Everybody's a Critic

Public gardens get blogging


Part two in our gardenblog roundup looks in on public gardens, some of whom are so media-savvy they’re actually blogging.  The Scott Arboretum’s blog is terrific, with input from many of its
garden staffers.  Called Garden Seeds, it includes the "About the Authors" information I’m such a stickler for – yes!  My only nit-pick is to suggest that they put categories in the sidebar, not hidden behind "Archives" in the
navigation bar.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, VA hired an actual blogger to promote the garden in its 25th anniversary year, and no surprise – she up and started a blog.  She reads other garden blogs andGinter quickly became part of the conversation – essential for a blog’s success.  But how about a little "About this Blog" page, with information about the author(s)?

Now this IS impressive – the New York Botanical Garden has leapt into not just blogging but social networking, covering all possible bases – Facebook, Flickr, and MySpace.  But it’s blogs we’re critiquing here, so kudos to their Plant Talk blog for having this vision of its purpose, from "About this Blog":

Plant Talk is the official Web log of The New York Botanical Garden. As
an online multimedia journal it presents Garden-related topics through
the voices of the people who work, volunteer, or study here. The blog
offers a behind-the-scenes, personalized perspective on stories not
found in other communications channels and aims to create an informal
dialogue with the public.

Isn’t that exactly what institutional (or corporate, for that matter) blogs SHOULD do.  NybgblogWith individual bylines and
photos for each post.  Though I managed to find a tiny error – the sidebar "blogroll" isn’t actually a blogroll but come to think of it, why not add one?  And make it regional – metro-NY blogs, and maybe links to community gardens, garden clubs, and more?  That would be a resource for readers AND reward/stimulate local bloggers to write about the NYBG.  Win/win and all that.

So, readers, what do YOU think of these trail-blazing blogs?  And do you know of any others?

Posted by on December 2, 2008 at 4:26 am, in the category Everybody's a Critic.
Comments are off for this post

9 responses to “Public gardens get blogging”

  1. shira says:

    Interesting, I’m a student at NYBG and had no idea that there was a blog, or facebook widget???!!!

  2. Jay says:

    I think NYBG’s blog is AWESOME!

  3. Nancy says:

    Thanks for bringing my attention to Plant Talk: Inside the New York Botanical Garden. Wow! You’re absolutely right, very impressive!

  4. Laura says:

    Hi there,

    Longtime lurker/Gardenrant fan here. I work in the public relations department of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which runs a blog written by a cross-section of museum employees. The IMA campus includes 152 acres of gardens and grounds cared for by a talented horticulture staff. Irvin Etienne, IMA Horticultural Display Coordinator, contributes to the IMA blog every other Friday. I think you’ll enjoy Irvin’s hilarious and irreverent posts. We sure do.


  5. Zoë says:

    the NYBG: Plant Talk Blog has been on Blotanical quite a while now, lots of great posts

  6. My favorite institutional garden blog comes from Kris at Blithewold: http://www.blithewold.org/blog/index.php

  7. Lisa says:

    I’m delighted to see botanical gardens get out there!

    The folks that work at public gardens are usually highly devoted and interesting people — so their blog posts would be interesting, too.

    My own blog isn’t an official ‘Garden’ blog, but certainly reflects my reflections of the work I do (as a garden educator) and my observations both in the Garden and at home.

  8. The seed company Botanical Interests is on Facebook and Flickr. They have a blog too, but they don’t update it very often.

  9. So glad Ellis mentioned Blithewold and Kris’s blog, http://www.blithewold.org/blog/index.php. She is blogging also at ‘A Trench Manicure’ on a more personal level.