UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County



Valley Gardeners Journal For Year-ound Blooms Review by Lee Miller

The Master Gardeners worked for a year to create this flower-focused journal, which could be sold over several years and potentially throughout the San Joaquin Valley and other areas with a similar climate. This colorful journal provides lots of flower gardening information and space for recording monthly activities in the garden. It is so much more than a simple journal for record keeping. The purpose is to help us all be better gardeners by providing a useful tool to educate and to monitor our gardening progress. It includes a pocket at the beginning of each season for plac-ing plant tags, plant lists, receipts, pictures, planting info or whatever the gardener wants to keep as a record. Also evident are some beautiful pictures of seasonal flowers/gardens for your inspiration.

I have kept a garden journal in the past, but it has always been a disjointed and disorganized jumble using a lined paper notebook with little structure to it. It was better than nothing and I have crammed into it all manner of nursery documen-tation, plant labels and landscape maps until it was an overstuffed, un-indexed tome. Despite keeping a journal of sorts, I have lost the name of that beautiful blue Penstemon and when and where I bought it, as well as the name of a gorgeous red daylily that everyone would like to have, just to mention two of many omissions. Consequently, when friends ask me for a name, I am often at a loss to name it and names are so important in our gardening endeavors. Our journal has a lot of names of flowers and their bloom times. All that is needed is remember to fill in the cultivar information in the journal sections or to put the plant’s label in the pocket for later reference.

The journal is a great way to record what works and doesn’t work in the garden. If a plant doesn’t perform well or worse, dies for no obvious reason, you can so note it as well as recording those that perform well or better than expected. Jour-naling your garden should be fun as well as a record of your garden successes and failures.

A few of the features of our Valley Journal of Year-Round Blooms are:

  • Information on UC Davis Arboretum’s All-Stars for the valley.
  • How to create your dream garden.
  • Flower seed planting and transplant schedule for most of our perennials and annuals plus October bulb plantings.
  • A list of good reference books and websites for finding the information you need to become a better gardener.
  • Winter, spring, summer and autumn pest patrol activities and pest management tips.
  • Using California natives to promote sustainability.
  • Recycling and reusing materials in the garden as well as trellising information.
  • Selecting garden tools and tips on caring for them.
  • Suggestions to attract beneficial insects.

In addition for each month, there are the following sections:

What’s Blooming; suggested To Do chores; and a To Plant list of plants appropriate for planting that month. There are blank pages and grid pages for you to write, list, record and map your garden. It is a fine publication that this Master Gardener considers well worth the price.

Webmaster Email: mdhachman@ucdavis.edu