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

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Blotanical – On being a “Blotanist” and new Gardening Friends

BlotanicalWhen Barbie and I started our Gardening blog in January this year it was all about having a space to show each other our latest photographs of our gardens. You see, we live quite a distance from each other, far enough that we don’t get to see each other often. It’s about an hours drive one way, so a bit too far to just “pop in for a quick cuppa”. Add to that that I am night blind, it makes it difficult to do regular garden visits! So we started this blog and began playing “show and tell” with each other. It was fun! We never imagined that anyone would ever visit our site. How would they find it and if they did … why would they be interested in our gardens? Besides, getting tons of visitors was never our objective. It was just about having some fun online!

Then one day I stumbled on a site called Blotanical. It looked like some sort of Gardening Directory. So I joined. I added our blog and thought no more of it. Then I started getting mails from my soon-to-be mentor and Guru Blotanist Diana, of Elephant’s Eye (a stunning Wildlife Garden here in Porterville in the Western Cape). She had been to our website. Yippee! We had a visitor … much excitement. She asked a question about our feed which was needed for the listing in Blotanical to work. Oh dear, much to-ing and fro-ing by e-mail – it didn’t work. Then the founder of Blotanical e-mailed and I had to get serious and fix up that feed. Finally working, and guess what happened? Gardeners from all over the world started coming to our blog and leaving comments. More excitement. Not just random people, but actual, experienced gardeners from all over the world were visiting and talking. Giving advice, admiring our blooms, asking questions … how on earth did that happen? Blotanical – I tell you!!

So what is Blotanical actually all about? In a nutshell I would say it’s a Social Network for Gardeners, on steroids. Way ahead of his time obviously, as the site started a good few years ago long before “social networking” was the in-thing on the web, Blotanical was started by Stuart from Gardening Tips & Ideas. From the Blotanical web site you can “follow” all your favourite gardening blogs in one space. I love reading gardening blogs but I don’t love getting hundreds of mails a day, nor can I be bothered with feed readers. I get too many already as part of my job, so Blotanical is the perfect place for me to log into once a day and be able to go and see which of my gardening buddies have posted something new … then click and read. And likewise, they see our new posts. Besides that you get your own little “Gardening Plot” on the site from which to communicate with your fellow Blotanists, leave and receive messages, pick and rate their posts (and they rate yours). For me the rating system is a great measuring tool as to what to blog about – knowing that experienced gardeners might actually read what I have to say encourages me to not only write better posts but also to (try) take better photographs. It’s forced me to up my game so I’m learning every day and loving the experience!

The best thing about Blotanical? That’s a no-brainer! It is the wonderful connections we’ve made! We’ve made so many new gardening friends with folks located all over the world. From South Africa to Japan, Canada to the USA, Germany, Sweden, Malaysia and Australia. Scotland and the UK … It’s a daily highlight to see which of our gardening friends have read our posts, left us a message or have generously offered us some advice about our many gardening trials and tribulations. And the support and encouragement has been incredible. If I had known gardeners were such a friendly, enthusiastic crowd I would have started gardening long ago.

In closing I’d like to send a special thanks to all our Blotanical Friends! You make us better gardeners, we learn from each and every one of you and this blog would not be half as much fun if we hadn’t “met” you all!

We’ve listed a lot of our favourite gardening blogs on our our Links Page! Some of our favourites include Donna from Garden Walk, Garden Talk, Alistair from Aberdeen Gardens, Alan from It’s not Work, it’s Gardening, Donna from Garden’s Eye View, Masha from A Rose is a Rose, Holley from Roses & Other Gardening Joys, Pam from Pam’s English Country Garden, Cat from A Whimsical Gardener … oh dear, there are just too many to list them all here, but they are all on our Links Page! If you have some time, treat yourself and visit their wonderful gardens! And if you have a gardening blog, go to the Blotanical website and join! You’ll be so glad you did!

We ♥ our Gardening Buddies

Happy Gardening & much love to you all