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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Getting Involved With Garden Bloggers

Beauty can be found in every garden, and through our garden blogs, we are sharing the beauty we see in our own gardens through pictures and words.

There are many ways to get involved with garden bloggers around the world. For those new to garden blogging, who might be trying to figure out what’s going on and how you can join in, here’s a partial guide.

Blotanical

By now, most garden bloggers are familiar with Blotanical, “where garden blogs bloom”, create by Stuart of Gardening Tips N’ Ideas. I have indeed noticed that my blog is ranked first in “most favourited” and often is most visited, too. Wow! I would like to thank everyone who listed me as one of their favorite blogs and soon I’ll return the favor by listing my own favorite blogs.

What is holding me back from tagging my favorites right now is that a couple of the blogs I want to mark as favorites won’t show up for me, so I am waiting for Stuart to help with that. Then I’ve got enough points as a Blotanist to mark 24 favorites, and I intend to do just that!

What’s a Blotanist? It’s bloggers like Carolyn, and Jodi, and Kate, who use the site quite often, thus earning points. And with those points they can pick more favorite blogs.

Really, if you have a garden blog, you should visit Blotanical and get yourself listed.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day

Many garden bloggers are familiar with Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, hosted here at May Dreams Gardens. Without much prompting, we faithfully post what is blooming in our gardens on the 15th of the month and then leave a comment on my bloom day post to let everyone know where we are.

If you are new to garden blogging or just started seeing the bloom day posts and wondered how to join in, it’s easy. You just do the above. No asking permission, no rules, no hassles. Botanical names are strictly optional. And in the winter-time, even blooms are optional!

I usually post my bloom day post a tiny bit earlier than the 15th, like late on the 14th, to give everyone a chance to find it and add their comment as they post. Jump in any month to join us.

Garden Bloggers’ Book Club

Once you’ve joined us for bloom day, why don’t you join in the Garden Bloggers’ Book Club? It’s pretty easy to join, too. You read the book that’s chosen, post a review about it, and then let me know about it via a comment or an email. Then I’ll link to it in a ‘virtual meeting post’ at the end of the two month period.

We’ve just started a new book for February-March, Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan, so there is plenty of time to read the book and post about it before March 31st.

Or if you are more interested in another book by Pollan, you can review that and make it your post for the book club.

Garden Bloggers’ Muse Day

Carolyn at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago hosts Garden Blogger’s Muse Day on the first of every month. This is a great opportunity to share your favorite poems, songs, verses and quotes about gardening. You just post your favorite muse on your blog on the first of the month and then let Carolyn know via a comment so others can find you.

Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop

There really is something for everyone in the garden blogosphere. Over at Gardening Gone Wild, they host a monthly posting about a design related aspect of gardening. Again, it’s very easy to join in. Post something on your blog about the topic of the month and leave a comment to let them know you’ve posted something. Then on the 31st of the month, they’ll do a wrap up post with links to all of the various blogs that posted on the subject. For February, the topic is Color in the Garden.

Links and Comments

Now if all of the above seems just a bit too organized and too much bother, there are other ways to join in the garden blogosphere and interact with passionate garden bloggers.

You can extend a conversation or add your own ideas on a topic with a post on your blog that includes a link back to the blog that gave you the thought or idea. Nothing gets me to visit a blog faster than seeing a link to my blog embedded in a post. I use Technorati to find links to my blog but you can also do a google search for “links: your blog url” to find out who or what is linking to you.

Or you can just visit other garden blogs and leave nice, relevant comments and often as not, that blogger will check out your blog and perhaps add it to their feed reader and come back for future posts. Don’t be shy, everyone has to leave a first comment. Then that first comment gets the ball rolling and you just never know where it could lead.

Garden Bloggers Spring Fling

Where it could lead is a visit outside of the virtual world of garden blogging to the real world of Austin, Texas, the garden blogging capital of the world, where this spring you can meet some real garden bloggers face to face at the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling. This real-time meeting is being organized by garden blogger Pam at Digging and with help from Melissa at Zanthan Gardens, Diana of Sharing Nature’s Garden and Bonnie of Kiss of Sun.

