Garden Blogs of the Month: April 2013
This weekend, I’ve been taking my monthly stroll through the newly listed garden blogs at Blotanical, looking for those destined to be new favorite reads for me. I continue to be impressed by the richness of garden blog offerings, and this month was no exception. Out of the wealth of possibilities, I chose to focus on two.
The first to capture my attention was the blog of Illinois arborist Jim Anderson. As you might expect, this is a blog devoted to trees (and the occasional shrub). Jim’s posts are packed with useful information, including principles of landscape design, how to maintain trees and shrubs, and how to choose the right tree for the right place. In one of the first posts (Pruning Rhododendrons for Dense Growth), I learned just what I need to do after my leggy rhododendron blooms this spring to help it grow into a more pleasing shape. In others, I have learned about plants that weren’t familiar to me or about the requirements of trees (like Tri Color Beech) that I have long admired. Jim Anderson is very knowledgeable, and he often writes posts (and series of posts) in response to readers’ questions – a strategy that definitely contributes to the blog’s usefulness. Adding this blog to my blogroll feels a lot like adding a great new garden reference book to my bookshelf.
The month-old Garden Dreaming at Chatillon has also captured my interest. This beautifully written, beautifully photographed and beautifully designed blog is the creation of Cathy Thompson, a British ex-pat in France. This is one of my favorite genres of garden blog, the chronicle of a new garden. Thompson and her husband bought their house in France in 2011, and she is gardening on a series of south-facing terraces created by the previous owner, a Dutch sculptor, to display his art. She has already laid out 9 different garden areas – at least in her mind’s eye (see her A Walk in the Garden page for a list and some wonderful photos), has done some planting, and has met her garden nemesis, the water vole. The following excerpt, from RIP M. Charles Joly, gives a flavor of both the blog and the writing:
Anyway, back to the sad monsieur. I lifted his companion immediately from the ground (as you can imagine). She was fine. In fact M. Joly himself had a few pathetic little roots: if he was a rose, I would expect him to survive, based on previous experience. But we’ll see. M. Lemoine’s progeny are now enjoying a little holiday on the veg patch where the voles don’t (currently) visit.
I went briskly up to the house, ate four chocolate biscuits (I am on a diet) and thought about ringing the estate agent (the tears you can take for granted). Three quarters of an hour later I was back down digging. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?
I am all-too-familiar with the rage, the tears, and the chocolate that follow the discovery of a favorite plant destroyed by a garden adversary. I am rooting for Cathy Thompson in her war with the voles, and I look forward to reading about (and seeing) her successes in her new garden.
As the spring garden season begins for many of us, these are blogs that can offer both inspiration and information for the months ahead.