Christine's garden Gardening Miscellaneous

Introducing our Blotsprouts

Barbie and I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our “Blotsprouts” to the Blotanical Community … 

We’ve raved about the Blotanical Community and about being “Blotanists”*. As you become more involved in the Blotanical community and spend time reading other Blotanists posts, sharing info, communicating with and getting to know other gardeners around the world, you accumulate points and progress through the ranks. You start out as a Blotanist, then become a Fellow, then Master and finally, one day you become a Guru Blotanist. Finally we have progressed through the ranks and are now considered “Guru Blotanists”. (When I say Guru Blotanist, let me be quite clear here – That makes me a Guru only within the Blotanical website and how it works only – I’m by no means a guru in anything else garden related – Far from it!! I’m still just your average newbie gardener trying to find my way around the world of gardening …)

As a Guru Blotanist one can choose to become a Mentor to others who are new to the Blotanical community. Getting “into” Blotanical can be a bit of a learning curve. And having a friendly mentor to guide you and encourage you to join in and make use of the various features definitely helps. Our Mentor was Diana from Elephant’s Eye. I’m pretty sure we would not have become as involved (or derived as much benefit) if it had not been for her gentle prodding and help with features. So when the time came for us to be a “guru” to new Blotanists, we nervously accepted the challenge and have become “Mentor” to three new Blotsprouts**.

Please join us in welcoming our Blotsprouts to the Blotanical Community … (We’ve added links below to their “Blotanical Plots” specially for Blotanical members who would like to find out more, follow or “fave” them – but remember, you need to be logged in to Blotanical to get there).

John & Maria’s Garden Pages

BlotsproutsA blog that is mostly about my gardening interests in South West England. I am interested in exotic, sub tropical styles of gardening, insect and other wildlife photography and houseplants“. John is a semi-retired IT Trainer who lives and works in the UK. His interests are varied and include gardening, photography, dogs, technology, science fiction and music.  I enjoy John’s writing and the photos on his blog are great.

John has also published an E-book entitled “Carpeting your Woodland Floor”, which I promptly downloaded to my Kindle and am currently reading. I’m redoing my shaded back corner garden and want to create something like this so am absorbing his ideas and advice. I’m finding it extremely useful and well written. Visit John & Maria’s Blog at
John’s Blotanical Plot:

Hortus 5

BlotsproutMario Mirelez is an Advanced Master Gardener as recognized by the Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program and is an active member of the American Boxwood Society, American Hosta Society, The Indianapolis Hosta Society and the Marion County Master Gardener Association. “This is a gardening blog by a guy whose new-found love is horticulture. Join me as I write about my processes and inspirations from my “Zone 5” point of view“.

I was a bit intimidated at first by Mario’s blog and almost decided to leave his “Mentoring” to an experienced gardener, but I couldn’t tear myself away from his blog as it is well written, each post is accompanied by great photographs and he obviously “knows his stuff”. So whilst I may be his Blotanical Mentor, his blog will undoubtedly become one of my “Go To” blogs whenever I’m researching or just want a good garden read! Its a winner! We are privileged to have his blog listed in Blotanical. Visit his blog at:
Mario’s Blotanical Plot:

Angel Turned Blogger

BlotsproutFrom the Philippines, Angels Blog is the blog of a a stay at home wife married to her best friend (who works as a full time medical transcriber). Angel is a leisure gardener and blogger who loves anything to do with DIY, going green, simple living, playing with kids, flower blooms, feel good movies, and good food. When I was browsing through Angel’s Blog I was drawn to her post on the homemade shishi odoshi which is a Japanese garden accessory / device used to scare animals away from the garden. She shows how they built it and how it has evolved into a lovely feature in their garden. I’m enjoying her posts in which she shares the lovely flowers she has in her garden. Visit Angel’s Blog at
Angel’s Blotanical Plot:

Please join me in welcoming our “Blotsprouts” to the Blotanical community!

*Blotanists – Members of Blotanical
**Blotsprouts = new Blotanists, i.e. new members of Blotanical

Happy Gardening

Gardening Miscellaneous

My favourite gardening blogs

Our blog was accepted at Blotanical (An online Gardening community) yesterday and so I’ve been spending some time looking at other gardening blogs. What a way to get side-tracked from what I should be doing … but I have a great excuse. It’s mid February in Cape Town and MUCH to hot to do anything constructive in the garden. Seriously, it’s a mission just sitting at my computer and clicking my mouse!

