Why So Trivial?

Hummingbird

Do you ever feel that reading certain blogs is a compilation of triviality? I know sometimes, I feel that about my own blog. (I don’t mean this post to be about any blog I read or comment on, so don’t get paranoid readers!)

The main problem is there is not a lot new in “gardening”. For a beginning gardener there is a wealth of information, but for the experienced, not so much.

Plants are new, but a plant tag of a locally grown plant tells you all you need to know generally. GWGT takes you to gardens around the world where I try to write commentary of design interest with each garden I visit. But that is getting a bit tiresome from my perspective. Well designed gardens the world over are not always that much different in design since design principles are used in their creation. I like showing and explaining good garden/planting ideas though!

Hummingbird-5

While posting on gardening more, I have been posting less frequently in general, but do try to avoid the trivial (but not always) and pointless in my own posts and in the reading of others. I want to see something I don’t know, something of great beauty, or something of great interest.

How much of that can one possibly get from a home garden blogged about every week? I pretty much have shelved you seeing my own garden for this reason. There are years and years of 1000 posts to see already. I am also redesigning a portion of my garden again.

hummingbird

Some blog posts are becoming more and more like Facebook postings in triviality it seems. A picture here and there with little reading of substance. Great if that how one wants to blog, but myself, I find this a waste of time. I too have wasted readers time talking about the drought we have been having.

Even photography is taking a backseat in quality. I have to admit being lethargic on photography myself, especially when doing garden photography, even shots of large gardens. How many macro flowers does one need to see, especially at this time of year? I try to show gardens as a whole, not a flower at a time.

When I am Trivial

Since I just posted on raising a Monarch, I guess that borders on trivial as far as gardening goes since no advice or tips were included. And the post on my garden through the month talks a lot about the lack of rain here. A bit trivial to other places around the rest of the country, especially those which experienced flood conditions.

This month’s garden post just mentioned having lots of flowers and again, the lack of rain. So what besides the photos is of interest on posts?  Should they start a meaningful discussion? Or at least say more than a weather report?

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Photos, yes, those photos…

When did I lose my enthusiasm for garden photography?  I can’t really say. I love visiting gardens, I love talking design and doing design – and I love taking photos in general, though, not of my own garden any longer. I am sure there will be garden images to come, but likely not for a while.

hummingbird8-12-4

There are such important things happening out there in the world today, and too many people just bury their heads in the sand sometimes. There are too many pressing issues worth discussing and too many places to see worth seeing.

This is not a travel, landscape, photography, birding, or wildlife blog even though I post on these topics often, but I find them far more compelling a subject to discuss or photograph. My interests and passion for nature vary, so does the variety of postings.

See the World even if that World is Only a Few Miles Away

More on a visit to the UK up next. I bet I tell you something you did not know. I don’t want you bored like some old-fashioned slide-show people are forced to watch at a family reunion, so I add something I learned while abroad.

Hummingbird-on-Monarda

How is garden blogging for you? Tired of blogging or still pumped to put out post after post on your garden? With what is going on in this world, I feel a bit trivial talking about a garden. How about you? I’ll warn you next post I do that has nothing of interest, Trivial Time…

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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: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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39 Responses to Why So Trivial?

  1. Alesia says:

    I am not tired of your writing nor your photography. i do think things go through seasons ( no pun intended ). I imagine we are all looking for something new. It is human nature ( again no pun intended). Keep up the good work and write what you feel like. There is no reason not to…you only limit yourself if you do not broaden those horizons Donna.

    • Thank you my friend. I always broaden horizons though. Name another blog that covers such a variety of differing topics. It is how I can still be blogging and always have something to say. I just hate repeating myself by showing the garden and having nothing new to say about it. It seems almost mandatory to show the home garden since the time of Blotanical, and that really is the issue.

  2. Keith says:

    I feel the same way about most gardening books as well.

    One thing I do find interesting is to read old gardening books. Because there was less “science” involved the viewpoints, observations and skills can be more interesting. Some can even be down right frightful (an image in a late 1910’s of what is labeled ‘a modern lead arsenate sprayer). Talk about killing the pollinators.

