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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stories About the Garden and the Gardener

Remember that time I caught a rabbit in a trap, but the trap door wasn’t secured?

I took pictures of the rabbit, while standing there in the pouring rain, and then when I picked up the trap… Bam! That rabbit shot out of there like a champagne cork on New Year’s Eve and ran off faster than a moonshiner with Andy and Barney in pursuit, leaving me standing there with an umbrella in one hand and an empty trap in the other, wondering what had just happened.

Or how about that time I found that mysterious plant growing in my compost bin? That was an exciting day in my garden and on my blog, just like the day I found out about the Indian burial ground on my property.

Then there was that time last fall when I tore down and rebuilt a small retaining wall for everyone’s amusement who walked by that day. The neighbors are also amused in the fall when I get out my electric drill, arm it with a spade bit and use it to plant crocus corms in my lawn. Some of the neighbors, I’m sure, think I’m hand aerating the lawn.

There are other stories I’ve told on myself, probably enough to be put me on a watch list for possible “eccentric gardener”, and to confirm that I am a gardening geek.

There were the tales from the rabbit wars and the triumphs with green beans and peas. And there was that day when I was crazy busy with indoor plants, lost my mind for a minute and posted a picture of myself (which is mysteriously gone now).

Oh, let’s not forget the ritual of the first tomato, it goes along with all those other vegetable tales.

Indeed, I’ve posted a few stories, maybe even a tall tale or two, on my blog, and I’ve enjoyed reading stories on other gardeners’ blogs about what they are doing in their gardens, too.

As it turns out, of the 100 people who took my garden blogging survey, a whopping 90% like to read “stories about what other gardeners are doing”. So if you ever wonder what to post on your blog, tell a story!

What else are these 100 people looking for on garden blogs?

28% are looking for basic gardening information.
44% are looking for advanced gardening information.
90% like to read stories about what other gardeners are doing.
23% want to read about products used in gardening. (oh, like hoes?)
17% are interested in book reviews. (that helps to explain the drop off in interest in the GBBC perhaps?)

And then there are 19% who are interested in other topics like…

Landscape ideas, plant ideas”

“What’s blooming”
(the 15th must be their favorite day of the month)

“Local, national, and global movements for the promotion of the home kitchen garden”,

“Humor - nothing better than coming away from a blog with a smile! and what about "some gardening information" because I can't decide between basic (do I know it already?) and advanced (sounds too serious)”

“All of the above. It's the style or 'voice' that matters most to me.”

“Gardening as an intellectual pursuit...thoughts, views, history, concepts that expand the mind on gardening..”

“Ideas from other gardeners. Plus what's happening all over the gardening world at that time of year.”

“Information about how things are done in different parts of the world. And, some feel for the kind of person the gardener is.”

“The why of gardening, not the how”

What are you looking for on gardening blogs?

*->*->*->*->*->*->

For anyone interested, I updated the OLOGBA, the Official List of Garden Blogger's Acronyms that have cropped up in garden blogging, if you'd like to keep it handy for reference or add it to your sidebar. I'll continue to update it as I find or commission new acronyms.

9 comments:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

During the winter I'm looking for eye-candy, something to relieve the dreariness of unrelieved white, black, grey & dark green. Most of the time, I do just like reading about adventures in gardening. Your adventures have been very entertaining, and your descriptions of them have been equally entertaining.

compost in my shoe said...

It makes sense that people want to connect to others through their stories. It is why this medium has become the force it is today. Great story, btw!

Shibaguyz said...

We definitely love the stories of other gardeners... the good, the bad and the ugly of it. This is a different type of community building that is just as important as your physical neighborhood. Our cyber-neighbors are so valuable to us for their knowledge and, sometimes, commiseration of our common obsessions and knowledge. Blog on gardeners!!

garden girl said...

Hi Carol, I enjoy all types of posts, and I'd have to say I'm in the majority, as it's the stories I enjoy the most.

Daizy said...

I agree about garden stories. I also look for ideas, whether it's garden design, unique containers, new plants that I should try.

I also like to learn the gardener's personality and interests. So an occasional post off-gardening is always interesting.

I started my own new blog, so these survey results are useful to me too! Thanks!

EAL said...

I like stories but often I am looking for ideas. And I like opinions.

I get bored sometimes when people just show close-up after close-up of flowers. A narrative is necessary.

Frances said...

Hi Carol, like EAL, I am most interested in bloggers who can give some personal narrative along with their photos. How tos are great, but the stories, yours especially draw us in as though we were standing next to you listening to a tale, tall or real, both are great. Keep up the good work pulling us together as a community and attracting new writers to the fold too.

Frances
http://fairegarden.wordpress.com/

Naturegirl said...

Carol: there are always personal stories and memories with each post we do..I can look back at my photo journal on my blog and memories of the day I captured the images flood back! Guess that's the reward of taking time to blog..now what do you do with those trapped rabbits..the ones that did not get away??

Nancy said...

I think there's no good way to do a "how to" without telling a good story along with it.

That's why parables are in the Bible. It's one of the best ways to learn and teach.