Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Expanding Friendships Through Blotanical

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?

Easter lilies in church on Easter Sunday Posted by Picasa Jesus never fails


Trudi said...[Reply]

Kerri thank you for your comment. I am glad you liked the Grevillia. It is a fantastic aussi plant. I love Lilis. Do you remember the tall Christmas Lilis in Australia? the Daffodils look nice on the table and if it is still cold outside the sunny yellow cheers you. I had lovely easter days and I hope you too.

Lisa at Greenbow said...[Reply]

I like your header picture and the Easter Lillies.

Barbee' said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri, good job on your Blotanical post; I enjoyed reading it. I have created a blog counterpart to my web site in hopes of being able to participate more. So far neither it nor my new post has shown up on Blotanical. I'm sure it will later. Stuart is remarkable in his abilities and talents. But, it does take time to do all the things he does.
We had snow showers yesterday, but today is cold and clear and so beautiful!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...[Reply]

Good post about Blotanical. It is a great place to meet others, isn't it?~~Dee

Marie said...[Reply]

Great post!!!

Beautiful photos :)

jodi said...[Reply]

A fine, heartfelt post, Kerri. It's so neat to make interesting new friends across the miles, isn't it? Here's hoping that spring REALLY finds us soon, too. The cold is weary-making, and I see from the US weather that you're due to get another clout, too. Bah humbug on the weather, and kudoes to STuart for brightening all our blogging selves.

Desiree said...[Reply]

Hi Kerri,

I am new to blotanical, and blogging, as well, and you took the words out of my mouth. Blotanical really is a neat place to meet different gardeners from around the world...being from the central coast of California, I've been enjoying hearing about other gardeners 'thawing' out from winter. Stuart really deserves a pat on the back for bringing us all together! Great post, Kerri!

Needled Mom said...[Reply]

I will definitely have to check that site out. It sounds wonderful and what a thrill it would be to see other gardens. Thanks for posting it.

Stuart said...[Reply]

You are too kind Kerri. As jodi said, this is a heartfelt post and I truly appreciate your sentiment.

Just a quick aside to your readers: Kerri and I disagreed on an issue about two weeks ago and when there is usually conflict in the blogosphere it almost always signals the death of another online relationship. To be honest, its becoming a bit tiring...

To Kerri's testament even after we disagreed she comes out and writes this beautiful post - far beyond what was required to seal her Star of Friendship.

Kerri you are an amazing woman and your faith is obviously well lived out. Please forgive me for being too 'cheeky'.

I admire you, your blog and appreciate your friendship.

Thank you.

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...[Reply]

Blotanical is an excellent way to meet new bloggers--especially those close to where you garden. (I see you already have the wonderful fellow New Yorker Kathy Purdy of Cold Climate Gardening in your sidebar.) However, once you begin reading a lot of blogs one of the most efficient tools for tracking them is an RSS reader such as Google Reader or Bloglines.

Be aware tha not all garden bloggers choose to participate in the sometimes competitive atmosphere fostered at Blotanical. Among those who do participate, not all choose to have their feeds used so that someone else can profit from the ad money. Blotanical is a wonderful resource but there is more to the garden blogosphere than is contained in Blotanical.

Amy said...[Reply]

I just joined a couple days ago and am having a great time meeting new people and finding new blogs I never would have come across otherwise.

HORIZON said...[Reply]

Every time l drop by here we get a little more snow! :)Are you doing this on purpose? lol
l'm going to go and visit that site right now Kerri. How does he manage his time? Blotanical- what a great name too!
hugs and bests and hope you had a great Easter weekend.

Cris said...[Reply]

What a great source of information on gardening! Thanks for sharing Kerri.

Yolanda Elizabet said...[Reply]

Lovely header and gorgeous lilies. Do they have a scent?

I had some trouble with finding the banners on blotanical but I've found them now. :-)

Moi said...[Reply]

i neeed some time-management tips from Stuart....and your lilies are fantastic :)

Alice said...[Reply]

Whilst I haven't really visited Stuart's Blotanicals site yet, I have to agree with him about the support you have given his site is a true testament to Christianity in action. You're a true friend in every sense of the word, Kerri.