Top 5: Reasons to write a Gardening blog

I had a lovely email this week from a person who lives in the Western suburbs of Melbourne and who is contemplating writing a blog.  They are aiming for backyard self sufficiency and want to chart their progress in blog form.  Anyway I replied that I would love to read about it.  The email also got me thinking about why I really enjoy blogging, particularly about gardening and these are the reasons I came up with:

  1. Readers – I have to say I do get a kick out of the fact that people read my blog.  Whilst I’m sure there are bigger blogs, more widely read blogs, blogs with a higher numbers of page views and visitors that doesn’t detract from the fact that there are some people who read this blog regularly and I really value that.
  2. Comments– I love comments, with the exception of spam of course.  Isn’t spam silly?  I would just like to say to all you spammers out there: I’m really glad you appreciate my “wonderful task on this subject”, I’m glad your cousin loved it, and that you think its “awesome” but I still don’t want to check out your website, especially if its called sexdate, nor buy real estate in Texas, or a Gucci anything and I don’t currently have a yeast infection, but thanks for your interest.  Apologies for the digression what I really meant to say is that I have learnt heaps from the suggestions people have made in the comments section.  Real people that is, not spammers.  From cooking ideas to gardening tips the information is great and reason enough to blog in itself.
  3. Reading other people’s blogs – Now I would have put this as number 1 except that you can do it without writing your own.  I do find though that in writing my own I am more likely to read other people’s more often.  Its hard to say exactly why this is, maybe its because reading what other people are up to doesn’t just expand my knowledge base it is also a pivotal part of belonging to the blogging community.  Regardless though I can’t tell you how much I’ve learnt through reading blogs and how much of that knowledge I’ve already successfully applied.
  4. The blogging format–  I think that the diary format of blogging lends itself to garden writing possibly more than any other subject area.  The nature of gardening means that the time of year is important.  Knowing what I harvested at the start of June last year is really helpful in understanding how the garden works, and how to maximise production in the space I have.  In a nutshell a blog is a great record of when I plant and harvest.
  5. Taking photos – Writing a blog gives me a great excuse to take a very large number of photos of vegetables which I am ridiculously fond of doing.  Here are some now:



And those are my favourite things about blogging.  What are yours?

At the time I published this The New Goodlife had yet to put a a Top 5 post – head over and check whether she has yet.

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49 Responses to Top 5: Reasons to write a Gardening blog

  1. Must admit you have summed all that up in a nutshell and I agree with all of it – I would add I just enjoy writing a blog too. I always fancied writing a book (I once did write a children’s book but then lost it when I changed computers and I wrote stories to use in my class when I was teaching – or made them up on the hoof – and also when I was an education consultant). Writing a blog and keeping a website is the nearest I have ever got to actually publishing anything that I write

    • Liz says:

      Oh no! I would have loved to read your childrens book – how frustrating that must have been. I enjoy the writing process too, although somedays I seem to be more inspired than others but then thats also true of the photography….

  2. Louise says:

    You have got it in 1 (or should I say 5). I must admit, when I decided to do a blog, I hadn’t even read another blog, I didn’t even know about the blog universe. The reason I wanted to do a blog was to document my garden to myself, to learn from what I did, to trace the year, to celebrate the veg, the soil and also the wildlife in my garden. I didn’t think anyone would read it at all – that was going to be a bonus. I really had no idea at all that there was a whole world of people out there doing the same thing and that I would be learning so much from others successes, failures, thoughts, ideas. I have also learnt to grapple with the technology and my camera (that’s the only thing I’d add to the list). It’s fun AND educational – tee hee!

    • Liz says:

      Do you know I hadn’t read another blog either? I started partially to record the garden, partially to use my brain and have soemthing non child rearing related to do and partially because it sounded cool. Is it cool? I suspect it was cool in about 1995 but now its pretty passe, but fortunately I’m not hip enough to know…

  3. This is a great list. I would add (or maybe I am just re-wording what you have already said) that I think the blogging community is wonderful! I don’t really enjoy Facebook very much, but I really do enjoy the whole blogging community. I am especially fond of the “relationships” I have developed due to the blogs I read and follow in which those people read and follow my blog, too. (You know, my “blog friends,” at least that is how I describe them to my husband.)

    I had an entirely enjoyable conversation with another blogger about “blog friends” several months back.

    I enjoy your blog, and this list is great. 🙂

    • Liz says:

      I really enjoy the blogging community too. I think I need a better way of referring to my blogging friends though. I kind of start off saying “a friend” but then I change it to a “a blogger I read” and both of which seem a bit odd especially when I’m talking to someone who doesn’t blog and you have to explain that you’ve never met this friend, or seen their garden but you do know that they grow very good Stupice tomatoes in winter etc, etc and it all gets a bit weird. So if you or anyone else reading this can come up with a good short-hand way to describe a fellow blogger to a non-blogger then I would greatly appreciate it.

