The Best Garden Blogs of 2013

This past week, the Garden Bloggers Conference announced their nominations for the Best Garden Blogs of 2013Some of the nominees are familiar and popular, while others are just gaining wider recognition. Writing a great garden blog is not about being a great gardener – thank goodness – although, some of them are great gardeners. Rather, great garden bloggers communicate their passion and curiosity about gardening; and they consistently write blog posts that serve to educate and inspire thousands of visitors to their websites every day.

This is a question I get asked all the time: who do I like to follow for garden inspiration and information? Fortunately, some of my favorite garden writers are actually nominees that made the cut this year. And, it’s very exciting to discover new blogs to bookmark as favorites.

Let’s take a tour of The Best Garden Blogs of 2013.

Just a quick point of clarification: I took a screen shot of each nominated blog on my iPad in portrait orientation exactly as they appeared after googling them individually. I did not alter the appearance of any of the screenshots in any way – they appear exactly as they did on my iPad.

Ready?

1. Best Overall Garden Blog

Urban Gardens by Robin Plaskoff Horton

Urban Gardens’ tagline is Unlimited Thinking for Limited Spaces. In it, Robin shares her love affair with urban style, design, and nature. Initially conceived as a magazine, Robin tabled her idea for Urban Gardens after a creative director told her no one would want to read about Urban Gardens. (I wonder what he thinks, now?!)

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Urban Gardens 

My Impression: Urban Gardens is clean and uncluttered. I love the green and orange palette. Don’t you think the Urban Gardens logo with the leaf and the building is sweet? The main menu is simple to use and my favorite category is “finding” – this is where Robin shares all the fun products available for urban gardeners.

Growing with Plants by Matt Mattus

Growing with Plants is the creative work of an unconscious competent gardener – that is to say that Matt Mattus probably has forgotten more about gardening than most gardeners would ever hope to learn. He quips in his post, August with Awesomesauce on Top, “from my perspective… much of my summer garden is boring…“. I’d say his flowers and followers disagree with him. Matt is one of those rare souls who gets to live and garden on his family’s centennial farm (thanks to Grandfather Pius Mattus). The plants, gardens, and trees all have stories that are intertwined with Matt’s people.

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Growing with Plants

My Impression: Growing with Plants is an honest blog with a simple, fabulous title. As a genealogist, I loved reading about the family history of Matt’s garden. Hipster Matt is also active on Google Plus.

Red Dirt Ramblings by Dee Nash

Red Dirt Ramblings’ tagline is Firmly rooted in the Oklahoma soil. Dee is a freelance writer and an obsessive rose gardener who quickly draws the reader in with her hospitality and genuineness. Here is a garden lover who laments that just one of her four kids really shares her passion for gardening (something she desperately wants to pass on “after I’m long gone” – no pressure, Bear) and she has a category on her garden blog devoted to helping folks who share her gluten and casein intolerance. Making sure you’re taken care of – that’s Southern hospitality, for you.

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Red Dirt Ramblings

My Impression: Well, first, I’d love to spend an afternoon with Dee. Second, she will never have writers block since she writes so openly about her ever-unfolding every-day life. Red Dirt Ramblings is an easy read and an Oklahoma-sized invitation to garden with Dee Nash.

GardenRant by Susan Harris, Elizabeth Licata, Michele Owens, and Amy Stewart

GardenRant’s tagline is Uprooting the Garden World. Susan, Elizabeth, Michele, Amy, and all their guest bloggers pool together to create the formidable and popular garden blog that is GardenRant. Since 2006, GardenRant has provided witty, informative, and passionate posts on all aspects of gardening

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 GardenRant

My Impression: I love the slideshow on the homepage and, like most on-line garden peeps, I check it. Every. Single. Week. It has a familiar newspaper feel to it. The ever-expanding list of contributors means that the wide range of content is consistently fresh and constantly being updated. These writers are the best of the best.

A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach

A Way to Garden’s tagline is ‘Horticultural how-to and woo-woo’ the source for organic gardening inspiration. Margaret had entire ‘other lives’ as a garden editor for Newsday and then for Martha Stewart Living. She has also authored three books – her newest is The Backyard Parables. It is fitting that her blog is “A Way” to garden – not “away” to garden – as she has a natural ability to organize content into refined, sequential, bite-sized chunks. 

