Bring further joy and depth to your gardening by creating your own garden journal. This year, thanks to the sponsorship of Brisbane City Council, I’ll be leading a series of free nature journaling workshops for gardeners. The venue is the lovely ‘Kitchen in the Garden’ in the marvellous Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens in Toowong, Queensland. The plan is to run two sessions in every season, kicking off with ‘Summer in the vegie patch’ on Thursday 9th February 2023 (see the Events page for details and links).

The practice of drawing or writing in response to nature (nature journaling) sharpens your observation skills, while also allowing you a quiet, relaxing experience immersed in nature. The journal you create might include one or a combination of facts, feelings, words, artwork and found objects, but it will be unique, and for you alone.

A garden journal might be a place where you plan this season’s crops in your vegie garden. The journal page above was created when I was just getting to know our new vegie garden in Beechmont, south east Queensland.

It’s interesting to look back at what I was trying to grow then, and compare this to what I grow now. The plants that thrive have become garden staples (e.g. climbing beans). The chilli bush and its children hung on gamely and produced prolifically but sadly couldn’t cope with the last two very wet years. I’ve given up on leeks because they just stay skinny then rush straight into flowering. I’ve also learnt that sweet potatoes need a lot of protection from rats, and native violets are perhaps the worst weed in the vegie garden (which is something that brings me much joy, actually).

A garden journal can also include drawings of flowers and garden scenes, like the drawing below of our rather wild native garden in Sandgate, Queensland.

Pets often find their way into my journals too…. Such as the very simple pencil sketch below of Esther and Jasper sunbathing.

Or the chickens moulting…

And if drawing is not your thing, a garden journal can be a written record of what you plant when, or thoughts and feelings about your garden, or observations on what you’ve seen or what’s flowering or fruiting through the seasons. There are no rules.

If you’d like to learn more, including the very important truth that anyone can write and anyone can draw, and you’re not far from Brisbane, please come along to a workshop. There are two sessions on Thursday 9th February, each two hours (see below). I’ll be repeating the same workshop in each session. And the same format is planned for Autumn, Winter and Spring. See the Events page for dates.

It should be fun, and I’d love to see you there!


Summer in the Kitchen Garden: Nature journaling for gardeners workshops, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, Toowong, Queensland. FREE, Thursday 9th February 2023. Two sessions: 10am – 12pm; 12.30pm – 2.30 pm. Sponsored by Brisbane City Council. Click here for more details and how to book for session 1 at 10 amClick here for more details and how to book for session 2 at 12.30 pm.