      • When, as I child, I started writing to a French girl that I had never met she was my Penpal so what about Blogpal. eg. “Liz one of my blogpals” Must admit I do like to be able to refer to bloggers by name when replying to comments even when they write under a pen name. I know not everyone likes to publish their real name it just is eaier to relate as a person than to call someone snugglebunny or some such name.

        • Liz says:

          Oh I do like Blogpal, I too had penpals as a child. Ok that’s what I’m using from now on I don’t care how many people look at me strangely in the process. I do find the whole internet relationship thing interesting, I’m sure there are any number of 20 somthings writing thesis on it as we speak but I wonder how electronic relationsips will develop in the future, if conventions will develop around names and etiquette and so on. I guess it already has to a certain extent but I’m sure there’s more to come.

      • Explaining “blog friends” to those who don’t participate in the blogging community is rather awkward. I use that shorthand with my husband, because I have explained it to him and he knows what I mean. I’d be interested in hearing a good shorthand for that, too.

        Oh, and I was thinking after I posted that another thing I like about writing a garden blog is that I am not consumed with my own little garden world. I have the opportunity to read about gardeners suffering through unbelievable drought in the Midwestern US, and others (like you) who are in winter while I am in summer. It helps me keep a little perspective when my cucumbers die off all the sudden, or whatever.

        • Liz says:

          That is so true about reading about other people’s trials and tribulations – some of them make mine seem ridiculously petty. Gives great perspective doesn’t it?

  4. I agree with everything.

    Cristy, I feel that way about the blogging community and blog friends too.

    And Liz and Sue I too started writing a blog before I started reading them, for all the reason Liz mentioned.

  5. Yes on all five! I like the ease with which I can be disciplined about recording the garden, but mostly I like that keeping a garden blog helps me to remember to pay attention… to all things in life.

  6. Nina says:

    I’m the other way around, I don’t have a blog but read my favourites (you’re top of the list, Liz!), avidly. I do intend to start one, one day but I just don’t have the time, just now. And owning a blog is a real commitment, I expect. Personally (and this is me being selfish), I’m disappointed when I find a blog I really like and the owner contributes sporadically. I absolutely understand that, though – other life ‘stuff’ takes precedence. But if I started one, I’d want to be sure that I could maintain it regularly.

    I really admire those of you who do have a blog and share your expertise and knowledge. I learn so much from you all and I’m pleased I can contribute a little from time-to-time via the comments section.

    This is a great opportunity to thank you all – your wisdom has been invaluable to me.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Nina, That’s a lovely thing to write. I have to say you are a fabulous commenter and I would love to read a blog written by you when you feel you can give it the right level of commitment – not that there is a right level I guess, it is your blog afterall. As for the time commitment – yes, I guess it is – in fact as I type this I have in the back of my mind the sales course I should be writing but seem to have been distracted away from…

      • Nina says:

        Thanks! I’m glad you don’t mind my comments. Sometimes I wonder if I’m being a bit of a pest! The next time you mention broadbeans, I’m going to jump in and share a recipe I tried the other day that used up some I still had in the freezer. Spicy and delicious!

        • Liz says:

          You are absolutely, completely NOT being a pest. Without comments I’d be talking to the ether which afterall is the sort of thing people look at you strange for if you do it on the bus…

  7. Chelsea says:

    Ha, love the ‘Comments’ digression. Your friend should go for it! I sat and thought about it for three whole years before starting to finally put pen to paper, and I’m so glad I did. I hope they go for it and there’ll be one more of us addicted to photographing their tatties in no time.

    • Liz says:

      Isn’t that interesting, I decided to write a blog one day and the next day bought a name and uploaded WordPress, but then if I don’t seize the moment I have a tendency to never get round to things so… As for photographing tatties – its clearly an under appreciated art form, I’m envisionaging an sub-culture that implodes once it becomes mainstream.

  8. We started blogging mostly to keep family informed about our garden (so we didn’t have to answer 10 questions a week about “how’s the garden going?”). I think nowadays more people I’ve never met in real life read the blog than do family members 🙂

    We enjoy participating in things like “Harvest Monday” because it’s neat to see what other gardeners are doing. (Although some weeks I just don’t have all that much time to devote to blog reading!).

    • Liz says:

      Do you know I have friends who have never looked at my blog, I don’t mind in the least but I find it kind of intriguing. As for my family I reckon they’d read it about once every 6 months or so and then email me to correct the grammar… Actually that’s not true the grammar part anyway but now I’m a little concerned that they haven’t….perhaps they don’t even read it 6 monthly……

  9. Mark Willis says:

    My top five are pretty much the same as yours! For me, gardening, photography and blogging are all rolled in to one hobby now.
    Love what you write; love the photos you publish; love the fact that you read my blog too and share thoughts and ideas with me. Don’t ever give it up!