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 A Way to Garden

My impression: I found my way to Margaret through her gentle and informative podcast. Once I read her About Page where she shares “Gardening is not my hobby, it is my spiritual practice and life partner“, I felt like I finally understood what Margaret meant by woo-woo (prior to that, this blondie was a little puzzled – I thought it had to do with some of the more gross aspects of gardening!) Btw, the video on her About Page is amazing. You should watch it. I can see shades of her Martha Stewart Living experience shine through her monthly chore calendar and the overall “feel” of her blog. I’d love to chat with her about her love of frogs.

Seasonal Wisdom by Teresa O’Connor

Seasonal Wisdom’s tagline is Gardening, Food and Folklore. Teresa trained as a Master Gardener in California and Idaho. She loves to write (and tweet) about gardening. Her site is informative; featuring different types of gardens, garden books and resources, and even a section on Home and Pets. Teresa also showcases her talks, podcast (nestinstyle is archived nicely on the podcast page) and articles she has written on her blog.

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Seasonal Wisdom

My impression: I love the slideshow (sorry, I really do love slideshows!) on the homepage. I think it’s great that Teresa is blogs about seasonal folklore and phenology. Those topics fit perfectly with her blog title and it is always a revelation to rediscover those long-forgotten sayings and stories.

 

2. Best Garden Blog Graphics, Photography, and Presentation

(In honor of this category, I would love to know what these recognized bloggers use for tools: cameras, apps, online resources, etc. Feel free to share in the comments section below!)

Beyond the Wild Garden by David Corscadden

Beyond the Wild Garden is written by Irishman David Corscadden who is a newly minted horticulture graduate from University College Dublin. He plans to continue his schooling by starting his Journalism Masters Program next year. The title of the blog alludes to David’s love of wildlife-friendly gardens. David shares his adventures in his own garden as well as the gardens and plant materials that inspire him. There is a category for his Gardening Projects and he has recently writing about his passion for food (recipes are included).

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Beyond the Wild Garden

 My impressions: First of all, Ireland! Enough said. I adore the illustrated header for this blog (created by the talented Linda Byrne). To my delight, David will be using the illustrated version of himself as his Avatar. I can’t wait to see that. Sometimes that can turn people off, but this little cartoon David looks so dang friendly. I think David and Linda should team up to write some Children’s Gardening books (just mention me in the forward. K?). For what it’s worth, I think cartoon David needs a dog of some sort – maybe a beagle puppy? – peaking over the fence beside him. I got a kick out of the menu title “Beyond the Messy Kitchen“. Amen – I mean o’n – to that.

Garden Betty by Linda Ly

Garden Betty’s tagline is diary of a dirty girl. Linda Ly hails from Los Angeles and lives along the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. That’s right. She rock climbs, snow boards, and surfs. She gardens in zone 10b and she gets to harvest awesome things like figs and bananas. She’s got two sweet little Pugs, a ‘handsome hunk of artistic talent‘ (her words) for a hubby with whom she can apparently work side-by-side with in their Wedding photography business, Bliss. Now that’s a crazy good life. A year after she started blogging about everything I just mentioned and more, she won Country Living Magazine’s best garden blog award. A year after that, she became a garden expert for HGTV magazine. Did I mention she is gorgeous? Oh yeah. She’s all that… and a bag of the best compost money can buy.

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Garden Betty

My impressions: I think her logo and her tagline are brilliant. She’s a Wow and her photos are a Wow. So, basically double Wow. I love that she lists what is growing in her garden in her sidebar – great idea! I had a hard time reading the category topics listed in her sidebar because I don’t speak/read Spanish – but it feels more like my bad for choosing German in 6th grade (my regrets to Senorita Lucht). I love her content. For instance, I think she does a marvelous job on her Five Things Friday post – many bloggers do this sort of thing, but I actually love reading Linda’s FTF posts. So much so, I went back a bit to sift through some of the archives. Her blog is total escapism for this Minnesota gardener.

