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Garden Blogs of the Month: April 2013

April 7, 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.

imageThe 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.

imageThe 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.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Leilani permalink
    April 8, 2013 11:05 am

    Rage, tears and chocolate. That’s a great way of describing it, huh? I am biting my nails over my tomatoes. Here’s to staying alive!

    • April 10, 2013 4:34 pm

      Leilani, My garden nemesis is the woodchuck rather than voles, but I think most of us go through a similar cycle of disbelief-rage-console yourself-move on when the adversary wins a round. Good luck with your tomatoes.

  2. Shekh rabbani permalink
    April 8, 2013 11:22 am

    Well done! Very nice article.

  3. April 8, 2013 6:08 pm

    I love the blogs you find to highlight. I am going to both.

  4. April 8, 2013 7:36 pm

    Thanks, Jean, for singling out two more wonderful blogs. There are so many new ones all the time that I rely on you to steer me to the best!

  5. April 9, 2013 2:55 am

    Two more wonderful blogs to check out and follow. Thank you Jean 🙂


  6. April 9, 2013 9:31 am

    Checking them out now Jean..thanks!

    • April 10, 2013 4:34 pm

      Pat, Lyn, Linda and Donna, I hope you enjoy these.

  7. April 9, 2013 12:11 pm

    I always enjoy your monthly recommendations, Jean, even though I don’t follow up: my (blog) reading has been reduced to a trickle.

    • April 10, 2013 4:36 pm

      Jack, I sympathize. I go through periods (usually during school breaks) when I catch up on blog reading, but then I get busy and pretty soon there are hundreds of unread posts piled up in my Google reader. And why did I think it was a good idea to add a new blog to write to this mix?!?

  8. April 10, 2013 12:37 pm

    Thanks for giving me a mention Jean; as everyone says, there are almost too many good blogs to read! I will certainly be coming back to yours because I love the flavour of it.

    • April 10, 2013 4:37 pm

      Cathy, It’s my pleasure. I’m looking forward to getting back to read the new entries you’ve posted since I reviewed your blog.

  9. April 11, 2013 9:27 am

    I am quite interested always in coming across different gardening blogs, will definitely love to check out all the blogs mentioned in this post!

  10. April 24, 2013 7:11 pm

    Jean, Thanks for the kind words. I will be redesigning my blog after the spring rush and plan on increasing the frequency of my posts. I would love questions, suggestions, or any input from you and your readers. I have a “Ask me a question” page that I would love people to give their input.

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