But the point of this blog post is all about sharing some of the great gardening blogs and articles I found that made an impression on me or I thought might be interesting for you too. There are millions of them. But I singled these few out because I liked them the most.

Sweet Bean GardeningSweet Bean Gardening: On this blog I found an article called “Dirt Cheap: Homemade Seed Starter Pots”. I know how into recycling you are and I also remember the conversation we had a few weeks ago about planting from seed. (Background for our readers: Lazy girl me prefers to buy seedlings while Barbie does the whole seed planting thing!). So Barbs, this one is for you: Sweet Bean Garden shows us how to make little “seed pots” from old roilet rolls or from newspaper. They are cheap and easy to make, plus they look kinda cute too. From the Blog: “this year I’m attempting to start my seeds in little homemade pots inside my wintersowing container. Naturally, I was on the search for the frugalist (yup, made up that word) pots possible. Enter the toilet paper roll pot. Talk about the ultimate upcycling! And everybody has these around. (And if you don’t, I don’t even want to know why)” … See the article here: Dirt Cheap: Homemade seed starter pots.

The Idle GardenerThe Idle Gardener: This one appealed to me because of the name … and then the first two articles on the home page caught my eye because they are both topics I’m interested in. The first is “Ten tips on how to take good flower pohotographs”- I need all the help I can get! The second will appeal to most gardeners, “My top ten tops for idle gardeners”. With the current heatwave we’re experiencing here, I was keen to read how I could be even lazier about gardening at the moment. Also some good book reviews on the site. I’m off to buy “Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers by the RHS”tomorrow. I hope they have it at Exclusive Books – I’ve been contemplating buying this book for a while. Now I’m convinced that I need it. Visit this blog at: The Idle Gardener.

Garden Walk, Garden TalkGarden Walk, Garden Talk: I was attracted to this blog because of the fantastic photographs in the post “Acorns to Oaks”. We don’t have snow here in South Africa and I love snow! Whenever I visit my Mom in Germany she begs me to come in the summer but I always go in Winter so that I can enjoy the snow! The photographs in this article had me wishing for snow all over again … and the writing on this blog is outstanding too. Add to that the fact that I plan to visit New York in the not too distant future … and so I had to bookmark it! About this blog: “This blog is created to celebrate the beauty and creativity found while gardening in Niagara Falls, New York. I love to paint and draw; design and create; and pass along tips and ideas that may inspire. I am highly trained in my field as a Master Gardener and architect and love my work each and every day“. A passion for beautiful gardens shines through on this blog. Visit it at: Garden Walk, Garden Talk.

Northern Shade GardeningNorthern Shade Gardening: This blog had me spend a good two hours reading and exploring and I’ve bookmarked it so that I can find it again when I have some more time to browse. About the blog: “My garden is located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which is in gardening zone 3, where winter temperatures can drop to -40°C (-40°F). It is usually covered in snow for about 5 months of the year, so the growing season is short. Northern Shade Gardening contains information about the types of hardy perennials, shrubs, bulbs and trees that perform well in these cold climate conditions“. The photographs are really good, the articles are very interesting and are of particular interest to me because of the shade gardening. Packed full of info, there is also a section on all the plants planted in Northern Shades’ garden. I love that I am learning about gardening in other parts of the world. Canada is so different to South Africa so its very interesting to me. I will be returning to learn more from this blog. See the blog here: Northern Shade Gardening.

Elephant's EyeElephant’s Eye: A fellow South African, Diana, shares her gardening experiences on her blog, Elephant’s Eye. Diana lives out in Porterville, a quaint town nestled on the slopes of the Olifant’s River Mountains. Situated 140 kilometres from Cape Town it is about a two hour drive from where I live. About the blog: “In the Western Cape’s Swartland. Mediterranean climate, long hot summers, cool wet winters. Natural vegetation on the mountains is fynbos, with the renosterveld on the plains mostly replaced by wheat fields. 1,600 square metres keep Diana Studer gardening, and husband Jurg busy with Ungardening“. I enjoy Diana’s posts because I can relate to her garden tales, her writing is most entertaining and her photographs are beautiful. Visit this blog at: Elephant’s Eye.

That’s all folks!
Happy gardening