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Garden Blog(s) of the Month: February 2010

February 6, 2010

With this post, I am inaugurating a new monthly feature on my blog. Recently, Jodi at Bloomingwriter began a very lively discussion about “Encouraging Our Fellow Gardening Bloggers.” Although I have been blogging less than six months, I am feeling ready to pay forward some of the wonderful encouragement and mentoring I’ve received from others. So, each month I am going to focus attention on one or more newly discovered garden blogs. I will feature these blogs on my sidebar and also write a post introducing them in more detail.

For this first month, I began with the list of garden blogs added to Blotanical in the past two weeks. My intention was to choose one (or at most, two) of these; but when I started trying to make a selection, I found that I couldn’t leave out any of these three. My selection criteria were very subjective, looking for blogs whose content and style I found useful, interesting, compelling, or entertaining. I also tried to focus on relatively new blogs that were less well known. (All other things being equal, I would choose a blog with only 10 followers over one with 50 followers.) So, in February, I invite you to join me in exploring the following garden blogs:

Children of the Corm screenshot Children of the Corm is a brand new blog, only a few weeks old and with 5 posts so far. The blog is organized around the author’s adventure in renovating the 1910 house and garden of a Charleston, South Carolina property. Jess has a wonderful way of painting word pictures, and I was completely captivated by her first post about falling in love with her mother’s garden. I look forward to hearing and seeing more about her new Charleston garden as her plans for it develop.
Livingin22 screenshot Livingin22 is another new blog, this one an account of rural life in Brittany, France. While I was scrolling through new garden blogs, I was brought to a full stop by the stunning photograph of ice patterns on a window at the top of this one. While Brittany Girl includes charming accounts of her farm animals, it is the photographs that I can’t tear my eyes away from. (I am happy to see that she has renamed the ice patterns photo “Winter Light” and entered it in the Gardening Gone Wild photo contest for February.) This blog seems to have begun as a way to keep in touch with family and friends back in England. As the author reaches out for a broader audience, I look forward to some posts that will provide more context about her property, the village, the blog title, etc. And I also look forward to more of those wonderful photographs.
The Idiot Gardener screenshot The Idiot Gardener has been around a bit longer than the other two blogs featured here – a few months rather than a few weeks. Whether or not the author is an idiot about gardening remains to be seen, but he is very clearly not an idiot about writing. This is polished work by a talented comic writer. Every post made me laugh aloud. The posts have a strong sense of sequential narrative, and it is easy to imagine this blog as the precursor to a published memoir or novel. Indeed, I longed to sit down with these posts in book form so that I could go from one to the next without being tethered to my computer. The serial nature of the narrative is a great strength, but as the number of posts grows, the author will need to develop strategies for orienting new readers to his story. For now, I strongly recommend that you begin by reading the first post, Why I Hate Gardening.

Home & Garden Blogs

29 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2010 10:09 am

    Thank you Jean! I was busy lately with some school projects and missed a lot of posts. So nice to have these bloggers at Blotanical!

  2. February 6, 2010 11:09 am

    So glad that you’re also following Jodi’s lead – because there are JUST so many wonderful blogs out there.

    • Jean permalink*
      February 6, 2010 12:54 pm

      Tatyana, There are so many garden blogs out there, with new ones all the time, that I find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed at times. I think this strategy for making it more manageable for myself is going to work — and even better if others also find it helpful to them.

      Charlotte, I laughed when I logged on to Blotanical this morning and saw that you had also posted on new blogs today. I was delighted to see that there was surprisingly little overlap in our choices, but that your list included several that were on my “short list” and which I hated to leave out.

  3. February 6, 2010 12:58 pm

    Heartfelt hugs across the blogging miles for doing this, Jean. It’s a wonderful way of encouraging other bloggers. Many of those who have commented on my blog posts about encouraging others have said they have also done so, and a number have said, “I wish someone had been around to help me when I was starting out!” I like that you’ve picked three–I am going to do the same although right now just trying to collate some of the things others are doing is a bit of a challenge. Thank you again!

    • Jean permalink*
      February 6, 2010 10:56 pm

      Jodi, Thank you for providing the inspiration to do this. I love the fact that so many garden bloggers are out there “sponsoring” new bloggers right now — and we all have you to thank for getting us moving!

  4. February 6, 2010 1:31 pm

    Thanks for some great new blog finds. I have seen the Idiot Gardener and he is really funny. I’ll check the other couple out later today.
    I’ve been trying to add newly found blogs to my blogroll.

  5. February 6, 2010 2:28 pm

    Thanks for the tips, Jean, and it was a joy visiting (via Jodi) your lovely site … gorgeous photos!

  6. February 6, 2010 3:10 pm

    Hello Jean,

    I am so glad you are taking new bloggers under your wing. I have been faving some new ones and trying to encourage them through Blotanical. I can’t wait to clink the links to the the new blogs you introduced us to.

  7. February 6, 2010 3:37 pm

    Jean you have selected fabulous blogs and I am pleased to learn of two new ones… I have seen and read the great narratives of “The Idiot Gardener.” I continue to be so impressed with your blogger savoy… look how you have their blogs right in your post! Your writing is inspiring as well. Jodi has begun a new way of connecting our blogs! You have taken it to another level… I will be joining you soon! Alas… not with any blog icons in the text. You are so clever! ;>))

  8. February 6, 2010 5:09 pm

    Have noted your blogs of the month Jean and will make sure that I visit them soon. A great idea – hope to follow suit shortly.

