I’m a somewhat private individual. I say ‘somewhat’ because I’m not shy, that’s not how I’d describe myself. But I’m also not that person who is comfortable walking up to someone I’ve never met before and introducing myself. I’m a slow burn. Yes, that’s about right.
So when I moved to Portland from the UK it took me a while to get to know the people I saw everyday in the school yard, let alone the wider community.
I took the Master Gardener program, in a bid to learn the names of some of the new plants that I was seeing around me. And… to meet some other people into gardening. Just like you, I can talk ALL DAY about plants but not everyone wants to. Strange, but true. I did meet lots of great people who are Master Gardeners but I found the practical, hands-on volunteer work too much for me to commit to. So now I do all my volunteer hours online through Ask an Expert. I answer on average 10 questions a week. It’s a great way to learn about stuff you may never have learned before. Last week, I researched Lilac Bacterial Blight. Nasty stuff actually.
However, more recently I’ve made a bid to plug myself into the local gardening community and I’m really enjoying being part of it. Firstly, I started with Twitter. I joined in 2006! but the amount I use Twitter has ebbed and flowed since then. With renewed vigor I started having conversations with local gardeners on Twitter and found out all kinds of interesting stuff about my city. What gardeners were being visited, what nurseries were being frequented? What are the issues that local gardeners deal with? All fascinating because its relevant to me.
I’m already a member of a Facebook group called Garden Bloggers of Oregon. When I first arrived here I was a bit cheeky and emailed a lady called Laura who writes a lovely blog called Gravy Lessons. We met for coffee and she introduced me to all kinds of nice garden people online, like Danger Garden. Thankyou!
Since, then I have met (in person) some great gardeners who live near me who open their gardens for various summer garden tours and others (@bloomtown and @mulchmaid) who suggested I join, among others, The Hardy Plant Society which offers a whole schedule of garden tours plus a yearly gathering of the smaller local nurseries at their plant sale, Hortlandia. I joined, I shopped, I planted. It was ace.
I’m starting to feel like I have garden friends, and it feels nice. Some of them I’ve never met of course, but I’m sure I will, someday (maybe at the plant swap next week). And for a ‘somewhat’ private person like myself this slow pace of easing into a community is just perfect.
I’d be interested to know how you have ‘infiltrated’ your garden community?
Now time for a few photos. The top image is the view from my greenhouse right now. My 70s chairs in the background and Ceanothus – Celestial Blue in the foreground.
This is a shot of my current seedlings in the greenhouse.
Last year I planted a zig-zag pattern of Tulips in the kitchen garden.
A little post about how I’ve connected with my local gardening community. http://t.co/blM1Bph3Dj http://t.co/FZxBKNFzDW
I’ve found Instagram to be a great connector! Are you on there yet? I’m “diggingsuburbia”- love your blog! Best, Holly
I use Instagram but mainly for friends and family only. It’s like a nicer version of Facebook for me!
I love that I’ve met most of the people you mention and even been to some of their gardens :) I got the full Danger Garden experience when I came over to Portland. I was so busy looking at everything, that I didn’t spot I’d been spiked until someone spotted blood on my leg!
I had such a fantastic time in Portland last year and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone again in a few weeks time when we all go to Toronto.