…We are the future…We are the ones who make brighter day…..
Okay— I will stop.
I recently put my .02 in on a couple of posts related to the future of garden reporting. Not that the coverage of gardening topics has ever been terribly good in this country (USA -I contend it is much better in the UK), and garden design topics even worse, there has been a notable decline lately. Amy at Garden Rant posted about the closing of a local paper in Washington that had excellent garden coverage and then Sarah at Open Register also took note and suggested that nursery people try to fill in the blanks (a good idea if you ask me) and then Trey at Blogging Nurseryman followed up with another post suggesting that retailers and nursery people in our industry start to work with local media people to get their message out (yet another great suggestion). Anyway, all this is slightly more controversial than you might think…(you read the comments).
As much as I hate to see the demise of useful publications, and it not only saddens me but completely confuses me when I consider why we don’t (as a nation) care more about gardening, our natural world, enjoying it, cherishing it and cultivating it…I see opportunity here. Opportunity for better coverage that is more varied and useful. I think that the blogging world is where it will start. Just as ground swells rise for political candidates on the Internet, I think that cultural shifts in our national attitudes can and will also rise from the blogging and online world. Magazines are great, but to be economical, they have to be general…and appealing to a wide audience. Blogs, can be local and fast and also national and international all at once with out the overhead and practical considerations of too much stuff and only so much space. A visitor can read only what they want and if it is organized correctly, just read that which they are looking for and find it quickly. I feel the pressure (completely self induced) to be as much to everybody as I can be….but the more I blog, the more topics and categories I find that haven’t even touched on…or probably I just don’t know who is touching them…just in our own little garden/landscape design/grow things/botanical/etc. etc. world.
There is so much going on online that I am feeling like I would like to help the cream rise to the top or at least raise all of our awareness of each other. I am clearly not the first to do this (there are great sites like Blotanical – a great resource for garden bloggers, and folia which helps people create their own topic groups) but I would like to propose something like what Apartment Therapy did recently….kind of a contest – but I don’t want to have winners and losers – and kind of a really good way for us to unearth great sites and blogs, organize them, and give them some publicity so that they can grow.
I am going to get this started…. here are groups that I think gardening related sites generally fall into….please post comments if you think you have one to add or if you think it should be alternatively organized…
Garden Musings – (some hard facts, more general interest, inspirations, personal gardening journey’s, good writing. etc)
Growing for a Purpose – (Kitchen Gardens and resources for growing things that you will actually use, make money off of, propagate, eat, sell, etc.)
Landscape Maintenance – Sites mostly focused on taking care of your land, plants, bugs, equipment, etc. How To’s.
Landscape/ Garden Design – Focused on Design like interior design sites focus on design (accessories, lifestyle, and all the things that go into making a successful garden or landscape)
Landscape/ Garden Photography and other visually inspirational sites – How can we inspire people with out some good pictures?
Great Garden shopping sites – materials,plants, accessories, furniture, tools, etc. etc.
Plants – sites with great plant resources for growing, propagating, finding, care etc.
Hardworks and Construction – How to’s , materials, projects, etc.
Garden Travel – Great gardens, Destinations, world resources, specific regional interests etc.
I am sure that I am overlooking something here. So let me know what you would add….
I will give it a few days to hear from you…and then when we get some good broad reaching categories going, I will open it up to requests for web sites, and blogs that fall into our categories. I will list everyone that is suggested and create a special well organized navigation page to everyone.
I look forward to hearing from you….and remember…this isn’t just for bloggers….but also for any other websites that have great tools and content that we should all know about.