  10. Sarah says:

    Your top five reasons should be enough to encourage anyone thinking about writing a blog to give it a go! The community spirit among bloggers is something I only discovered when I started writing my own. But the support and encouragement is great, especially when you’re new to the whole blogging scene!

  11. Dave says:

    I love reason #5, and I love your many photos! And now I know what to expect my Borlotti beans to look like when they get a bit older.

  12. Completely agree with all of your reasons. Also I get a kick out of writing again – something I hadn’t done much of since uni. And it makes me accountable and less lazy. Only just this morning I pulled a couple of weeds out because I needed to take a picture of something for the blog and there were a couple of pesky weeds spoiling the shot. Oh yeah I’m sneaky that way.

    • Liz says:

      I do that too – although sometimes I only notice them too late. I have a tendency to weed blindness, which I think is a product of another condition which I also suffer called messy house blindness, which unfortunately corrects itself minutes before guests arrive causing much panic and mayhem.

  13. Bek says:

    Me too! – or should that be me 19 🙂 I’ve only recently started blogging, but all of the above reasons were why I started up. And its been great, as I’ve found so many more people doing the same sorts of things. It’s just wonderful to be able to share an interest with others of a like mind (rather than endlessly boring my friends and family with me veg growing tales or woes as the case may be…)

    • Liz says:

      Do you find how people roll their eyes slightly when the use the expression “keen gardener” to describe someone. I know my partner’s do so I absolutely agree its lovely to have an outlet for veg tales.

  14. Jodie says:

    I started blogging as a way to get motivated to try new things in the garden…..experiments make great blog topics. Its also a great inspiration and motivation to read other people’s blogs. Liz I am thinking I should start getting organised and plant those tomato seeds now!

    • Liz says:

      I absolutely agree with you one experiments and blog topics – perfect. I’m excited today as my first chillies have started germinating – now just the eggplants to go.

  15. Carolyn says:

    I started blogging to share with my grown up kids all the “how to’s” that I’ve learned from gardening. I never knew that through blogging I would make so many friends and learn from them. To me, that’s the sweetest side of blogging.

  16. Andrea says:

    A friend suggested to start a blog on my kitchen garden……………………and I too had never even read a blog before……………….the first blog i read was veggiegobbler and i couldn’t stop laughing, just love her fun attitude to gardening and life in general.
    What a thrill when my first follower jumped on board………..yes someone is interested in what I’m writing!! I also relised there was so much to learn from other gardener’s and I’m really enjoying reading the different ways of growing,cooking and preserving the harvests.
    I think one of the best outcomes of writing/reading gardening blogs for me is the inspiration to grow more and try different varieties I hadn’t thought to try before and also a more interesting weekly menu with all the wonderful recipes blogmates share.

  17. Diana says:

    Hi Liz,
    I am one big fan of your blog.
    It is interesting to see other gardener backyard.
    When we were in Melbourne, the temperature was about the same with Adelaide.
    It just that we don’t feel that much drop of temperature in Melbourne during day and night. Adelaide weather is much more crazier the day and night temperature can really be a big gap. But we are a bit fortunate because we live close to the coast (5-10minute drive) so we escape frost.
    I have actually prepared a mix of vegetable and flower seeds that I collected this year for you since last month. I know your adorable daughter like flower very much. It is ready to be posted but caught up with lots of things. If you don’t mind can you email me your address (

  18. Leanne Cole says:

    I love the spam, it is so funny. The stuff people write to get you to look at their website. I like the last reason, that is it totally for me, it makes me go out and take photos. Actually I love all your reasons. I do love people reading my blog, and commenting as well. I think all your reasons would be my top 5 as well.

    • Liz says:

      Spam is funny isn’t it – I like the ramdonness of some of the words. You’ll have a perfectly normal sentence with the word ‘brussels’ stuck in the middle of it. Endlessly entertaining.

  19. Rebecca says:

    I couldn’t agree more. My blog started as a way to scrapbook my garden creation for myself, but I am loving connecting with other gardener.

  20. Nick says:

    Well said. I’ve started a garden blog just to help me remember what worked and what didn’t. It’s certainly a more pleasurable route than working through a spreadsheet, which is what I used to use before.

    Stumbling across great writing and photography like yours is a pleasure, too. I came to your site via Greenish Thumb. Cheers!

  21. Ambra says:

    When I started my blog – the Good, the Bad and the Italian – a few months ago, I didn’t expect I’d be writing about radicchio, citrus and now calla lilies and clivias. But, that’s the delightful thing about this blog business, you never know which direction you’ll head (well, I speak for myself). Anyway, it’s great to compare notes and see what other gardeners are up to as well.

    • Liz says:

      That’s interesting – I started blogging to write about kitchen gardening and here I am still primarily writing about kitchen gardening. I like that your approach was more fluid.

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