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Garden Blogs of the Month: August 2011

August 4, 2011

If you are a northern hemisphere gardener who is returning to the garden blogosphere as your garden activity slows down, or if you are a southern hemisphere gardener looking for a gardening fix as you await the arrival of spring, you may be interested in checking out some new garden blogs. If so, I am happy to recommend that you take a look at these three. (As usual, I’ve made my choices from the blogs added to the Blotanical listings during the past month.)

screenshot - Behind the Fence At Behind the Fence, Dee Langston shares her experiences of and reflections on gardening in North Carolina. Posts in this blog are a delightful mix of gardening experiences (both good and bad), gardening ideas and information, and reflections on gardening and life, all served up with a dollop of humor. What really got me hooked on Behind the Fence is the quality of writing; Dee Langston’s background in journalism and her work as a free-lance copy-editor really show here. One of my favorite posts was Gardening with the Grandkid a Sweet Do-over, her reflections on gardening with children and grandchildren. This excerpt will give you a sense of the blog’s style and writing:

Foraging for food is a real adventure for a child, as much fun as an Easter egg hunt. They can grow their vocabularies in a garden too, by learning the names of vegetables — sort of. Hailey is still confused about carrots; she calls them pullits, because that’s how you get them. The excitement of finding a big one is the same, though, not matter what she calls it.

screenshot - Me So Thorny Chad B of Me So Thorny blogs and gardens a continent away from Dee Langston in Sacramento California. As the title suggests, this is another blog that makes good use of humor, and its posts also range fairly widely. Topics covered include garden tips, reports on garden projects, pets in the garden, children in the garden, plants (including weeds), the weather, and even reviews of television gardening programs. The posts are well-developed and well-written; and some are very specific, while others provide more general reflections on gardens and gardening. I loved them all; and although Chad and I garden in very different climates and conditions, I felt as though I had met a kindred spirit. (And not just because we are both mourning the loss of the same favorite television garden program.) I am very much looking forward to reading more and getting to know Chad and his garden through this blog.

screenshot - John and Maria's Garden Pages John of John and Maria’s Garden Pages gardens and blogs in the southwest of England. His blog posts focus primarily on garden projects and on specific plants, and they are lavishly illustrated with photographs. I was struck by how many of the plants that John features in his blog were new to me. Although very few of these plants are suitable candidates for my own very different climate, I loved learning about them as I scrolled through the blog. What really hooked me in, though, was John’s description of himself on his sidebar:

Years ago I trained as an ecologist – the hard science, statistical type, not the fluffy tree hugging type – and then worked as a teacher and part time writer. For the last twenty years I’ve worked as an IT Trainer. All of which means that my scientific BS detector is set to stun, I don’t make a comment without checking my facts first – and that I can be ever so slightly preachy.

I appreciate this careful attention to accuracy and expect this blog to be a source of both pleasure and continuing education.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2011 12:58 am

    Thank you so much for featuring my blog, Jean. That is such a kind gesture. I’m definitely going to have to check out the other two blogs you mentioned too.

  2. August 5, 2011 1:55 am

    Jean, I am looking forward to reading through these blogs, as I do each month.

    Hope you are having a wonderful summer! And not working ‘too hard’ on your serenity garden. But it will be worth the work.


  3. August 5, 2011 7:00 am

    Many thanks for reviewing my blog. I used to run a website called, believe it or not, John & Maria’s Garden Pages, back in the earlier days of the internet. It used to take ages preparing, writing and the linking the pages. Blogging has made it a lot easier!

    I’ll look forward to reading your own blog. Living where I do – more akin to the Pacific Northwest climate than your own – I’ll always be trying plants that are marginally hardy with me – and definitely wouldn’t be hardy with you (except as summer visitors) but I’ve no doubt we’ll have a lot of plants in common.

  4. August 5, 2011 7:24 am

    I have visited both John’s and Chad’s blogs. I can wholeheartedly recommend both also. I will check out Dee’s blog because you mentioned the quality of writing.

  5. August 5, 2011 5:47 pm

    Thanks Jean, for the kudos! Your kind comments gave me a much needed boost!

  6. August 6, 2011 4:25 pm

    By the way, check out yesterday’s post at to find out how I really feel!

  7. August 6, 2011 7:21 pm

    Jean I will be sure to check them out…I have read Me So Thorny and enjoyed it so glad you are recommending it..

  8. August 7, 2011 3:41 pm

    Thanks so much for the recommendations! I’m still chuckling at the Me So Thorny blogsite name 🙂

  9. August 8, 2011 10:26 am

    Jean, all three of these blogs sound wonderful, and I will have to check them out. I don’t need to commit myself to following any more blogs, time is stretched too thin already, but I can’t help myself! I was away from my garden and from blogging this past week, and I realized how much i missed it. It is truly fun peeking into other lives and gardens, though they may be far away and very different from mine. Thanks for contributing to my addiction!

  10. August 8, 2011 9:38 pm

    Chad, John, and Dee, It has been my great pleasure to find your blogs and to call them to the attention of others. I’m enjoying them all.

    Dee, Thanks so much for your post. I’ve had several people come over to my blog from yours.

    Diane, I am feeling the beginning of the school year breathing down my neck, but I’m almost done with the serenity garden. Today, I went to my favorite nursery and bought a bunch of plants; tomorrow I will do the last of the digging and soil amendment. Watch for a post in the next week or two.

    Donna (GWGT), Thanks for confirming my assessment of Chad and John’s blogs. I hope you are enjoying Dee’s, too.

    Donna (Gardens Eye View), It’s always nice to discover some great new blogs.

    Allison, It is a very funny title. I’m always envious of people who can think up things like this. As my blog title demonstrates, I have no capacity at all for clever titles!

    Deb, Oh dear; I’m not sure how comfortable I am in the role of enabler — but I guess there are far worse vices that I could be leading you into :-).

  11. August 8, 2011 10:53 pm

    It is always such a joy to come here and learn more about some other blogs. You always offer such a great glimpse into these special bloggers and their blogs. Thanks!

  12. August 17, 2011 3:35 pm

    Hi Jean – your gardens look lovelty. I especially like the white liatris. I did a double look back at it. It is a new plant to me –

  13. August 17, 2011 3:37 pm

    Lovely, I meant lovely although lovelty sounds like a good description. Lovely and novel.

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