The latest editions to my Etsy shop are The Little Green Allotment Journal and The Little Green Garden Journal. They are green in that the paper used inside and out is 100% recycled, as well as being green in colour.
I have based these loosely on the journal I kept for myself throughout 2016, in terms of what I found useful to document, so there’s a space at the start to layout a plan for a plot or garden, double page spreads for each month of the year, 4 seasonal to-do-lists, and a page at the end to list some things you’ve learned.
There’s the occasional little friend or foe on a few pages, but mostly they’re blank for you to use as you wish. You can add drawings if you like, purely written notes, or a combination of both, add some stickers, go crazy, keep it simple and elegant, whatever, the space is yours and you don’t have to show it to a soul. Or then again, show it off to everyone on social media like me! Even though most of the time I think my drawings are not that great.
For those who followed my illustrated journal last year and say, ‘I can’t do that, I can’t draw’, I say – you don’t have to. Why compare or try to compete or think that it has to look a certain way? I’ll never be able to bake a cake like Mary Berry, but that doesn’t stop me baking one anyway for the shear pleasure of it, even if it ends up wonky, slightly burnt, soggy bottomed and all! You try making one, you learn, and next time you maybe do it slightly better. Find your inner child. They don’t say, I’m not going to draw a picture because I’m really rubbish at it, they just do it for the enjoyment, because they haven’t yet learnt to compare themselves to others, or hear that inner critic that says they can’t draw for toffee. They think every picture is brilliant. I can’t sing for toffee, seriously, I wish I could, but I still belt out a song at the top of my voice when I’m on my own and there’s nobody around to hear my cat wailing voice, because it makes me happy. I just don’t share it to save peoples ears from bleeding! So don’t let a lack of talent or practice put you off doing anything you might enjoy.
Then again, if the idea of drawing to you is like trout fishing or bungee jumping to me, don’t bother! It’s not for everyone. But if I can inspire even one person to try drawing, in the same way I’d like to inspire anyone to sow a seed, watch it grow, and discover the addictive joy of gardening, then I’ll be very happy.