‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media

How is it, that despite unprecedented availability and effortless access to a substantial information resource that is new (social) media, in particular (garden) blogs and Twitter, mainstream media are still so off the mark when assessing and/or addressing target audience interests?

This week saw the inconceivable return of Ground Force, in its newly fangled ‘Love Your Garden’ format, featuring Alan Titchmarch and Mr David ‘feed your plants Coca Cola’ Domoney. Unfortunately, this latest reincarnation of the much hackneyed make-over show, constitutes prime time, gardening programming. Granted, there is probably an audience for this show buried somewhere, but I’d hazard a guess, probably not amongst its prescribed target; gardeners. Unfortunately the only other televised gardening outlet, Gardeners’ World, is not without blemishes either, often criticised for not providing identifiable content for the true gardener. After all, the creation of an oceanic sized pond in midst drought, at the start of a hosepipe ban, is somewhat questionable.

In the current ‘social climate’ of increasingly decentralised communication, gardener bloggers (and tweeters), (voluntarily) share substantial (personal) details about their gardens, gardening plans, horticultural predilections etc., which translates to a treasure trove of unprecedented (audience) data. Yet evidently, its potential for market research has yet to be recognised. Truth be said, one would prefer to be known for writing good content and presenting photographs of interest, rather than the object of marketing research, but the lack of corresponding content between new and mainstream media does seem to suggest, blogs (and Twitter) are being overlooked.

Mind you, if the two media streams ever do begin to coincide, I will miss the scathingly amusing remarks of the super tweeting bloggers, Sarah Venn (@Saralimback) of #shoutyhalfhour and Arabella Sock (@ArabellaSock), whilst watching episodes of Gardeners’ World.

Niche mainstream

Some have argued that garden bloggers are not quite representative of the mainstream market. Some even conclude that bloggers are ‘cutting edge’1, which may have been valid a couple of years ago, though with the increased uptake of blogging and micro-blogging platforms (Twitter, Facebook), ‘new’ (social) media is steadily becoming mainstream. What was once a small niche is now engaged and viewed by many.

According to WordPress, over 347 million people view more than 2.5 billion pages each month. There are an estimated 450 million active blogs worldwide, which means an estimated 1 in 6, people write some kind of blog. Thousands of new blogs are launched every day, though similarly attrition rates are high as relatively few manage to keep blogs active.

An exact number of active garden (dedicated) blogs, is annoyingly difficult to find, but according to the 2010 Global Garden Report, the UK leads in terms of number of garden related posts published globally, reporting an estimated 361,964 blog posts. As the report is dated 2010, it would probably be fair to assume that the number of published garden (related) blog posts has increased substantially. Particularly taking into account, super industrious bloggers, such as Lousie Curley, author of Wellywoman, whom in June 2012 alone, wrote twelve extensive posts.

What it says on the tin

Blog design, archive, subject niche, content to pictorial ratio all affect readership statistics, which means that making comparisons is difficult. Actual readers (unique users) is personally of most interest, where blogs generate an average 1500 to substantial 15000 unique users, every month2.

Readership stats such as these are certainly capable of competing with hard copy magazines, where for example, the English Garden Magazine purports a readership of 116,0863. Obtaining actual readership figures from magazines is tricky too, especially if you wish to boil it down to actual readers (unique users). Magazine ‘readership’ stats are an amalgam of subscriptions, off the shelf sales, and the characteristic ‘multiplier effect’. The multiplier is an odd calculation where it is assumed that one magazine in the home or office, is read by an additional x number of people.

More importantly though, blog audiences are the direct result of its niche output, hence powerful tools to reach very specific target audiences. Little Green Fingers, for example, a blog focused on motivating children into gardening, written by the talented Dawn Isaac, is read not just by gardeners, parents but also teachers keen to get their students into gardening.

