Pinterest tells us what you like


Hey, bloggers among you, have you ever checked to see which of the photos you’ve published are pinned to readers’ Pinterest boards?  It’s kinda fun, and here’s how.  For this blog I went to:   You get the idea.


Pinterest only displays the most recent but I’ve been checking for a few months now and in all of Pindom there’s one Rant photo that’s apparently more beloved than any other, and it’s by another blogger of her very own garden – Pam Penick at Digging.  It was a year ago that her guest post with the photo above was posted but there it is, month after month living seemingly forever on Pinterest.

I was glad to see that Evelyn’s book covers are very popular.  Also popular  is a Saxon Holt photo of succulents, and Elizabeth’s rose photos from her very own garden are huge this time of year.


pin11Above, three more photos I’ve seen lots of – Jim Charlier’s Buffalo garden in the center, and progress shots from my former and current garden.

Sometimes it’s fun to discover what boards your photos have been pinned to, and the comments can be a treasure trove of ego-stroking – or not so much.  Someone pinned this photo of myself as a 20-year-old backpacker and the Pinterest board it now lives on is called “Barefoot Hippies.”  I can’t find it now but I swear to you that most of the photos there were bare-everything, not just feet.

rant 5

Another photo pinned is of a huge Chagall mural at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden and I love this comment by the pinner:   “Cool mural in city garden.” Try this at home, city gardeners! 

Browsing Pinterest always leads me to my complaints about it, though.  Like when a pin is linked to just the photo,  instead of to the article it illustrates.

The much bigger complaint about Pinterest is aimed at the unknowable quantity of photos that were pinned but not linked back to the source, which is always the case when the link is to Google  Images or Flickr, both common practices.  I’m just a blogger with a camera, not someone trying to make a living as a photographer, so Pinterest bugs me especially for them.

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Susan Harris

Susan’s a garden writer, teacher and activist in the Washington, D.C. area. Co-founder of GardenRant, she also wrote for national gardening magazines and independent garden centers before retiring in 2014. Now she has time for these projects:

  • Founding and now managing the pro-science educational nonprofit GOOD GARDENING VIDEOS that finds and promotes the best videos on YouTube for teaching people to garden.
  • Creating and managing DC GARDENS, the nonprofit campaign to promote the public gardens of the Washington, D.C. area, and gardening by locals.
  • Creating and editing the community website GREENBELT ONLINE to serve her adopted hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland (a “New Deal Utopia” founded in 1937).

Contact Susan via email or by leaving a comment here.

Photo by Stephen Brown.


  1. I’m kind of astonished that my picture of my former front garden is that popular. I mean, I loved it. But it was my playground, not a showpiece. Here’s hoping it inspires others to give up the lawn and play around in their gardens too.

  2. I have a few photos that are popular on Pinterest. I have mixed feelings about it too. On one hand, I’m not making money on my blog, so I’m not loosing anything, but on another hand, it’s my photos becoming content on someone else’s website, on the other hand, they are supposedly inspiration for other gardeners and appreciators of the photo or garden project, on another hand, nearly all link back to my blog – and my stats tell me the majority of my daily blog traffic now comes from Pinterest. (

  3. It looks like Pinterest have changed the way this kind of enquiry works as there’s now a pop-up inviting you to login or sign up for an account, whereas previously I’ve been able to go directly to see who’s been pinning my stuff.

    Like you I have mixed feelings about Pinterest – I don’t make money from my photos, but there’s always the risk that someone else might via Pinterest.

  4. Discovered, by accident, on Facebook, a garden photo of mine was on the cover of a national magazine, This Old House.

    With more digging I also discovered the same photo was the most Pinned pic another national magazine, Southern Living, had on their boards.

    Currently, another magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, has another garden of mine as their, buy-the-plans-to-this, conservatory I built.

    None of the above have my name anywhere. Doesn’t matter. I continue to produce work magazines need. And, that clients hire me to create.

    Have only recently begun using Pinterest, and adore it personally, and professionally with clients. Oddly, equally important for local & out-of-state clients.

    Sadly, I forecast Pinterest will become as irrelevant as Facebook for ‘professional’ consideration. Excepting what I described at the top of this missive.

    Can you guess what keeps churning new work in my direction? Old faithful, the blog. Worry about zero credit for incredible work? Not in the least. Dust under my feet, my passion is lecturing, writing,designing gardens & houses, I would whither in my soul if I could not do this.

    I focus on the money streams I do create, not what others may take in my wake. Poor pitiful them.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  5. Yeah, as VP pointed out, I’d be interested to see what’s pinned, but I don’t want a Pinterest acount and I’m not about to let them have my entire Facebook friends list as they require if you come through Facebook. Tara is right except that Pinterest is making themselves disappear; by being too nosy.

    • You can make a Pinterest account that is not connected to Facebook at all. I have a personal one and one that is attached to my blog. There is some overlap, but not much.

  6. Oooh, that “/source/websitename” trick is a good one. Thank you, Jim!

    And, I always put a watermark on my images with my name or website name on it, so let them copy away, mess up the links, remove attribution … my name is still on the photo.

  7. Thanks for that trick! Good to know.

    Sarah, use a photo editing program to watermark your photos or there are lots of easy apps for your Ipad. I have one call IWatermark (so clever) that I use on my Ipad. You can get Gimp or PicMonkey for free photo editing.

    Watermark away!

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