What it Means To Be a Garden Blogger | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Friday, June 8, 2012

What it Means To Be a Garden Blogger

The reason I came up with this post is that lately I've been reading quite a few posts from fellow bloggers on how they blog, why they blog, and garden blogging's future in general.  I would like to share some of my own experiences with garden blogging, and what I have learnt along the way.  

Patience is a Virtue, so is Time

I suppose every gardener is blessed with patience, we are required to tune ourselves to nature's clock, and no matter how fast we wish to see the fruits of our labour grow, it just doesn't work that way.  When I first started out, I couldn't wait to see my first plants grow.  I obsessively went into the yard three times a day to check on them, make sure they have enough water, checking the soil, the leaves, taking pictures of flowers to monitor progress.  It took a few months for me to realise that unless I wanted to give myself a nervous breakdown, I had to let nature run its course.  The same thing goes for blogging.  

The art of creating a blog post requires the same amount of time and patience.  For the gifted writers, they can create an interesting and inspiring post in no time at all.  For the rest of us however, we need to sit down and take a couple of hours of our time.  I have also seen some amazing pictures on some of the blogs I read.  The pictures are taken at the correct time of day, edited and watermarked.  The dedication I see to some posts out there is incredible and it shows that the writer has really taken the time to write it.  I am not so blessed with my posts, they are short, pictures taken are only slightly edited if at all, and I do not have the time to wait for the right conditions.  This is something I need to work on in the future :)

Creativity, inspiration or silence?

There are bloggers who seem to have an unlimited source of ideas and content to write about.  They are never short of new posts on their blog, sometimes up to five new posts a week!  Others turn their attention outside their gardens, when there is nothing new happening there, and write about other gardens, parks, or public spaces.  They are able to find inspiration everywhere.  Then there are those like myself who go dormant with their gardens.  If there is nothing happening in the garden then nothing gets written.  I suppose this also depends on where we live, what we have accessible to us, time constraints, and possibly the gardens themselves.  This diversity is a blessing however, as it ensures that we all have new posts to read no matter what season we are in, or the state of our gardens.

Fun, fame and fortune (or all of them)

I have fallen victim of all three of the above in the past.  I first started blogging for fun, I wanted to create a journal for my plants with notes and pictures, so I thought an online repository allows me to do just that with ease.  Then I realised that I had a few readers on my blog so I turned my attention to fame.  Writing a post about my newly trimmed plant was no longer enough for me. I went out and got some new plants, I changed my blog template to a fancier one with social media buttons and what not, and started learning about keywords and SEO in order to make the blog more accessible.  In short, my journal turned into a full time job, and needless to say, it was no longer fun.  As the readership increased (slightly I might add), I took a shot at monetising the blog, thinking I could make a few bucks in no time.  For those of you who have adsense or other pay per click ads on their blog, you all know that's not quite how it works.

Finally I have learned that you cannot force fame and fortune, and in my opinion, that's not what a garden blog is about anyway.  They should be after effects, and considered as such.  My point here is to focus on what you love and stick to it.  If fame and fortune should follow, that's great, but as long as you are still enjoying writing for yourself and your readers, maintaining your status should not require that much effort.

Content Is King 

I cannot tell you how many times I heard or read this phrase.  If there was a course on how to write on the web, this would be lesson number one and THEY will make sure it is imprinted on your brain forever.  It is true however, and that realisation can be quite frustrating to say the least.  How many times have I sat down staring at a blank page, pictures on my camera, thinking why should I write about this?  What's so interesting about this plant that I should write a blog post about it?  Who cares?  

At this point I realise that I am doing this for the wrong reason. If there is no inspiration behind the picture other than to write another post, then my readers will know it, just as I know it.  Great content comes from within, not how good we are with words, but what inspires us to write those words.  We all know when we have written a great post, and the readers do too.  If you don't have anything to write then don't.  When you do, it will be easier and more satisfying in the end.

The chicken or the egg, the blog or the garden?

Do we blog because we garden, or do we garden because we blog?  I think I do a bit of both.  Sometimes there are some things I need to do in the garden which will prompt a blog post.  Other times I find myself trying to do stuff to it in order to generate a post.  This ties in with the previous sections, and I may be contradicting myself here, but it's true.  The advantage of this however, is that the blog has driven me to try new things.  It prompts me to research my plants, and to learn new things.  My plants have also benefited as I believe without the blog they would not have gotten so much attention over the years.

What about you?

So there you are, this is what I have learnt in my two years of blogging about my plants.  I have a few lessons yet to learn, and I have not quite mastered the art of writing a lengthy and inspiring blog post (this is possibly the longest one to date) Nowadays, however I'm happy to say I am enjoying my blog more than ever, and more importantly I am enjoying my garden.

What about you guys, do you have anything to add, or experiences to share? I'd love to hear from you.


  1. I wonder, if gifted writers can create a post in no time. My weekly post takes hours for the pictures, mostly choosing them, but also taking them. Or choosing his photos - what's this, and he tells me the story. Then the words take me more hours.

    I can see my block of golden Maltese stone lying on the bookshelf across the room. Do you still have those octagonal 25c coins, with the boat, and the sun, the oars, and the cactus. There is a whole story just on that coin.

  2. Hi there, what I meant was that for some, writing comes more easily than others. It happens to me on rare occasions where the words just flow... but rarely. With regards to the coins, no, we are in the euro zone now. I loved that picture, they used to make us draw it at school, for me it captured the maltese spirit. It's all lost on kids today unfortunately, we are becoming too modern....

  3. You expressed this so well. Garden blogging is a very complex process with bloggers having varying reasons for blogging about their gardens. I enjoy doing it, and I hope the other garden bloggers keep doing it because I enjoy reading their posts as well.

  4. First, Azraiel, thank you so much for faving my blog on Blotanical. I am honored!

    I really enjoyed this post. For me the garden comes first, but I also love photography and writing, so blogging puts all three together. Once I have taken the photos and edited them, the writing usually comes easily and is quite enjoyable. Most of the time the photos or the garden tells me what to say, but occasionally I have an idea first, then find things in my garden to illustrate the idea. Connecting with other gardeners is a wonderful part of blogging and the reason I blog. I want to share my garden, and I LOVE looking at other gardens and getting ideas from other gardeners. A little bit of fame has come from all of this. I am still waiting for the fortune!

  5. Hi there, I agree with Deb I love writing and taking photographs, I think the photographs do provide the content in the end. I also love looking at other people's gardens, your blogs and others provide a peek at another world for me, and I'm glad to be a part of it, and to share a bit of mine.

  6. thanks for sharing.