Garden Walk, Garden Talk by Donna Brok

Garden Walk, Garden Talk’s tagline is The Greater Garden of Nature in Niagra Falls, NY. Donna is a Master Gardener and architect with “a passion for the natural beauty and creativity found in Niagra Falls, New York“. She’s starting a page called ‘Bird Chirps‘ to chronicle the birds she has photographed. Garden Moments captures some truly spectacular images Donna captured in her garden. (My favorite is the photo of the *gulp* garter snake – I’d have ran for the house.) I’m guessing she rarely forgets her camera when she heads out to work in her garden. She also showcases her beautiful photography of Niagra Falls. Finally, she has a very nice page on Photography Tips and Thoughts.

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Garden Walk Garden Talk

My impressions: I don’t know if Donna photographed the picture she uses in her header, but it is quite striking. It’s obvious to me that Donna loves nature. She really seeks to capture her passion by using her skills as a photographer. Her blog showcases all of her amazing images; close-ups of critters, insects pollinating flowers and perching birds – all are fantastic. Donna should inquire about a partnership with the Niagra Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau to market her images for their materials. The day Donna decides to take tourists to Niagra Falls and teach them a few of her favorite photography tips is the day I bring my kids to New York.

The Garden Diaries by Claire Jones

The Garden Diaries’ tagline is The ups and downs of the garden world. The Garden Diaries is Claire’s garden blog. Claire also has a link to her website which is Claire Jones Landscapes. A gardener and a crafter since the age of 4 (the good Lord has obviously blessed Claire with creativity, patience, and some nifty fine motor skills). On her Should I Follow? page, Claire says, “If there is  plant involved, I have done it or have written about it!

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 The Garden Diaries

My impressions: Ok. First of all, Claire’s profile photo shows her in a Red Star Trek Extra costume. Love her already. /** Message to Claire: Dammit Claire, I’m a gardener, not a floral designer (Claire is both). Second Garden to the right…and straight on ’til morning. **/ Claire is humble and that shows through her posts. She doesn’t shy away from words and phrases like “failure” and “no rhyme or reason” to describe her gardening experience. Her photos have a matte quality which makes them feel as down to earth as Claire.

Growing with Plants (previously mentioned)

 

3. Best Writing on a Garden Blog

 

Garden Betty (previously mentioned)

 

Garden Mentors by Robin Haglund and contributing guest bloggers

Robin originally started a blog called gardenhelp.org which was recently folded under the “greater wing of the Garden Mentors domain”. Their mantra is Teaching the Art & Science of Growing. Anytime you see three posts on totally different topics and all with the subtitle ‘Our A-Z Gardener’s Reference‘, you know there is a ton of content on this blog. The left side bar allows gardeners to search for help by month or by topic.

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Garden Mentors

My impressions: There is a veritable treasure trove of content on this blog. (Let’s bask in that for a minute – it’s not often one gets to use the word ‘veritable’). Garden Mentors should be a bookmarked reference for gardeners of all experience levels. The content is straightforward and the tone is professional.

 

A Way to Garden (previously mentioned)

 

Studio g by Rochelle Greayer, Katrina Keiffer Wells, & Jen Sundeen

Studio g’s tagline is Ideas & Inspiration for Garden Makers. The right sidebar has a Take A look Around section which covers topics like Harvests & Florals as well as DIY & Built Things.The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Studio g

 My impressions: Studio g totally reminds me of Apartment Therapy. The creative projects and fresh takes on everyday gardening are pin-worthy. I wish I lived close enough to attend their Pinnacle Barn Event on December 12th from 1 – 3pm. They are making Mandala Wreathes and the sample they feature looks ah-mazing. Maybe they could tape it and share it on Youtube?

 

Garden Rant (previously mentioned)

 

4. Best New Garden Blog

 

Per Joy by Joy Albright-Souza

Per Joy’s tagline is designing and enjoying a west coast garden. Joy is a 4th generation gardener in California and she is a garden designer with a biology degree from UC Santa Cruz. Her blog categories include Native Plants (nice to see this one), Places to See and Things to Eat (Joy’s no shrinking violet in the kitchen. I found an article she wrote this past July for the Santa Cruz Sentinel and she prepared a dish called Gardener’s Revenge. Psst. Hold on to your keyboard if you decide to read it!  😮 )The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 per joy

 My impressions: Once I figured out that Per Joy was written by Joy, I fell in love with the blog title. I love the flat design of her blog. Check out the color and descriptive language in her post on Satsuma Plums; I mean really. All other plums now look anemic to me. 

the miserable gardener by Bob Nold

The miserable gardener’s tagline is the only reason my garden is green is because of all the weeds. The miserable garden is an old-fashioned blog – like the ones they used to make when they first came out in the mid-90s. Bob shares his recent posts and archives in the right side bar and that’s all there is to it. Once you read Bob’s Story on his About Page you’ll understand why his blog is called the miserable gardener. Additionally, the redirect to the domain paridevita.com is a reference to paridevita – an Indian term for crying with sobs.

