27 February 2010

Spotlight Saturday: Have you visited This blogger?

We have had some amazing participation in encouraging people to visit new, or new-to-them bloggers since we all began the conversation about encouraging our fellow bloggers about a month ago. There were some very good suggestions and actions made by people who left comments here, and once again, I thank you all for being such good blogger-neighbours around the world.

I took up Teza's method of promoting other bloggers, but I've found two problems in it for me. One has to do with my blog template, which has some flaw in its code so that titles of widgets etc on the sidebars often run into the widget, photo, etc. I can control that with some sidebar items, but with the 'Have you visited this blog?' photo/link on the right side, I can't make it any larger or space it better than it is. And being a chickenheart when it comes to template code...I don't dare tinker with that, or I'm apt to warp the whole thing into Tralfamadore, and I'm not ready to go there yet.

More importantly than that wee bit of tidiness quirks, my brain is somewhat cluttered with a lot going on right now, as you know from reading previous posts. And like I forget to take something out for supper some days, or where I've put my iPhone, or that I was supposed to finish writing a letter I drafted two weeks ago to a friend...I am afraid that I'll forget just who all I've put in that side 'visit' link, and put the same person in twice, or neglect to put up someone because I think I've already done so.

This is my solution. Once every couple of weeks, I'll do a 'Spotlight Saturday' post, introducing you to a fellow blogger who I've encountered and whose blog I really enjoy. That way you'll get to 'know' them a bit before you pop over to visit (and I KNOW you'll all visit because you're awesome that way) and I'll have a regular record of who I've spotlighted. And of course the blogger will get some new visitors and then go visit other bloggers and it will all be good.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to Ceara, who lives and gardens on the beautiful Gaspé peninsula in eastern Quebec. Ceara's garden is zone 4, so you can imagine the various climate challenges she has to deal with in her gardening adventures. She just started her blog a few weeks ago, but she visited here and left a comment about sea holly, so I returned to write a comment in answer, and was delighted with her blog. So please go visit.

One other thing you might be able to help with. Ceara wrote in her comment on my Eryngium post that she has been unable to get seed or plants of this genus to try in her garden. I've offered to send her E. planum seedlings, but I'm also curious: has anyone in a zone 4 garden been able to grow any of the Eryngiums? I've seen various zone reports on E. planum as being hardy to zone 4, others say zone 5, so I'm throwing it open to what Mr. Subjunctive always calls The Hive Mind: what say you, fellow gardeners? Can Ceara find happiness with one of the sea hollies in her Gaspé garden?

Oh, I'm sure you're wondering what the sunflowers have to do with this post. Not a whole lot. The bucket of sunflowers WERE at a market in Montreal that I visited in October during my visit, and I just thought we could all use some cheerful colour on what's another dreary weather weekend here.

One MORE thing. (sorry, I told you my brain sometimes is like swiss cheese.) If you haven't done already, please consider taking part in Jan's (Thanks for Today) Sustainable Living Giveaway challenge. She's extended the deadline and got some very cool prizes to give out (sadly, only in the USA, boo to companies who won't ship outside the US). But even without being eligible for prizes, I hope you'll take part in her challenge. There have been some very wonderful posts about living sustainably already, and that in itself is reward enough for many of us--if we find even one small way in which to make our lives more green, it's a very good thing.


  1. Jodi, You've scooped me! LOL. I have been working on my blogs of the month post for March, and have Also chosen Gardening Gaspe as one to feature. Good to bring lots of attention to Ceara's blog. -Jean

  2. Jodi,
    I believe it is an excellent idea to promote blogs.
    Three years ago I started my "Guildwood Garden" blog. After over 500 posts I am wondering if I should continue. My goal was to get in touch with more garden blogger in Canada and USA. This did not really happen, why I don't know.
    I will post my last pictures after visiting Canada Blooms garden show and close my blog.
    Take care!!
    "It is not enough to be busy. The question is, what are we busy about?"
    - Henry David Thoreau -

  3. Jodi,
    I love this idea.Often I feel I don't have time to visit my regular reads. Even so (when time allows) I DO ALWAYS enjoy finding and encouraging new bloggers. You have led the way in this for a very long time. I clearly remember when Stuart started Blotanical that YOU were his #1 promoter. (at least that's what I think :-) and that's how I found out about it).

