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Garden Blogs of the Month: January 2013

January 10, 2013

It’s a new month in a new year and time for me to take a look at a new set of garden blogs. Since I wasn’t able to do a “blog of the month” post in December, I had two months worth of new listings at Blotanical to consider. From those listings, I have chosen three blogs to highlight here. All three are new blogs, begun in 2012. And all three promise a new year of pleasure for garden blog readers.

imageThe Tenacious Gardener is the newest of these blogs, only a few weeks old. As the title indicates, this is a blog about the experience of gardening in challenging conditions, specifically on the North Sea coast of the Scottish Highlands. Linda, the author of this blog, tells us that she already had some gardening experience before she and her family moved to the Highlands, but found that  gardening “in an exposed area slap bang next to the North Sea Coast has demanded that I forget about many of the blousy plants I enjoyed in England and acquaint myself with hardier, more durable species.” The experiences recounted in her very engaging blog posts include growing both flowers and vegetables and raising animals (including killer chickens). I especially enjoy her accounts of learning to garden using local natural resources like seaweed (see I need seaweed and Garlic & buckets of tea).

imageThe Scottish Country Garden provides a very different view of gardening in Scotland, this time in the much more gentle climate of a walled garden in the lowlands of the southeast. The blog describes the garden as the work of “keen amateurs on a limited budget,” but this is amateur gardening on a very ambitious scale. The walled garden is two acres in size, and there are another two acres of lawns and gardens outside the walls! (Do take a look at the About page, which provides an overview of the garden.) Not surprisingly, the blog covers a wide variety of topics, including pruning trees, what’s in bloom, local landscapes, flora and fauna, and weather. One of my favorite features of this blog is a separate page to document the changes in the garden through the seasons. This is a delightful blog, and it is not surprising that in a few short months it has already attracted a substantial following.

imageLandscape Notes is quite different from the other blogs in this grouping. It is based in the US rather than the UK, and it focuses on public gardens rather than private. Blog author Patrice Todisco is a landscape architect who teaches courses on the evolution of the American landscape and on garden history and who is interested in exploring “themes relating to culture, design and the environment.” The typical post in this blog focuses on a single public garden space and provides a meaty overview of the space, its design and its history, includes a focus on specific features, and often incorporates photos of the garden in different seasons. Because Patrice Tadisco is based in Boston and has done public landscape design work in that city, many of the public spaces featured are in Boston (e.g., The Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Post Office Square), but the blog also features gardens in other US cities (e.g., New York’s High Line) and in other countries (e.g., UNESCO’s Jardin Japonais in Paris). This blog feels to me like a cherished reference book. When I visit cities with public gardens featured here, I will use these blog posts not only to alert me to spaces worth visiting but also to give me a foundation for experiencing them more deeply.

It is the depth of winter in my Maine garden, but these three blogs provide an opportunity to visit and dream about other gardens, landscapes and seasons.

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34 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2013 2:36 am

    Thank you for including my blog Jean :)

  2. January 11, 2013 8:04 am

    I found The Scottish Country Garden or should I say they found me on Blotanical. I wish I had more time to linger on Blotanical but I will soon enough. I will check out the other 2 Jean as they sound wonderful.

    • January 15, 2013 10:58 pm

      Donna, Don’t you love thinking about all the things you’ll have time enough to do in just a few more months!

  3. January 11, 2013 9:25 am

    I’ve recently gotten to know The Tenacious Gardener and the Scottish Country Gardener, and enjoy both. Hadn’t heard of Landscape Notes, though, so thanks for the tip!

    • January 15, 2013 11:00 pm

      Jason, Landscape Notes is a very different kind of blog — but I really love the landscape design and garden history angles.

  4. January 11, 2013 9:42 am

    These all sound wonderful, and I’ll check them out when I have more time.Thank you!

    • January 15, 2013 11:00 pm

      I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, Cindy.

  5. January 11, 2013 2:35 pm

    I’m very honoured, Jean, thank you so much. I’m in great company too – greetings to you, Linda and Patrice. I’m going to spend some time looking at your sites next!

