Garden Blogs of the Month: July 2013
In my part of the world, it is high summer in the garden, the peak of the gardening season and the peak of the garden’s pleasures. Even at this time of year, however, I like to take breaks from gardening for garden reading and garden visits (both real and virtual). So I was happy to find these two virtual gardens to visit when I perused recent new listings at Blotanical.
Town-Farming is a blog about vegetable gardening. Although my own gardening and blogging focus on flowers, I have a strong interest in fresh, local produce, am a member of a CSA, and follow several vegetable gardening blogs. Brett, the author of this blog has been vegetable gardening for two years and blogging for the past three months as a way to document and share that gardening experience. What first drew me to this blog was a recent post about How To Freeze Summer Squash. As part of my commitment to eating locally, I try to preserve produce when it is in season and at the peak of freshness (and when there is more of it available than I can possibly eat!) to enjoy at other times of the year. Detailed instructions like these for putting food by are very helpful to me. An earlier post on Building a Standard 6’ x 3’ Raised Bed is also a very useful touchstone as I begin to build my first raised bed (albeit for perennials rather than vegetables). Practical information – on gardening techniques, how to harvest various kinds of crops, how to deal with garden pests, and how to prepare food – are the hallmark of this blog. I love the fact that Brett has prepared YouTube videos to accompany many of the how-to posts.
Garden Design Exposed is not a conventional blog at all, in the sense that it does not have dated entries organized in reverse chronological order. Instead, it is an amazing compendium of garden design information and advice. Doug, the author of this information, does not tell us what his background is, just that he is passionate about garden design and that you don’t have to be a professional to do it well. The mission of this blog is to teach basic garden design principles and to provide amateurs with the information and resources they need to design their own gardens. When you open the home page, you find links on the left sidebar to information about Design Basics, Design Inspiration, Starting a Garden, Small Spaces, and Container Gardens, as well as a link to Garden Pictures, a What’s New link that will take you to the most recent posts, a link for Web Resources, and a site map. Click on any of these and it leads you to a page with more links and opportunities to explore any number of topics in greater depth. The Design Basics page, for example, includes links to material on eight basic elements of design – color schemes, color values, rhythm and motion, focal points, rules of composition, spatial organization, visual texture and visual balance. Other pages have equally rich links. The depth and wonderful organization of information on this blog just keeps drawing you in deeper and deeper; I’ve found that I have difficulty tearing myself away. It’s like having a wonderful and comprehensive garden design reference book (maybe a whole shelf of such books!) at your finger tips.
Blotanical Update: Many of us who found a wonderful community of garden bloggers and made new friendships at Blotanical have been saddened by the decline of that site since Stuart Robinson, Blotanical’s founding genius and owner, announced last year that the programmer he had hired to develop a new, improved Blotanical 2.0 had absconded without finishing the job. Recently, I learned that Stuart has been hard at work trying to get the new version of Blotanical up and running. Click here for the announcement he posted recently at Blotanical about these new developments.