The Manic has come for more than its share of praise recently.
Last November, distracted by surgery and by a family emergency, I entirely failed to mention (or even to notice, till someone pointed it out) that Horticulture Magazine had incuded the Manic in its list of 20 — well, most grateful recipients have called it Horticulture's “favorite” or “top” garden blogs, but interestingly, the title actually used is a far more even-handed, non-committal one: “Visit the not-so-secret gardens of on-line writers.” (Click here for pdf.) But you know what? Buried in the URL, one can find the words “topgardeningblogs.” So I’m chuffed.
Just yesterday I learned that the blogmeisters at Dobbies (a string of garden centers in the UK) have named the Manic Garden Blog of the Week. They e-mailed me a while ago to say I’d made their short-list of 37 favorite gardening blogs; did I mind being included? That was a tough one, since I had to suppress the confession that I’d willingly sell my soul for less. (I love it that they name 37; they seem not to feel constrained to reach a round number.)
Thank you both.
Speaking of round numbers, the one real embarrassment in Dobbies’ post is their enthusiasm for the 50 gardening tips on my site, a list for which I bear, as it happens, no responsibility whatsoever, beyond saying, “Sure,” when Eric of Planet Natural (who buys my gardening articles but doesn’t pay me for the blog, more’s the pity) asked if he could post them here. Well, I’ll let Eric know that they were much admired out Dobbie-way.
If reading an enthusiastic endorsement of this blog is more than you can face, you can check out Dobbie’s list of 37 Great Gardening Blogs, which actually includes a little bit about each, or the more expansive (and colorful) lists of Gardening Blogs We Love, or even More Gardening Blogs We Love.
What they'll call the next list, I don't know; the question can be filed with questions about what comes after "post-modern." But wait! They've already solved the problem, with a Gardening Blogs Roundup, posted months after the first two. Congratulations!
Both sites include some some fine and familiar names: Red Dirt Ramblings, May Dreams Gardens, Garden Rant, and Outside Clyde, for instance, from Horticulture; Carrots and Kids, Tiny Farm Blog, and Ryan's Garden from Dobbies' Gardening Blogs of the Week posts.
But others are new to me. You wouldn't think that a Montana gardener would have much in common with one in New York City, but when I see a blog titled Urban Organic Gardener (from Horticulture's list), I know there's common ground. I'll have to get over there soon.
The Galloping Gardener requires a visit on the strength of its name alone, while the Garden Visit Blog (both from Dobbies) deserves one despite its lack of a name; "Gardenvisit.com" it says, at the top of the site, and I'm just too stubborn and old-fashioned, I guess, to accept a domain name, complete with "dot com," as a real name. However, Ian Daniels of Dobbies says that this blog "concentrates on the design and architecture side of gardening, with great emphasis placed on environmental issues and sustainability." Now, that sounds interesting.
So there's a bonus here: Beyond the boost of being included in these lists of tops or favorites, lies the more substantial pleasure of exploring the other blogs one learns about through them. It's going to be a busy week.