The Garden Bloggers Fling is Coming – Let’s Rehash, Why Not!


The garden bloggers get together again for the Garden Bloggers Fling in San Fransisco in a few days. I write a lot on blogging and thought I would post the eight links with my thoughts on this very interesting hobby.

Every blogger does not see blogging, or even gardening, in the same way. Some do it just for fun, others make it a profession. I do it just because it is a fun way to be creative and look at gardening through nature.

Oh, and since it is the start of the garden walk season here with over one thousand open gardens, it is a way to share the gardening wealth in my area. The Lewiston GardenFest just wrapped up for the weekend, but I could not attend this year. There are 16 more garden walks coming, so I will have much for you to see in upcoming posts.


Blogging is rewarding and entertaining, and I met some pretty great people, some from varied genres of blogging too.


What you find on the web is a lot of advice on blogging. Most is rhetoric and not helpful.


Most advice concerns making money and generating views at any cost. But what they don’t often address is QUALITY. “Experts” should address quality.


I looked at what makes a blog boring or interesting and why people blog among other things in the posts I have listed.


Image of the poppies at Chanticleer.

Everybody seems to want people reading their blogs, but it is not all about money-making or yapping on Facebook. Like in this post, I posted something you don’t see very often. Not the poppies, but how and who planted them.

Check out my posts on these issues. The comment response was very helpful as well.


Poppy field in the Town of Niagara.


All poppy photographs (except one) are images of poppies that surround a local baseball park. Fields and fields of them too.

Is it not amazing what a local town government can do to benefit the greater community and feed the pollinators to boot? Just like blogging, a community and field of poppies can benefit the many that make it up.


So however one approaches blogging, it is in their own individual, creative way. If they choose to avoid the circus and fanfare, great. We don’t need all the advice to make our blogs make us money, make us friends, make us soar the charts of popularity. All we need is readers that come and care. Our responsibility is just to make what they come for what they want to see. And for those wondering the symbolism of the images?…I’ll let you ponder that one.

PoppyPopArtWhile I am away, I will have photos from the public gardens in the greater Philadelphia region each day. Take a look at a place that would make a great Garden Bloggers Fling meet one day. If I move back to PA, I would be glad to help organize it. Next post, we look back at the gardens of the Fling in Asheville.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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41 Responses to The Garden Bloggers Fling is Coming – Let’s Rehash, Why Not!

  1. I agree Donna. It is all about communication. If we love to share, we should share from our own eyes and heart. I love the readers who visit and take time to learn about their blogs too…it is a 2 way street for me. Visit often or just once and I greatly appreciate it all. But I decided a while back that I was not going to get caught in the rat race of ads, views, numbers of any kind. I look forward to your sharing of the gardens through the walks and yes Philly area would make a great fling.

    On a side note…Your images can be interpreted so many ways as blogging can leave your head spinning some days.

    • Funny you mention the two way street and communication. So many garden bloggers have fallen into a one sided way to blog by not visiting those that visit their blogs. Probably time is the factor, at least I hope it is time. Oddly, the new readers are the ones filling the commenting gap. Also odd, even though I don’t consider the views as especially important to the overall satisfaction of blogging, they have been prolific in the last three months and I have not even hit the garden walk postings yet. I am not sure why either. So true, blogging does make one’s head spin. Philadelphia is rich in great gardens. Buffalo is as well having their own particular type of garden style. This year I am going to explore the ‘Buffalo Style of Gardening’ when I visit the gardens. It is unique across the nation.

  2. Gosh I’d love for you to organize a fling in the Pennsylvania area!

    • Wouldn’t be hard. My cousin is quite connected and is very adept at big events. The hotel, buses and things I never deal with would be cake to her. Plus she has connections to lots of gardens. My husband would enjoy living in PA, it just would take some time until his retirement. I want to move back, but a lot to work out here, like a loss of work.