Dudley fox red labrador looking for greener pasturers

Bad Temperedness

In her astute book ‘The Bad Tempered Gardener’, Anne Wareham writes; ‘Garden blogs are very interesting because they are certainly the challenge that dreary garden magazines will have to begin to take note of’. Wareham’s view is subjective, but she is not alone. ‘Blogs present a good way of sharing information that editors are unwilling to publish as too technical/don’t understand/are scared to’, explained Noel Kingsbury.

Mainstream media, in particular television programs and garden magazines, tend to follow a long trusted, set agenda of seasonal events, resulting in predictable content. That is not to say that this content is not of interest, as I still enjoy watching Gardeners’ World, and subscribe to garden magazines. Though, admittedly, over the years, fewer magazines have been subscribed to, and Gardeners’ Word is rarely watched ‘live’. Instead, I read and subscribe to an increasing number of blogs, as they provide thought provoking, current (by the day), varied, detailed, and true best-practice content. In her insightful article entitled, ‘Bloggery’ on ThinkinGardens, Emma Bond, recently wrote ‘There is an expertise and lack of patronising that can be found in blogs and not in gardening programmes or publications far more suitable to the very experienced gardener, equally this applies to new gardeners looking for advice and help and there are many blogs that cater to these groups’.

Now at this stage you may be thinking this post is starting to sound a little like a Samantha Brick diatribe, where blogs are being overlooked because ‘we’re lovely’, but that’s not the intention. Nor is meant to advocate substituting blogs for conventional media. Blogs are very much as part of the same media portfolio available to the public. However, there are some great blogs out there (even beyond those written by the garden celebs), and it is frustrating that they don’t get enough credit for providing quality content, whereas a ‘ye oldie’, hard copy mag or television programme, is still bestowed gospel status.

Runt Media Litter

‘I suspect that TV celebrities come top’, writes Wareham. In the chapter entitled, ‘Status’, Wareham, colourfully describes her perceptions of the garden (media) hierarchy. Granted, the context is subjective, but Wareham’s depiction of the ‘starry firmament’ that is the garden media, holds truth. According to Wareham, TV celebrities are seated firmly at the top of the status tree, followed by the Chelsea (Star) garden designers, and the garden revered in the middle, with the bottom of the pile congested with omnipresent garden writers, photographers, and editors. Bloggers are distinctly absent in Wareham’s status tree, but one can only guess that as ‘digital’ writers we too, are probably hidden in the deep undergrowth of the status tree. Rather reminiscent of the pain in the neck bearing, diminutive Ronnie Corbett character in the infamous, ‘I know my place’ sketch, broadcast in 1966.

It’d be untrue to say that blogs have gone unnoticed across the board. Commercial interests through advertising is on the rise, but organisations such as the RHS and trade associations consider bloggers and tweeters, very much as part of the garden press, where inclusion to news and events, is now customary. The Garden Media Guild are working to include new media into the guild, where writers of blogs encouraged to take on membership, annual awards bestowed, and employment of blogger Michelle Chapman author of Veg Plotting, to manage their social media strategy.

Impetus output

Reasons for writing a blog are superbly varied, from the refreshingly amusing; ‘because I was bored’ to ‘sharing information’, ‘community’, ‘keeping a garden journal’, ‘intent to write but route to keen to getting published is difficult without track record in jounalism’, or for some even the fear of being left behind the times; ‘I feel I have to blog. I do enjoy it, but I know I have to, as if I don’t I will not build up my web presence. There is the fear that if I don’t, one day everything will change and I would be left high and dry’, explained Noel Kingsbury.

‘Writing the blog gives me clarity about many aspects of gardening as you put time aside to contemplate whys and wherefores of the wider industry as well as your own activities’, explained Naomi Schillinger, author of Out of my Shed. Whatever the reason for starting a blog, the common trait is once started, bloggers show an almost fanatical dedication to their craft. ‘Blogging is now a habit, I think if you do it for a year or more it becomes addictive. I use it to help sort out my thoughts, to record things in the garden/allotment I want to remember for the future, to get reactions from others to help me think about what I am doing and above all to share’, explained Helen Johnstone, author of The Patient Gardener.

