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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


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It's so interesting to read this post about your garden journals and the online/paper issue; I love the way you integrate image with text, and compose each page carefully.

For me it's been different: I just dug up the notebook in which I'd begun a garden journal in 1991, the summer after my first in this house. It broke off in May 1994, when I moved here full time. It's only when I started blogging in midsummer last year that I've written a "journal" consistently. I also find it much easier to write directly on the computer than by hand. My first writing assignment, an essay on my painting, was pen on paper, with bits of paper strewn over the desk; taped paragraphs and cross-outs added to the confusion. When I then went on to write a book, using the computer, I felt free from constraint and more organized. Now I feel that I think better with a keyboard, and I'm grateful for the medium of blogging.


Gee! I'm in awe of both of you for keeping any kind of garden commonplace book! And it's so interesting seeing the handwritten entries. There is something intensely private and affecting about reading handwritten notes. On the other hand your blogging allows someone across the road or across an ocean to share your knowledge, ideas and - vicariously your upside down seasons. (Okay - I know we are the ones that are upside down).

Lisa at Greenbow

I feel like blogging is a chat with friends. My garden journal took a hit when I first started blogging but now I have a routine that satisfies my urge to "talk" with other like-minded people regarding the garden and my garden journal is much more in depth. Like you I branch out to other subjects. I draw, paste in any number of objects, dried flowers. At the end of the year I clear off the refrigerator the various invites, thank yous etc that we recieve in the mail and I put them in the back of that years garden journal. It is a repository of a lot of our life.


Linda, The hardest part of writing is getting the post from my head. It sounds so brilliant while I am composing it and then falls apart when I begin typing. I've gone to jotting lines on paper, even scrap paper....actually, I rather prefer scrap paper! It helps to write it down before typing. There is something about writing that is as you say primal, elemental to us. Charcoal to cave wall. gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter

I started laughing when I read the line about grammar. You should see my garden journals (or maybe you shouldn't). My handwriting has steadily gotten worse over the years, to the point where it's now nearly illegible. Complete sentences? Rare to non-existent in the journals. But, like you, I believe in the permanence of the written word on paper (until there's a disaster). My written journals have been invaluable, if not aesthetically pleasing.

Julie Siegel

This is a remarkably generous and inspiring blog: thank you.
As a writer most of my life, I kept journals from the age of twelve until my late thirties. However, I was never able to keep up the gardening journals because I was too involved in my clients' gardens and too pooped to update a journal about my own. I love the blog medium because it gives equal weight to the images as to the words. Even though, like you, I am conscious of the writing, I find blogging very freeing, maybe too much so because I ramble all the time. Just like gardening, I see everything as connected and all of it a continually changing process. So perhaps it's OK that our documenting those shifts isn't fixed in time either...


Thanks to all of you for such thoughtful and helpful comments. Sometimes all it takes to streamline a process is one little idea like Lisa's to corral all the cards in an envelope inside the back cover — instead of stopping to insert them in order ...

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