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 the miserable gardener

My impressions:  The miserable gardener is a bittersweet journey through grief, life, gardening, and so many memories generously offered up to readers with incredible images and stories. There are posts where the comments from readers are as touching and insightful as the blog post. Bob responds thoroughly to each comment. I love when Bob writes from Chess’s point of view. Probably because Chess and my dog Sonny seem so much alike.

It’s tough to capture all the emotions I feel when I read Bob’s blog (which I just discovered thanks to this nomination). So, I’ll just go ahead and share a post I found on a blog called Ink & Penstemon (great title!) which summed it up nicely, “Bob Nold started a blog. Thank you, Danger Garden for telling us this a couple of posts ago. I love reading Bob Nold’s stuff; such a wry, deprecating sense of humor. Of course, you would pick that up from his title, “The Miserable Gardener”. Mr. Nold authored a very important book on Dryland Gardening called “High and Dry.” Also a book just called “Penstemons.” You should read everything.” I agree. You should.

Born to Grow by Paul Dysinger

Born to Grow’s tagline is Four Season Gardening University. You can also find Paul Dysinger on his organic farm website. This website is brand new (it just launched July 10th) and it’s goal is to help you to “learn how to grow your own veggies that look nice and fill your mouth with flavor”.

The Best Garden Bloggers 2013 Born to Grow

**Actually, the first thing you see when you go to this blog is an opt-in form for an email subscription using your facebook account. So this is the screen you see after that.

My impressions: I can tell Paul is a passionate gardener and enjoys helping other gardeners. As he says in his About Me, “if you love gardening then you’re my friend.” However, I think this blog is still too new to really evaluate. I’m not sure what the login/logout is for in the top menu. There are five posts total and they are video rich – which is great, but that also means a sacrifice in load time (and one didn’t load at all). I like the concept of this blog, though. I’ll be checking back to see what Paul is doing with it.

Jenks Farmer by Jenks Farmer

Jenks Farmer’s tagline is Stewardship | of plants, gardening and essential earth stuff by jenks farmer. Augustus Jenkins Farmer, III known as “Jenks” is a Bulb Farmer, horticulturalist, and a garden designer. He shares his passion for stewardship – especially his beloved Crinum Lilies on his blog. In fact, google “Crinum” and he’s the second SERP after Wikipedia. Can you say, “Crinum King“? Sometimes his posts are just a quick paragraph about something he found inspiring and other times his posts are more detailed.
The Best Garden Bloggers 2013  Jenks Farmer

My impressions: I have to say it – there’s a great slideshow in the header for Jenks Farmer.  Jenk’s does a nice job notating the slides with a fun hand-printed font. His blog posts are very honest and I think Jenks is a bit of an old soul. He likes to write with a big-picture perspective on gardening and his stories often anchor deeply in his South Carolina roots. Case in point; his blog categories include intergenerational gardening and long term vision.

Georgia Landscape Pro by Georgia Urban Ag Council (UAC)

Georgia Landscape Pro’s tagline is Pro tips to keep your landscape green, growing & gorgeous! The menu features these categories: the value of green (a page which ties into project evergreen), getting started (a page which directs users to their Hire a Professional brochure and the Georgia UAC’s Landscape Source for Hiring Tips), Find a professional (again tied into Georgia UAC),  and then Georgia UAC home. The site is searchable by topic, author, or category on the right side bar. The content is written by members of Georgia UAC, “Georgia’s premier green industry association for professionals involved in all sectors of the urban ag industry“.

The Best Garden Blogger 2013 Georgia Landscape Pro

My impressions: I thought the blog was a little hard to find in a google search just because there are a number of things that come up in SERPs when you enter ‘Georgia‘ and ‘Pro‘. However, I love the idea of local community professionals sharing their know-how on a blog like this. It reminded me of a sort of “Angies List” for Georgia Garden Professionals.

