Dave's Garden Journal Part 3: More advanced options
Adding pictures to your journal can be a fun way to keep track of how a plant changes from year to year, or a vital tool to help you remember what plant is what. If you're brave enough, uploading pictures and using the Journal feature in strict order can eliminate your need for plant labeling. Can you imagine? No more "Wonder if this pen will last the season on this unsightly tag?" And no more trading NOIDS, "...but they're pretty!"
To add a picture to any entry in your journal, go to the category where the plant is that you want to add the photograph. In the far right under Actions, click on "Add." (Screen shot of actions below, under Milestones) This will bring up a page that allows you to record a date, add a note in regards to anything about the plant, as well as add a photograph from your computer. Just click the "Browse..." button and find the photo's file name, click "Open" and then click "Submit." You will now be able to view a thumbnail of this photograph next to the entry at the category level as well as at the bottom of the entry when you view it.
"Milestones" lets you mark a date with a specific highlight in a particular plant. For example, if you want to remember from year to year when your Lilac blooms, you can add a milestone for the date it started blooming.
You can also set a milestones such as "Set out to harden," "Germinated," "Started new Spring growth," or even record growth, height and width.
To do this, go to the Milestones link (ufnder Main Menu on your Journal homepage). Add any new milestones you want to record for any plant, anywhere in the journal. You are just listing them now, not marking them, remember.
Click at the bottom on "Return to Journal Homepage" and then click on the category and then entry of the plant you want to add a milestone to. To the far right of every entry you will see links for actions including Add, View, Edit, Delete, and Move.
To add a milestone to a plant, click "View" next to the correct plant. In the entry, click on "Add a milestone to this item." It will give you a drop down menu of the milestones you put in as well as a date menu. Choose the date on which the milestone happened and the right milestone. It will then prompt you to go back to the plant entry where you can view the milestone or add more.
Cloning is a helpful shortcut to copy and paste within your journal. For example, if you have a plant in multiple spots in your garden, cloning will keep you from having to go through all the steps to add a plant multiple times.
To clone an entry: View the item you want to clone, at the bottom click "Clone this item." On the next screen it will ask how many times you want to clone it if more than once and whether or not you want the new entries to be identical to the original one.
Once you clone it, then you can view the new clone or you can view the category. Under both, the category and the entry, you can choose to move it and choose a new category for it.
Statuses are a way to keep up with what state each plant is in. You can use statuses like "Growing in Garden," "Growing under lights indoors," "Planted 2006," or "Purchased at Farmer's Market 5/15/2007." This can just serve as a further record of the plant. The good part about keeping up with statuses is that you can sort by a particular status if you need to. For example, say you buy a large group of plants at a plant sale and then plant them all over the garden and consequently put them into different categories in your journal. Later you want to recall what all you bought that day, you can view the status "Purchased at XXX XXX" and it will pull up all of those plants that were otherwise scattered across your garden, journal, and brain.
You can print out any category or specific entry from your journal to have in hard copy form. This will give you a record of the RID (Resource ID), which can serve as a shortcut to any entry. Once you know the RID of a specific entry, you can type it in to the "Jump to RID" field which appears at the top right of any given page in your Journal.
To print, go to the category or item you would like to print. Click on "Click here to prepare the items on this page for printing." A printer-friendly page of the data will appear and then you can use your browser's File tab, and then click Print just as you would a Word document.
You are a pro now!
Believe it or not, if you've made it this far through the Garden Journal tutorial, you should know enough to make your own Journal and use it successfully. If, however, you are still a wee bit confused, take a look through these links for more help.
You'll feel weirdly accomplished getting everything recorded in your journal. Enjoy the respite from a cultivar-cluttered brain and revel in your new garden journal anytime you need a break from the heat of the summer garden or the winter doldrums!