    I'll head over to Gaspe Garden now and thanks for the reminder at Jan's.

    The sunflowers ARE quite cheery!
    Enjoy your day.

  4. This is a great idea! I'm going to go visit right now :)

  5. I think the idea that you and Teza has started is a great one. I am promoting new bloggers via my sidebar so that other bloggers will see it and maybe they can promote someone else if they do not wish to 'clash'. otherwise many of us may end up promoting the same blogger with the result that other deserving ones miss the chance. Jodi, you are always full of thoughtful ideas and it is a pleasure reading your posts. Keep up the good work.

  6. Thank you so much for mentioning my blog! I am touched. It made my day!

  7. No explanation needed for showing the huge bunch of sunflowers. Especially on a dark rainy day like today, they are so cheery. Thank you.
    I will visit the blog you are spotlighting.

  8. Hi Jodi, you are doing the plantblogging community a great service, however we don't know how much that sidebar adoption technique will really bring. I have been blogging a few years back but I started to devote plant blogs only after discovering this group, the group you belong, though i didn't join Blotanical. And i am really very happy how it turned out at the moment! Even before your adoption strategy, Autumn Belle already put a very prominent link of mine in her site, however i noticed and has been monitoring the people visiting mine, that those who come and frequently visit are mostly those whom i introduced myself first. Autumn Belle, just like you has a lot of commenters, so i am beginning to wonder how many percentages really follow through the links through other's side bars. I even took note of the new names i visited the first time, and when they dropped by mine i continue the connection with them. The biggest percentages of my commenters who frequently visit again are those i visited first. Of course, others might have different experiences.

    Thank you.

  9. Jodi, thanks for the timely reminder about the sustainability post! I'd meant to do it, but then, er, forgot. I'm on a work deadline now and not enjoying the pressure affecting my brain, so I can sympathize. :)

    I love all you're doing to promote new blogs (loving my visit to Ceara's so far), and thank you so much for featuring The Enchanted Earth in the sidebar! I'm touched. You are such a wonderful encourager.

  10. Interesting, Jodi. And thoughtful of you to consider other bloggers when you're up to your neck in work.

    Stay warm.

  11. Jodi,
    I look forward to checking out Ceara's blog. I do live in zone 4, and have not tried growing Eryngium in my garden, though I know of others in this area who have been successful with it.
    I do hope to start featuring new blogs on a monthly basis very soon... school keeps me so crazy busy at times that I was not able to get a post up for February.

  12. Boy, I can understand scattered - wish I couldn't, but let's just say that I'm right there with you!

    I haven't been by in awhile (too foolishly busy for an unemployed person) - but as always, it's wonderful to stop by. (And thanks for the tip about the 'living sustainably' posts at Thanks for Today - don't think I have time to contribute, but I'd love to read some of the contributions.

    (ps and unfortunately, this zone 8b gardener can't assist with Eryngium info for zone 4 - although at times this winter, we have indeed felt like a zone 4!!).

  13. Just saying a quick hello, Jodi, to let you know I've been catching up with your posts. Good luck with the book!
    I'm wondering if you got socked with the same storm as us. More snow coming down this morning, on top of the 2 feet or so we already have. Our snowbanks are taller than me and beginning to make me claustrophobic!
    But spring is on the horizon!!! Come on redwings!

  14. Jodi, what a wonderful way to promote fellow gardeners and their blogs. It's wonderful to support each other and share our passions. I'll be sure to check out every new blog you post!! Thank you, Jodi! (and Teza!!)

  15. Many Eryngium can be grown in Zone 4.
    Many of our customers grow Eryngium in Zone 4: Such as E. Miss Wilmot's Ghost and E. planum... Jelitto in Germany ships seeds worldwide. They have 21 varieties of Eryngium seeds. https://www.jelitto.com/haupt_en.html
    To grow them well, they require well drained soil. Give them a try Ceara.