 

Vote for The Best Garden Blogs of 2013

The Garden Bloggers Conference 2013 Hall of Fame Awards is Now Open for Voting! Cast Your Vote for Your Favorite in each category (August 22 – September 8, 2013).

Garden Bloggers Hall of Fame Awards 2013 - Vote Now!

I’ll share my selections September 9th!  Congratulations to all the nominees and Happy Voting!

Still growing...




Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
Join the Still Growing Listener Community on Facebook! Click here

39 Comments

  1. Amy Putkonen on August 28, 2013 at 4:50 am

    Wow. A great list! Thanks for this, Jennifer. I love looking at what people are growing. Fun!

  2. Claire Jones on August 28, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Jennifer, Thanks for the review. And yes, I am a huge star trek fan!
    I find that though gardening is my passion, cooking and flower arranging are natural offshoots of this so like to include posts on these topics. And that is why I called it the “The Garden Dairies”, as you have to get out of the garden sometime and use your hard won flowers and veggies in creative ways.

    • Jennifer Ebeling on August 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Claire! Out of curiosity, what do you use for a camera? And, do you have a favorite app or software to edit your images? So many questions… but I’ll limit myself! 🙂 Wish we could do a mind meld…

      • Claire Jones on August 31, 2013 at 8:13 pm

        I just use an iphone for my pictures. I am convinced that is the best thing for me because I always have it with me. I use PicMonkey to edit. So, no big Nikon hanging around my neck.

        • Jennifer Ebeling on September 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

          Ah Claire – me, too. But, I’ve been really itching for a “real” camera – though I don’t have much time for another darn class! I use PicMonkey, too. I tried to use Photoshop but it seemed so bulky to me – PicMonkey is way easier.

  3. Matt Mattus on August 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Thanks Jennifer for such a great and thoughtful review! Wow, I feel a little self conscious ( especially as an ‘unconscious gardener’! OK. so you asked if some of us could share our design tools. First of all, my day job, as you must know, keeps me busy as a creative director for Hasbro, and as a visual design lead. All this means is that I need to stay current with design trends, and for whatever it’s worth, needless to say my day job can be pretty intense with travel and hours dedicated to meetings. One thing I’m pretty good at is leaving it all ‘at work’. So when I’m home, in the garden, I generally don’t think about Transformers 4 or My Little Pony issues. I rely on my skills in Adobe Creative suite ( I am Mac based). I work on a cintiq touch screen ( 24 inches) which is a luxury, and an essential tool as I am a native Adobe illustrator designer ( since .ai 88!). I mostly use Photoshop and Illustrator, creating my graphics in Illustrator, and then outlining them or redrawing them, and then bringing them into Photoshop to add slight tecture or shadows. I save all my graphics out as png’s to save memory. My photos are generally taken with Nikon SLR’s. I go-to camera is my Nikon D90, only because it’s my ‘garden camera’. It’s muddy, sandy and pretty sad looking. My Nikon D2x and Nikon D200 I save for hiking ( switzerland trips, things like that, when I know that I want to take nicer, higher resolution shots). On those trips, I shoot in RAW format, and then work with Photoshop Actions, to add adjustments. I rarely use the free actions, opting to invest in higher quality ones ( I use CreativeMarket.com). They are pricey, but the difference is worth it. I usually only shoot my garden on the weekends, as weekdays are too busy, and I try to post three times a week, setting post themes based on what is happening in the garden or in the greenhouse that week. I also try to plan content through the year that is more interesting – like my sweet pea posts, content based on special projects where I can delve deeply into a specific topic, grow all the varieties in the most proper and practical ( or impractical) way, and then write about it, showing step-by-step photos. Original content is important to me. Other than that, I really spend very few hours posting or working on my blog each week. I post in the morning before I leave for work, and sometimes tweak posts later in the evening when I am home. I commute 2 hours a day, so yeah, time is precious. Thanks again for you super kind words about both my family, and my blog!