Blogging is a time consuming business. Writing, taking (editing, posting) photographs, responding to comments, working on follow up articles and so forth takes substantial time, all the while, juggling normal life, jobs, families and above all gardening. Such zeal for the craft that is both gardening and blogging, is much evident in the output. ‘I blog because I enjoy it’, states the witty Charlotte Weychan, author (and photographer) of the Galloping Gardener.

Why read blogs?

As the talented gardener (Ulting Wick Garden), and avid garden media user, Philippa Burrough, explained, ‘Blogs are (usually short4) idiosyncratic pieces of garden writing from individuals, who have a common interest, and who are not usually trying to sell something or promote something as in standard magazine writing. For example, Sarah Raven promoting her (expensive but) lovely goodies, or English Garden who seem to be in bed with Raymond Blanc and Barnsley House at the moment’.

There is no doubt, that conventional media are unable to compete in terms of the sheer content real-estate freedom that online publishing provides, with bloggers being their own editors. ‘I can write about whatever I like. On your average newspaper people aren’t very interested in gardening, so it gives me an outlet for a personal passion’, writes Victoria Summerley, author Victoria’s Backyard, executive editor at The Independent and Saturday i-newspaper.

Consequently, blog post lengths, topics, posting frequency and styles, vary enormously, resulting in a wonderfully eclectic multitude of options for readers. Moreover, the straightforwardly user-friendly nature of blog platform technology, results in a steady (daily) supply of fresh coverage. Through the steady stream of new content, blogs are easily found via search engines web crawlers, which are constantly seeking and indexing new content – key to solid (search engine) rankings.

‘Somehow the all global phenomenon that is the internet has allowed me to take gardening back to a very personal ground root level via twitter and onto a blog. I can only benefit from it’, explained Burrough. There is no doubt that bloggers add colour to the media table, which with their inclusion will hopefully transform it into a space governed by ideas, debate and expression.

If only, the programme makers and commissioners of garden telly, would think so….

Footnotes

  1. Global Garden Report 2010
  2. Rough average based on blog statistics provided by 12 blogs
  3. Source The English Garden Circulation stats (2009 readership  survey)
  4. I realise that I don’t qualify
RHS Hampton Court Flower Show 2012: Taste of the unexpected Kitchen Garden Rethink: Summer Sowing

any comments?

Comments: 60

  1. Best blog I have read in ages ” I Know My Place ” Bloggers and the Garden Media, a must read http://t.co/Sg9oYJK5

  2. RT @Petra_HM: Think have answered comments on recent post Bloggers & Garden Media. Though, by all means answer them too if you wish! http://t.co/tiTV7jH9

  3. RT @TheFlowerFarmer: RT @Petra_HM: Think have answered comments on recent post Bloggers & Garden Media. http://t.co/SBi2eoib <- TOP blog post – VERY inneresting

  4. RT @Petra_HM: Think have answered comments on recent post Bloggers & Garden Media. http://t.co/SBi2eoib <- TOP blog post – VERY inneresting

  5. Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same subjects? Thanks for your time!

    • You might like to try thinkingardens – http://www.thinkingardens.co.uk.
      XXXX

    • Hi Lori,
      The links above, including Anne’s very good suggestion of ThinkinGardens are highly recommended. Otherwise, I refer you to my blogroll list which includes a selection of great blogs.

      • Hi Petra,

        Thanks for the shout out – I’d wondered what happened to the survey you sent out earlier in the year ;)

        Sorry for not spotting this earlier, but life has been rather hectic lately.

        Most of your commenters have already said most of what I’ve been thinking whilst reading this. However, there’s a couple of extra things I want to add.

        The position re advertising has changed this year with Google penalising bloggers who accept adverts with ‘do follow’ links. Thus the advertising on blogs market has virtually dried up overnight, unless a blogger accepts the risk that their blog might not be catalogued by Google for a while. The reality is most advertsisers aren’t interested in ‘blogger power’ at all as consumers (or raising brand awareness), but what their blog can do for them in terms of SEO.

