Gardening blogs

Oma, one of my favorite WordPress bloggers, recently presented me with the “Beautiful Blogger Award.” It’s one of those blog-specific awards that encourages you to pass the award along to blogs you read and admire, so that your own readers can read them and try them out.


Today I’d like to give you three blogs, all of which are favorites of mine, and all of which are about gardening, one way or another.


(Why gardening? Because I love it, and I have nowhere to garden. I had a little plot in the local community garden for a couple of years, but the snobbery became so intense that I had to drop it. Now I live vicariously through other people’s gardens. Like these.)


First of all: Oma’s own blog, “Cottage Life in England.” Oma lives in a completely enchanting cottage in Luton, and takes wonderful photos of everything – her garden, her house, food, her grandson – and is very good at documenting everything. She and I write about some of the same things: getting older, food, plants – and write little notes back and forth sometimes. (We’re kindred souls, in that both of us generally know the scientific names of the plants we’re discussing.) She also writes very well. I recommend her highly.


Second: “The Soulsby Farm.” This is a couple in Ohio who run a real honest-to-God farm, and take photos, and document their experiences. They’re a lot of fun, and very down-to-earth. They write about things that are of interest to all gardeners: insect control, weed control, fertilizer. They recently ran an Ugly Tomato contest. I like them; I always get a smile out of their posts, and sometimes I actually learn something. Again: high recommendation.


Third: “Tangly Cottage Journal.” These are professional gardeners blogging from the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington state, where my parents used to take us for summer vacations. I love the area – it’s wild and very beautiful. This blog will give you a very precise image of the area, and the vegetation (which is all over the map – it rains constantly, and is very warm), and the challenges of creating a garden in a place where Nature wants to do everything at once. These are professional gardeners, so they hold everyone and everything to high standards. I love them, and I love their posts, and their photos.


If you love flowers and gardens and good writing, follow all three of these, please.


If you don’t: what’s wrong with you?

The Liebster Award


I was surprised and flattered on Monday morning to receive a note from the talented Melissa Hassard, who edits and contributes to the poetry / prose / photography collective “20 Lines A Day,” telling me that she’d nominated me for something called the Liebster Award.  This is a nice little accolade given to bloggers, recognizing them for their contributions. 



It comes with a couple of rules:



        You must thank your nominator in your blog, and link back to his/her blog.

        You must display the award itself (see above).

        You must pass the award on to five other blogs (preferably those with small numbers of readers), and notify them of their award.



Well, thanks to Melissa for the award.  And do check out “20 Lines A Day”; you’ll find some excellent stuff (including Melissa’s poetry, which was the first thing there to catch my eye.)



The nicest thing about the Liebster is that it needs to be passed along.



(I think a lot of us began this thinking it was only a matter of time before we became a combination of the Huffington Post and Martha Stewart Omnimedia.  We have learned.  But we have also had a wonderful time.



(And now, here we are winning awards!)



Here are my five nominees:



        Topsytasty.  This is a very well-written little series of articles, mostly about food, but also about the author’s early life in Rhode Island and his current adventures in the Pacific Northwest.  The author is also the younger son of my frenemy Apollonia, and he shares her wit and eye for detail.

        Going Dutch.  This is mostly photography, with food and anecdotes thrown in; the author / photographer is originally from the Philippines, and now lives with her family in the Netherlands.  She takes wonderful scenery / flower photographs – just the kind I try to take, except that mine never turn out right.  Hers are always beautiful.

        Well, That’s Just Great / Well, That’s Just Ducky.  This is a twofer!  The former is written by Anthony Giffen, a very clever Floridian who always gives me a laugh (you might say he’s like Dave Barry, but funny); the latter is written by Anthony’s dog Ducky, who speaks very movingly about how much he likes to chew things up. 

        Tangly Cottage Journal.  I have a lot of childhood memories invested in the Pacific coast of Washington state, where we used to take our seaside vacations.  This blog, by a couple of professional gardeners living in the small fishing town of Ilwaco, is a combination of prose and photos, very casual, but charming (and, like “Going Dutch,” with lots of good flower photography).  Even if you’ve never visited Ilwaco, this blog will remind you of your own favorite little beach town.

        Crypt of Wrestling.  Well, you knew I had unusual tastes, didn’t you?  This blog covers the waterfront of lowbrow 1960s/1970s culture: comic-book advertisements, movie posters, Rat Fink memorabilia, album covers.  It gives me an adrenaline injection of Early Space Age nostalgia every time I look at it. 



And hundreds of others.



You know who you are. 



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