    • January 15, 2013 11:01 pm

      The honor is well deserved, and I’m always happy to help others to find their way to great new blogs.

  6. January 11, 2013 2:58 pm

    need to explore all three …

    • January 15, 2013 11:02 pm

      Enjoy, Diana — these can provide you with some breaks from house selling and the hassle of getting ready to move.

  7. January 11, 2013 5:57 pm

    I haven’t had a chance to visit any of these new blogs yet. Thank you for highlighting them, Jean.

    • January 15, 2013 11:02 pm

      It’s my pleasure, Clare; I hope you enjoy them.

  8. January 11, 2013 6:36 pm

    Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate your continuing evaluation of up-and-coming new blogs. A special thanks for the “heads up” on Landscape Notes blog. Truly a rare find.

    • January 15, 2013 11:03 pm

      You’re welcome, Allan. I think you will really enjoy the Landscape Notes blog — especially since, like me, Boston is familiar territory for you.

  9. January 12, 2013 6:11 am

    Hello Jean, i hope you have more time for yourself now this year! I haven’t been to Blotanical anymore these days after registering Pure Oxygen Generators because it takes a long time to open it here, so I just go direct to the blogs i follow. Anyway it is normally the comments that matter, not the picks. I will go to the blogs you are featuring this month, and thanks again.

    • January 15, 2013 11:05 pm

      Andrea, I haven’t been frequenting Blotanical much either — although I may get back there more now that I have some time. My spring teaching schedule is much easier, so life shouldn’t get really hectic again for me until next August.

  10. Helen Johnstone permalink
    January 12, 2013 1:38 pm

    Thanks for doing this. I am reengaging with the blogging community and looking for new blogs to read. I really like the first two and have faved them on blotanical

    • January 15, 2013 11:06 pm

      I’m glad you’re enjoying them, Helen.

  11. January 12, 2013 6:40 pm

    As always Jean I’m very appreciative of your efforts to bring focus to new blogs in our community. It’s helpful to both busy established bloggers and to those who are new here. I look forward to making some visits soon.

    • January 15, 2013 11:07 pm

      Marguerite, It’s been nice to have some time to get reconnected with the blogging community, both old friends and new blogs.

  12. January 13, 2013 2:42 pm

    Thanks for this info! I’ve already joined a few of these and will be checking out Landscape Notes shortly. I’d like to recommend http://www.thebritishgardener.com as a blog to highlight in the future. He’s a British horticulturalist who gardens in the US.

    • January 15, 2013 11:08 pm

      Thanks for the tip, Tammy; I’ll check out The British Gardener.

  13. January 13, 2013 5:43 pm

    Thank you for including my blog in your post. It’s a relatively new (and exciting) endeavor for me so your recognition is truly valued. Although I do not garden in Maine I spend time there every summer. As for Boston let me know when you are here next and I will be happy to share some of my favorite secret garden spots. Patrice

    • January 15, 2013 11:09 pm

      Patrice, I will take you up on that invitation! Perhaps we could also connect when you are in Maine. There are an amazing number of garden bloggers with Maine connections.

  14. Carolyn permalink
    January 14, 2013 10:48 am

    Love that you do this every month, Jean. You are a jewel in the blogging community.

  15. January 19, 2013 12:13 pm

    Another great set of reviews. I have already discovered the Scottish Country Garden but will have to check out the others. I hope you enjoyed your time off in Maine. I am very tired of the gray and soggy weather in PA (I hardly dare mention that it’s sunny today).

    • January 26, 2013 7:56 pm

      Carolyn, You’re probably not crazy about the weather I brought back with me from Maine at the beginning of this week — sunny and very cold. Oh well, the normal mid-Atlantic winter damp and grey is expected to return this week.

  16. January 24, 2013 3:01 pm

    Jean, your posts about new blogs are always truly appreciated. Thanks! Lula

  17. January 27, 2013 5:27 pm

    Jean, thank you so much for these great tips. I am especially interested in Landscape Notes which is a fabulous blog – especially for a western Massachusetts resident who is vowing to pay more attention to the eastern Massachusetts.

  18. December 19, 2013 1:08 am

    Jean your all blogs are very much intersting and innovative too

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