        What will happen now? I believe we’ll see more offers of affiliate links (not worth it unless your blog has mega traffic), more offers of free stuff and companies wanting ‘blogger ambassadors’ just like the mummy bloggers have done already or the Proven Winners model over in the States. Probably not as lucrative to most bloggers as advertising has been in the past.

        As for who represents the market in terms of conventional media, it’s been most humbling for me to stand on Corsham High Street for 2 years in a row for 6 hours taking gardening questions from the public. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to answer them, but I could. There is a real thirst for basic knowledge out there and that part of the ‘market’ is always self replenishing as there’ll always be beginners coming onto the scene.

        No matter what we think of the output in terms of its quality and relevance, we’re not the audience these programmes/magazines are aimed at. By comparison we’re in the (significant) minority in terms of audience size and already seek our information from lots of other sources. Unfortunately that means most of the programmes we’d like to see will rarely get to the commissioning stage :( In other media it’s a different story e.g. Hortus, there’s lots of books interesting books to choose from.

        Sorry if this sounds like I’m having a bit of a downer on blogging, I’m not – it’s just that the positive things have already been said by your other commenters! Blogging is a wonderful thing for me – as both a reader and provider and I’ve had some amazing opportunities because of it. However, I always bear in mind that most of the (well-informed)people I know haven’t a clue what I’m talking about when I mention that I blog. That keeps my feet firmly on the ground – or in my place, as you would have it ;)

        PS Both you and Anne have replied to Lori – judging by the link it’s a spam comment

        • Hi Michelle,
          In terms of mainstream content, there is no doubt that specific media outlets have their specific audiences, where possibly programmes such as Love Your Garden are not targeted at the experienced gardener. Having said that yesterday’s programme, seemed to blur those lines, not just in terms of unattainable budgets, but design inspirations by intricate gardens such as Veddw. Granted, the market is self replenishing as you say with beginners entering the market, but what happens to them? Do they not advance their knowlegde? Furthermore, so called ‘basic’, ‘how to content’ is not always solely of interest to the beginner but also to the experienced gardener, whom may wish to polish their knowledge or correct errors. However, that shouldn’t limit television and other media, to enhance their output with more thought provoking content. A mix is required, but currently the balance is out of kilter. Finally, I can’t help but wonder as to the statistical foundations of programme makers/commissioners on which they base the presumption that output should be so basic, almost to the patronising degree? Reader surveys for example are conducted amongst current readers, not readers who don’t read the magazine, nor crucially those who no longer subscribe, which may actually provide a rather different picture. Viewer focus group provide similar skewed results, that do not represent the wider audience. All, I am saying here is that blogs are credible, accessible and crucially on point sources, that can provide an additional source of content input.

          Its surprising to hear you say that Google’s recent (Panda & Penguin) algorithm changes has negatively impact advertising on blogs, as this was not Google’s intention. On this subject Google specifically says ‘This algorithmic change does not affect sites who place ads above-the-fold to a normal degree, but affects sites that go much further to load the top of the page with ads to an excessive degree or that make it hard to find the actual original content on the page’. Note, the term excessive is crucial here, where advertising dominates content. Google understands that key to its financial success is to ensure that the search engines generate the most relevant search results to user queries. These algorithms are therefore in place to ensure this. Black hat techniques, like keyword stuffing and (buying) back links have hereby also been targeted. There may be a relatively few unintentional sites affected, but I largely welcome any changes to ensure that content is king. After all, how often do we hear fellow bloggers and readers complain when they are met with excessive advertising? This probably calls for further discussion in a different post though.

  6. Super article. Youre right to say that gardener bloggers and tweeters share so many wonderful stories about their gardens – blogs and twitter truly are wonderful treasure trove. However did we cope before social media existed?!