    • Jennifer Ebeling on August 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Matt – seriously I bow down to your lifetime of garden wisdom. Now, I see you also get props for your photo experience. I do, however, think I can go toe to toe with you on the Transformers/My Little Pony… (4 kids – 3 boys). I went all Mac in 2011 and I’ve never looked back. Love it. I should go check – but I’m tuckered out… Are you on WordPress? Learning Photoshop was a life goal for me this year and I’m ashamed to say I’ve kicked it to the curb. There are so many photo apps out there that are easier for me to use. I’ve had my hands full learning WordPress, Garageband (for my podcast – want to be a guest sometime?) and general online stuff. Glad to hear you like your Nikon D90 – It is one that I am considering at National Camera Exchange. A nice camera will be my Christmas present this year – I take everything with my iPhone right now. Can you believe that? I’m an original content person, too. Your welcome for my feedback – you and your family jump right off the page/screen. Cheers- Jennifer

  4. Joy Albright-Souza on August 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Jennifer, thank you so much for this great post. Of course I’m very pleased that you got a kick out of some of my writing and images. I’m honored to be sharing the same white-space as all of these nominees. But most importantly, I appreciate the wonderful job you’ve done presenting an overview of all the blogs that are mentioned. I’ve discovered some great new ones to follow…yours included…and I had been waiting to vote until I had a chance to look at all the sites. You made that much easier (or harder…as the case may be) with your reviews and screen shots. It is interesting to see the wide variety of approaches, to that subject that is so dear to a gardener’s heart; creating and writing about gardens.

    • Jennifer Ebeling on August 28, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      Hi Joy – well this post has turned into a complete treat for me. It took a few days to write/find all the links/and really/truly read all the blogs. It was so worth it. All you fabulous folks dropping by – what a nice gift back to me.
      So you have to share what you use for camera/photo editing etc. because I love your images. Also curious about where you shoot your pics. Please feel free friend me on any of your social media/etc. because I’d love to talk shop with you. 🙂
      Jennifer

  5. Teresa O'Connor on August 28, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Hi Jennifer: Thanks for doing such a great job of describing all the nominated Hall of Fame blogs. Such a great selection of voices, and yet dozens more could have been on this list! I’m looking forward to getting to know all the other contestants, as well as spending more time at your blog.

    You’re right. At Seasonal Wisdom, I do consider garden history, folklore, old weather superstitions and other timeless wisdom as interesting as the latest groundbreaking gardening and food trends. It’s the mix of all these different topics that inspires me to write.

    Over the years, I’ve felt truly blessed to be part of this garden writer community. Many bloggers and garden writers have shared advice with me over the years, and I’m grateful to them all. As shocked and pleasantly surprised as I am to have Seasonal Wisdom nominated, I know it’s because of the support of many people along the way. Teresa

    • Jennifer Ebeling on August 28, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Hi Teresa –
      I’m glad you liked it. As I just shared with Joy, I really/truly read through each blog and it is a nice surprise for me to hear back from so many of you. 🙂
      Yes – I love the folklore part of your blog = it is my favorite and those posts are crazy sticky. I remember that kind of stuff after I read it and I enjoy them – so it is well worth reading for me.
      Yep – Gardeners are the best – whether they write or not. My best friends are gardeners and I’ve made many of those friends when I look my absolute worst – tired, sweaty, no make-up, and probably limping from hours in the garden. Somehow they manage not to look shocked when they see me looking like a normal presentable person in public.
      Feel free to friend me on social media so we can talk shop! 🙂
      Jennifer

  6. nancy peters on August 29, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Very thorough! Where do you find all that time? I’m amazed at the wealth of sites out there. I haven’t yet followed a blog, but it sounds like it’s a great idea.
    Thanks for your eye-opening column,
    Nancy

    • Jennifer Ebeling on August 29, 2013 at 8:26 am

      Aw, Nancy. I’m so glad you stopped by. Any idea when your book is coming out? Love- Jennifer PS Hi to Joe.

  7. Bob/ the miserable gardener on August 30, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you so much for talking about my blog and showing a picture of me looking quite excellent, if I do say so myself.
    The guy I live with doesn’t pay me or anything to do the blog and so I had to point out to him the part where it says the nice stuff about my point of view. I think that warrants at least one extra treat, don’t you think?
    Yours,
    Chess the purebred border collie.

