Media attention for Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Carol



How delightful of the Austin Statesman to publish an article about GBBD and Carol/May Dreams Gardens’ founding of it. I’d like to see the day when my hometown paper would deign to notice garden bloggers. Ha.

Of course it helps that writer Renee Studebaker is a garden blogger herself. GBBD, as many of you know, is a monthly post of what happens to be blooming in your garden. Some bloggers list every single flower. Some, like me, just hit the highlights. It was fun to read this; I had completely forgotten Carol’s original inspiration for GBBD, which was as follows:

Michel says she was inspired to start Bloom Day after she read this quote from North Carolina garden writer Elizabeth Lawrence: “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.”

Keep in mind that Carol didn’t pick a day in June or July to start this; it started in February, 2007, when the only flowers we Northeastern and Midwestern gardeners have are blooming behind closed doors. There is plenty of information NOT included in the Austin article, so I did my own brief interview with Carol.

How many bloggers—just ball-parking it—are posting on GBBD now? How much has it grown?

For the first bloom day on Feb. 15, 2007, we had 36 bloggers leave comments. Now it averages out to around 100. The peak months for joining in for bloom day appear to be late spring (April-May), when we had close to 125 bloggers join in each of those months this past year.

How long does it take you to visit all the posts, leave comments, and then add links on your blog? Do you visit every single GBBD post?

I do try to visit every single post, and depending on how many there are, it can take a few days. I didn’t manage it past November, but otherwise, if someone leaves a comment, and I can find their blog, I read it, and leave a comment, as long as I don’t have to register. I also see that several other bloggers are visiting a lot of the bloom day posts and leaving comments, too. Other than one moment of temporary insanity last summer, I don’t try to add links to all the bloom day posts to my own blog post, but last month I added a Mr. Linkey widget so people could add their links at the end of my post, and that seems to work well. I’ll do that again this month.

What’s the weirdest or most unexpected bloom you ever saw posted?

I enjoy the creativity people exhibit in their bloom day posts, especially when it’s winter and they really have no blooms.

What are the rewards of GBBD for you?

Having nearly two years of bloom day posts for my own garden, I really do have a much better record of what is blooming when. I’ve read some posts about flowers blooming in other gardens that I’ve decided I should have, too, and I’ve learned a lot about what it’s like to garden in other climates. I also feel rewarded personally that so many others thought bloom day was a good idea and joined in with such interesting posts.

Carol, you put a lot of time into your blog. Are you hoping to build into something that produces revenue, or is it just a fun thing?

My blog is a fun thing to do. I’ve always said that most of us gardeners work in our gardens alone most of the time and don’t know enough real gardeners to share with in real life. … Bloom day is like having dozens of your gardening friends stop by and check out what you have flowering in your garden.

My first GBBD post on GWI in 2/07 featured indoor hyacinths.

I’m proud to say that I bought into the GBBD idea right away; here’s my first Bloom Day post. And here’s the founding post.

Maybe some of you could link to your first GBBD post in comments? I would love to see the range, and I bet others would too. And if you haven’t been participating on GBBD, maybe this week (GBBD is Thursday) would be a good time to start.

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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


  1. One of the main reasons I started blogging was to participate in this brilliant idea of Carol’s. The timing of my first post, December 7, 2007, was to get a couple of posts under my belt before the big leap into the blogdom with a bloom day post. Here is the first one from Fairegarden:

    Garden Bloggers Bloom Day December 15, 2007.

    Carol’s efforts deserve a great round of applause for bringing the far flung gardeners of the world together on the fifteenth each month and beyond!


  2. I joined Bloom Day right away and I’ve participated every month since then, although once I was v. late.

    I’d only been gardening for about a year, and it was around the time when I decided to take up the lawn and garden the whole backyard. Plants were coming and going so fast in those days…

    Some of those early blooms remain in my garden, but many have gone. If the primroses are still there, they bloom now under a deep layer of spreading plectranthus.

    How amusing now to recall the young Hardenbergia vine in that first Bloom Day post. Those were its very first flowers just a couple feet away from the root crown. Today that vine has climbed 15 feet up my deck and blooms in such profusion I couldn’t possibly count all the flowers.

    Carol used to come by and say “thank you for participating” every month but I forbade her from doing that on my blog. I’m the one who should be should be thanking her!

