January 18th, 2012
It’s the depths of January……are you suffering from garden withdrawal? Do you long to plunge your hands into warm moist April dirt, sniff the intense fragrance of May lilacs and savor the sharp, crisp taste of spring radishes? Well, my friends, it may be way too soon to garden with any practicality here in the Northeast, but there’s a substitute…garden blogs!
The best of the blogs carry content that is useful for our New England plots, with clear pictures, informative articles and tidbits concerning the gardening life. It doesn’t hurt if they’re funny, or even a bit outrageous. Oh, and one more thing, friendships have been known to burgeon from following blogs.
Here’s a few of my favorite web logs:
Kathy Purdy’s Cold Climate Gardening, Hardy Plants for Hardy Souls, (www.coldclimategardening.com ) aims at those of us who relish the challenge of growing plants in treacherous northern climes. Kathy resides in the Southern Tier of New York State, at least a zone colder than my garden. Yet her photos, advice and vivid prose are Johnny-on-the-spot in terms of hardiness, interest and beauty. One of the pioneers of garden bloggers, she’s experienced in the ways of web logging, and freely admits that her 9-year old blog contains not only information on plants she’s grown, but also knowledge distilled from others. Her specialties are narcissus, colchicum, cottage gardening, native plants and gardening with children. This is a real “get your hands dirty” type of blog; nothing highfalutin about it. But if you’re up to the challenge of growing in unpredictable winter temperatures, check out Cold Climate Gardening. And for further adventures in blogging, be sure to peruse her blog directory.
Garden Rant ( www.gardenrant.com) is one of the best known garden blogs out there, written by four well-known professional horticulturalists from different regions of the USA. Elizabeth Licata is from Buffalo, Amy Stewart resides in Northern California, Susan Harris hails from the greater Washington, DC area and Michele Owens lives in upstate New York. Their enormously popular blog, Garden Rant, is a fast-paced, irreverent look at aspects of the gardening world. Don’t miss their Manifesto on the Homepage, where they profess their love for “real, rambling, chaotic, dirty, bug-ridden gardens”. Sound like any plots you know?
Barbara Pintozzi gardens at her suburban Chicago, aptly named Squirrelhaven. The area boasts a climate similar to ours, and her rapid-fire blog, Mr. McGregor’s Daughter, (www.mcgregorsdaughter.blogspot.com) encompasses many gardening viewpoints which resonate with those of us who garden in the northeast. She leavens her writings with wit (don’t miss Involuntary Plantslaughter). Always well-written, Mr. Mcgregor’s Daughter was recently awarded a gold medal for photography by Gardening Gone Wild, (www.gardeninggonewild.com), another fabulous blog.
Margaret Roach (www.awaytogarden.com ) spent years in Martha Stewart’s employ, initially as the garden editor of Martha Stewart Living, then as its editorial director. She retired (at a young age) to her farm on the New York/ Massachusetts line where she gardens on ample acres and can indulge her plant lust while educating the rest of us via her edifying blog. Complete with podcasts, gardening FAQ’s and photos of Jack the Demon Cat, A Way to Garden is replete with information, advice and gobs of horticultural lore suitable for onlooker, amateur, or professional gardener.
Despite the fact that the average American now needs tech support to run the living room, these blogs are easy to find, simple to navigate, and will teach, entertain and enlighten us gardeners until the gentle breezes of Spring waft our way once more.