Sunday, February 28, 2010


I am beginning to think that there is not much chance of my garden looking like this by April 12th this year. If so it is going to have to hurry up and get going. In fact I'm thinking that maybe we won't have a spring, because if it doesn't get a move on it will be summer. Things are so dreary out there that is hard to get a good shot of the garden. The only way to get a nice photo is a close up of the few plants that are in flower and I really like to take long shots. Anyway, I really wanted to start off with some nice reminder of what a garden can look like before I get to the point of this post.

Yesterday, I was looking at an old copy of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) magazine from October 2008. In the column Garden Talk there was an article on garden blogs. I really took offense at what the writer had to say.

He referred to the good old days when gardeners used to write diaries and notebooks, jotting down when things germinated and what the weather was like. Now there is The Blog...Heaven help us. He likens us to thousands of jellyfish lurking off the beach. "Why would anyone want to read about someone else's mosaic virus" he says. Oh, and if someone reads our "ramblings" and the "log jam of drivel" ........ . He has a lot more to say, mostly negative but then he does conclude a blog might "spread a little knowledge"

I'd like to stick him with a spear of my Spanish Bayonet yucca! He just doesn't get it, does he?
Reading garden blogs is turning me into a better gardener. I am learning first hand all about the plants that do well here in my area. I am introduced to plants of which I have never even heard, ( the nursery business must love this) I have met an incredible group of gardeners who has introduced a social aspect to what is often a lone activity. We had a lovely afternoon yesterday, meeting at the home of one of our group to offer suggestions on how to improve a problem area in her garden. We had a plant swap and met more new gardeners. I enjoy the links to blogs which give me ideas on how to design areas of the garden. Jellyfish indeed!
I won't even mention what he said about cats.

Phew! I just had to get this one off my chest.


  1. If there weren't austin area garden blogs, i'd still be trying to grow sun plants in the shade and the shade plants in the sun. Plus my yard would be naked since I get passalongs by all you awesome gardeners...AND I would never have tried black krim tomatoes had Annie-Kathy hadn't told me to try them.

  2. No, he just doesn't get it.

    Sharing our garden blogs, is educational, friendly, and just plain fun. Not to mention the creativity we can enjoy.

    I, for one, am very glad I found all these garden blogs. It has helped me a great deal, to learn what might grow and what might not. And, I've learned where to find things, too.

    No...he just doesn't get it.

  3. Absolutely he doesn't get it. I've only been blogging since last summer, but I have learned a lot from garden bloggers, either from their own blogs, or from their comments on mine - suggestions for plants or answers to problems. Invaluable help from wonderful people.

  4. What a snob he was. I have to say writing a garden blog has completely changed my life for the better. I have such wonderful friends. I do wish some of them lived near me, but that's okay too. I love my Austin bloggers. I've learned more than ever before about plants, water, disease, etc., and I'm a garden writer. I hope you all have a wonderful spring and it doesn't get hot too soon. Kind of cool here.~~Dee

  5. You're right, he doesn't get it. Why, I don't know...

    Garden blogs are some of the best sources of information I've found because I can read about first-hand experiences of people in my area trying different things.

    Do I want to read about someone's mosaic virus? Absolutely! If only to know how to prevent, avoid or diagnose problems!

    Plus, it's good for a newbie gardener like myself to see that other people fail here and there AND that people succeed! Garden blogs are a constant source of inspiration for me.

    I wish I had time to really get to know other area bloggers and attend some of the local events, but alas! I have to read their blogs instead! :)

  6. My, my, he certainly doesn't get it. I agree that I've become a better gardener because of garden blogs. Yes, I probably covet a few plants I shouldn't try growing but my knowledge of how to deal with critters, how to survive this darn winter, etc, have all improved. I hope he reads your post and the comments. :-)

  7. I am not a blogger myself, but really enjoy reading several of the Austin area garden blogs. I have learned so much and many of the posts are just fun to read. Oh, and the gorgeous photos. Keep up the good work -- please!

  8. I agree. I've learned SO much from other garden bloggers. In an era when finding knowledgable help in garden centers and nurseries is sometimes kind of a crapshoot, it's reassuring to know that when I have questions or need help RIGHT NOW, there's some blogger out there somewhere who has already been there and done that.

  9. I hope he's had time to come to his senses since writing that article in 2008. Cumulatively (and sometimes individually) garden blogs beat the pants off magazine articles about gardening. You get real pictures, not an airbrushed, staged image of perfection. You get a feeling of community and friendship. You get inspired to try something new because you see how someone else did it. And if you read locally you get information about your own particular region and growing conditions.

    I still enjoy reading garden magazines and books. But if I had to make a choice between blogs and published pieces, I'd choose blogs without hesitation.

  10. What a short-sighted, narrow-minded person that writer is, Jenny - no wonder you're feeling like spearing him with yucca!

    In addition to the real life visits and general camaraderie of garden blogging, one of the fascinating things has been how relating our individual experiences emphasizes what a wide range of temperatures, moisture and soils we gardeners deal with in the relatively small Austin Metro area.

    Jellyfish! No yucca here but some nasty Chinese holly might do.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  11. Ha! I laughed out loud when you said "I'd like to stick him with a spear of my Spanish Bayonet yucca".

    My guess is that he hasn't read many gardening blogs. It's not even a guess it's a certainty. lol He couldn't have.

  12. I knew that every garden blogger out there would feel just the way I did when I read the article. Thanks for all the comments.