Many of you have already discovered Blotanical, the relatively new website that is bringing garden bloggers' together all over the globe. If you love to see what's growing and blooming in other people's gardens then you'll find an endless supply of fascinating posts here.
Stuart Robinson is the young man responsible for putting it all together. He actually hatched the basic idea well over a year ago, and has been working to build and expand the site since then, until it has developed into a grand plan that seems to be working beautifully.
I'm so pleased to have recently 'met' lots of new gardening friends - some close by in my home state of New York, some half-way around the world in my native country, Australia, and others from Canada, the UK and Europe. There are also plenty of other gardeners in countries I've yet to explore - New Zealand, Africa, South America and Asia.
It's exciting to see the amount of people participating, and fun to read about the quirks and obsessions we have in common. I sit here smiling and nodding my head, and feeling "normal", knowing there are so many others out there who share the idiosyncrasies of a gardener's character.....but above all else, that irresistable urge to grow as much as we possibly can!
Stuart has written several helpful articles, posted under the "News" tab, which explain a few things about Blotanical and how to maneuver around the site. Under each of the tabs on the home page there are sub headings which give you lots of choices.
For instance under the "Search Blogs" tab you have a choice of doing a Google search for information under "Search Blogging Content", or skimming through a list of blogs under "Search Blogger's Location". And if you want to add a Blotanical button or widget to your blog, you can find that here as well under "Banners and Gadgets".
Under the "Picks" tab you'll find a list of the current 200 posts of all the members. I use it, in addition to my feed reader, to find the newest posts of my favorite blogging friends, and to meet new gardeners from all over.
You get your own little "plot" and can choose a list of your favorite bloggers. To encourage you to use the site, there's a point system which rewards you for logging in, picking posts, and a few other activities. You can also chat with other members via messages. Your blog doesn't have to be exclusively about gardening. Most of us post about our everyday lives, as well as our gardens.
The best way to learn to use the site is to just keep clicking your way around! And if you have a question there's a "Help" tab where Stuart is quick to provide you with answers. Or you can send a message to a fellow member to find plenty of helpful advise.
If you're 'just a little obsessed with gardening' then you're really going to enjoy yourself at Blotanical :)
Stuart once remarked to me in an e-mail, after starting a third blog (he has one about lawn care as well as his Gardening tips and ideas, and used to have a financial advisory blog) that he started the lawn care blog because he found he was getting far too much sleep! :)
I often wonder how he fits sleep into his busy schedule, especially these days. Yes, he does have a day job, a young family, and a garden of his own!
You're doing a great job Stuart, and we all very much appreciate it, but don't overdo, and do take a little time for yourself now and then. OK?