Garden Blogs of the Month: January 2013
It’s a new month in a new year and time for me to take a look at a new set of garden blogs. Since I wasn’t able to do a “blog of the month” post in December, I had two months worth of new listings at Blotanical to consider. From those listings, I have chosen three blogs to highlight here. All three are new blogs, begun in 2012. And all three promise a new year of pleasure for garden blog readers.
The Tenacious Gardener is the newest of these blogs, only a few weeks old. As the title indicates, this is a blog about the experience of gardening in challenging conditions, specifically on the North Sea coast of the Scottish Highlands. Linda, the author of this blog, tells us that she already had some gardening experience before she and her family moved to the Highlands, but found that gardening “in an exposed area slap bang next to the North Sea Coast has demanded that I forget about many of the blousy plants I enjoyed in England and acquaint myself with hardier, more durable species.” The experiences recounted in her very engaging blog posts include growing both flowers and vegetables and raising animals (including killer chickens). I especially enjoy her accounts of learning to garden using local natural resources like seaweed (see I need seaweed and Garlic & buckets of tea).
The Scottish Country Garden provides a very different view of gardening in Scotland, this time in the much more gentle climate of a walled garden in the lowlands of the southeast. The blog describes the garden as the work of “keen amateurs on a limited budget,” but this is amateur gardening on a very ambitious scale. The walled garden is two acres in size, and there are another two acres of lawns and gardens outside the walls! (Do take a look at the About page, which provides an overview of the garden.) Not surprisingly, the blog covers a wide variety of topics, including pruning trees, what’s in bloom, local landscapes, flora and fauna, and weather. One of my favorite features of this blog is a separate page to document the changes in the garden through the seasons. This is a delightful blog, and it is not surprising that in a few short months it has already attracted a substantial following.
Landscape Notes is quite different from the other blogs in this grouping. It is based in the US rather than the UK, and it focuses on public gardens rather than private. Blog author Patrice Todisco is a landscape architect who teaches courses on the evolution of the American landscape and on garden history and who is interested in exploring “themes relating to culture, design and the environment.” The typical post in this blog focuses on a single public garden space and provides a meaty overview of the space, its design and its history, includes a focus on specific features, and often incorporates photos of the garden in different seasons. Because Patrice Tadisco is based in Boston and has done public landscape design work in that city, many of the public spaces featured are in Boston (e.g., The Commonwealth Avenue Mall, Post Office Square), but the blog also features gardens in other US cities (e.g., New York’s High Line) and in other countries (e.g., UNESCO’s Jardin Japonais in Paris). This blog feels to me like a cherished reference book. When I visit cities with public gardens featured here, I will use these blog posts not only to alert me to spaces worth visiting but also to give me a foundation for experiencing them more deeply.
It is the depth of winter in my Maine garden, but these three blogs provide an opportunity to visit and dream about other gardens, landscapes and seasons.