  3. I love the work you’ve done on those poppies!
    Happy new week, Donna!
    πŸ™‚ xxxx

  4. Phil Lanoue says:

    Those look great and I really like that effect!

  5. Bom says:

    I think a lot of the earlier bloggers who kept at it were really writers at heart or really passionate about what they were blogging about. This would more often than not translate into quality material and hence they were able to eventually earn money from blogging. A lot of the newer, younger bloggers hear about how much so-and-so makes from ads, think it is just as easily done, and coming up with one or even several blogs but with nothing you can really sink your teeth into. They don’t realize at once the effort to come up with new ideas, to take at least decent photos, to write a post, etc.

    Garden bloggers are different because most of us are into it just to share our love of plants and the joy we derive from our gardens. Which is not to say, all garden blogs are created equal. The posts resulting from the garden blogger’s fling, helps me identify the US blogs I want to follow. Presenting the same material all at the same time? Tough task definitely, and I am impressed by those who can put their own spin on it and keep me interested even if I am looking at the same thing from a different (or sometimes even the same) angle.

    • Very interesting perspective, Bom. I look at writers a bit differently in some respects because they are also good researchers. It does not mean they necessarily know a lot about what they are writing about, but can do it effectively because they may be trained in journalism. A few of the writers who write on gardening for instance, are not necessarily good gardeners if at all, they just put the information learned from other sources together in a convincing and professional manner. And in gardening, how many “new” ideas are there realistically. New plants/products, yes, but ideas?

      I could easily make money from my blog if I went in that direction, I get requests often. It is based on readership/views and my blog has a number of followers. I believe that is what gets GWGT on the advertising radar. I have turned down all of them. I want to post what I want and do not want to follow any particular format or list of subjects. That is why I don’t send out a newsletter announcing my blog to my clients. I like the creative freedom. How many times can one keep posting the same material and there is no getting away from that if it is just a strict gardening blog.

      I guess my blog suffered from your method of seeing what blogs to follow because I chose not to compete with all the bloggers putting out the same images from the Fling. I even mentioned it in one of my blogging posts that the images were taken at similar angles in similar conditions. There was much of the same. I had all the big name gardens in Philadelphia to show at that time, so it was not necessary to jump on the band wagon. The posts I did on the Fling much later were from a design perspective and are some of my most popular posts. The Gentling garden and the Biltmore alone would make my blog stats each day it is that good. I will likely do the same this year as well. I don’t compete with other bloggers because I have enough material without including the Fling, but I am sure I will at some point post the images. Our garden walks have started here and I have over 1000 of them I can visit. They are so different from around the country in design – that presents a lot of interest in of itself.

      Thank you for your well though out comment. The previous posts on blogging really made people think. I was not expecting much meat to the comments in this post because the post was just meant to redirect readers to the previous posts.

  6. b-a-g says:

    I like your poppy art, especially the first one. Fields of poppies are very symbolic for people in the UK due to war-time rememberance. Have a great GB fling!

  7. Hmm, I love when you get me to ponder!
    I blog about the garden, for the creative outlet! A way to connect with fellow gardeners and garden lovers understand “what it is I do”.
    Will my blog ever grow to be something more? Doubtful, since I don’t Facebook and I am a poor self-promoter. Would I love it to lead to “opportunities”–well sure I would!! What that is I’m not sure!
    Ahh, a good day to ponder!

  8. HolleyGarden says:

    I hope everyone has a great time at the fling! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many poppies. Makes me want to plant a field of them!

    • I hope we all have a great time too. I wish I had on the wide angle for the field poppy shots. You cannot imagine how big are these fields. They go on and on. I am parked on a busy road, so I cannot step back to get in more of the scene. I do have a vantage point I could hike too though.

  9. Pat says:

    I like your edits.

  10. I frequently remind myself not to get too obsessed about views and other stats about my blog. If this is a hobby and not a business, then the most important thing is to please yourself. And to do that, it seems to me that the key is to have something to say and the desire to say it.

