GardenMessenger

This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Name:
Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Introducing GardenMessenger



Well, after a month or so of procrastination, mainly because I was trying to work out how to operate all the technical aspects of this blog - such as uploading photos - I have made a start. Although I have embraced modern technology as much as any sixty year old gardener is likely to do, I still have to defer to one of my sons when it comes to fixing things with the computer and learning new aspects of its operation. I am much happier with a spade or grafting knife, although I confess as I get older the pen, or keyboard, are tending to replace the spade.

So here I am with this exciting new tool in my hands. What am I going to do with it and why am I doing it? To answer the last part of the question first, I am doing it because it is exciting and I love to write. After some forty years working in horticulture all over the world I believe that I have a lot of useful information to pass on to fellow gardeners. It is true that I am well published, with over fifty gardening books to my name, but I have had for the most part to write what publishers think will sell, often writing around photographs that - as the saying goes - are "worth a thousand words" anyway. So I can now write what I think is important and nobody has to worry about the economics - except me with my time.

Now to what I am going to do with the blog? Of course, it will have a lot of me in it, but I hope that it will not become a tedious record of my personal views. It is great to be able to express them, but the main function of the blog will be to reflect and inform about what is going on in the horticultural world. I am in a great position to keep an eye on what is happening as I spend part of my life each year in Europe and part in Australia, so I see things from both the right way up and upside down.

Australian Bottlebrush or Callistemon

I have great sympathy with Australian gardeners, (and those from New Zealand and South Africa too) who have to endure northern hemisphere gardening publications, often with a token gesture to their readership, and that only when a special edition is published for the southern hemisphere. For the most part Australia, which I know best in the southern hemisphere, has to tolerate UK and US gardening titles (including some of mine) that have little relevance to Australian conditions, and are often sprinkled with exciting plants that turn out to be prohibited in most or all of the states of that great land. So I hope to remind everyone who lives in the northern hemisphere, that the seasons and conditions in the south are worthy of discussion, for after all many of the best plants, like the Bottlebrush or Callistemon, that we enjoy in our gardens today originated from the south. We should really get to know a little more about what goes on "down under".

One of the best ways to do that is to chat with Australian, New Zealand and South African gardeners. Well chat is perhaps a bit difficult in terms of literally chatting online, for the time differences between North America and Australia and New Zealand in particular, make it very difficult. However, message boards are a great way to communicate, especially through an online gardening group. I look after a global gardening community called GardenMessenger, which currently has over 1,550 gardeners subscribed from over 35 countries. This is one of the many Yahoo groups and anyone can join for free click here. There are a number of regional sub-groups too, as well as a seed exchange community called SeedMessenger with over a 1,000 seed swappers, and its own web-site http://www.seedmessenger.com

So the online gardening community is the way forward for those of us who are interested in gardening beyond our own backyard; and that is the other thing that I will be doing with my blog. Spreading the word about online gardening communities, and hopefully encouraging members of GardenMessenger and other Messenger groups to join in. Guess that is it for today. Introductions are complete, my next offerings will be pure gardening!

Happy Gardening

Philip

GardenMessenger

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this should be interesting and worth checking in on.
I used to visit Gardenweb occasionally,and penpal groups came out of it- I correspond with another Canadian, an Engliswoman living in Portugal, an Aussie and an Alaskan- fascinating, particularly so since we now all have digital cameras.

11:24 pm  
Anonymous jasmine said...

THankyou so much for this info , I have tryed to plant some sweetpeas not come up yet , but the rest of the packet I will use your method . thankyou .

12:53 pm  

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