Our good friend Colleen Vanderlinden noticed that the Bloggie Awards didn’t come CLOSE to having a category for gardenblogs and decided to fill this gaping void with the creation of the Mouse and Trowel Awards. Excellent! Winners receive an attractive little badge to add to their sidebar and all manner of glory, so GardenRant readers, vote early and often but before the April 15 deadline.
Colleen was especially clever to have created so many categories, not just because it gives everyone more chances to win but because it highlights the often overlooked features of design, innovation, and even podcasts. I just have one question for Colleen: What constitutes an International Blog? Because if it’s a team blog with members in more than one country, you’d be surprised how fast we could find ourselves a Canadian.
Mouse & Trowel Awards also feature excellence in garden sites (remember them?) and offer categories like best informational, best forums, and best gardening magazine site. Maybe that will inspire some innovation on the part of our magazine friends to improve their sites because as a group, they’re sort of a wasted resource. (Although to be fair, if their sites are too good, readers might stop buying the printed version, so what’s a publisher to do?)
Now about those Bloggies. Notice they have categories for food,
sports, music and even crafts but nothing about nature, gardening or the environment. And get this: The Best American Blog is called Cute Overload. Seriously. (Could I make that up?) And the Best European Blog is My Boyfriend is a Twat.
So maybe the Bloggies aren’t for us, anyway.
Now one of the winning
blogs, in the Best Kept Secret category, is Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and it’s
outstanding. (And thanks to Kathy Purdy for writing to recommend it to me.) I agree that it has great writing and photography, but notice the missing disclaimer about no
animals being hurt in the making of the blog? For god’s sake, there’s castration, branding, and worse – altogether too much pioneer reality for this city slicker. Reminds me of a French gardenblog I used to read (mostly for the pictures) until one day it featured a photo spread of the butchering of a pig. Sacrebleu! I deleted that puppy from my sidebar and never looked back.
Next up, from everyone’s favorite cranky Clerk (AKA Hank), a Meme. Hey, isn’t this the very same guy who’s been known to describe memes as "ridiculous" and "rather idiotic"? Well, it turns out he has an open mind to them after all, so that’s a Good Thing.
Now I’m not much of a meme person myself but this one interests me because it hits home. (And who can resist this cool graphic?) All the answers ring true for me and my only original contribution isn’t even original to me, but here it is. When our local gardening Yahoo group raised the question "You know you’re a gardening addict when…," one respondent confessed to not being able to stop gardening after it gets too dark to see what she’s doing. No problem, though. She just periodically waves her arms at her motion-sensitive outdoor spotlight so it will stay on. She does wonder what her neighbors are thinking when they see her doing her nocturnal gardening dance. My own neighbors call me "the Constant Gardener," which seems harmless enough. At least I haven’t noticed them calling their children to come when they see me outdoors.