    • Jean permalink*
      February 6, 2010 11:03 pm

      Catherine, Joey, Noelle, Carol and Anna, I hope you all enjoy checking out these new blogs.

      Catherine, I think a number of people had already discovered The Idiot Gardener, which has been around a little longer. I think you’ll enjoy the bird photos that Brittany Girl has on her blog (Livingin22).

      Joey, Thanks so much for visiting; I hope you’ll come back again.

      Carol, Putting the pictures of the blogs in is a lot easier than it looks. It’s a technique called a “screenshot” — which means taking a picture of what is on the screen. I admit that I had to go to my computer’s “help” to find out how to do this. But it turns out that I just have to press two keys simultaneously and then paste the resulting image into my blog just the way I would any other image. It’s a great trick to know because it makes people think you are so clever! 😉

  9. February 7, 2010 1:57 pm

    Jean – I am so to be included in your Garden Blogs of the Month. I take on board your suggestions for background information and will get busy providing it! Thank you again for your recommendation.

  10. February 7, 2010 1:58 pm

    Sorry, it the above response should read

    I am so honoured to be included – senior moment!

    • Jean permalink*
      February 7, 2010 2:05 pm

      Brittany Girl, LOL, I didn’t even notice that there was a word missing from your first comment; my own senior brain seems to have just filled in the gap! It has been my great pleasure both to discover your blog and to call it to others’ attention.

  11. February 7, 2010 2:11 pm

    Jean, this is so helpful. I’m trying to add a few to my blogroll when I want to learn a little more about it or I find it interesting. It is hard to fit them all on…taking the time to write a post about them is a great idea more of us should attempt;-) You, being an excellent writer, did justice to them, most definitely! Jan

    • Jean permalink*
      February 7, 2010 9:22 pm

      Jan, I’m pleased that you found my little reviews helpful. BTW, I guess the fact you’re on line means that you have electrical power after the big blizzard. (We didn’t see a single flake of it up here.)

  12. February 7, 2010 5:32 pm

    What a great idea! I am amazed at how many blogs there are. When I started blogging, I thought there might be a few hundred garden blogs. More like thousands! I am already familiar with IG and am checking out the other two. thanks!

    • Jean permalink*
      February 7, 2010 9:24 pm

      Deb, I feel the same way. The universe of garden blogs is too big for any individual to be on top of. There are over 2000 listed on Blotanical alone. Fortunately, different people have different interests and there tend to be little sub-groups of those who read one another’s blogs.

  13. February 7, 2010 6:25 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you Jean 🙂 Plenty of people are coming to visit right from this post! This is a lot of fun, I must say!

    • Jean permalink*
      February 7, 2010 9:25 pm

      That’s great, Jess! Enjoy!

  14. February 8, 2010 4:42 am

    Thank you for introducing us to a few new blogs. I look forward to visiting them. I am thankful to Jodi of Bloomingwriter for introducing the idea of supporting new bloggers, and you have certainly taken this to the next level. I look forward to featuring some new blogs as well. This is such a wonderful thing, as it is impossible to check out all of the new blogs that continue to become part of the Blotanical family.

  15. February 8, 2010 6:37 am

    Jean, like Jodi, you are setting a good example, leading the way with this approach. You are like a guardian angel / big sister to the lucky new bloggers. I’ll certainly check them out. I too have ‘adopted’ a few.

    • Jean permalink*
      February 8, 2010 11:01 am

      Liisa, I too am thankful to Jodi, and my own effort has been far more successful than I anticipated.

      Autumn Belle, Doing this reminds me what I enjoy most about teaching — giving someone else a leg up and then watching them soar. Great fun!

  16. February 8, 2010 4:54 pm

    Thanks for the links… can’t wait to check them out.

  17. February 8, 2010 11:50 pm

    I am new here, came in via Jodi’s. This garden blogging craze is contagious. I am about to stop blogging and just post once in awhile when i stumbled on it, but am not a member of Blotanical. Autumn Belle adopted me even before Jodi sprouted the idea. Besides, i did not stop visiting my newlyfound links and continued commenting on new ones. Now i have a few of them always visiting my tropical photos, and it has eaten a lot of my working time as well. haha.

    Among your 3 adopted bloggies, only the last one i haven’t known yet, so i will continue visiting it. thank you. I am inviting you in mine as well.

  18. February 9, 2010 2:10 am

    This is very encouraging trend i must say. There are a lot of impressive blogs which do not get much attention. Hats off !!!!

    • Jean permalink*
      February 9, 2010 3:07 pm

      Muhammad, I agree that this is a great trend that Jodi has started. It confirms my sense that garden bloggers are just really nice and supportive people. And, since the number of garden blogs has become much too large for any one of us to keep up with, it helps if we share our “finds” with one another.

      Andrea, Thanks for visiting. It’s so nice to know that Autumn Belle had “adopted” your blog before Jodi even suggested this. I would say garden blogging is not only contagious; it’s addictive! I just took a look at your blog and the photos are wonderful. I hope to visit it again.

      Dirty Girl, Thank you, too, for visiting. I hope you enjoy my highlighted blogs.

  19. February 13, 2010 2:56 am

    Jean, you are too kind. That said, you are also strangely afflicted. Even I don’t like reading my ravings!

    I am honoured that you have chosen to highlight my blog. Usually people make me rub my own nose in it, like a naughty puppy who realised behind the door was a safe place…

    I’ll leave it there! Thanks.

    • Jean permalink*
      February 13, 2010 7:42 pm

      IG, I stand by my evaluation of your blog. After more than 3 decades of reading undergraduate prose, I know bad writing when I see it — and, trust me, you are not even close!

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