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Garden Blogs of the Month: July 2011

July 3, 2011

During the first week of each month, I look over garden blogs that I have recently learned about (usually those added to the listings at Blotanical during the past month) and choose a few to highlight and to follow closely for the next month. From June’s rich offerings, I’ve chosen three to focus on.

screenshot - The Garden on the Ridge I was hooked on The Garden on the Ridge from the moment I read the most recent post, Garden Thoughts, about the idea of gardening as “pushing back the wilderness.” This resonated for me because my own garden is in the middle of the woods at the end of a dirt road, and I always feel that the forest is just waiting for me to let down my guard so it can swoop in and remove any evidence of my efforts. Lis, the author of The Garden on the Ridge, gardens on a much larger scale than I do – on almost 30 acres of land in the Ottawa Valley of Ontario, Canada. She describes the garden as a “wild garden” with a focus on growing native plants, and she has many different garden areas that provide appropriate habitat for different types of plants. (A really helpful feature for new readers would be a page that provides an overview of the various parts of the garden.) I realized the scale of Lis’s garden in a post about the process of designing one garden area, The Sampler Garden, which she described as “not very big, maybe about 60′ by 100′”! I am amazed by the scope of Lis’s efforts, which have included building a pond, a grotto, and paths, as well as planting and maintaining the gardens. The blog includes practical information about design and construction and a great deal about native plants. I’m not quite sure how she finds the time and energy to do all this and to blog about it, too; but I’m glad she does. I’m very much looking forward to reading more of The Garden on the Ridge.

screenshot - Nitty Gritty Dirt Man Nitty Gritty Dirt Man is about gardening in the suburbs rather than on the edge of the wilderness. Kevin, the blog’s author, positions this as a blog for and about the typical amateur gardener – a kind of  gardening  “everyman.” The blog is subtitled, “The incredibly true misadventures of a home gardener,” and Kevin describes himself as follows:

I do not have a degree in horticulture, nor do I host a show on HGTV.  My own landscaping business?  Nope.  Oh, and I’ve never appeared as a gardening expert on “The Martha Stewart Show.”

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Man shares his garden and his gardening experiences in posts that are written in a delightful story-telling style and with a light humorous touch. This blog is well worth reading just for the pleasure of it.

screenshot - Enclos*ure Enclos*ure is a blog focused on urban enclosures/gardens, and written by Cindy, an experienced gardener with a certificate in landscape design. The posts are an eclectic mix of garden reviews, suggestions for reading, and Cindy’s accounts of her own gardening experiences. Not surprisingly, both the garden reviews and the accounts of her own gardens often focus on garden design. I was riveted by the very first post on this blog, Starting Out: My Oasis in the Sahel, which describes the author’s re-design of a home garden in West Africa. She takes the reader step-by-step through the process, beginning with what was there when they moved into the house, considering the influences on the design, and showing how it turned out. One of my favorite features of this blog is Cindy’s use of thumbnail photo galleries, a strategy that allows her to use many photos without creating problems in loading the blog. A reader can quickly scan the series of photos to get the story they tell, but can also click on any image to see it enlarged.

Whether your own gardening interests are rural/wild gardening, suburban gardening, or urban gardens, there is something for you in these blogs. Enjoy.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Kevin permalink
    July 4, 2011 6:26 am

    Jean, I wanted to thank you for putting a spotlight on my blog, Nitty Gritty Dirt Man. I’ve really enjoyed putting it together and getting feedback, and your feature was a real thrill! Enjoy the 4th!

  2. July 4, 2011 8:44 am

    Jean, I really enjoy your recommendations for garden blogs. It is so interesting to see how gardens differ in each area of our country and the gardeners that work so hard to make them happen. By the way, I posted a few photos of my gardens…three years in the making.

  3. July 4, 2011 9:58 am

    Jean I look forward to reading these delightful blogs..they sound intriguing and marvelous!! Happy 4th to you Jean!!

  4. July 4, 2011 10:45 am

    I always look forward to reading your picks. They are always great.

  5. July 4, 2011 3:25 pm

    I always am excited to be introduced to some other blogs. Thanks for featuring them.

  6. July 4, 2011 5:36 pm

    Jean thanks for your reviews. I will have to check them out..

  7. July 6, 2011 4:42 pm

    I’ve been so busy lately, I keep forgetting to look at the newer blogs on Blotanical. Thank you for this monthly reminder to pause and see what’s new. I’m off to visit the Garden on the Ridge…

  8. July 6, 2011 10:18 pm

    Dear Jean, What a lovely idea to highlight new blogs like this! I echo CVF that I forget to check them out on Blotanical. I am heading over there now. P. x

  9. Lula (onbotanicalphotography.blogspot.com) permalink
    July 8, 2011 2:01 pm

    The post I aways wait for every month. Many thanks!

  10. Carol Babin permalink
    July 23, 2011 7:34 am

    thanks to you I have found Fern wood Gardens again , Like you I was didssaapointed to learn he was gone from Swans ville , He was my favorite nursery location and last time I check I turned up with old info and an old Number…. now thanks to you here I go to seek him out today its hottttt but I don’t care…thanks for you article

    • July 23, 2011 10:23 pm

      Carol, I’m so glad to have helped you find Fernwood again. I get several people a week who land on my site looking for the nursery. It’s a favorite of mine, too. I haven’t made my annual pilgrimage out there, yet; I’m just digging a new shady flower bed and plan to go out to Fernwood when the new area is ready for plants to go in.

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