Blogging on Blogs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No matter what your garden style, or lack thereof, there’s a blog with fresh, spontaneous information about it on the web. Plants, design, events and gardens worth traveling to see, often the daily joys of a personal garden – you name it and someone is blogging about it. You won’t usually find this information in an internet search engine although it is personal, pertinent and more likely to make you smile.

Just as you read this online newspaper daily, you can check in on several garden blogs over a cup of coffee. Start at an organic garden in far north Arkansas, home of Long Creek Herbs and Jim Long’s blog (jimlongsgarden.blogspot.com). Part of the downright fun in blogs is visiting gardens at a distance, whether it is to suffer through another’s challenges or glory in a plant new to you. Two brilliant ladies named Ellen (Spector Platt and Zachos, individually) blog at www.gardenbytes.com. It’s called Garden Bytes from the Big Apple, and subtitled ‘if you can garden here, you can garden anywhere’. Yes, this blog tells of New York City’s gardens, events and spectacular flowering plants and the incredible trees in the city. No place grows better container trees that the Big Apple and gardeners everywhere can take advantage of their experience, as well as contemplate another challenge unknown to most, elevators. Blogs do make you think.

Meanwhile, over at Carol Michel’s blog, www.maydreamsgardens.com, you can wander through Indiana and gain great insight into your own garden design. Dig for her post regarding the acronyms used by garden bloggers if you are new to the lingo. This is a huge online community that translates well to the real world, as exemplified by Michel’s Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

Billy Goodnick blogs for Fine Gardening Magazine and Edhat, a site devoted to the California coast where he lives, and posts them at his original, charming, highly readable blog, Garden Wise Guy (gardenwiseguy.blogspot.com). His take is a hoot, as are many blogs and that is another source of their appeal. While most writing, including garden articles, is edited for content, style and point of view, blogs are not. Bloggers can be funny and profound by turns and reading them is more like listening to the writer’s voice. Goodnick says, “Edhat allows me to be pretty cheeky, opinionated and profane, while giving good lessons about garden design, plants and the universe.” At Doug Green’s blog (blog.douggreensgarden.com), the content is varied. From a practical, useful garden design series to a pensive look at the ‘why’ of gardening, Green mixes garden smart with 21st century techie brilliance. Because blogs are such intimate places, you gain a strong sense of the reader which promotes loyalty and you keep reading.

In a survey of bloggers there is always more to read. Check these out:

·         www.beautifulwildlifegarden.com. The brainchild of Helen Yoest, and a team of bloggers, “Wildlife Garden – Redefining Beautiful” is a fine example of community blogging for a cause or philosophy. Smart.

·         http://thisgardencooks.com. Longtime Chicago Tribune garden columnist Nina Koziol blogs about her grandparents’ garden with “blue hydrangeas big as basketballs” and her own garden, inspired by that one in Essex.

·         http://loisdevries.blogspot.com. Lois offers her “thoughts on gardening and environmental issues” as well as her online design course here.

·         http://skparrott.wordpress.com. Sandie’s Off the Beaten Path Blog lets you travel with her to far-flung places, including gardens. 

·         http://wholelifegardening.com/blog. C. L. Fornari explores the philosophy of how “everything is connected to everything else, in my flower beds and beyond.”

·         http://hoosiergardener.com. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp’s blog is “an informed, yet personal take on natural gardening in Indiana and other dirty topics.”

Many of the garden writers queried for this article cited Garden Rant (www.gardenrant.com) as a personal favorite read and this writer agrees. Four wise women began with a manifesto most will appreciate. Among other things, they are convinced that gardening matters, bored with perfect magazine gardens, suspicious of the ‘horticultural industry’ and delighted by people with a passion for plants. Should you want to explore the garden blogosphere even further, visit www.blotanical.com. Be forewarned – time will fly as you read the

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