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Garden Blogs of the Month: March 2013

March 10, 2013

I’m on spring break in Maine, watching the snow slowly melt and waiting for spring to arrive. While I wait, I’m enjoying the previews of spring I can find in all the wonderful garden blogs out there. Here are my new garden blog finds for this month:

imageMuddy Boots is not really a new blog; it’s now in its second year. But I just discovered it in the new listings at Blotanical. I was drawn to this blog immediately by the beautiful still-life image used for the blog header, and I was happy to find that the content lived up to the promise of this image. The author of this blog tells us that she lives in the UK, in an East Sussex bungalow, with the “Other Half” (also called OH), a black cat named Stingray, and a goldfish named Winston. Muddy Boots is a very creative type who draws, is clever enough to make lovely gift tags from old paint chips, and sometimes drives her “Other Half” half mad with her habit of scavenging items of trash to turn into treasures. The first post shows us a patio screen made from two old doors rescued from a skip, and the most recent post, Rusty Treasures, shows us a lovely garden ornament made from two equally unlikely rescued treasures. The blog is animated by careful observation and attention to detail (as in the Valentine’s Day post, Heart Shaped) and by a charming sense of whimsy (see, for example, The Little Things). This blog leaves me feeling as though I have found a new friend with whom I am eager to spend more time.

imageThe Dartmoor Herb Gardener is another delightful UK blog. The author, FiVickers, tells us in the first post (A Different Kind of Herbal Addict) that she has been growing herbs for more than 25 years, moving them with her from house to house and region to region. By the time she settled in Dartmoor, she was moving more than 500 varieties of herbs with her! Not all of these were well-suited to the Dartmoor climate, and over time she narrowed her focus. The post Awarded Two National Plant Collections tells us how she came to specialize in Nepata and Monarda and to build very impressive collections of both. This blog provides an opportunity for me to learn much more about varieties of herbs and about designing with them in the garden.

imageScents and Cents Ability was brought to my attention by Allan Becker, who has written a series of posts about the author of this new blog, Sheila Robertson of Bellevue, Wisconsin (US). Allan became aware of Sheila through the comments she left on his blog, comments which, as he put it, “reflect a reader with a passion for gardening who truly deserves a blog of her own.” Allan was so impressed with the quality of Sheila’s comments on one of his posts, that he published the comments as a guest post (see This Visitor Deserves a Gardening Blog of Her Own), got in touch with Sheila to get some photos of her garden to accompany the guest post, and urged her to start a blog of her own – which she has now done.

Sheila describes herself as an amateur gardener, but she is clearly very knowledgeable and experienced (a Master Gardener who is also former co-owner of a family orchard). She has drawn on her own years of experience gardening on a tight budget to focus on creating “A Blog for the Frugal Gardener.” It’s hard to believe this blog is only three weeks old. Not only has Sheila created a series of thoughtful and informative posts (e.g., Arbor Day, which combines photos of arbors that inspired her in English gardens with lessons learned and the realization of the inspiration in her own garden), but she also has a page (Dream Big!) telling the story of her own garden, a photo gallery, and a long list of how-to garden projects that she intends to post on in the coming months.  Wow! There is already so much rich content here; I can’t wait to see what will follow.

If, like me, you are waiting for your own garden season to begin, these three blogs can provide both inspiration and practical advice for the gardening to come.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2013 7:47 am

    An interesting collection Jean…

    • March 13, 2013 10:17 pm

      I hope you can find some time to enjoy these, Donna.

  2. March 11, 2013 9:19 am

    Dear Jean, I just wanted to wish you a very happy birthday!!

    • March 13, 2013 10:18 pm

      Thanks, Cindy. I’m going to take advantage of my new “senior citizen” status to get a discount ticket price at the Boston Flower Show tomorrow. :-)

  3. March 12, 2013 3:23 am

    Hello Jean,

    I just wanted to say Thank You very much for including me in your monthly blog review. Your kind words have really made my day. It really is wonderful to discover other gardening blogs, especially from other parts of the world. I have just woken up to 7cm of snow here in England. So instead of planting the potatoes and sowing some seed as planned, I shall sit with a nice cup of tea and have a good read of the other blogs you have listed. I look forward to following you and reading about your own gardening adventures. Thanks again, and happy gardening!

    Best Wishes, Mici.

    • March 13, 2013 10:21 pm

      It’s my great pleasure, Mici. I am very admiring of your artistic talents, and I’m in love with your header photo.

  4. March 14, 2013 6:33 am

    Dear jesn, I left a happy birthday mesage in your plot in Blotanical, I hope you enjoyed your day! As usual it is great your eork on finding new blogs for us Blotanical readers. I will check with special interest the one about cultivating herbs, I am preparing my garden for sowing directly in two weeks and I want to experiment with new varieties this season, I have a box with news seeds waiting patiently. I will be posting about the development of the new herbs garden this year, I am excited!

    • March 17, 2013 10:08 pm

      Lula, My birthday always falls during my college’s spring break, which means that I get to treat it as a vacation day and to enjoy it at home in Maine. It sounds very exciting to be planning new garden plants in a new climate. Enjoy!

  5. March 14, 2013 3:42 pm

    Oh my, has another month gone by already? I can’t believe how quickly March is flying by! A belated Happy Birthday, Jean. I hope your day was peaceful, and relaxing. Now, off to check out the blogs you’ve highlighted!

    • March 17, 2013 10:09 pm

      Clare, This is one time when I am happy to have seen another month zip by; I am ready for spring (but we have to get through one last blast of winter, first). I had a very enjoyable birthday.
      BTW, I enjoyed the video of your new bouncing baby boy!

  6. April 6, 2013 12:14 am

    Jean – it’s always a treat to stop by and see the features of the month!

    Do you know it’s been 3 years since the ‘Bunnies Buffet’ made it’s inaugural post? You’ve been my garden Mensa and so encouraging through the years. You are a gentle powerhouse in the garden blogosphere! Thank you. :)

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