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Garden Blogs of the Month: November 2010

November 6, 2010

During the first week of each month, I peruse newly discovered garden blogs (usually newly listed on Blotanical) and choose a few to recommend. This month, I will highlight two, one from the United States and one from Australia.

Hazel Dene screenshotSometimes, as I peruse blogs trying to choose which ones to focus on, one will draw me in, absorbing my attention as I scroll from post to post and forget what I was supposed to be doing. This month, Hazel Dene was such a blog. This is the journal of “a recently retired fifty-something” embarking on a new life in Victoria, Australia. In the words of the blog’s author, “My goal is to live simply as possible on one third of an acre…growing food, using as little energy as possible, refusing/ reducing/ repurposing/recycling, making things, sewing, eating healthily, cooking from scratch.” I love the diversity in this blog as the author chronicles her adventure. She includes accounts of how she is gardening on her land, the vegetables she is growing, the flowers she is enjoying, the trees she is planting. There are also recipes, posts about birds and wildlife, discussions of sustainable living, and posts about the antics of her pets and about raising chickens. Hazel has a puckish sense of humor that often infuses her posts, especially when she blogs about the chickens. I had to chuckle at the image of chickens being trained to jump into the compost bin and feed themselves from the food scraps (presumably aerating the compost and adding some useful manure while they’re at it). Whatever your garden interests, you will almost surely find something that appeals to you at Hazel Dene.

Sierra Foothill Garden screenshotSierra Foothill Garden also focuses on the development of a new home and garden, but this time in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, near the Sierra National Forest and Yosemite National Park in California. Sue Langley, the blog’s author, is a passionate gardener, a professional photographer, and a garden writer. This blog is well written and beautifully designed. I particularly like the use of pages to provide easy access to information about the author and her her garden inspirations, about her home-building adventure, and about native plants. The blog archives go back more than ten years, and readers who would like more of the back story about how Sue and her husband acquired and developed their seven-acre property can find it there. In the early years, Sue blogged sporadically, with five or fewer blog posts each year. Then, after a three-year hiatus, she began to blog in a more sustained way this summer. Sue’s blog posts include plant profiles, seasons in the garden, ‘How to’ instructions and discussions of home building. They also include a wealth of interesting and useful information (like how to plant in fire-prone areas). Sue tends to write longer posts and to post less frequently, so it is well worth subscribing to this blog so that you don’t miss the posts when they appear.

I hope you’ll take time to check out these great blogs.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 6, 2010 12:28 pm

    Thank you for these introductions Jean! I look forward to visiting both blogs you so beautifully and thoughtfully review. Your monthly blog reviews is a great resource for all of us. ;>)

  2. November 6, 2010 12:38 pm

    For a change I actually do check in on both of these blogs. Excellent choices Jean.

  3. November 6, 2010 1:42 pm

    Good recommendation Jean! I also found these blogs interesting! Thank you for your time!

  4. November 6, 2010 10:18 pm

    Oh, I love Sierra Foothill Garden. Such detailed information, and of course close to home for me. But Hazel Dane sounds like fun too. So many blogs… (When will I get to retire?)

  5. November 7, 2010 7:52 am

    My blog began as a record of my journey towards sustainable living and a way to keep in touch with my family and friends. I am constantly surprised by the number of visitors to the blog and touched when people take the time to comment but I to be reviewed and recommended by someone half way around the world makes me feel extremely honoured. Thank you.

  6. November 7, 2010 12:52 pm

    Thanks, Jean, for your review of my new blog. Most of the posts are current happenings mixed with entries from my diary lost for a time from when we first found our home here. Every so often, I go back in time and post a back dated part of that story.
    I hope it will encourage folks to follow their dream, whatever and wherever it is!

    As for the gardening, I am new at mountain gardening and love to identify the native plants here. I’m adding to them in my ‘cultivated’ garden from native Californian and Mediterranean plants.

    I’m delighted to be a member of Blotanical, because that has sent my first visitors to me with comments! Fun!

  7. November 7, 2010 7:55 pm

    Glad to see you’re keeping up with this, Jean. I simply cannot at this time, not til I get through some of the current workload. Even visiting my favourites regularly is being a huge challenge. However, with the dark days of winter, there IS more time for reading…

  8. November 8, 2010 5:44 am

    Hello Jean!
    Well…another gardening blog from my home state of Victoria to go and discover – that’s very exciting, as I only know of one or two ‘neighbouring’ bloggers so far. Most that I catch up with are on the opposite side of the earth! I will have to find a moment to have a look at Sue’s too as it sound intriguing. Thanks for the recommendations!

  9. November 9, 2010 12:03 am

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’m especially glad to learn of other blogs that share my weird general climate patterns, so the Sierra Foothill Garden will definitely get some visits from me.

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