with their overall health. If you’re planning significant changes to your landscape, you’ll want to make sure any replanting is carefully done and doesn’t jeopardize your trees and shrubs. You may want to think about taking note of any recurring pest issues or diseases, and what you have done for treatment. This will help guide future efforts if problems persist and remind you of what worked and what didn’t. 

For any unwanted visitors in your garden such as aphids or rodents, be sure to take note of when it happened, how you dealt with it, and how much damage was caused. Keep in mind to also record any disease you may see in your landscape.


Landscaping can be a costly endeavour, so make sure you keep tabs on the expected and actual costs of those big ideas! Keep any professional quotes and invoices you gather in your journal and jot down anything you spend at local greenhouses, garden centres, and hardware stores. Knowing what you’re spending is a must for maximizing the efficiency of your gardening pursuits, and a gardening journal is the perfect place to keep your numbers organized! 

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Your gardening journal’s primary focus should be on visualizing how you want your future garden landscape to look. The visions you have now will eventually grow into your dream garden over the coming years, so make sure your gardening journal includes your long-term goals so you better understand the steps it will take to get there. Landscaping a garden takes time and money, so journaling out a plan of action is good practice. 


Regardless of your future dreams for your garden, it’s also important to keep track of what you currently love about your landscape and what it needs to thrive. Make room in your gardening journal to track regular care, which might include a watering schedule, lawn care records, repotting schedules, seasonal chores, mulching times, pond cleaning, plant feeding days, and much more. 

Salisbury Landscaping-Alberta-A Guide to Landscape Journaling-landscape sketch

Keeping a gardening journal for all your landscape ideas is the perfect way to kick-start your gardening in the New Year. A journal will help you maintain your garden long-term, and will also help you log important information for yourself, design professionals, family members, helpful neighbours, or anyone else who may tend to your landscape in the future. 

Whether you’re looking to start your first gardening journal or you’re trying to make your existing journal work better for you, stop by Salisbury Landscaping in Sherwood Park, AB, and chat with us about your dream garden and landscape ideas today! 

Posted in Landscaping Inspiration, Landscaping Tips

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