  7. Great piece by @Petra_HM on gardening media http://t.co/yCeH3TKx. Will mainstream gardening telly be up to the challenge? #onecanonlyhope

  8. Brilliant. Mainstream media seems to look down on blogs but I think there’s a lot more genuine writing in blogging i.e not swayed by commercial interest. I get the feeling from reading some Garden Writer’s blogs that they have missed the point – a significant part of blogging is interaction, conversation. It’s not one sided like trad publishing. Blogging has a freshness, excitement and honesty that I often find missing from mainstream media.

    • Good point. Blogs are very interactive, which often determines follow up posts and/or discussions. Mainstream often use focus groups, reader surveys etc., but those don’t allow for immediate feedback which is a shame. Blogs are readily available, and easily accessible where posts are current and on point as to current gardener experiences, with comments from fellow gardeners. Seems a rather useful resource to tap into!

  9. Excellent – &#8216;I Know My Place&#8217;: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/SbTY9BAb @Petra_HM

  10. “@Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/ABUsfc4P” yes!

  11. Great post, Petra. Thanks for the mention. There is a huge amount of great content out there on blogs. I spend as much time writing some of my posts as you would an article for the press and I’m not alone as your post shows.I’m not sure whether other elements of the media have caught up with this yet. As for Love Your Garden, well I thought it was incredibly disappointing but I don’t think it was aimed at gardeners, more at people who have a garden and buy plants from the DIY centre and have some bedding and containers etc and they like their space to look pretty but it doesn’t go beyond that. There’s nothing wrong with this at all but for those of us who are really into plants the programme was never going to satisfy or engage us. As for GW I do think they’re in a bit of a straightjacket regards change. Stray too far from the traditional teaching horticulture technique and they risk losing those viewers who like this style and content. Continue to say the same sorts of things and they risk losing those who know when and how to sow or how to plant such and such, because they want something different and more challenging. There is a place for a programme that does what GW does. Gardening is all about learning but I think it was a bit of a shame they didn’t stick with the Birmingham garden where they had lots of different space and stage sets, if you like. I liked the idea that they were looking at spaces more akin to what most gardeners actually have. Monty’s pond is the size of my back garden. But I hated the attempt to ‘Top Gear’ the programme with the ‘what’s hot and what’s not’. Last autumn there was an excellent series of programmes on BBC 4 by the head of Botany at Oxford’s Botanic Gardens. They were fascinating and I’d certainly like to see more of this type of programme but that will never be a prime time slot on Friday night, just not mainstream enough. I’d love to see more of a consumer element added to GW tackling topics such as poor quality seeds, the amount of plastic used in horticulture and low pay in horticulture. If the programme was made into an hour it might give them more time to devote to this sort of idea. Sorry this has turned into such an epic comment!

    • I’m with Wellywoman – there is a place for GW and I agree that Love Your Garden is for people who dont currently love their gardens. I also agree that the series of programmes on BBC2 including the one on plant names etc are more up my street and I would like more of that sort of thing to supplement GW.

    • Thank you for your great input! Much appreciated. Agree with you, Love Your Garden, is probably not aimed at the experienced gardener. It does somewhat grate though, that in the run up, the programme is presented as ‘gardening’, presented by Sir Horticulture, and the teams, David Dodd and co., are experienced and award winning Chelsea Flower Show contractors. With such a mix, I did initially think, it would have more ‘gardening’ content. Having said that, I do agree, that there is probably an audience for this kind of programming and there is indeed nothing wrong with that, but if it is to be labelled ‘gardening’ could we please see some….!!!???

  12. RT @charlesbchawes: “@Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/MrZUDsbW”. This is a flask of coffee jobbie.

  13. RT @charlesbchawes: “@Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/MrZUDsbW”. This is a flask of coffee jobbie.

  14. Excellent – this is a discussion we need. I think the next step though must be to articulate what it is that gardeners do want from the printed media and television. Have we any measure of agreement?

    Research is unlikely – but the point about social media is that we can discuss and clarify this ourselves – if indeed clarification is possible.