  3. My first GBBD post,, was in September 2007. I started it with a silly fake disclaimer. I’ve missed 3 so far, both December and last February. If it wasn’t for GBBD, I wouldn’t have wandered around the garden last January and found the lone Lamium bloom. What fun this has been, finding things to post and seeing what everybody all over has blooming. This has to be the best idea in garden blogging. Brava, Carol!

  4. Looks like I joined in the fun on April 15th of 2008. Yes, I was late to the party, but have been partying with the crowd ever since. Love GBBD and Carol!

  5. For the first bloom day in February 2007 I was glad to be able to post photos of a few daffodils, the sweet yellow flowers of Carolina Jessamine and pansies blooming outside and a salmon geranium inside.

    Two years later the salmon geranium has stayed the same size, but the bouquet of bloggers joining Carol’s wonderful invention of GBBD has grown into a Flower Show.

    Thanks to Carol for being so inventive, to Renee for recognizing the two-year anniversary and to GardenRant for this post.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  6. I didn’t join in until the second GBBD: March 2007.

    I think I learned about GBBD from Annie in Austin who introduced me to Carol at May Dreams Gardens. I’ve tried to post faithfully ever since but I have missed a couple of months.

    I hope that everyone who joins in GBBD remembers a bit of netiquette. First, it’s nice to give Carol some link love for hosting GBBD by linking back to May Dreams Gardens in your post. Second, it’s rather poor form (IMHO) to write up your GBBD post days in advance just to be able to crow, “Mine’s up first!” The real fun is everyone comparing what’s blooming all over the world on the same day.

    Carol, GBBD is a brilliant idea and I’m glad you’re getting some press about it.

  7. I just wanted to add that mss@Zanthan Gardens is right – providing a link back to May Dreams Gardens is only good netiquette. I was a new blogger and hadn’t yet learned all that stuff when I first participated. I actually should go back and add the link now!

  8. I am an uncouth man or more likely pathologically self centered. I did not properly genuflect to Carol, the Mother Goddess of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. She knows I love her and think her eccentric brilliance is a great asset to the garden blogging community, heck the entire world really. I had no doubt praise for Carol would spring forth in ample abundance on this post like a multitude of blossoms in a garden in May.

    To show her our real appreciation we could take up a collection and buy the women a hoe. Better yet, if she feels she has enough hoes now, we could start a charity that gives away free hoes in her honor. How about Hoes for Kids or Wish Upon A Hoe? Maybe the Give a Hoe Foundation. Something like that.

    I love you Carol!

  9. I started blogging on the Houston Chronicle’s website on December 29, 2007. My first bloom day post was on April 16, 2008, just ten days after meeting Carol at the Garden Bloggers’ Spring Fling. I may be sporadic in my blogging but I don’t think I’ve missed a bloom day since! Carol deserves all these kudos and more for bringing garden bloggers from around the world together once a month: our gardens and our lives are much richer because of one Indianapolis gardener!

    Here’s the link to my first Bloom Day:

  10. I’ve certainly enjoyed all these comments today, but had to laugh out loud when I read about my “eccentric brilliance”. I don’t think I’ve ever received such a… compliment.

    I’m speechless re: your adulation, Christopher, speechless, but love your ideas… I should start a charity foundation… a hoe for every gardener!

  11. Yea to Renee and the Austin American-Statesman for the GBBD article. Austin loves garden blogs.

    I participated in the first Bloom Day post, although the link I provided goes to a black hole since I changed my URL a while back. Here’s my first GBBD post: I had a red rose, an iris, rosemary, and an amaryllis in bloom.

  12. Oh, I remember my first Bloom Day. I had nothing blooming! And I was so excited to get started, too 😉

    Carol is a genius. I look forward to Bloom Day every month, even when I don’t get around to posting.

  13. My first post was on May 15, 2008, just three days after I started my garden blog. I’m not sure how I found Carol and May Dreams Gardens, but I’m glad I did. I’ve learned a lot from her blog and the other bloggers commenting there, and I always enjoy the Bloom Day posts. I’ve missed November and December and may miss January unless that pesky Witch Hazel finally decides to bloom this year.

    Here’s my first post:

  14. Revisiting my first GBBD post, I notice that I was late in posting – a tradition I’ve carried on for almost two years now. (Can it really have been that long ago?)

    Also, no pictures in the post itself, just links to pictures. I was still concerned with making the blog pages load quickly in those days. I changed my mind partly due to pressure from all the other wonderful GBBD posts with lots of pictures.

    Congrats to Carol for getting “real” media attention 😉

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