    • I agree on the older gardening books. I have the old Victory Garden book and it still is interesting. You are right too how things have changed. This era as a whole is more aware of our environment. A movement of the 60’s with Rachel Carson was the beginning of the awarement. Although I was in college in the early eighties, we still studied the environment with the same concern where we are all interrelated like a web. It was a good time to learn architecture for how the building should work within its surroundings. We learned how to have a minimal effect by the use of materials in construction that had a minimal negative effect. Buildings had to work with the site, not jus sit on it.

      • Sorry, but I thought it was amusing that you think of the Victory Garden book as old. I remember watching the show avidly, and bought all the books. I have two ‘old to me’ books that I love. One is The Gardener’s Year, by Karel Capek printed in 1931. Sorry, I don’t know how to make the caret mark over the C. The other is Down The Garden Path by Beverley Nichols printed in 1932. Neither one is a typical garden book, nothing like the Victory Garden books, but have a lot of information and are interesting and fun to read.

        You mentioned designing/redesigning. I’d be interested to know how you go about that. How do you pick which colors to go together, which plants, how do you know what will grow well where without the experience of already growing things there? Do you fill a hole with water and then add the plant and fill in with dirt? That’s what I always did. Seemed to work well. One year I had a skiunk with whom I had a kind of pissing contest. Skunk digs up bulbs, I replant, skunk digs them up again, I replant again. I won, because the skunk finally gave up. Never damaged a single bulb, just dug them up. It was fun.
        Had a giant black and yellow garden spider one morning, just hanging there in its web. Biggest spider I ever saw, and beautiful. Gone the next day and I never saw it again. Some times I’d find little peepers in the early morning in springtime. Teeny tiny little frogs. I enjoy reading about things like that, just little experiences people have as they garden. The personal side of gardening, maybe.

        If it was me, I would write about what gives me joy, and to heck with how it compared to something else I’ve written, or how many comments it got, or whatever. I know comments matter, but I’m not sure that should be the motivation for what gets written. Not trying to say how you should do your blog, just expressing a point of view. Your blog is lovely and interesting, and I enjoy reading it. I’m not a big commenter, because I either can’t think of how to say what I want, or I wind up writing a book, like this one.

        • You are right. The Victory garden was what maybe 30 years ago? I look at it as old because there was a lot of vegetable garden plots, not really gardening for esthetics. But real Victory Gardens were from WWI where Americans were encouraged to produce their own food, planting vegetable gardens in backyards, city parks, church land, and playgrounds. By WWII, after the economic hardships of the Great Depression and food rationing, the government established programs for people planting again. I guess I associate Victory Gardens with that time period which to me is “old”.

          I do judge posts on how much discussion they generate. Not for my own satisfaction of success, but rather for getting a dialog started. It is far more gratifying getting people talking than it is just getting praise or a compliment.

          I like your ideas for posts. I have posts like that I did long ago, battling squirrels and rabbits, or finding a snake in my box of bulbs from Holland. Or how a red tailed hawk circled me like I was his dinner. Or when may cat killed my computer by spraying on it. Just a few…many very funny happenings.

          I used to illustrate my posts too. Here is the offending rabbit. the post is
          Happy Monday – Wabbit News Flash

          or the post called Roots ‘a Rotten.

          • Love the illustrations. That newspaper is hilarious. The posts you mentioned are the kind I like to read. I read blogs for the people, really. As I said, the other lives, the ways of doing things that I might not have thought of, the fun happenings. Will be happy to see you getting back to birds, too. I like those pictures a lot. I have a friend who posts pictures, no explanation of who, what, where, when. They are not nearly as interesting. I want to know all of those things. What am I looking at, and why did you take its picture? That kind of thing. Just saying. My blog is just a big mishmash of what’s on my mind that day, and only one person ever comments, but I think I really blog for myself. Dialog is great, but if that was the reason I blogged, I wouldn’t blog. I know people look at my blog, people from all over the planet, but no one says anything. Yes, it’s disappointing, but not enough to make me stop. I like getting my thoughts down. It helps me to cope with my life. Maybe you could tell us, if you haven’t already back there somewhere, how you got into garden design, where you started, things like that. I’d be interested.

