Please Welcome – and contribute to-


By Susan
Readers, my site about sustainable gardening is live on the Web at last!  Take a look atHakgrass350 and send me your ideas, feedback, corrections (even typographical – especially typographical).  Here’s my About this Site. Use comments here or my email.


  • If you’re not already listed on my Sites and Blogs page, send me your URL and tell me where you’re located (even a little bit about you).  And naturally I’d appreciate your links back to the site so that Google will start to catch on and readers will find it.  (Are links becoming the currency of our era?  Hmm.)
  • I’m looking for relevant blog posts or comments on each subject to expand the conversation (there’s that Hillary word again).  I could take the time to surf all your blogs, but it’s not gonna happen, so please send them along.  If you’ve written about the topics I cover or any of the plants I’m writing about or just have some thoughts to add, let me know.  Here’s an example of what I’d like to see – only more great links from you guys.  (No surprise, it’s the page about lawns.) Let’s show off the great gardenwriting going on in the blogosphere.
  • Send your favorite links and books, too.

Tell me what you think.  As a reader of a gardening site would you (or would beginning gardeners) sign up for a monthly newsletter?  The experts insist on them, you know.  On the other hand, I could bring my individual gardening blog into the site and people can subscribe to its feed.  Or some combination of the two vehicles?  I’d love your ideas.

Yes, that’s my darkest fear.  I’ll try to monitor those Google ads but let me know if one gets by me.

While I’m asking for feedback, what are your thoughts about the use of by-lines on team blogs?  I’ve been dithering withDayliliesbeach350 them on and off (possibly to annoying effect) and thought I’d settled the problem of friends and family finding my articles when I created an archive on Takoma Gardener of "GardenRant articles".  But then a reporter called me to ask about garden coaching and said – I swear – "I was reading about coaching on a site called GardenRant. Do you know anything about that?"  Arrgh!! So I’m back to including my name on some posts, but I welcome your ideas about how to identify which Ranter is ranting. 


  1. Susan, being as how you have become one of my ‘hort-heros’ since discovering this blog and your other website (and now your sustainable gardening one too!), I’ll happily cheer you on, add this new site to my list of links on my blog, tell others about you in my newsletter, and generally say, “Yeah! What SHE said!” Congratulations on this new site. You will inspire many, many gardeners (and fellow writers) with your common sense and thoughtful approach to ‘this thing of ours’ called gardening. 🙂

    I especially like very much what you’ve posted saying what your site is NOT: “Finger-pointing or absolute dictates about what to do or not do. We’re talking about working with Nature here, and she never got the memo on absolutes, anyway.” More of us ‘gardening communicators’ need to remember that, whether we’re writing in our blogs or for paid publication.

  2. Re: bylines.I guess most people don’t read the fine print. I always know which ranter is ranting by the line on the bottom of the post. Maybe you could move that line to the top of the post, and make it bigger. But readers have gotten confused on my website, too, even though the byline is on the top and in a larger font.

    Good luck on your new venture. I think it’s better to have your blog and website together, but some people say it’s better to have them separate and linking to each other.

  3. Regarding bylines …

    Please use them. I think all of your pieces are written in first person, so it’s really odd to start reading without knowing who’s speaking.

  4. I agree with David.
    And Kathy: I agree with you, of course, when you say: “I always know which ranter is ranting by the line on the bottom of the post.” You CAN go to the bottom of the post, but who has time for that? And it takes one more mouse click, which I try to avoid at all costs (old fingers you know, “old” being a relative term).

  5. Love the new site, as you mean “sustainable” in both the new buzzword sense and the old-fashioned sense, ie even I can sustain garden with these lessons! I also appreciate your ability to speak to and not down to new gardeners. I’ve linked, and wanted to say thanks! I’ll be visiting again as I didn’t have enough time to fully explore today.

  6. maybe instead of a signature to identify yourself, you could have an icon or other identifier up at the “headline”? have unique fonts for each team member to indicate each “voice”? good luck with that, i’ve often felt confused by blogs that i assumed had a single author, only to learn that they are team efforts.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement and the good ideas, everybody. I’m adding links to more blogs, and researching feeds for the new site (after a commenter on Takoma Gardener requested it – actually, insisted on it!) Work in progress and all that. S

  8. I agree with the others on the “by line” subject. I always have to go to the bottom to see who is talking first before I read each piece. I like to know “who is talking” as I read. Having the by line at the top would be SO helpful. Please do it if it is not too much trouble.

  9. Pam J., I know what you mean about minimizing mouse clicks. Between gardening and typing, I have dealt with several repetitive stress problems, none of them carpal tunnel.

    But I just realized that I always know who’s writing before I get here, because I preview each post in my feed reader (Bloglines), which states the author at the top.

  10. Thanks Kathy. Now I’ll figure out how to use (set up?) bloglines. Or not. Depends on how much patience I have. For the record, I still like bylines. They’ve served a good purpose for hundreds of years and I don’t believe in change just for the sake of change. I see that Eliz has added a subtle, maybe too subtle?, byline of sorts. We’re getting there… now just take out the distracting background, move the name to the left, and presto! (upon re-reading this I realize I sound grumpy. It’s almost 100 degrees here in swampy Washington DC so forgive me my grumpiness)

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