03 December 2007

Calling All Garden Bloggers--and blog readers

The blogosphere is a huge, gangling and ever-growing amorphous creature, and I'm sure there's a blog or seventeen out there on just about any possible topic imaginable. Including some I don't want to imagine. I started bloomingwriter as a bit of an online journal, and also as a way to give back to the gardening community around me--around me being around the world, it seems. Then I wanted to know who else was doing gardening blogs? How to find them?

In March of this year, I discovered the Garden Blog Directory, maintained by that friend to gardeners and garden bloggers everywhere, Stuart Robinson from Western Australia. Intrigued, I registered bloomingwriter on the directory, then began looking for others in Canada to read. I picked out a few, liked what I read, and from those I found more and more gardening blogs. Some are written by professional writers or professional gardeners (or those who are both), and others are written by everyday gardeners with a passion for gardening AND for writing. They're all wonderful--maybe too wonderful, for some days I spend a fair bit of time reading blogs when perhaps I should be working. My rationale is that I AM working--learning more about plants new and old, gardening tips, challenges and victories...so much so that I rely more on the valuable information I find in blogs than in most gardening magazines.

Anyway, that's a bouquet to my fellow garden bloggers, friends around the world. But the main point is that Stuart has revamped the Garden Blog Directory and launched Blotanical, a new and comprehensive site that I suspect will become even more valuable than the vaunted Dave's Garden. It's more than a place to just register blogs, though. There's a spot for you to share a little or a bit more about yourself, sort of the same way we do a profile on our blogs; this way people can see at a glance what a blogger's interests are. There's a whole area that will be devoted to reviews, where gardeners can review magazines, products, plants, blogs...just about anything related to gardening. There's also a spot for 'Picks', where you can vote for posts you particularly enjoyed or found valuable, and give a little positive feedback to the writer. I know we do that within the posts of various bloggers, via comments, but this will give a more centralized gathering area for sharing the positive feelings with others.

While I don't profess to have grasped all of the features yet (and am having a bit of trouble adding the widget to my blog sidebar,) I've started tending my own 'plot' already, and am slowly adding the other blogs I read and love. The problem is, I read and love quite a few--and there's no way I could possibly rank them as one better than the other. That would be like telling the catchildren that I love one of them the most. (I only have one son, so it doesn't work to use a child analogy, because of course I love him the most of all children in the universe!) So those of you I read and recommend via links, etc; give yourselves all a hug from me!

As our friend Colleen at In the Garden Online says, Blotanical is brilliant and will continue to grow as a valued tool--but to grow and flourish, more garden bloggers need to get involved. Register your blog through Blotanical, and participate in tending your own little plot as you see fit.

So what are you waiting for? Get on over to Blotanical.com, get your blog registered, and let the fun begin. Stuart reports there have been a few little snafus, but I'm sure they'll get resolved--every site has growing pains. I'm excited about Blotanical and know this will be a valuable tool for all of us gardeners, not just the bloggers. Big shout out to Stuart (a round of Foster's or comparable brew if we lived closer!) for all the hard word he's done, and here's to exciting times ahead.


  1. Shouldn't that be blogtanical? It looks like a fun link for garden blogs by any name.

  2. Thanks for the info about Botanical Jodi. It sounds interesting and I will look at it.

    I started out just wanting to find blogs that related to my geographic area. Then I found that gardeners all over the world are facing many of the same problems and successes. And the critters that visit gardens in other worlds are facinating. It is such fun reading about other gardens. I can't seem to get enough of it. It is better than any reality tv show or any tv at all for that matter. The wonderful writers and creative posters are true treasures found.

  3. Hi Jodi. Thanks for this information. Though my blog isn't a "gardening blog" in the true sense of the phrase, I will from time to time wax philosophical about my love of native plants. Gardening is one of my many passions so I shall check this out. STAY WARM and thanks again!

  4. I'm going to head over and take a peek. Thanks for sharing this!

  5. "will become even more valuable than the vaunted Dave's Garden"? Now there's some big shoes to fill....

    Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. Blotanical has been going well with a few new blogs to be added - looking forward to seeing yours up Nancy.

    As you mentioned there are still a few 'snafus' or is that 'snafi' still lurking but as bloggers bring them to my attention, I'm dealing with them and hopefully will have all the bugs ironed out soon.

    Cheers jodi.

  6. Yeah, Thank you for sharing that link. I checked it out and right away found four blogs from the Tulsa area. I'm a transplant from Chicago and upstate NY and everything I love - garden wise - dies down here. I've killed so many plants that my husband is thinking of starting a "be kind to plants" cause just to keep people like me away from gardening. j/k sorta. It's sad really. I Love your blog and have gotten great ideas from it. And now I can also find local's who grow and right about stuff that is hardy in the south. Thanks again. Deana

  7. Thanks for reminding me of this and for the information. I got the invitation email from Stuart and couldn't get on to register, then promptly forgot about it. I'll try again.

  8. Jodi: When I started blogging at my daughter's urging to share myIpassion for gardening I had no idea what a world of bloggers existed. It has been fascinating to view gardens from around the world.

    Since I live in Florida gardening is a year-round endeavor... we don't get much of a break in any season. During the winter is actually one of the most enjoyable times to garden with relief from the miserable humidity and heat.

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. You are a fabulous writer! Thanks for the information on Blotanical... I will definitely check it out.

  9. I'm going to go sign up tomorrow. After I get some work done! Otherwise I'll be off all day reading gardening blogs! :-)
    ~Angela :-)

  10. Hallo Jodi, interesting reading, I got this mail from Stuart 'Your are now an official Blotanist' so I assume I'm already a member. I'm sure it is going to be great, an updated Garden Blod Directory. It's so nice to have blogging Garden friends from all over the globe. Have a nice day Jodi/ lol Tyra

  11. Heh, I've registered, although someone else had already submitted my swedish version of Indoor Gardener. Apparently someone reads me in sedish... :-)

  12. Thanks for the info - I'll go take a look now!

  13. Ooo! Thanks for the tip! I wouldn't have found it without you.

    And thanks for the funny kitty/doggy story you left at Rosehaven Cottage today! I totally laughed out loud when I read it!

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  14. Hi all, and welcome...

    Princess Haiku, probably blogtanical was too clumsy on the tongue.

    Lisa, you're right--it IS such fun reading about other gardeners' experiences.

    Debi, you probably qualify just fine as a garden blog; Stuart can tell you.

    Sarita, hope you enjoy exploring blotanical!

    Nancy, glad you signed up. (I'm unhunkered now, of course).

    Stuart, yes, it CAN become more valuable than DG. I rarely go there anymore, since Dave sold it to whomever he sold it to.

    Deana, glad you found some other local blogs and enjoy mine too. Come back anytime!

    Robin's Nesting Place, hope you got registered okay. As Stuart put it, there were some snafuii(?) but anyone who can design a site like that will unsnafu it quickly, I'm sure.

    Meems, I'm completely envious of your garden conditions, and delighted by your blog. Such colours and plants, I can only dream of many of them. But we all have tradeoffs, don't we?

    Cottage Magpie, I do spend many evenings or early mornings reading blogs...so I understand what you mean.

    Tyra, it IS fantastic to visit blogs from all over; in another life, perhaps I'll be a garden travel writer, not just a garden writer. HMMMM. Must get passport one of these days.

    Rosengeranium, hope the winter blahs are alleviating for you!

    MMD, glad to be helpful!

    Cindy @ Rosehaven, glad to help you too. I told Tigger that I'd shared the story about him and the Jack Russell terrier with you. He yawned and asked about catnip. :-)


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