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Using A Plant Bullet Journal To Plan A Yearly Garden Project

by Ambassador Team 06 Jan 2024 0 Comments

Have you used your journal for project planning?  Are you a wanting to improve an area of your home or garden and looking for page ideas?  Do you feel overwhelmed by the planning process for such a project?

Open 8x8 Journal with title Garden Plans

Hello, it’s Alex (@TheJournalCorner) from the Archer and Olive ambassador team.  Today we are going to break down a project into simple sections.  We will look at some page ideas to manage a garden project for a beginner. 

I am no expert in the garden and having had hit and miss attempts at growing some vegetables in 2 raised beds have decided to have a rethink.  This blog post will take you through my process from research to final planting (& hopefully eventual growing!)

Remember you can also find a video of my steps at the end of this page if you prefer to watch.  I have also created a printable to help you quickly create spreads for your own garden project!

Supplies needed

8x8 yellow journal with sun icon

Any size journal will be fine for project planning, though I personally prefer A5 and up size to give more space.  See what Archer & Olive journals are currently available here.  

I use an 8x8 size for project planning as love the extra width it gives to my page setups so will adding my garden planning spreads into this.  You can shop for 8x8 journals here.

In addition to a journal, some of the ideas I am sharing today will also need pens such as the calliographs and a writing pen.  A ruler will also be useful.  It’s always nice to add some simple decoration too and Archer and Olive have some lovely themed washi and stickers.

Plant themed washi and stickers with grid ruler and yellow journal

If you are looking to purchase anything from Archer & Olive, please use ‘Alex10’ to save 10%. This is an affiliate code, so it allows you to support creators like me too.

Step 1 - Research 

Open journal with title research and list of useful places for information

Fully admitting I am a beginner in the garden, the first page for my project was a research one. I used the broad end of a calliograph to create the header first.

Then I simply made a list of ideas for where to find information using a black pen e.g. websites or friends to ask.  I knew I wanted to replace vegetables with cottage garden style plants and bulbs but had to find out:

  • Which bulbs/plants suit our climate
  • When best to plant them
  • What time of year they bloom
  • Are the annuals or perennial plants
  • Do they need sun or shade or both? 

Once I had read around the topic I could create a list of things to consider including height and shapes of the plants in order for it to be aesthetically pleasing. 

I focused on choosing 6 bulb types that I could plant ready for spring growth.

Step 2 - Plant Fact File

Open journal with title Plant fact file and outlined boxes

Following my research, I purchased the bulbs (or plants in spring) and created a fact file for each of them.  This page allowed me to keep information on key aspects of each plant.  It included:

  • Depth to plant 
  • Distance required between plants
  • When to plant (spring/autumn)
  • Where to plant e.g. full sun or partial shade

Open page with title Plant fact file and 6 boxes for plant notes

I love how versatile the calliographs are for this type of spread.  The broad tip is perfect for a larger header and the narrow end for smaller details.  They also work to highlight a line which can then be written over with the pen.

Finished plant fact file with washi and stickers added

This page will be very useful to refer to when planting and to keep for future years.  It’s also helpful if the packaging is lost between buying and planting!

Step 3 - Create a Plot Plan

Open journal with title plot plan

My research showed me that I should consider planting in groups by colour and consider different heights and bloom times.

I therefore created a plot plan ahead of planting the bulbs/plants to consider these factors in my layout.  This plan also allows me to remember which bulbs have been planted and where for future years in the hope they will return to flower each year.

Open journal showing key of colours and 5 plant names

For the plot plan, I didn’t create a scale, but you could do for a more complex flower bed.  I did however include a key using which was essential for the colour coding. The calliograph brush pens come in a wide range of colours to choose from. I considered how many bulbs I had purchased too to ensure a roughly accurate plot plan.

Completed plot plan showing colour coded flower bed layouts

Adding washi tape and stickers from Archer and Olive filled any blank space and added a decorative touch too.

Step 4 - Bloom Timeline

For a garden project like this one, you may well have to wait weeks or even months to see it all come together.  Planting bulbs in autumn is a waiting game for spring.  Even spring plants may not flower until the summer months.

Open journal showing grid with months of year along top and plant names down side

To keep an eye on when you should expect to see flowers in bloom, I created a timeline.  This was useful when planning my planting but also allowed me to try and choose plants that would bloom at slightly different times so the flower bed would always have some colour.

For this timeline I created vertical columns for each month of the year allowing space to write the plant name too.  I then chose 2 colours and created a key - 1 for planting time and one for bloom time.  Highlighting horizontally across the months using the co-ordinating colours to complete the timeline based on my earlier research.

finished planting timeline with coloured lines showing planting and bloom times of year

This page will allow me to look out for when I would expect bulbs or plants to grow and add colour.  I may also find out whether any bulbs have failed to grow following the winter and then will need replacing with spring plants.

Printable and Video

I hope you have found this article useful in helping you with ideas to project plan whether that’s in the garden or DIY tasks in the home.

Please take a look at the printable below for your own project timeline to save you time in your journal. 

Thumbnail showing printable pages for garden planning

Don’t forget to watch the video to see more on this process too!


Closed journal with garden theme accessories

I hope you have found these ideas useful and can think of a project to apply them to.

For more journal inspiration come and say hello @thejournalcorner. We always love to see your creations, so please tag @archerandolive or use #aoshare on Instagram.

The Archer & Olive blog has a lot of articles to help inspire your journaling.  For more on the garden take a look at how to compost  or for indoor plants this tracker page.  

If you are feeling creative try these spring doodle ideas and look forward to a new season with a spring bucket list.

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