The guest list is growing, as is the excitement. It will be great fun to get out of this blogging world of asynchronous communication and for just a few days communicate synchronously with other garden bloggers.

What more could anyone want than to go to a gathering of other people and not have to try to figure who else is a gardener, so you know you’ll have someone to talk to? Everyone there will be a gardener, so garden and plant talk should be non-stop.

No Excuses For Not Joining In

So fellow garden bloggers both new and experienced, no more excuses for just posting on your blogs and not joining in. There really is something for everyone in the garden blogosphere.

You can start now by “coming through my garden gate”, leaving a comment to say “Hi”, and making your plans for the next bloom day on February 15th.

Other Links of Interest on Garden Blogging

Feeding Birds and Blogging – more thoughts on garden blogs and blogging

Blogging Art and Practice – general blogging info from Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening, one of the pioneers of garden blogging.

Green Thumb Sunday – a weekly garden picture sharing opportunity

Voices at Garden Web – lists and previews of more garden blogs.

Mouse & Trowel – occasional posts on blogging topics and home of the Mouse & Trowel garden blogging awards.

31 comments:

Kathy said...

I'd say that's a nice summing up of how to get involved. Thanks for the mention. I am working on a tutorial on how to use a feed reader, which I will be posting at Blogging Art and Practice.

Mary said...

Carol,

For so many reasons, I understand why your blog has been the most favorited. You not only offer great gardening advice and stay connected to great people, but you entertain. It's good to hear about what's happening in everyone's garden through their blogs, but you make it interesting by including humor and little bit of yourself in every post. I usually smile before I get here.

I don't consider myself to be a "gardener" but I sure like visiting here.

By the way, I hope you filled your feeders today! (wink)

Mary

Carolyn gail said...

Great post, Carol. There's no wonder that you're number one in both blotanical categories.

Thanks for mentioning Garden Bloggers' Muse Day.

rusty in miami said...

Hi Carol, I always learn something new at your Blog. I registered my Blog with Blotanical, great advice.
Congratulations on your number one ranking.

jodi said...

Lovely post, Carol. The more I explore, the more amazed I am at the amount of work Stuart put into Blotanical...and just how valuable a tool it is for gardening information. Only problem is...I'm reading even more blogs than ever. I have already given up housework, can sleep be far behind?

Pam/Digging said...

Carol, you're number one for a reason---always bringing garden bloggers together and providing good gardening info and fun reading for everybody.

Thanks for the Spring Fling mention. Check out the site today for a post about you and Kathy.

A Woman Who is: said...

Okay here I am jumping in. I have actually been blogging for a year, but haven't got involved in the gardening blogs. I was just thinking to myself, I need to find these people. Thanks for all the info. I am not sure I understand it all, but I will lurk around and try to see what you all are up to.
My blog is not only about gardening. But I do have labels just for gardening. So drop by if you want to take a look at my gardening interests.

Frances said...

Carol, way to put a variety of info into one story. The garden blogging world seems to be mushrooming so quickly, it is hard to keep up with all that is new. Blotanical is a great time saver, showing the latest postings, except for those that aren't listed, chuck b. are you listening? Stuart is a hard working guy, I have had several 'helps' from him personally, so if you have a problem send him an sos.
Frances at Faire Garden

Sherry said...

I really like this summary, Carol. After following your blog for over a year, I now finally know what all those different things are that you do.

I think Blogs should come with a warning though...Addictive...could be hazardous to the condition of your home.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Loved it, Carol. A great way to compile many of the places we gather. All of these have helped me to know other gardeners, Garden Bloggers Book Club and Bloom Day are just plain fun.~~Dee

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Sherry is right Carol. This is all addicting. It should come with a label.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

P.S. This is all better than tv too. If you in the past used a lot of your down time watching tv you wouldn't think much about it. This is so much more interesting and positive.

WiseAcre said...

