Garden Blogs of the Month: May 2010
Each month, I highlight a few garden blogs that are new to me or that I think deserve more recognition. For May, I have chosen three blogs to feature; some of these have been around longer than others, but all are new to me.
In the Trees chronicles the development of a Pacific Northwest garden that is shaded by big trees. I love transformation stories, and this blog has all the ingredients of a good drama – a picturesque setting, villains (e.g., garden thugs), plant loves, challenges, triumphs and setbacks. This blog is only in its third month, but the garden is in its eighth year; and Linda, the blog’s author, has cleverly created an “About the Garden” page that provides the back story and context for the blog posts. In addition to being well-written, this blog is beautifully organized; Linda has included pages for an inventory of plants (currently more a promise than a reality) and monthly garden to do lists. Moreover, she has created genuinely useful categories for organizing her posts. I am very much looking forward to reading more of this blog and seeing how the garden develops.
Grounded Design is the blog of Washington D.C. gardener and landscape architect, Thomas Rainer. This is a blog written by someone who is knowledgeable, thoughtful, and who has a very definite point of view about gardens and landscapes. Ultimately, as he explains in his first post, this blog is focused on the question, “What is good design.” Although the blog is only a little over a month old, it has already attracted a devoted following; and I can understand why. I love the intellectual stimulation that this blog provides. Rainer not only teaches me things I didn’t know, but he makes me think. The posts are exceptionally well written, and I almost always come away from them heady with new ideas and new ways of seeing. If I only had time to read one garden blog, this one would be a serious contender.
Ombra mai fù has been around longer than the other two blogs, almost two years, and it is primarily a collection of plant photographs. The author, Na, is a Japanese gardener who focuses on growing roses organically, and many of the beautiful images in this blog are of roses. I’m a word person and not normally a fan of photo-only blogs, but when I looked at this blog, I found that I couldn’t tear myself away. Na’s images are not just photographs; they are beautiful plant portraits. Most are carefully labeled with plant identifications, and the quality of the images is stunning. The composition and soft focus of Na’s photographs often remind me of impressionist paintings. Scrolling through these images is like sitting down with an oversized book full of gorgeous color plates. They are works of art that I want to visit over and over again.
I think these are three very special blogs. Each, in its own way, provides a model of excellence that I aspire to. If they are new to you as they were to me, I encourage you to check them out.