A month or so ago I took part in a telephone interview with freelance writer & editor Eleanor O’Kane who was researching ex-pat blog writers in France. The result was this article in the December issue of Living France magazine.
I blog to promote our various businesses, to educate and inform the gardening world and as a place to show off my plant photographs. Mostly I do it to amuse myself. I have made some great contacts with amateur enthusiasts and professional growers, designers or artists as a result and on occasions I receive interesting or supportive comments; mostly I receive spam. It’s a funny business, this blogging: a bit like writing a diary and leaving it open for people to read. I’ve been doing it for many years now.
Completely new to me is Facebook, Twitter and the other ‘social media’, as I gather they are called. This blog is forwarded to our pages on a whole host of these sites but I have never really got to grips with them. I recently realised that I had two Facebook accounts, one with a silly photo and one slightly more sensible and that posts seemed to be going to one or the other, seemingly at random. I have therefore deleted one account to concentrate on the remaining one and set up an additional page for the Garden Design Academy. I have probably offended and alienated dozens of “friends” in the process.
Having created the Academy Facebook Page, I now need to work out what to do with it. I have never been shy about promoting the Academy in this blog, but it seems to me that the Facebook page should be much more focused and serious, concentrating on courses and distance learning in the horticultural and gardening industries, rather than the trivialities of my daily life. We’ll have to settle down and plan the thing but one thought is a discounted “course of the month” feature. People like something for nothing, as I have already observed in these pages.
If anyone knows about these things and is inclined to tell me about them, I am sure I will be grateful. In the meantime there is, as always, gardening to be done.
Hidden in a box somewhere is a copy of the Unwin’s guide to growing Sweet Peas and I am sure, had I managed to find it, it would have recommended winter sowing. The idea of this is to have well established plants ready for planting out as early as possible and is the technique used by all exhibition growers of sweet peas. Seeds have a tough outer casing and to assist germination I left them in a glass of warm water over night. The following day I sowed them in seed compost, three to a pot, and placed them in a heated propagator.
Last year we had great success with Ballerina Blue, a new variety from Thompson and Morgan, so this year we are trying their Flower of the Year: Sweet Pea ‘Prima Ballerina’ and White Supreme, destined for the wall of our White Border. Once germinated I shall be growing them on slowly to create stocky, well rooted plants for planting out in the spring.