  16. Lorraine: Thanks so much for letting me know from a pro's point of view. I've passed that info on to Ceara.

    Andrea, I too think a lot of visitors come to new blogs via comments from those bloggers, not so much from the links on sidebars. I use my sidebar blogroll to keep up (sometimes) with what others are doing, especially while Blotanical is down. But when someone new posts a comment here, I try to visit them as soon as possible.

    Gisela, I'm sorry to hear you're considering or are going to close Guildwood Gardens blog. I like it although I don't get there as often as I should of late; a lot of the times people get a lot of visits because they visit many other bloggers and get to 'know' them, leave comments, etc, and that promotes visits forward. And sometimes there are just too many blogs to read and not enough hours in the day.

  17. Hi Jodi, I loved hearing from you and am happy you won Dee's giveaway of my new Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars.

    I just read your profile list of bad habits and I think you had better up it one. BIRDS! It sounds like your bird seed costs are as high as mine. But what would we do without them? Right this minute a male and a female Anna's hummingbird are sitting on their feeder a few inches from where I am sitting and writing this.

    So I garden in Maine in May through October, but only in containers because we're right on the ocean. But usually I'm able to grow herbs, salad greens, flowers (edible), and a trellis of my beloved 'Heavenly Blue' morning glories.

    Let's keep in touch!!! Hope you like the "Bird Words" section of the book.

    All joys to you,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  18. Grreat idea Jodi, I look forward to reading your Saturday spotlight posts.

  19. Hi Jodi - the adopt a blog is a good idea and I'm trying to get around to making an icon for my blog that fits my colour scheme so I can start to promote some new ones too.

    I was not sure if they had to be Blotanical ones or could they be ones outside of that?

    For me I think like Andrea alot of it is to do with comments.

    Everyone who comments on my blog I get back to them within a few days with a comment on their site. I've found some interesting gardening blogs through the comments section.

  20. I think this is a great idea, introducing bloggers. I have one question tho. Do you know the name of the BEAUTIFUL sunflower? I love it!

  21. Jodi, I appreciate you adding that reminder in your post...it was kind of you;-) I have (right now, anyway) blogs on my sidebar and a separate section with new ones (to me). I don't imagine having time to write a separate post on them but by having a separate section it does give them some exposure, and I can also remember that they're there. If people want to check them out, they can. It's true that we all have to go out and 'make friends' and 'seek others out', for the most part, and that once we've been 'introduced' it's up to each of us to make the effort to continue visiting, commenting, etc. When people don't get visitors after having a blog for a long time, I would think it's because they haven't reached out to be much of a friend to others. It is a lot of work, but it's fun, too;-)

  22. Hello Jodi.
    Thank you for yet another thoughtful and community minded post, I really don't know how you do it all! I am about to go and have a look at Ceara's blog, it looks wonderfully inviting from the screenshot alone :)
    When I'm more settled into the blogging world I'm going to follow your lead, but in the meantime I try to look in on as many 'new to me' blogs as I can find and seem to have a blogroll that is growing and growing...

  23. Great idea, Jodi, and very generous of you to feature other blogs. Your idea is one more of us should adopt. I try to highlight other blog that I like, but could do more ... now if I can just get past that scattered thoughts place. Any ideas?

  24. I think it's great to celebrate other bloggers and try to by trying to link to their expert posts and experinces when I need to define something or give further information. There is such a wealth of enthusiasm and knowledge out there.

    By the way, it's been awhile since I've visited this excellent blog so I thought I'd stop by and say Hi Jodi!

  25. I do love this idea. The garden blogging world is such a friendly welcoming place--it will be good to see if we can work out a way to systematically include more people in it. Thanks for taking up the cause.

    BTW, there is a way to tinker lightly with the HTML code to make the blog sidebar space a wee bit bigger. It has to do with the part called "padding." It doesn't take much once you know which line of code you're dealing with, but I can understand the hesitancy to tackle it. As a note of encouragement, I managed to do it on my blog, though I'll admit that since I started out knowing nothing about HTML, it probably took a day or two longer than it needed to.

    Is there someone you know who is familiar with HTML? It would probably take him/her fewer than 15 minutes to fix the problem.

  26. Helpful post for gardeners and lovely sunflower.


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