American Horticultural Society Article on Gardening Blogs

- American Horticultural Society (November/December 2007 – Volume 86, Number 6)

I was interviewed a few month back for an article on gardening blogs entitled, “Virtual Gardening in the Blogosphere” by Doug Green. I will admit that it’s been only about eight months since I began to tentatively tiptoe my way towards even remotely considering this site a “blog” making it kind of strange to talk about it publicly in those terms. Since this interview I have done a few more in which the interviewee has referred to this site as a “blog.” Despite the transitions this site has taken over the years I can’t say I will ever feel comfortable with the word. Can’t we all just agree to call it an “Internet Website”?

A brief history: I started this site as an “online magazine” (the popular term of the time) back before the word “blog” existed. About a year or so in I started a “journals” section on the site but it wasn’t quite a blog given that I hand coded each and every entry including editing text, and resizing and colour correcting photos for submitting writers. Back then I designed and hand-coded each and every article myself (often with a unique design) except the forums. Sometimes I look back at that time and can’t believe how much time and work I put into this project in addition to my regular work and other personal projects. It wasn’t until last year when I finally resolved that after seven plus years an online magazine was not the best place to put my energy anymore that I finally began to identify this site as a psuedo-blog, a website that among other things happens to contain a blog within it. That was a very hard decision to come to and an even harder one to announce publicly. It is out of that history that I still struggle with the term and am now resolving to secretly substitute under my breath the phrase, “Gayla’s Very Special Place for People Who Like Plants and Gardening on the World Wide Web” anytime the word “blog” is used.

As an aside Hanna at This Garden is Illegal has an interesting conversation going about gardening and age. This question comes up a lot for me in interviews… people want to know what the demographic is of this site and whether young people garden. Through my own personal experiences with social gardening and activism networks, meeting members of this site, selling products at events, and traveling to various locations around North America to speak, I can say for certain that young people do garden and that readers of my book and this site are of all ages. I am learning more and more that what we are bound by is a shared passion for plants and gardening that isn’t so much about age, or the kind of space we inhabit but about perspective and a common approach.

p.s. Hanna, I collect stamps AND have brought the odd air sickness bag home from travels.

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p.s.s. Would anyone happen to have a copy they are done reading and can send me? I can’t get a copy here and would like to see it in context of the mag. Thanks!

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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5 thoughts on “American Horticultural Society Article on Gardening Blogs

  1. Congrats on the interview and the great press. :) As a 23-year-old, I would love to garden, but will be moving from San Francisco to Portland in 6 months, so I don’t want to get too much started

  2. The notion of “blog” versus website interests me a ton and I’ve been playing with my own site in similar ways. I’ve added upload features where readers upload their own data and comment on the stories and pictures of other readers. Only in the past week did I “re-add” a wordpress blog component to the site.

    Blogs themselves no longer do it all for me nor do websites by themselves. I’m now working on the next generation :-) trying to combine various systems to meet our gardening communication needs. It’s an ongoing developmental process to be sure but it’s a fun one.

  3. Dear Mr Doug Green, gardening enthusiast-

    Is your name really ‘Doug Green’ or is that your cool gardening alias?

    + congratulations, Gayla, on the article – it looks good.

    Helen

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