the Regional Garden Gurus


Dongurupageby Susan
Remember our recent discussion of Web 2.0 in the garden, where commenters wondered if one megasite
could say everything about gardening?  I’m pretty sure the answer was no, although there are sites that claim to be "the only website you need for gardening information", which real gardeners know to be bull.  But I got to thinking:  maybe a bunch of websites combined could begin to do the job and if they linked up in one place, more people could find ’em.

The upshot to all this cogitating is the creation of Regional Garden Gurus.  By "guru" we simply mean writers, teachers and designers from across North America whose websites provide good gardening information for their region, using articles, podcasts, videos, and good regional links, or some combination thereof.

  – Don Engebretson the Renegade Gardener needs no introduction to GardenRant readers, since we
mention him regularly.  Great info, written in his hilarious, award-winning style.  Don lives and gardGinnydelawningens in the Minneapolis area, so specializes in USDA Zones 2-4.

  –  Lise Mahnke, landscape designer, Master Gardener and writer in Denver, started Dry Ideas just last year as a place to compile gardening info for the high plains of the Rocky Mountain region.

  – Ginny Stibolt, horticulturist and writer in Jacksonville, Florida, has written the book on Sustainable Gardening for Florida (to be released in ’09) but already has lots of great info on her site,Transplanted Gardener.  Podcasts of her radio show are there, too.

  –  And there’s yours truly in the Washington, D.C. area, where I write Sustainable-Gardening.  I grow plants that are hardy in ZoneLise3s 4-7.

Notice, there’s lots of regions unrepresented, some because websites aren’t ready for prime time, others because we don’t know any gurus there at all.  So please send us your guru recommendations – in a comment or an email to me. 

And if your region doesn’t have the kind of site we’re talking about, maybe there’s an enterprising gardening writer/educator (you?) who’ll create one soon.  The site wouldn’t have to duplicate all the basics (like mulching, composting, pests, principles of design), just focus on the particular requirements of your area. Think about it!


  1. Awesome! I hate it when reading some inspiring article only to find the author lives in CA , FL or worse England!- I’m in MA !! I need advice for cold long winters, 2 days of spring, then hot summers!!The closest I’ve found is Don ( love the tree circle essay!!).

  2. This has real promise and I look forward to its progress. I live alongside the Restigouche River in Northern New Brunswick and the strong winds and cool weather plus the hard rocky soil offer their own challenges.

  3. Genius! This is a needed service. I’m available for my area. How small are you breaking up things up? I’m a solid Sunset 18 in the Valley which is a different plant experience for zones in Orange county, San Diego and other coastal and desert areas in So Cal. Otherwise, I’m a USDA zone 10

  4. I nominate Layanee at Ledge and Gardens to be the New England region guru. She’s already my go-to mentor. I haven’t found anyone in the area with more wisdom who’s nicer about sharing it!

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