Blogs to fertilize your mind

[attach]5510[/attach]In the wide and often wacky worlds of Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere, it’s a jungle out there.

Trekking through the trivial tweets (you’ve had how many cups of coffee this morning?), navigating the convoluted network of like-minded Facebook friends and breaking through the babble-of-the-blogs in a time-consuming quest for horticultural enlightenment can be daunting.

So, let me humbly offer you my list of gardening bloggers, Facebook friends and Twitter tweeters that bring pleasure to my housebound winter days.

[attach]5511[/attach]Toronto Gardens
One of the best of the bunch of local gardening blogs, Toronto Gardens (torontogardens.blogspot.com) is written by the Battersby sisters, Helen and Sarah. Both are avid gardeners — and it shows. Whether they’re writing about city “hell-strips” or gardening zones, their advice and insights are firmly grounded in their own gardening experiences.

Cold Climate Gardening
Based in upstate New York, blogger Kathy Purdy knows a thing or two about the rigours of gardening where winter can so easily undo the labours of even the most dedicated gardener. A pioneer blogger (she’s been writing for nine years), Purdy has written about almost everything, from growing fall-flowering colchicums to late blight on potatoes and tomatoes, on her extensive blog (coldclimategardening.com).

TransAtlantic Gardener
Garden writer Graham Rice has a long commute. He divides his time between his gardens in Pennsylvania and Northamptonshire, England. When not transiting the Atlantic, he’s a Chelsea Flower Show judge and an active member of the Royal Horticultural Society, all of which gives him access to some of the best new plant introductions on both side of the ocean. His blogs (transatlanticplantsman.typepad.com/transatlantic_plantsman and mygarden.rhs.org.uk/blogs/new_plants) showcase new annuals, perennials and bulbs. You can also follow his tweets @Graham_Rice.

Greensparrow Gardens
Joseph Tychonievich is the self-proclaimed plant junkie behind Greensparrow Gardens (facebook.com/greensparrowgardens and www.greensparrowgardens.com). I met Joseph on a garden bloggers’ meet-up (oh, did I mention I’m “one of those”?) and immediately started following him — on Facebook and his blog, of course. (What were you thinking? I’m old enough to be his grandmother!) He’s adept at unraveling the complexities of horticulture to reveal the wonders of the plant world. Want to know why plants are variegated? Or the truth about soil-bound micro-organisms? Check out Tychonievich’s Science-y Answers.

Garden Rant
If you want to know what’s really riling gardeners read all about it at Garden Rant. Irreverent, controversial and more than a bit cheeky, the Garden Rant blog (gardenrant.com) is written by four spunky and opinionated gardening gals who are unafraid to tackle topics like greenwashing, garden gnomes, TV gardening makeover shows and, well, just about anything worth a rant. Also on Twitter @GardenRant.

[attach]5512[/attach]Urban Gardens
This is pure eye candy. I spend more time ogling the fabulous design ideas and products featured on The Urban Gardens blog (urbangardensweb.com) than I should — but why not? It’s fun, and besides, where else could you find instructions for making a vertical garden from plastic coffee cups?

There are more places to explore in the horticultural social media world, so I invite you to be intrepid seekers of the blogs, Facebook pages and tweeters that speak to you and your gardening interests.

Oh, and along the way, be sure to like me on facebook.com/Citygardening, follow me on Twitter @citygardening and subscribe to my blog feed, found at citygardeningonline.com.

Updating her Facebook pages, writing blog posts and tweeting about gardening, Lorraine Flanigan writes from her home in the South Eglinton neighbourhood of Toronto.