Sunday, April 5, 2009

Why Write in a Gardening Blog

What is there about a gardening blog that motivates people to contribute their own thoughts and experiences?

I can’t tell you what might motivate other contributors, but for me I think it’s mostly the freedom to use my own style of writing, and to pass on some of my garden experiences (via my “trowel and error” method) to others who might find them useful. Also, I sometimes become curious about certain aspects of horticulture which pique my interest enough to make me dig out more information about them and share them with you.

Fortunately (for me), I don’t feel bound to present only “dry facts”. I like to color things up a bit and maybe add a little humor wherever possible. After all, gardening is all about being good humored, optimistic, and feeling rewarded when our efforts succeed, right? We need to give accurate information, but we can also personalize it. We can also feel free to tell an anecdote or two if we think it relevant, or if we think it might interest others.

Sharing experiences with fellow gardeners in our own area is also valuable. Colorado is a state where there are many micro-climates, even here along the Front Range and even just in Jefferson County. That makes for unique experiences. When we have success (or none) with something, it may be because of the special environment we have provided (intentionally or accidentally) for a particular species or cultivar of plant. Local weather conditions – and I do mean LOCAL – can also contribute to our success or lack of it. For instance, frequent high winds are a factor for those of us who are close to the foothills, more so than for gardeners living further east in more protected parts of the metro area. Precipitation amounts are sometimes highly localized as well. We need to share all of that information with others who might like to try something similar. “USDA zones 4, 5a, 5b, etc.” are only general guidelines, right?

By the way, for those of you that like to use references such as the “Sunset Western Garden Book”, note that our Jeffco area on their map zones ranges from “1A through 2B”, with corresponding hardiness ratings for the plants they describe in detail. Another interesting detail is that their zonal rating system for California spans all the way from 1A (higher mountains in the north) to 24 (southern coastal areas) – wow!

So – knowing the freedom that you have here – would more of you like to write for the “JeffcoGardener” blog? Contact if you would like to add your own comments and experiences here. She will fill you in on any details regarding your submissions to the blog.

Gardener Dave