Sunday, March 4, 2007

Gardening Blog Directory Map - flashy!

Who is the dark haired man staring up at me seriously? Some kind of gardening nut like me? An entrepeneur venturing into the blogosphere? Both? When I read about this new gardening directory on Cold Climate Gardening, I had to check it out, and it fulfills its promise by being easy to use, pleasant to look at and informative.

Graciously, he agreed to help us all learn a little more about him.

Interview with Stuart Robinson
(my interjections in purple)

Ottawa Gardner: What draws you to gardening?

Stuart: Plants. I honestly can't get enough of them. Even when I'm driving somewhere I often catch myself half gazing out the window trying to identify plants in other people's gardens or native plants that grow on the side of the road. (I always say that a gardening obsession makes you a worse driver)

I'm intrigued by flowers, leaves, and the diverse mix of plant textures, colours and shapes that we have available to use in our gardens.

I see gardening much like sculpting. It's an art form that takes a lifetime to master but mere moments to enjoy.

Ottawa Gardener: When did you start blogging and why?

Stuart: I started blogging in October 2005. Some friends were already producing their own blogs but they were predominantly personal blogs full of anecdotes or daily activities which didn't really interest me. However, I saw blogging as a way that I could record what I was doing in my own garden as well as pass on some information to others who were just starting out in this awesome hobby.

I'm as big a computer freak as I am a gardening freak and so the two have really gelled. (No kidding. The gardening directory map is an impressive piece of code.)

Ottawa Gardener: Where do you see this blog directory heading?

Stuart: The blog directory came about because I was becoming increasingly frustrated trying to put blogs into the context of their location. They would be showing pictures of plants that I had never seen or talking about soil conditions and pests that I have little understanding. I tried to create a blogroll on my blog that helped identify their location but soon realised that a one dimensional list still wasn't going to do it for me. So in reality, I built the blog directory for my own benefit but it seemed like many others would also find it beneficial so I made it public.

Where do I see it heading?

Great question. I can't reveal all, but I can say that I'm keen for it to become a garden bloggers one-stop-location for all their blogging needs. The gardening blogosphere is growing so fast and it's quite unique compared to other specific blogging topics. Due to its growth, I know for myself that I struggle to keep on top of what's happening and where it's happening. Therefore, I want to make the directory a community where bloggers can participate and share ideas and meet other bloggers - and I'm not talking about adding a forum (which may or may not happen in the future as well). Stay tuned. (the intrigue... I wonder what my blogging needs are)

Ottawa Gardener: If you had to choose, would it be:

a. Hardscaping or Allotment

Stuart: Tough choice. I love hardscaping because I enjoy turning a piece of dirt into an awesome garden that has many facets. However, I also endear the allotment concept. While I'm privileged to have my own garden I think I really would enjoy being a part of a communal garden and enjoy the social aspect of allotmenteering. I truly respect gardeners who can enjoy their hobby from an allotment and produce amazing plants.

Ottawa Gardener:

b. Hybrid hosta or heritage tomato

Stuart: Definitely heritage tomato. I'm a big fan of keeping seeds and continuing to grow produce and plants that originated from natural seeds rather than those that are modified by scientists. I think we should honour those who make it their practice to retain heritage seeds and help keep them in cultivation. Having said that, I do appreciate hybrids and the different plant varieties we can enjoy because of this diversification.

Ottawa Gardener:

c. Gear head or radical recycler

Stuart: Radical Recyler. The more aware we are of the environment and how our gardening practices affect it the better we will become at sustaining our world. I often mock both sides of the argument because I detest fear-mongering and the obverse head-in-the-sand approaches, but I would certainly lean more toward conservation and finding effective ways to live without damaging the environment that we often take for granted.

Ottawa Gardener: What is your best and worst plant moment?

Stuart: My best plant moments are always when I'm successful propagating a cutting. Honestly, I act like a little child who's been given a new toy when I discover that my cuttings are now growing and I now have some new stock to play with.

My worst plant moment happened just recently when I painfully had to admit that my magnolia soulangeana (my favourite tree -ever) had died. I personally felt like I had failed it and repeatedly asked myself the "What if?" questions.

Want to know more?

Check out his gardening tips 'n' ideas site and the Gardening Blog Directory of course.

As for all you Canadian Bloggers out there... Hey where are you? Calling all Canadian bloggers? I can't be the only one in Ottawa; and I certainly can't be the best one. Come on, sign on. It'll be fun! Well, I can't guarantee that but it's been fun so far and wouldn't you like to see your little dot on the big map?

Thanks again to Stuart for taking the time to answer these questions and let us know a little bit about himself and his project.


Stu said...

Cheers Telsing for the privilege of being interviewed. I enjoyed your little interjections too.

Gardening and driving don't mix!!

Kerri said...

I popped over from Stuart's blog and enjoyed this interview. Thanks! I couldn't agree more with Stuart about detesting fear-mongering, while realizing the importance of finding effective ways to protect our environment.
His blog directory is a wonderful achievement!

Anonymous said...

The directory is a great resource. Fun interview too - sorry to hear about your magnolia!