            • I have in other posts mentioned how I started designing landscapes. As an architect designing buildings, the firm I worked for did not have a landscape architect on staff. I was the only one that had Master Gardening training and who did residential landscape design, so they asked if I would help design sites for the TV stations they were designing. I did two and after I left that firm for another, did landscape design on my own.

              Thank you. I am glad you liked Walter Wabbit. I have many posts that are humorous, but have not done any for years. Check out posts on gnomes for a laugh.

  3. aussiebirder says:

    There’s nothing boring about the beautiful pics you display on your blog, nor the interesting info Donna:-)

  4. A.M.B. says:

    I always find something valuable in your posts, whether it’s the commentary or the beautiful pictures that inspire me.

  5. bittster says:

    It’s only trivial if you let it be, feel free to go on and on as much as you want about yet another monarch caterpillar. If that’s what thrills you at the moment the emotion comes across, and sometimes that’s all a reader wants to hear. If we all waited around for the big meaningful conversations and topics it would be a silent internet indeed.
    My blog is nearly 100% my own garden, and just like the seasons repeat each year I feel like my topics tend to repeat each year. It doesn’t bother me. There are always going to be better gardens, finer photos, more brilliant writing, and if you think too long on that it’s awfully discouraging. I take pride in what I do and that’s enough…. and when I get bored I take a break 🙂

    • Well, when writing a post I never think it is trivial, but after comparing it in substance to other pieces I have written… not to what others write though. Of course there is always “brilliant” posts by others, some ideas I wish I thought of. I understand some garden bloggers never stray from their own garden and it is usually like a journal in that regards. Your garden is much larger so you have more to focus on, but mine being so small, little is different from year to year. I also post far more frequently. I have covered most all subjects I can from my own garden. It is why I visit a lot of gardens in order to post different ideas or highlight a type of design.

  6. swo8 says:

    I find a lot of valuable information on your site, Donna and the pictures are very inspiring.
    Leslie

  7. Emily Scott says:

    I don’t really think of your blog as a gardening one but as a nature one, which to me is not trivial. I look forward to finding out something I didn’t know about the UK in your next post. I often find tourists here have visited more parts than I have! For example, I’ve never been to Ireland.

    • I am so happy you said that. I always looked at gardens as part of a larger nature. All that lives in it or what it feeds and shelters. It is not about it being pretty, but being functional. Funny, you won’t find out something you don’t know since I visited places I am sure you have also, but I do have a funny story on Europeans. It is Americans that might see somewhere they might not have heard of before. I so want to visit Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. We only made it as far as Edinburgh, which was like a big party town with all the festivals and influx of tourists.

  8. rebecca says:

    I guess it all depends on a person’s motivation for blogging. I have no regrets about using my garden blog as a type of personal gardening photo-journal. Even if no one else is interested, it is interesting to ME to see the progress , challenges, changes, and events that have brought me pleasure throughout the year(s)…

  9. Are you writing for yourself or your reader? If you’re writing for yourself, get a diary. If you’re writing for your reader, try to figure out what they want. I have lots of beginning gardeners, so I never run out of topics. If I were writing for horticulturists, my posts would be very different. When writers get tired of writing about something, they can make a switch. Tired of writing features at a newspaper? Start covering the police beat. Or work in the news bureau at a university. If you have your own blog, you can allow your topics to evolve or start a brand new blog if you choose. It’s easy if you don’t depend on your blog for income. You have the freedom to do whatever you want.

    • You might know the answer to that question since I have said many times I write for my readers, not myself. I am pretty sure I have hit on what readers like to read here, but I also cater to different interests of readers. Not all readers like certain subjects I frequently address. I can tell by regulars that comment or links I see coming to the dashboard. Certain subjects pull in different readers. You are totally different than garden bloggers. You are a writer first. You interview experts in the field. I am not sure a writer can excel in switching it up like you mentioned though. I think a true writer would scoff at being demoted to the police beat. No point in starting a new blog. It is far too much work to get a good following like is built up here.

