The garden blog is dead.
So I’ve been told: not least by those nice people at Crocus who tell me that vlogging, or just video in general, is where it’s at now (and I must admit my year of making how-to videos for them, has given me and my shoot/editing husband a whole new sideline). Not to mention short-form social media like Twitter and Facebook.
Well: I kind of agree. The old days are over: when we would laugh out loud at the erudite rantings of Nigel Colborn over on Silvertreedaze before meandering over to see how James was doing at Blackpitts and dropping by Victoria’s back yard. And I would hope you’d also dig a fork into the crumbly rich soil at the Kitchen Garden blog I wrote for Crocus for many a year. All blogs which have had their day.
Other blogs have just become rather intermittent: this one, of course (I think I may have won the prize for intermittent-ness, if there is such a thing), and other favourites like Bifurcated Carrots, Otter Farm and the inimitable Arabella Sock.
Of course part of that is just life: both Victoria and James have simply moved house and taken up new blogs elsewhere: Victoria’s new place is at Awkward Hill while James is busy creating (and writing about) a new garden too.
And others are flying the flag nobly for the blogosphere: VP, The Patient Gardener, Naomi Schillinger at Out of my Shed and My Tiny Plot (among others), I salute you.
I don’t want to sound like I’m chiding anyone for not posting often enough: goodness, that would be a surfeit of pots, kettles and the black stuff coming from me. But I do feel that our little garden blogging community has sort of wandered off to do other things.
From my own point of view, I know it’s all about time. I have been writing a book this year, and it’s sucked up every last second of my time, thrown all my other deadlines out of synch and made ‘voluntary’ writing such as this blog all but impossible to justify when children, husbands and animals are clamouring for my slightly distracted attention too.
But if I’m honest, I was already finding it difficult to motivate myself before I even started the bookywook: mainly because when you write a blog post, you no longer get those feisty conversations striking up in the comments section as they’re all on Twitter now. Which is lovely, and I do enjoy Twitter, but there’s nothing to cement a community more than having a good ding-dong in the comments section of a blog post.
So you can feel like you’re writing into the void a little these days. And then there’s the all-pervasive influence of video, and photos (Instagram and Pinterest, stand up and be counted).
I’m not sure I have any conclusion here: just a reflection on the state of things and how a cosy world I loved being part of feels like it’s passed on. And how I’m a little sad about that.
Still, having just raised my head above the parapet after putting the last full stop on the book, my first feeling is that I’m really missing blogging. It’s a kind of writing I don’t get to do very often: the closest I get is with my cherished column for The Garden where I get to write pretty much whatever I want to write, which is a huge privilege and great pleasure.
So we’ll see. If I can summon the discipline, I may kick off by joining Helen in the hideously named NaBloPoMo (late, of course – well I don’t want to break the habits of a lifetime). And we’ve got the Garden Media Guild Awards coming up, in which the Best Blog award is still very much up for grabs and still hotly contested. I’m not entering this year – can’t really justify it at all – but I’m thinking maybe next year. It feels like the time to start blogging again. So perhaps reports of the death of the garden blog are greatly exaggerated. What do you think?