    • Jennifer Ebeling on September 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Hey Chess.
      I love your blog posts! (Don’t tell Sonny – I won’t let him near my computer. He’d just write “I love Mom. I love Mom. I love Mom.” He’s no poet, but he has good taste.) Anyway, I’m betting you finagle a few extra treats throughout each day.
      I came across this blog called The Chalk Hills Journal written by a gardener named Misky (from the UK). Anyway, wouldn’t you know it – last week she wrote a poem called (of all things) The Miserable Gardener. Maybe you could share it with the guy you live with – I think he might enjoy it.

      Here it is:

      THE MISERABLE GARDENER (FORM: DORSIMBRA)

      Sprouts of green I water and daily tend,
      I dream summer spiced blooms, and desire
      just to hold your scent, inhaling I spend
      last August days, your touch I so require.

      But turns out you’re
      a crappy little weed, tending
      a stray invader seed,
      a prick-me, bleedin’ thorn you are!

      So think me not bitter, nor wish me no ill
      if this garden does just as it will,
      and I’ll nap in the sun ‘til weeding’s at end –
      sprouts of green I water and daily tend.

      Well Chess – I’m off to take Sonny on a bike ride – his favorite thing.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Jennifer

  8. Luba on August 31, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Jennifer,
    Your summary and review of the Garden Bloggers Conference 2013 Hall of Fame nominees is superlative and thanks for sharing the list! We are so excited to provide a forum for the bloggers in the garden and landscape design community. Also looking forward to hearing from some of our nominees at the conference -Teresa O’Connor, Amy Stewart, Matt Mattus (who will be sharing his expertise in photography in one of our sessions), Robin Horton, and Rochelle Greayer. Just 22 days until the event and see you there!

    • Jennifer Ebeling on September 3, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Hi Luba!
      First let me say that my daughter loves your name. Emma loves name etymology – and her latin classes help her with it, too.
      Anyway Luba (love), thank you for your very kind feedback. I am positively green with envy about the conference as I cannot attend this year. My husband is at Harvard (wow!) for the next two months and I’m holding down the fort with the kids on this end. But, it is a goal for me for next year – so I’ll have to live vicariously through the attendees who blog about it! 🙂
      Jennifer

  9. an announcement | the miserable gardener on August 31, 2013 at 10:29 am

    […] discovered this here. You can tell, of course, that the blog has become better now that it’s focused mostly on me. […]

  10. Dee Nash on September 2, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Hi Jennifer, thanks for the sweet words. They are like honey in iced tea on a hot day. Anytime you want to come spend time with me on the Red Dirt Ranch, you head on this way. I’ve got an open porch policy.

    As for Bear, she’s now a teen and doesn’t care a whit about gardening. She’s into makeup and boys and all that brings. And, that’s just great. At least if my kids every grow up and want to garden, they can. I know they know how, and that’s all we mothers can do. We pass along the knowledge and let our kids fly the nest when they’re ready.

    Thank you for taking the time to look at our blogs and think about which ones you like best and why. It makes writing everyday so worth it. I like your blog so much too. That you’re the six-foot mama makes me smile. ~~Dee

    • Jennifer Ebeling on September 3, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Hi Dee.
      Well, that’s settled. I’m sure we’ll get a chance to meet one day.
      My kids are 14, 12, 10, and 8 – so they still garden with me. Actually, they do most things with me – but the older ones are getting little tastes of independence here and there.
      It was actually very fun for me to look at each of the blogs. I couldn’t have reviewed them without all the time I’ve put in to my own. Around, here some posts get started at 10am and before I know it I need to pick the kids up from school. They are a lot of work – a true labor of love.
      Yes, I am the 6ftmama – I tried to think of something about me that never changes and I’ve been 6ft since I was 13. (thank you Dutch ancestors!)
      Thanks for popping over. I’ll check out Red Dirt Ranch regularly now that I know about you!
      Jennifer
      PS What do you use for a camera?

      • Dee/reddirtramblings on November 8, 2013 at 4:43 pm

        I use a Nikon D90, a Nikon 1 V2 and my iphone. I always have the phone with me. Sometimes, the cameras stay inside. 😀

        • Jennifer Ebeling on November 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

          I’m with you Dee. My iPhone is always with me!

