05 March 2008

Garden Blogger's Geography Project: The Wrap-Up Post, Pt 1.

One thing I've learned since we initiated this blog project is that my weather trails a day or two behind some of my US gardening friends. The ice storm you received in the past couple of days is lashing us right now, although the gale-force winds are keeping ice formation down somewhat. Yesterday we enjoyed the mild spell you had several days ago, so I anxiously await reports of fairer weather from Kylee, Layanee, Sandy, Robin, et al.

According to my calculations, there have been 60 garden bloggers take part in the Geography Project, from right across the world. We've had posts from New York and the Netherlands, from the chill reaches of Saskatchewan to the balmy south of Florida, Texas and California; from Sweden to Ontario, Poland to South Africa, and from winter-weary Chicago to the summer-enjoying Australians and South Africans. My gardenin' hat is off to each and every one of you.

I'm going to keep the list of posts along the left column for a while, until such time as I figure out a way to give it a separate page (which may mean moving to another blogging host, ouch. Not this week, not while rebuilding a monthly project I've done for more than ten years in QuarkXpress and now have to move to InDesign. ) And if you haven't checked out some of them, I urge you to do so. Some are hilariously funny (like the always amusing John, aka Wiseacre, and our almost late Sue in Italy. Each one of them teaches us something new about the world we live in--and in many cases, causes us to look at our own part of the world with new eyes. As Annie in Austin commented in the last post,
Jodi, at first your project seemed like another fun garden blogger meme - especially when so many of you were trapped in winter - but as the entries piled up I realized this project was a better reflection of the kinds of worlds we live in than one finds in ordinary magazine articles.
Your correspondents weren't reporters writing about some new-to-them location after a visit and some drinks and dinners out - these were written by people whose lives are invested in the places where they live. It was still fun, but in combination, the posts have weight.

I couldn't have said it better, Annie, so I won't even try!

Because there are so many participants, I've divided the roundup into two posts, and I'll announce the winner and a special award at the end of the second post.

Thanks to David at kipili.com, I now know that Berowra is a suburb of Sydney, Australia, while Irena's Roots Run Deep in Toronto, Canada, where her post gave me a new appreciation for our country's largest city. Pam at Digging files her post about Austin under the topic Keep Austin Weird (which really, really makes me wish I could attend Spring Fling!) and Margaret tends her growing passion, which includes removing exotic invasives in favour of native plants, in Sydney AUSTralia. (do you suppose they're related, these two places? Both are on my must-visit lists!)

You would laugh if you could see me working on this post. I have two monitors, so one is open in Firefox, where I'm writing this post, and the other has about ten tabs open in Safari, as I visit and re-read each posting and collect the link. Though she was ridding herself of the epatoozies in Florida, Carolyn told us about her Sweet Home Chicago, which I think should be the site of a garden bloggers spring fling too. Because we have a collection of passionate gardeners in the Chicago area, and I learned a lot about the so-called Windy City from her gardening compadres, including Mr. McGregor's Daughter, who not only told us about the Snow Sculpting Competition, but also gave us a filmology look at the Chicago area in a second, really unique post. Then Linette, from southwest Ohio told us about her 19 acres of gardening bliss near Dayton, and tempted me with talk of Arboreta. Away in the southern Continent again, Blotanical's own guru, Stuart Robinson, told us about Busselton, home of the nearly 2 km long jetty. (It would become driftwood here in our tide, Stuart!

One of our more northerly participants would be Rosengeranium in Uppsala, Sweden, where she gardens indoors with great zeal and enthusiasm. She's quite a distance (as I can figure it) from Katarina in Gothenburg, where there's a botanical garden but Katarina's garden looks pretty impressive, too! How about living below sealevel, like Top Veg does on the well named Sunk Island in the United Kingdom? That would be pretty nervewracking for me, who likes to live above the water. Cows outnumber people in St, Lawrence county, New York, where John at Wiseacre tends his nursery and his fun new blog.

May Dreams Gardener Carol gave us top ten reasons why we'd love gardening in Indianapolis, and I'd have to agree with her. Jean shared some secrets of a southwest Georgia seed-scatterer, tempting me with the thoughts of things blooming yearround. Theresa, who gardens in Merida, Mexico, has different gardening challenges from her home state of Northern California, but she's accepted the challenges with enthusiasm. There are a lot of gardens I want to visit one day, and one would be Frances' Faire Garden, in southeast Tennessee (but I don't want to visit during Tornado season!)

I still haven't calculated just how many people from various provinces and states participated, but New York has its share of garden bloggers and homework presenters, including Sarah, who lives in Rochester, New York, where there are plenty of garden-themed places to visit and activities to do. Debi claims to live in the middle of nowhere, Alabama, but it sounds like a pretty nice place to live and http://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifgarden, plus she and a friend started the , and that's a fine project! Anna has been keeping us entertained with her adventures, but also celebrating her North Carolina roots and the importance of family.