  10. I immediately had the feeling that some of your statements or questions could be written by myself. It’s definitely not that blogging or reading blogposts elsewhere meanwhile started to bother me but I, too, always want to learn new things, prefer to get unexpected and more-in-depth information and therefore hesitate to publish rather similar posts or those worded in general terms again and again.
    Of course, there are trivial posts! On my blog, on others. Either too short, or if longer in a careless style, inattentive and tiring. At that moment when I recognize that it means a waste of time I stop reading or I interrupt my writing of new stuff which does not comply with my own standards.
    On the other hand, repeating a particular topic or writing a more emotional post which reflects a certain situation (freak weather) both might be regarded as trivial by oneself but readers often feel differently. If we think there to be a lack of information or news or perceive the post as less meaningful, others just seem to cherish the description of the situation because such details support their abilty to empathize.
    I therefore also agree to what “bittster” said in a comment above (“If we all waited around for the big meaningful conversations and topics it would be a silent internet indeed.”)
    Looking at your blog, Donna, I always see a large variety. You’re not repeating on and on, you always create unique stories (nature, garden, regional characteristics etc.) and excellent photos, you generally include new material and – more important – a lot of fresh thoughts! Your own thoughts as well as food for thoughts. It’s much more than only telling well-known facts about gardening and I really enjoy reading your impressions on or after travels! So please combine again or choose just as you prefer! I never had a boring feeling when visiting your blog!
    As I recently quarrelled just a bit with myself regarding whether to take up particular topics or not, I meanwhile plan to publish sometimes at longer intervals but in detail and hopefully not trivial. ^^

    Thanks for your interesting post!
    Best wishes from Hamburg!
    Michèle

    • Thank you. I approach blogging similar to what you stated. I am not “married” to the blog and step away from it for the days between posts. It is not because I am bored or disinterested, but rather for health reasons. I visit all the blogs that post comments here, but rarely go visit garden blogs that are not engaged with this blog. That is a time consideration, nothing more. Your posts are never boring. You always have something interesting to say or something great to see. I know here, I sometimes tackle difficult subjects which generate much discussion. They are my favorite posts because while I state my opinion or thoughts, I learn from what others say in response. I am not sure I agree with Frank’s statement though. There are quite a few blogs out there with meaningful conversation, especially in this politically charged environment. The state of world affairs has become wonderful reading. Maybe not the actions causing some of the problems around the world, but the words people say in response. There are some brilliant bloggers out there and some may help solve some of our world problems. Ideas from some are quite enlightening. I read science, technical and medical articles too and some of the research going on is going to change things to come. Advancement is something people are good at.

  11. All right , get up off the ground and shake it off. Gardens are like any form of artistic expression. Their purpose is to create joy; they can be bare and simple, or they can be complex, but their purpose is joy and in this world that is a really rare thing, and a very needed commodity. The people who teach us how to find that joy are the special people in this world, we don’t have enough of those people. When you write, when you post gorgeous photos it matters.

    • Thank you. I do like spreading joy! Flowers bring joy to people yes, but my comment on posting on them goes a bit deeper. I think a flower macro that has an insect on it gives that flower a purpose. That is what I mean about not being trivial. There is something to say with that image. But a garden? Ten macro flowers is not a garden. One could have ten flowers in a vase which are individually photographed, and does it represent a garden? A garden should be seen in a much larger way. One needs to take in the scene, see the companion plants, see how the blooms relate to the garden. I love macro photography and have two great macro lenses. But I don’t use them to photograph a garden. Yes, I agree, people who teach us how to find joy are rather inspiring. You really do promote joy on your blog. You have found many inspirational videos.

  12. It’s sounds like you’re bored, so you assume your readers are as well. I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think we like even a small peek into someone else’s life, the one that we’re not having. I don’t have a garden where I live. I love seeing and reading about someone else’s. Not bored at all.