    Wonder – would this be treading on your toes to take it up on thinkingardens? Should we be taking it up everywhere, in fact? What do we want??

    • Delighted for this discussion to grow all over the social media circuit, so by all means! Would love to see suggestions as to what gardeners would like to see covered in magazines and/or on television. Happy to contribute/comment.

  15. &#8216;I Know My Place&#8217;: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/5EfofUNw

  16. “@Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/MrZUDsbW”. This is a flask of coffee jobbie.

  17. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  18. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  19. Interesting post.

    I personally blog because I like to talk to people about my garden, and blogging about it gives me (potentially) a whole extra selection of people to bore on the subject!

    I thought much the same thing about the latest Titchmarsh effort. Pretty tedious, and not gardening. Am unlikely to watch any more of them. I do enjoy Gardeners World, and in defence of the pond, I get the impression that Monty does things on the show because he wants to do them in his own garden and the BBC happens to be filming, rather than doing them to follow a prescribed program schedule. Not that I suspect he needs my defence, but just my two penneth…

    • Thank you for your comment! Your point about Monty’s point is very valid. It was his garden, and yes he did use water from a rainwater tank. The timing of it though was rather poor, and I think very few have a water tank of that size. I understand that programmes are made long in advance, but it would add so much value if there was more current content to coincide with the gardening calendar.

  20. A very interesting and thought provoking article: “I Know My Place: Bloggers and the Garden Media” by @Petra_HM
    http://t.co/GvsthCo6

  21. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  22. Seems to me (at least here in the US) that gardening is something best learned person to person … which is why I like blogs. That, and I have trouble finding time to read magazines these days (when they don’t bore me), and I don’t watch much TV.

    I canceled my subscription to Organic Gardening a while ago when I realized it was faster and easier to look whatever I needed to up online. :)

    Love your blog, by the way.

    • Thank you for your comment – much appreciated. Interesting to see that this is not just a UK phenomenon!

      • I don’t think that “regular” media on either side of the pond knows what to do with gardeners, and many of the “garden” media has yet to get into the 20th century … they don’t seem to understand the internet, assuming that they’re on it at all.

        When my favorite website puts a splash ad in front of what I want to read, or opens TWO popups on when I open it (true story), that tells me that they’re more interested in making money than providing information, which is what I’m there for.

        Which is another reason I think that garden blogs and independent websites are the wave of the future, as large conglomerates and corporate websites don’t seem to be able to move with the times, even on basic current marketing practice.

  23. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  24. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  25. I Know My Place&#8217;: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/tBkbLk88
    << Interesting

  26. RT @Petra_HM: So pleased with response & comments to blog post! Will respond post @NGSOpenGardens. Back to mowing, as its dry now! http://t.co/tiTV7jH9

  27. My comment is simple – brilliant!

    I gave up on gardening programmes and magazines a long time ago. We do have quite a library of books, some very old and inherited, some newer. We follow a lot of gardening blogs and they more than make up for the lack of gardening programmes and magazines :)

    • Thank you! There is such a great array of blogs, covering much gardening content that yes, they do provide a great alternative to traditional media. I understand that some still like the idea of having a hard copy to read, but think that too will change with new technology such as the ipad, Kindle’s etc..

  28. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  29. I recently read Anne Wareham’s book and reviewed it on my (poorly read) blog. I found it a refreshing read since she doesn’t hold much back. Your post is a great addition to the discussion about the changing way that people acquire information. I would like to point out one thing you didn’t mention. Reliability. The difficulty with blog information is the inability to determine information accuracy. Fact checking is a long dead thing of the past that was once part of the journalism lexicon. Today’s new journalists, bloggers, often fail to cite sources, provide both sides of issues, or recant previous statements that ultimately prove to be false. Internet literacy is woefully under discussed, explained or examined. So thank you for citing your sources and bringing this topic up for discussion.

    • Bring back footnotes! Couldn’t agree more, so crucial and also easy to cite one’s sources. As you say important to ensure reliability and crucially, credibility!