Our only Caribbean contribution comes from Nicole, born and raised in the islands in the sun. It's quite different from Gina, who tends her not-so-skinny garden in Forest Park near Chicago, which she observes needs to improve its rating on the green-o-meter. Lisa at Greenbow lives in Vincennes, Indiana which has French inspirations in its history and great agricultural connections. Janie in Texas told us about life in the gulf coast area where they garden yearround...sigh...while Vonlafin gardens in Lafayette, Indiana, and through her I learned how close her part of Indiana is to Chicago.

Another Sydney, Australia gardener, Chookie chimed in with links about her geography and climate from earlier posts, but also talked about an unsual shrub, the downy wattle, which sounds rather like a Shakespearean insult. Gardenista, on the other hand, is in La Ronge, Saskatchewan, way north of Kate in Regina, and in USA zone 2a but she sure manages to grow some great plants in her gardens. Crafty Gardener, who has several websites, gardens near Belleville, Ontario, is another gardener I'd dearly love to visit because of the great interest in seeds and seedpods as well as what's obviously a glorious garden. Carol (Cabs) lives in Amherst, the Massachusetts one rather than the Nova Scotian town, and it's a lovely rolling area near several colleges boasting great gardens.The ever enthusiastic Joy in Kingston wrote several posts about her city, (I've gone past it on the train en route to Toronto a couple of times) while Ross posted to us about Durban, Kwazulu Natal in sourthern Africa and tempted us with pictures of incredible plants, warm ocean waters and very handsome architecture. Looks pretty different, but no less beautiful and interesting, than Ewa's lovely communities in Poland. What a global community we garden bloggers are!

Whew....I need a bit of a break. I'll post the rest later tonight!


  1. Jodi, the sun is finally out, which makes the ICE in the trees really shine! The weather guessers got it wrong today. We were supposed to get to 42ยบ but only made it to 32. Up the coast is warmer, that is strange.

    What a lot of reading I need to do, to keep up with your project, but I love learning about other people and places. I am off to check out Blotanical, before I have to go fix supper.
    Oh, thanks for the haiku comment!

  2. Hi there Jodi :-)

    I have to say congrats for organising this project and how interesting it has been to read yours and other posts on where in the world everyone is. I have to visit them all now :-D

    I had fully intended to participate but a few things have caught up on me. However I do still intend to post over the next few days - birthday party permitting :-D

    Once again, thank-you, great idea and great posts :-D

  3. This was a great blog project and I have really enjoyed reading all the various posts from around the world. Like you I would love to visit so many of the gardens.

  4. I am so glad you are leaving the list up for some time Jodi. Every time I think I have looked at all of the posts I find some I have missed.

    This was such a great project. It just shows me that no matter where you live there are people who must garden. Also we all like to see and hear about what others are doing, the struggles and of course the successes.

  5. Although I didn't participate in the meme, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the posts on the project. I have a few more to go, and I've learned so much. It was a great idea!

  6. This was great fun and I enjoyed all the posts I've found so far. I'll have to go back through and see what I missed!

    And I can just imagine you with two monitors, Jodi, going back and forth like that. Hat's off to you for coming up with this and pulling it all together in these wrap up posts!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  7. Jodi you had a great idea and it really fired up peoples' interest. I'm enjoying going through the list but it'll take some time. Glad you're planning to leave it up for a while.
    But then, we'll have all these lovely links here too, won't we? Thanks! Go rest up a little now :) Thanks for all your hard work.

  8. Jodi, I'm glad you'd like to do a "Fling" in Chicago, but I think it would be better to do a "Fall Crawl" (Trawl?, Ball?) instead. Chicago in September is truly at its weather best, with plenty of things still in bloom & the prairie at its peak.
    Kudos to you for this fascinating project. I'm almost done visiting them all.

  9. What a time consuming project this wrap-up is for you. Wow!

    This really was a great idea, Jodi. Annie, was right with her beautifully worded description. You could feel the pride in so many of the posts. It was great fun to read them.

  10. Jodi, I thank you too. While it has been such fun for us to get to know where everyone is, I know it's been work for you. So Thanks, again. You are appreciated!

  11. Great wrap-up (part 1), Jodi. I'm glad you mentioned Spring Fling #2 and made a suggestion for having it in Chicago. The future of Spring Fling is one of the things we'll be talking about on April 5th. And as it turns out, we'll have a Chicagoan here among us---Mr. McGregor's Daughter---to weigh in.

  12. Jodi
    Many thanks for organising this project - which has been interesting and stimulating! It has been a huge amount of work for you - & I still have to read a lot of posts. The ones I have read have highlighted how different we all are & how different the conditions are that we garden in.
    I would love to do a tour of them all - what a project that would be!
    Thanks again

  13. I'm still lagging a bit behind but I am catching up with reading each and every post of our project! Annie summed it up very well (as usual)!

    It was a great idea you had Jodi and it was fun to participate even though I was not in the best of health.

    Hope you are feeling better today too!


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