My Garden Blog Heroes
Virginia C. McGuire is a freelance writer I often chat with on Twitter. The other day she mentioned me in passing in a story on starting seeds (very nice of you, Virginia). I’m only mentioning it because this is the first time anyone’s called me a “garden blogger.”
My garden friends may not know that I’ve been writing online since before it was called “blogging.” I even served as the Creative Director for Blogger in the early days. Good times. Still, starting Plantgasm was me dipping a toe into a new community of people I look up to, and being seen as one of them is the highest praise. So thanks for that, Virginia.
I thought I’d use this occasion to say thanks to the garden bloggers that inspired me to start this site. Some of these sites I’ve been reading for years, some just months, but all have helped me on my way. If you like plants and haven’t found one of these sites yet, you’re in for a treat.
- You Grow Girl is the site I’ve read the longest. Gayla Trail is such an inspiration. In all her books and articles, she maintains a strong point of view, but always with the implicit invitation that you can do this, too.
- Discovering Garden Rant was like walking into a bar for the first time. Everybody seems to know each other and you’re terrified of doing something wrong. So I mostly just observed for a long time. Now I’ll occasionally leave a comment or two, but mostly I’m just thrilled to be able to converse with people who wrote books I’ve read. They can be snarky, and I don’t always agree with them, but I’m glad they’re out there, kicking up the dirt.
- True story: I once got into a conversation about plants with a waitress in a bar. Afterward she handed me a card that simply said “Phyteclub“. I’ve been visiting ever since for Katie’s in-depth discussion of local plants, tasty beers, and heavy metal. Really.
- Far Out Flora is written by Megan and Matti who live just a few miles from me. We both seem to have a love of strange succulent planters. Be warned: the joy they bring to their site is catchy.
- A great garden blogger can inspire you to see a old plants in new ways. That’s what happened to me when I found The Pitcher Plant Project. I admit I’d only tried to grow a Sarracenia once and it didn’t end well. But after reading his site for the past few months, I’m ready to try again, and this time I may just know what I’m doing.
- Plants are the Strangest People is the perfect name for the blog by Mr. Subjunctive, because he literally humanizes plants by talking about them like they’re people. Strange, interesting, people. It’s as informative as it is entertaining, too.
- It’s no secret I have a soft spot for jungle plants, so Steve Asbell’s The Rainforest Garden is a new favorite. I’m especially thrilled that he’s going to be mailing me some epiphytes as soon as it gets warmer out.
- Finally, even though it’s not a blog, I have to mention Exotic Rainforest, a treasure trove of information on tropical plants. So many searches led me to that site, I eventually struck up a conversation with its creator, Steve Lucas, who was entirely too supportive and encouraging. I once emailed: “Thank you so much for the site. It’s done more to fuel my passion for tropical plants than just about any other other.” Steve passed away last week, and even though we never met, I feel a terrible sadness. He will be missed by people he never met.
Gardeners are not normal, and bloggers even less so. There’s something special about the combination of the two.
I owe a debt of gratitude to everyone listed here, and many more. Collectively, you’ve caused a thousand plants to be planted, a million blooms to unfurl. You’ve made the world a better place.
Keep planting. Keep writing. Thank you.
Any other garden blogs I should be reading? Tell me on Twitter.