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Garden Blogs of the Month: September 2011

September 5, 2011

Another month has flown by, and it is once again time for me to dip into the new blog listings at Blotanical and choose a few to highlight as “Garden Blogs of the Month.” This month I am focusing on two.

screenshot - Landscape Design & Gardening Resource GuideLandscape Design & Gardening Resource Guide is a US-based blog, part of the website of The Garden Continuum, a Massachusetts landscaping company. Some blogs associated with commercial websites primarily provide portfolios of sample work or specific information about what’s in stock or about sales for customers and potential customers. But other blogs associated with nurseries or landscaping companies are of much more general interest. This blog falls into the latter group and is chock-full of useful tips and information for gardeners. The Garden Continuum group usually publishes posts once a week, on Friday, but these may occasionally be supplemented by additional posts during the week. Some posts are articles illustrated by diagrams or photographs; but recent posts have often taken the form of “landscape field videos.” These are how-to tutorials (typically about 3-6 minutes long) that both walk viewers through some gardening task or process visually and talk them through it with an audio narrative. I have found these an enormously helpful resource. When I arrived back in Gettysburg from Maine a few weeks ago, I noticed that the yew beside the front door was overgrown, blocking both the walkway and the window. As I was perusing this blog, I came upon a recent landscape field video (seemingly made to order for me) on How to Prune a Yew. Sometimes if a subject is too complex to cover in a short tutorial, it will be made the subject of a series, such as the current three-part series on How to Build a Patio. This is a blog that you can follow as you would any other blog, eager to see what you can learn from the topics they cover. But the archives of this blog are also a treasure trove of information about a variety of garden topics, with an index of tags that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. I have already learned a great deal from this wonderfully useful and informative blog, and I’m looking forward to continuing my gardening education at this site.

screenshot - The Amateur Weeder The Amateur Weeder is a more traditional type of garden blog, the reflections of an individual gardener on her own garden and gardening experiences. In this case, the gardener is Lyn, the garden is in Australia, and the writing is both engaging and entertaining. Take, for example, this opening of an early post entitled, Border War:

There may be eight million stories in the naked city, but there are lots in the garden, too.  Stories of sex, greed, betrayal and ultimate destruction.  This is one of those stories…

Although Lyn gardens in a very different part of the world, under different conditions, with different plants than I do, I find that her blog resonates for me. As a self-confessed plant threatener, I had to chuckle at a blog post about her “naughty corner, where plants go to be punished.” And as an obsessive-compulsive garden record-keeper, I was entranced by her recent post The Amateur Listmaker, about her system for keeping seasonal garden to-do lists. Lyn also writes plant portraits, as well as thoughtful and informative posts about design issues like succession planting and the use of climbing vines. This is the kind of blog that I couldn’t tear myself away from once I started reading. I have a feeling many others will have the same reaction.

If you haven’t already discovered these blogs for yourself, please take a look. Each is, in its own way, a special treat.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2011 12:21 am

    Jean, thank you, what an honour! I’m overwhelmed at your review of my blog, and so glad you’re enjoying it.

  2. September 6, 2011 6:10 am

    I have checked out Lyn’s blog and found loved the post you referenced as well. I have not had a chance t check out the Landscape Design blog and will definitely do so. So good to have a great archive of resources…once again thx Jean for these recommendations…

  3. September 6, 2011 6:58 am

    More thoughtful reviews, Jean. I have an familiar with The Garden Continuum and will check out the Amateur Weeder. It is very nice that you review blogs so others may get familiar and know of them.

  4. September 6, 2011 8:19 am

    Jean, thanks so much for featuring The Garden Continuum Blog! This is a new venture for us and we are really enjoying creating useful content for for our readers and viewers. Is there a topic that you would like to see us highlight? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Best to you- PS we have posted your blog link to our Facebook page. Thanks again!

  5. September 6, 2011 10:43 am

    I look forward to reading these blogs. Your descriptions always motivate me to read new blogs. Thanks for featuring them.

  6. September 6, 2011 12:20 pm

    oh a miracle! How could you know that I’ve been contemplating what to do with the two yews at our front door. I knew they could be pruned but didn’t have a clue how best to do it. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this tutorial.

  7. September 6, 2011 3:27 pm

    Sounds like two great blogs! I will definitely check them out.

  8. September 6, 2011 10:13 pm

    Always a treat to see what’s new on the Blogosphere – especially when featured here! Thanks, Jean! 😀

  9. September 7, 2011 10:32 am

    Ok Jean, so now I will take time on this rainy day to visit each one you’ve mentioned…and thank you!

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  10. September 7, 2011 4:06 pm

    I always look forward to these posts Jean. Things have been so hectic here, that it’s a great way to bring my attention to some of the newer blogs on the block. Thank you for taking the time to do these reviews…off to check out Lyn’s blog!

  11. September 9, 2011 9:15 am

    Jean, thank you for support and comments on my blog. Your last one made me feel very good! I’ll enjoy reading your favourite blog pics, as I always do. I’m finding it hard to find time to keep up on commenting, never mind posting lately. But I have to keep in mind that fall is here and soon the garden will be covered in snow!

    Have a wonderful day!

  12. September 15, 2011 3:26 pm

    Jean, Jay who writes The Garden Continuum blog is my cousin, and I encouraged him to join Blotanical. I am prejudiced, but I really like his blog (the perfect complement to mine :-)). How amazingly coincidental that you should turn out to be his mentor and that you featured his blog in your monthly review just as you featured mine. Especially since you are one of the few bloggers I have met in person. The universe moves in strange ways. Anyway I am hoping you can help Jay fix his feed problem. I don’t get his posts in “My Faved Blogs”, and the page says it’s because the blog “doesn’t produce a reliable feed”. Is there anything to do about that? Carolyn

  13. September 20, 2011 12:43 pm

    Hello Everyone, I’m finally catching up with comments after a very hectic two weeks.

    Lyn and Jay, it was my great pleasure to find and then to feature your blogs. They were chosen from about 50, and I’m very much enjoying both of them. (Jay, every day when I go in and out of my front door, I admire how attractive the yew looks since I pruned it using your instructions!)

    Donna and Donna, It’s so interesting that each of you had found one of these blogs, but not the other, on your own. And I’m always happy to hear my assessment of a blog affirmed by another blogger whose work I respect and enjoy.

    Michelle and Deb, I enjoy doing these reviews and it’s always nice to know that they lead others to blogs they might not otherwise have found.

    Marguerite, I pruned my yew using Jay’s tutorial about a week and a half ago, and I have been feeling very pleased with myself about it ever since :-).

    Shyrlene, Sharon, and Clare, Enjoy!

    Diane, I’m always happy to visit your blog. I know the feeling of not being able to keep up. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed myself since school started and I suddenly found myself plunged into a 60-70 hour workweek! I’m still trying to carve out about an hour a day for blogging and looking forward to January when my workload will lessen dramatically.

    Carolyn, Cousins! (I’m humming a few bars of “It’s a Small World After All.” :-)) I tried to check out the feed problem. I’m getting the feed fine on my Google Reader, and I could also get to Jay’s latest post through his “my blogs” tab on his plot at Blotanical. Is it possible the problem you’ve been having is a Blotanical problem rather than a feed problem (hard to imagine, I know :-))?

    • September 20, 2011 4:40 pm

      That’s funny, I never even thought of it as anything but a Blotanical problem. But is there any way of getting it fixed? Have you faved Jay’s blog and does it show up on your list of posts under My Faved blogs?

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