I could use more time enjoying my garden, and I have an inkling that is true for most of us that love a garden. Modern life has a way of pushing in with what seems like a long list of urgent, yet trivial, demands that eat up the day… and sometimes grab part of the night.
My use of garden blogs has changed from leisure entertainment of surfing and getting to know individual bloggers to sorting through an inundation of clamor: “READ ME!”. I often add to the clamor, and it seems unavoidable.
And so, what do I wish to find and what do I wish to add that will gain me more time well used, reading and otherwise enjoying -rather than rushing to get done- in the garden?
The Museum Visit
Part of it is rather like my visit to a museum.
When I go to museums, and here let me say it is one of my favorite things to do, I do not want -nor expect- to see everything there is on a topic. I don’t even want to see everything there is in the Museum’s collection. I wish to see an exhibition that brings meaning and greater appreciation of the objects at hand.
The word for that is “curation”; collecting and exhibiting what has greatest value for some reason. Sometimes it is representative, sometimes “best of”… sometimes just curiosities.
If you blog, immediately you think of a major service that blogs can serve: curating information and delivering an idea of quality in a topic that interests a reader.
In any topic, gardening included, there are areas of the internet that have cornered the high ground on types of curation. Like reviews.
An individual can offer their opinion, but Amazon’s site can offer many opinions and a number of ways to rate a product. If I want more time in my garden, which will I seek out first?
There are two ways to approach time on the internet, including garden blog reading:
- Looking at the novel and highly entertaining
- Looking at a well done exhibition
Those two things both need to inform me, if my time is to be well spent.
Youtube Eureka Moment
My son recently was writing an essay that hinged upon the idea of a “Eureka Moment”. That is probably what helped inspire this post. This week while looking through a large number of videos on a certain topic, I realized something. Many of them were a waste of my time. A few were gems.
And that Eureka moment, as obvious and perhaps thick as it might seem to some, made me realize that a garden blog can be very useful if it curates, in museum quality manner. It can be more than simply a provider of information on technique or design, or plant cultivation.
In a way it isn’t news, but in another way it helps me focus on what I want, both from a garden blog and to give in mine.
Gardening Isn’t Trendy
Well, maybe it is for you. For me, gardening isn’t like fashion, where my garden looks “dated”. It might, but so what if it gives me joy? It really is no social crime to have garden gnomes dotted about or a pink flamingo… or even a bed of exotic plants rather than natives.
Gardening can make room for a wide range of personal taste.
On the other hand, the internet is about nothing if it isn’t about trends at this point. Who just surfs, anymore? Do people even use that word in connection with their online time, now? Not me. The change in blogs helped to contribute to that, and those new habits changed blogs, in turn. entertainment is usually provided by a lot of writers contributing a lot of stuff to look at… or we go to Facebook.
But what I am finding more useful for garden blogs is the same thing I used to want in a magazine or that I still look for in a book. Knowledgable curation, aesthetic presentation, inspiring focus… and then I want to get on with enjoying my garden.
Should Gardening Be Politicized? A Bit Of An Aside
Speaking of trends…
There is room for raising consciousness about gardening issues. We can’t escape that, nor should we. But I have been in the company of political radicals enough to recognize when I find a garden issue zealot. I don’t criticize them, but I am also unready to jump on every bandwagon that goes by. Ilona the Unready, there you go. I have a title.
I am rather a reasoned gardener, and that is what I will promote in my opinion. I believe the earth benefits from that.
Do I Make The Cut By My Own Criteria?
That is what I must judge my blog, website, and social media input by today. I was always suspicious of the adage, “to thine own self be true”, but this is a time when it is à propos.
That doesn’t mean I will stop creating and only curate, but if I find myself needing to curate, I’ll pass on the results to friends of my garden writing.
Recently, I put together pages around one of my favorite plants: Lavender. I have nurtured and cajoled my “Lavender hedge” and even had to totally replace it one year. The resulting pages of Lavender info and reporting on my experience creates posts far flung in time.
I hope that as I gather together guideposts you will enjoy the curations… or at least tolerate if that is not your cup of tea.