Garden Blogs of the Month: February 2011
The first week of a new month is my time to highlight some new garden blogs. Neither of this month’s choices are “new” in the sense of being just begun; both have been around for several years. But I have just become aware of them. Happily, both authors recently submitted their blogs to be listed at Blotanical, where I found them in the queue of blogs being processed.
Chris Barnes Garden Blog is written by a garden designer from the Isle of Wight in England. I know I have found a winner when I begin browsing in a blog and find myself going from one post to the next, unable to tear myself away. Chris Barnes’s blog covers a range of garden design topics, from how to combine a front garden and a front forecourt for parking, to water-wise garden design, to the problem of invasive alien plants that escape from gardens, to the use of garden design consultants. Sometimes Chris writes about her own garden, sometimes about gardens visited in her travels, and sometimes about garden problems and garden designs she has worked on for clients. Whatever the source of her reflections, they always include important design lessons. Reading this blog makes me feel as though I have a direct line to my own personal garden design expert.
The Small Town Gardener is a collection of garden essays that the blog’s author, Marianne Willburn, has published as newspaper columns. These essays blend personal experience, thoughtful reflections, and practical gardening advice. The blog’s first post, Learning to Love Imperfection, provides a good sense of the flavor of the blog and Marianne’s approach to gardening. I love the writing in this blog; each of these essays is highly polished and edited so that every word counts. I hope Marianne is considering bringing out a collection of her essays in book form; I would love to curl up in my favorite chair with them or keep them on my nightstand to unwind with at the end of a busy day. For those who like to listen to books and articles, Marianne has been recording the essays in Mp3 format; just click on the “Audio” tab to download them! Those who would like more casual descriptions of her garden can find those, too; just click on “This Month’s Garden.” There’s also a tab for “Resources,” with links to favorite horticultural resources, plant and seed catalogs, and garden books, and one for contacting her. I think this beautifully written, well designed blog has something for just about everyone.
I’m constantly amazed and humbled by how many gardeners and garden designers there are out there writing wonderful garden blogs. Add these two gems to the list.