You can find gardens near you or in the same zone in other countries (oh yeah, this is global). Near me somewhere in DC is "Anarchist Melon Patch’s Plot 1," with no more information than that, and I’m intrigued as hell. (Anarchist, do I know you?) Then I spy "Leafy Green Community Garden" which is very close to me and where I know actual gardeners! Though here again I want to know more, especially who wrote the garden’s profile, including the subtle ratting on garden members for using Miracle Gro despite the garden’s organic-only rules. (Good for you!) And I’m wondering if garden profiles on My Folia are the easy online presence we’ve been looking for to organize and publicize DC’s community gardens.
Find out who’s growing or propagating each plant and where. Read
progress journal entries. Learn the most popular varieties. Read or
contribute to a Wiki for each plant. See who wants each plant and who
has extras; easily arrange a swap. Plant geeks will think they’ve died and gone to that great garden in the sky.
MY OWN PLOT ON MY FOLIA
Reluctant social networker that I am, I dove in and created a page on this site because it seems like a cool way to keep garden records – much cooler and easier than using my tattered spiral notebook. If other "Folians" are interested in, say, ‘Tardiva’ hydrangea, they’ll see that I grow it and read the results (assuming I get around to listing all my plants.)
If you don’t want to sign up and create your own page you can still participate in almost everything here (except for the chat rooms), so it’s not one of those annoying gated website communities.
It’s got ’em – by location, by plant, by garden type, and even one for composting. Ever scheming, my first thought was that community gardeners everywhere can brainstorm about best practices.
ALTERNATIVE/COMPLEMENT TO BLOGS
The journals here are a quick and dirty alternative to full-scale blogging, and that’s a good thing. But what about us bloggers – do we need to duplicate everywhere here? (Because that is SO not going to happen.) No, it seems we can just link to our blogs and use the other features here. So if see a comment on GardenRant by Spidra, I can go to her page on My Folia to learn all about her gardens.
GLOBAL REACH/LOCAL INFO
Okay, I’m usually lobbying for regional and local gardening information, but this site seems to make that happen while bringing together gardeners from around the world – to date, 1,110 Folians in 30 countries. And it manages to avoid the deathly corporate look and feel of so many large websites. That’s because it’s the love child of a very real couple – Nic and Nath, web developers and gardeners in England.
Don’t take the tour – it frustrated me no end. Just start surfing. Other than that, the site functions remarkably well for all its complex functionality.
BACK TO THOSE MOUSE&TROWEL AWARDS
As for My Folia’s competitors for the award, I’m also impressed by Stuart Robinson’s Blotanical, which takes a very different approach but also is social networking for gardeners, more tied into the blogging community. Both sites are incredibly ambitious and I want them to succeed! You Grow Girl is unfamiliar to me. Readers, please weigh in.
And have you voted yet? You have until May 13.