I Am Not A Botanist
Months ago, I was in line at Flora Grubb with a handful of succulents. The lady in front of me turned to check out my selections.
“Oh, I love that one.” She said, pointing.
“Isn’t it cool?” I said. “I can’t believe it’s an Aloe. It looks so different.”
“That’s an Agave, dear.”
I checked. There was no tag. But I was certain.
“Really? I’m pretty sure it’s an Aloe.” I said.
“It’s an Agave,” she repeated. “I’m a Botanist.”
She said it like it was capitalized. I couldn’t think of a nice way to respond, and I try to avoid snapping at little old ladies, so I just stared at the plant until she went away.
When I started Plantgasm a few months ago and got to the stage where WordPress asked me if I wanted comments on or off, I remembered that conversation and how awful it made me feel. I’ve been growing plants since I was a teenager, but I’m not a “Botanist” in caps or otherwise. I didn’t want to feel stupid on my own site. So I left the comments off.
Since then, I’ve been astounded by the generosity and kindness of my fellow garden bloggers. I’ve received so much support and appreciation, not to mention a few cuttings, from my botanical buddies, I’ve started to crave a little two-way communication here.
So I’m turning comments on. But before you comment, I’d like to ask you to keep a few guidelines in mind.
The Plantgasm Response Guidelines
- This is a personal site, run by a person. As a person, I reserve the right to be imperfect, wrong, and generally weird.
- Don’t be a dick. There are ways to educate people without making them feel bad. If you don’t know how to do that, maybe you shouldn’t try to educate anyone.
- Responses, not comments. I’m calling them “responses” instead of “comments” because I’d like you to actually respond to the topic at hand, not just add a comment. It’s a subtle but important difference.
- Great responses add context, information, or relevant personal experiences to the post. Bad responses just take up space. When you’re posting, ask yourself, “Is this adding something?” If not, don’t post. Hint: One-word responses never add much.
- Be nice to each other. There are plenty of places online to be a jerk. This isn’t one of them.
- All comments will be moderated. That means I’m going to pick which ones appear on the site. The only site that you have a right to post on is your own site. If that’s not okay with you, don’t post here.
- No ads. Don’t comment to solely promote your site or your business. If you want me to review something, just ask.
- This is a work in progress. I’ll update these guidelines over time.
Sorry if all this seems overly officious. I’ve just learned the hard way to be cautious when it comes to enabling community features online.
This site is a part of the joy of gardening for me. I’m sharing it with you because joy shared is better than joy hoarded. Thank you for sharing a bit of your gardening joy with me.
Later, I checked. The plant in question was a Aloe Plicatilis.
Suck it, botany.