Burning questions of the day


Susan and Michele in my garden Saturday.

One of our ideas for this semi-Garden Ranter get-together (me, Susan, and Michele meeting during Garden Walk in Buffalo) was that we would do a video blog and talk about some interesting topics. OK. What are interesting topics?

Well, this is what we came up with:

How has garden blogging affecting how we think about gardening and how we garden?

How is garden blogging different than then established garden writing, i.e., that which you see in newspapers and magazines?

What about the proliferation of food gardening?

What’s the significance of Garden Walk? What does it mean for over 300 gardeners to open their garden to the public, not to mention the over 15 local garden walks (in the Western New York suburbs, and so on) that Garden Walk has inspired?

Well it did start raining during the taping, so we didn’t get that far in our discussion, but we do have a nice little video, which, when edited, we’ll post here.

What do you think we ought to have discussed?

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. Other than Susan’s competition with the Gabor sisters, I think plant species diversity in our gardens as a hedge against global warming and how that intersects with the native/exotic debate and how global free trade is creating a unitary global environment by the rapid movement of plant and animal species would be a simple topic for discussion.

  2. Rumor has it I missed Susan by 15 minutes! 15 lousy, stinking minutes!

    My topic pick would be the downsides of Garden Walk’s phenomenal success. How do the people behind the event deal with the problems that come from so much growth in a relatively short period of time? Is GW changing or evolving, and is that ok? Are people coming out of the woodwork with their own agendas now that GW has established itself?

    I know this sounds kind of cynical and negative but I’m curious. We could even call the movie “Will Success Spoil Rock Garden?”

  3. Yes, what about the proliferation of food gardening? In difficult economic times, growing food is going to be what brings a lot of folks to the gardening world.

    Many of us grow both edibles and ornamentals, as well as medicinals. But there tends to be a blogging dichotomy between “flower people” and “food people”. I see a lot of younger people, into the organic and locavore movements, growing food, but not hooking up with the traditional “hort club” crowd. Or perhaps, I am seeing young food growers *blogging* more, and older gardeners are less visible here. Forum sites like GardenWeb see more older gardeners sharing experience.

  4. PS that could be applied to gardening in general. Is it changing as it becomes more popular? How is marketing/media different? Have you seen these kinds of cycles before?

  5. I would stick to the written blog format. Too much of the world is diminished by video.

    I enjoy pulling weeds not spraying them and I enjoy reading gardening not watching it.

    The (typsetter) TROLL

  6. Well, we did talk about pretty much what I listed in the post. The video needs to be edited so I hope will be up by Sunday.

  7. @ John –

    Garden Walk Buffalo seems to be dealing fine with its success. It hasn’t been over night. The growth, in a short period of time you speak of, has happened over 14 years. Not really a short time at all. Its grown gradually each year.

    Are there downsides of the success of the tour that we’re not aware of?

  8. What I have wondered is where do you get the energy to do such a thorough job of everything you do?

    It seems that you write, garden, network, have fun, organize other people to do great stuff, etc.

    When you bottle that energy I’d like to buy some!

  9. Thanks Martha! All I can say is that gardening and gardening blogging has made more of an impact/change/whatever in my life than I ever would have thought possible. It’s the new thing I totally needed.

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