Carol,
As you noted just leaving a comment is the first step in building relationships. As a new blogger the tech stuff is a bit overwhelming.

Thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

This is a great overview of all that is available to garden bloggers. It is a wonderful community to be involved with.

Congratulations, Carol, on being the most favorite garden blog. When I just now clicked on your blog to post this you had 100 Blotanical visits.

I have greatly enjoyed your blog!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Thanks for once again including helpful hints for other bloggers. In particular, I appreciate the info about the alternate way to find links (other than Technorati).

tina said...

i love your blog and thanks for the great information. wish i had found it a few months ago when i started mine. garden blogging is a world unto itself isn't it?

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

It's going to be so fun meeting everyone at Spring Fling. Y'all come down now, hear?

Carol said...

All... thank you all for the very nice comments. I'm glad you found this guide useful1

VP said...

Hi,

I'm new to Blotanical, but it didn't take me long to find you on here! I've just Picked this posting as it's got lots of ideas I'd like to follow up on. I'm still trying to get the hang of Blotanical and I see you've already raised with Stuart the problem of not being able to see all of the sites. For example I regularly visit Veg Plot (and it's linked to on my site), but I can't Pick it as there's only 260 sites listed in alphabetical order. I'm sure some of this is probably because I'm unfamiliar with the site, but I'll also be asking Stuart for some help!

Best wishes and see you agian sometime :)

Shady Gardener said...

I started a garden blog last Spring because I enjoyed making my web pages as a teacher. So, although I thought I was doing it for myself and my family and friends, I can tell you that I'm having fun meeting lots of gardeners and viewing gardens I'd never have had a chance to visit otherwise. Thank you for so much information - although I've begun with some of the muses and other posting opportunities, I knew nothing about Blotanical, etc. I'll give it a visit. Thanks for this great descriptive post! :-)

heirloomgardener said...

Carol, as a relatively new garden blogger, I found this post to be extremely helpful. I just added your blog to my list--I'll be back. Thank you.

Curtis said...

I really enjoy blotanical and green thumb Sunday which I am member of both. I am intending on participating in bloggers bloom day(just have to remember). And somehow I hope I am able to attend garden spring fling.

Nan Ondra said...

Oh, heavens, I read and loved this post when it was new but then forgot to add a comment! Well, better late than never, as they say. It would be wonderful if you'd consider reposting an updated version of the various blogging events every so often, as a service to new garden-bloggers as well as those who haven't caught on to the latest activities. As if you need something else to do, right? I must say, Carol, that your unflagging ability to keep up with both posting here and visiting other blogs too is a source of constant amazement, and of constant inspiration too.

Jon said...

When I need a dose of enthusiasm to boost my blogging efforts, I like to drop by your blog which always inspires me. Keep up your good work! Best regards, Jon on 3-5-08 at http://mississippigarden.blogspot.com

tranquil solitude said...

Thanks for the great advice. I am new to garden blogging and am just starting mine - http://pagardening.blogspot.com
I will be happy to join the online gardening community.

melissa said...

Thank you so much for the summary of how to get involved. I will definitely be participating in the next Garden Bloggers Bloom Day on June 15!

Glimmer said...

I tried to post my gardening blog on blotanical but it refuses my answer to the verification question such is what is eighty -- 0 etc. saying everything i type in is incorrect. is the site under long-term maintenance do you think? or am i just an idiot and can't figure out the correct answer? usually you just copy what is written and don't have to figure out anything.

My Secretive Gardening
http://calann621.wordpress.com

I would love to be involved, my gardening blog is a new one and goes a bit beyond the blooms.

Gloria Bonde said...

Hi I am new at blotannical and your site is very appreciated. Thank you - I have lots to learn!

Amelia said...

Thanks for the great information on how to get involved.

piglet said...

I think this is a great idea.
Gardening is my passion so I'm just creating a gardening blog.

entwinedlife said...

I just found this post... Better late than never... As a newby this is so exciting!

Thanks again for hosting Bloom Day - I look forward to it! These other ideas are wonderful and feeling inspired! See you in the garden!