2007 Garden Media Awards


by Susan
It must be media week here at the Rant because we’ve covered gardening magazines and next up are the latest winners of the Garden Writers Association Awards, announced at their annual conference in Oklahoma City. 

All the winners are listed here (Gold going to the top winners and Silver to the other finalists) but I’ve culled out the prizes for which on-line writers and bloggers were eligible, and those winners are:

  • Gold for Best Overall Project, Electronic:  The Brooklyn Botanic Garden website. 
  • Silver for Best Writing, Electronic:  Don Engebretson’s article "Is Gardening Dead?" on his site Renegade Gardener.
  • Silvers for Overall Product, Electronic Media, went to the HGTV.com’s "Landscape Visions", which appear to be videos of the now-defunct TV show "Landscape Solutions," and SafeLawns.org for their DVD "Making the Transition to an Organic Lawn."

Links.  Only three links are provided for the entire list of winners – to the home pages of BBG, the Renegade and a photographer.  Is it just me or wouldn’t it have made sense to provide the link to the actual Renegade Gardener article that won?  Because you know, he was judged only on that one article, which he submitted to them in print, as required, and which none of us can find because Don’s site has no permalinks to specific articles and no search function.  Now it’s on the record that I’m a huge fan of the Renegade but man, it’s frustrating that we can’t link to his wonderful rants.  I did once request a permalink to an article and got it, so you’d think GWA could have gotten one, too, if they’d asked, and we could all find out whether Don thinks gardening is dead or not.

And how about all the other links that are missing, links that would have helped their winners get more exposure – links to the websites of writers, publishers, TV and radio shows, individual books, even newspaper articles.  Hey, GWA, people have websites for good reasons; why not use ’em?

Something else missing from the GWA awards are separate categories for new media – because the category Electronic Media includes everything on line, in whatever form, plus DVDs and television.  No mention of blogs yet, though I suppose a blogger could have submitted one of their posts, but there’s no category for a whole blog or website that’s produced by one person – only by companies.

I spoke with Jennifer at the GWA headquarters in Virginia, who explained that individual artists (writers, designers, etc) nominate themselves, paying $45 if they’re members and $130 if they’re not; and overall product entrants are the companies themselves, who pay $100 or $190.  Information about the judging process is available here.

Discuss among yourselves.  For now I’ll just thank Colleen once again for creating the Mouse & Trowel Awards because it looks like it could take GWA another decade or so to catch up with the on-line gardening world.


  1. Susan, I think bloggers are just part of electronic media, too. I am on the task force working to get a better website in general. In general they are in the dark ages, but most of them don’t want to be, as witness the great attendance we had for the Garden Blog presentation, and also the podcasting one, at the most recent symposium. Are you going to rejoin and help educate them?

    And may I add to the list of missing items at Don’s site: RSS feed! I know you still have trouble with them–see, the GWA is not the only one who struggles with this new-fangled internet stuff. I will give you a private tutorial on how to use Bloglines or Google Reader, thought my Garden Blog Directory does have an introduction.

  2. The direct link to my winning article, “Is Gardening Dead?” is:


    Due to your nagging, starting last year I had my Master put a link (permalink?) to every new article that appears, and they are given at the bottom of each article. Glad I started doing it, thanks for the nagging.

    I decided not to have him go through the site and put a link on every article written since 1999 because of the cost. No, I can’t do it myself, that’s what checkbooks and marvelous computer geeks are for.

    Cut me some slack. I remember listening to the Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon” on the radio, and it was a brand new song.


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