    • I guess that is my philosophy too. I do like the visits, but like the comments much more. The interaction is why I like to blog. If I make a post people feel a need to make a remark – agreement or in contradiction, that is great. It is something to have a dialog over.

  11. I can only dream of a field of poppies — one of my favourite flowers. But I’m California dreaming at the moment. Looking forward to seeing you again in San Francisco.

    • A few more days! It will be nice to see the gang from last year. There are so many nice folks. This year I think they planned a way for us to get to know each other better right from the start. Last year, so many people I did not get a chance to meet. This year I hope to know more. Do you come to Garden Walk Buffalo each year? When I get home from SF there is the Niagara Falls Garden Walk, but I don’t participate since the business association swooped in and took away the walk on our street. They made it include areas with no gardens and areas in real decline. Now few attend or participate. Last year I was away, but the neighbors said only five individuals visited. From over 400 to 5. That should tell the business association something really is awry. The garden festival I work with gets maybe 5000-7000 visitors, hard to estimate because there is no way to count. The City should reevaluate their direction.

  12. A.M.B. says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous field of poppies (in what seems like a somewhat unlikely place, a baseball park!). I completely agree with you about blogging. It’s not about making money; it’s about engaging with new people, sharing what we know, and learning from others. It’s fun! I’m looking forward to more scenes from public parks around Philly. We spent Saturday at Chanticleer again. It’s such a lovely place! Thank you for introducing it to us through your blog. πŸ™‚

    • No community in our area ever did such a large planting project. They planted few plant varieties, but did them in mass. I have to get back there to shoot them all blooming from the elevated spot at the top of the quarry.

  13. Bill S says:

    Once again Donna you have spurred me on to brush the cobwebs off my copy of Photoshop Elements 11, the effects create on the poppies is stunning! I have only been writing a blog since the beginning of the year and I have to say that my original plan was to keep a chronological record, how wrong was that ? So, please keep up the good work as I don’t want to fall into the bad habits I started with.

  14. Karen says:

    The poppies are as beautiful as your blog is interesting. I always enjoy my visits here. πŸ™‚

  15. Brian Comeau says:

    Well shot, well edited and well written. You challenged me again too Donna. Thank you!

  16. Much to think about and also refreshes my blogging desire. Thanks.
    Love,love, love the photos.

  17. I hope you have a great time at the Fling! Once again I will be reading about it in posts but I am hoping to attend next year. I appreciate the posts you have written on this subject. It gets me thinking and focused on why I blog and also quality of posts. Although I do blog as a creative outlet and sharing of my gardening experience it is difficult to have new material since there are so many garden bloggers out there and much of the material has been done before. I have actually written posts and then not posted them because I discover the subject matter has been covered by other blogs.

    • Thanks, Karin. I hope you can attend sometime soon. It would be great to meet. I agree on the material to blog about because some of my most popular posts end up being done by another blogger or many. Not because they copy, but because it is limited in choice of plants blooming. Some write all about things researched and of limited value to many, but others write on their personal experience. Since I design and am involved in many gardens, my person experience can be varied. I always try to profile plants from experience, and not just limited to my own garden. Many times I look at plants from the design perspective (the how, not just the what) too. I think you should do the posts covered by other bloggers. Like me, you can look at the subject from a different angle, probably even better too. I know sometimes posts on plants can be mighty dry and boring (like reading a plant tag), but adding personal stories on them adds the interest.

  18. Have fun! I’m hoping the Fling is held in DC someday, which will make attending really easy. πŸ™‚

  19. I like your (always) astute comments on blogging, the poppy photos, and especially the poppy “paintings.” Using the filters, etc., in PhotoShop is so much FUN!

  20. Fergiemoto says:

    Beautiful photos! Very cool and interesting photo effects, also!

  21. I think the two way conversation is the best part of blogging, getting to know our fellow bloggers. The Flings are icing on the cake to meet in person.
    How wonderful that the community planted that field of poppies. Love the beautification around the country.

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