  11. Jane scorer on September 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Wow ! Lots of new-to-me blogs to read and enjoy ! Thankyou

  12. Donna on September 2, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Thank you for this. I did not know all the blogs listed and you did a wonderful job of describing them. I visited all of them too, many fine blogs. I just added you to my reader too. Yes, I did take that photo and I did the banner in Photoshop. I was oddly involved with the visitors bureau in Buffalo. We worked with them on projects we did in architecture. But never in Niagara Falls unfortunately. Thank you for your kind words.

    • Jennifer Ebeling on September 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

      Hi Donna –
      I love your photography. And, I bow down to anyone who has mastered Photoshop. It confounded me!
      I’m happy I found your blog – I’ve got it on my list!
      Jennifer

  13. Robin on September 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Jennifer: Thanks for the kind words about the Garden Mentors blog. Like so many others, it has been a labor of love for many years, and it continues to evolve — and ideally, improve — each season. Cheers, Robin

    • Jennifer Ebeling on September 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

      Hi Robin. You’re quite welcome. You’re so right – here’s a lot of labors of love out there. I think the ones that really resonate are the ones that have evolved – where the writers kept at it. I think you are very inspiring.
      Warmly,
      Jennifer

  14. Paul on September 8, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Jennifer!

    I’m impressed! This is a great list and thanks for taking all the time and thought into each of the blogs. 🙂 You did a great job!

    And a special thanks for reviewing mine (though it be so new… 😉 )

    Keep up the good work and happy gardening!
    Paul

    • Jennifer Ebeling on September 14, 2013 at 8:52 am

      Hi Paul.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      I’m excited to see the direction you take with Born to Grow. Work on these blogs really is an evolution of sorts. I consider myself to be a newbie as well and I’ve been working on 6ftmama for a year. There is so much to learn – wordpress, social media, etc – I find it is a lot to juggle – especially with four growing kids. I’m actually jumping online with my blog coach in 10 minutes – the learning never ends. Despite all the hours I spend working on it, I find that it is life-giving to me.
      Still growing…
      Jennifer

  15. Linda Ly on November 21, 2013 at 3:07 am

    I’m a bit late on commenting, but wanted to thank you nonetheless for the very thorough and very awesome write-up!

    You asked about cameras, tools, resources etc… and I’ve listed them all in these two posts:

    http://www.gardenbetty.com/2013/09/whats-in-my-bag-photography-gear-for-bloggers/

    http://www.gardenbetty.com/2013/11/resources-for-bloggers-getting-started-and-getting-organized/

    Thanks again for the sweet compliments (shoo, I’m blushing) and for following my blog. You have a lovely presence here yourself!

    • Jennifer Ebeling on November 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Thanks for checking out my post and 6ftmama, Linda.

      Ahhh, a REAL camera. It’s on my Christmas list…

      Thanks for letting me know about your posts on photography – I will definitely stop by to read them.

      I truly appreciate the compliment of your visit and your comment, Linda; give the sun a smile for me (it’s dreary and snowy here in MN) and hope to see you around.

  16. Jeff on February 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    What a great list of blogs. I’ve added several to my weekly reading list. Really respect these bloggers commitment. Inspires me to post more often. Thanks for sharing.

    Jeff

  17. Laura Hofman on February 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Hi Jennifer,

    I’m so glad I found your list of gardening blogs! Thank you for taking the time to check all of these out and post your thoughtful and entertaining reviews. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for spring to get back outside and tend to my garden after this ridiculously cold winter.

    I look forward to exploring the blogs I haven’t yet discovered. I’m pretty new to this blogger scene…my specialty is zone 5 – Chicago area. I can learn a lot from all these gardeners as I continue to try new things and absorb as much knowledge as I can.

    Thanks! Glad I found you. Happy Gardening to all!

    Laura

    • Jennifer Ebeling on March 4, 2014 at 9:56 am

      You’re welcome, Laura! Glad you found these great resources and I agree – it has been a ridiculous winter! 😉
      Jennifer

  18. Edith on June 18, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Hello, just wanted to mention, I liked this blog
    post. It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  19. Tess on January 25, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Golly … Will this post to anyone? I seem to be several years behind the times here! Jennifer you did a great job noticing all these garden blogs! I will be looking at them all, as a newbie garden blogger. Thank you! (My blog still in pre-publication mode)

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