    • I try not to be bored because I know that comes through in the writing. That has been my fear on writing on my garden. After covering so many design principles and showing why I garden the way I do, I need to expand past that. But where to go from there? Peeking in another’s life is why I do so many travel posts. I like other cultures and I love writing about these places. Big gardens around the country and world are also places of interest. I have a post on Kew and the garden at Buckingham Palace to do, but could not get the enthusiasm to write it yet. I was expecting to enjoy visiting both more than I did.

  13. Hmm, we don’t have humming birds in Scotland so I enjoy seeing your photographs. I’m not a Master gardener but I have a library of books. Just like people are curious about other peoples homes; we like to see other gardens too. Specially after the summer we have had year! We all feel jaded sometime….. and some of us don’t mind the simple things that bring pleasure – like a flower or bird photo.

    • Thank you. When I visited Scotland, Wales and England, I did not see many birds. That surprised me since the UK likes its gardens and birds. I did see the Queen’s menagerie of water fowl though. I was surprised not to see many home gardens in London though. They did not have the space. The estate gardens were nice though. I actually loved the Scottish countryside. I was rather surprised how many open spaces there is in the UK. It was refreshing to see these open areas. I liked the small towns too.

      • Stepping into the garden at sunrise, the cacophony of bird song was overwhelming! Yesterday the cherry tree was filled with blue tits, coal tits, gold crests, while the wrens railed from the hedgerow. Initially I thought the garden bereft of birds, it just needed me to pay attention! Have a good day…

        • Do you know I did not even see one English robin? Can you imagine how depressing that is to a birder? I did hear tweeting, but it was sparrows and pigeons galore. I am encouraged by all of what you have in your garden. When I go to PA next month, I might see some resident wrens in my cousins’ garden.

  14. But I love your hummer pictures and appreciate your honesty.

  15. Jo Clutton says:

    No – it’s lovely, what you’re doing! Don’t stop! I’m not a gardener (I’m an artist and writer), but I do love gardens, particularly my own, and I do potter, weed, clip, mow, cut etc, and find it quite therapeutic. (My mother and her dad were gardeners – wish I’d had their green fingers!). What you’re doing isn’t trivial. There may be huge things going on globally, but your blog, and others like it, are essential to readers. Refreshing, interesting, an – ‘Ooh – didn’t know that!’ So, no – don’t stop. If you’re feeling a bit jaded, change tack. Come back when you’re rested. Hope this helps!

    Jo UK

    • Thank you so much. I do take a break every year for a month, but that usually takes me further away from garden blogging. I have a tendency to do more travel posts then since I often travel in October. This year I will be traveling again, but not abroad, so I am not sure if I will stop posting new material yet. Travel really inspires me to think on much deeper subjects like world affairs. I find other places are different than what I am accustomed and talking about that is both enlightening and it generates conversation on the blog. With garden posts, there is rarely conversation unless it is a somewhat “off the mark” post as is this one. I think garden bloggers tend to not comment on garden posts (besides just saying “pretty garden”) for a number of reasons. I’d rather not say though, although I have hit on some of these reasons in other comment-generating posts.

      When comments are few or short, it makes one think the post itself is lacking, i.e. trivial. As an artist myself, I find those posts just showing my art rarely get many comments, but if I talk about the field of art or discuss some facet of being an artist, then it brings out the opinions and thoughts. I have had many posts comparing forms of art and that really stirs the pot since those that do one particular genre of art have much to say on other types of art, like photography or computer generated composting for instance, which some feel is not “true art”. Charlie mentioned in his comment very strongly for gardens being a joyous art, and that does make me quite pleased as a landscape designer. It is art to design any form of architecture, even the site outdoors. But gardens should be more than just a pretty stage for a building. I do think gardeners realize this.

      Oddly, this post is generating discussion, and I was not sure it would have any comments. The views on this post are also soaring which is uncommon for a post such as this. I suppose I need to do a follow up post on some of the thoughts generated in the comments. They have brought out many possibilities.

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