  30. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  31. Great blog covering a lot of issues. The ‘shouty half hour’ twitter stuff is interesting. I recently read that a very, very bad TV series in the US had taken off simply because it had become a tweet-hate phenomenon which people (haters) watched solely in order to join in the entertaining twitter conversation about how appalling it was. On the other hand you get stuff like the BBC Archers Messageboard which is invariably so incredibly negative about the programme and characters that no matter how ‘witty’ the comments are you are left both unable to enjoy either the messageboard or the programme itself having had your attention drawn to the multitude of failings.

    As a long time gardening messageboard reader I would say that one of the ongoing diatribes was “why doesn’t anyone take any notice of us when we have been saying what should be done Gardening on TV for years?” The answer may be the same as with bloggers – in TV audience terms for some reason gardeners are clearly not seen as an audience to be catered for OR one that is willing to put up with any old crap as long as it has a pretty flower or two in it.

    • Your comment really made me laugh. Stick a flower on it, and call it gardening! I wonder why gardeners are not an audience to be catered for. There must be millions of us? If that’s not enough, where economic power is needed, our tool shed alone should encourage taking this audience more seriously….

  32. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  33. What an enjoyable, and interesting, post to read. Mind you as an allotment blogger who has clocked up about 370 specific plot posts out of a total of nearly 650 over the past five years perhaps I’m slightly biased.
    I’d virtually given up on Gardener’s World long before I recently gave up the TV simply because it generally no longer held my interest. As for Mr Titchmarsh’s programmes…said with a shudder!
    Many of my blog friends , such as Veg Plotting and Wellywoman, are gardeners and along with others on various forums constantly provide comments, discussions, photos, posts, etc. which are interesting and informative.
    I garden, or rather plot, mostly for fun and have always enjoyed blogging about it.
    As for knowing my place(s)…I do and they’re very comfortable ones – lawn lounging in good weather, and sofa flying with a good gardening book along with tea and biscuits when it’s not!
    Flighty xx

    • Thank you Flighty, much appreciated. You are well ahead of the game with such an archive of posts, whereas I have only just started! Blogs provide such an array of information, and so easily found, either via search engine, blog archive/searches, or simply by following. The internet is a powerful tool, where I suspect most people start any search these days with Google. Blogs set up the way they are, are therefore very quickly found, where the diverse content more often than not, provides the answers on gardening one seeks. There is so much great content out there, written for (mainly) by people who love this subject passionately, which makes it all the more of interest and credible.

  34. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  35. Great post and not just because of the link to my blog! I agree with you entirely and despair at garden media in general. I suspect this comes to all gardeners because if you are keen you learn things and grow in knowledge and expertise and so the general magazines and programmes seem lightweight.

    I have cancelled all my garden magazine subscriptions and only have RHS and Hortus now as well as quarterly magazines from HPS and AGS. I find these more rewarding and interesting.

    I was surprised at your statistics about the Uk gardening blogs generating the most content in 2010 since when I started blogging I found myself reading USA Blogs as all the UK ones seemed to be about veg and not flowers.

    I also have reservations about the GMG’s approach to blogs. I know they have an annual award now and encourage membership but I really don’t think they have quite grasped the essence of blogs. In the last 2 years all those shortlisted were garden writers

    I was going to write something similar to this myself but hadn’t quite crystalised my thoughts so thank you for doing it for me.

    • You are exactly on point. We’d like to learn more, but the content provided on for example television programmes, simply doesn’t satisfy that demand. Understandably, media work to broaden their audience, and hence ensure, sales and ratings, but that does alienate audiences, and in this case quite a core audience. Interesting point about GMG’s blog approach, was not aware of that.

  36. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  37. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  38. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  39. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  40. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  41. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  42. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  43. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/g4gbaLFi

  44. RT @Petra_HM: New Post: ‘I Know My Place’: Bloggers and the Garden Media http://t.co/DCoqHuO0 <A lot to think about>