Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Online Garden Clubs

We have a feature article "Enjoy Your Garden" posted now at Growing Pleasures A Garden Club web site. They also put a nice link back to us. Growing Pleasures is an online garden club with membership fee. A bit unusual in that they charge for access, but I wish them much luck! They are fairly new as is the concept so I'm eager to see it be a success and something others (like our publication) might be able to piggy-back on.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Post-ed



I placed a (very) small ad in the Washington Post Book World this Sunday. It will run for the next 5 weeks up to the day before Christmas. Let me know if you notice it and what you think. I'll need 15 new subscribers from it to make back my investment -- obviously hoping for many more! I seem to be where I'm doing better marketing the magazine in places that attract readers over places that gardeners per se. Will see how this one goes versus the ads I placed last December in the Home (and garden) section of that paper.

Monday, November 20, 2006

#1 on my Christmas List

Leave it up to my peeps in Germany to come up with the ultimate toy for gardeners.

One nursery professional pub, The Weekly Dirt, reports: "The Garden Center features plants, garden accessories and potted flowers that can be watered. The product line also includes a greenhouse, plant beds with shed, gardener with tractor, a flower shop and flower delivery van."

I think the best part about playing garden center has to be that the pots contain "growing and wilting flowers" - somebody knows their stuff! From the linked TV spot it appears you can grow seeds - or at least pretend to - which is just as fun.

Clearly this was made for adults and not kids. This certainly is for the OCD among us who want to not only control our own gardens at the micro level, but dream about controlling our local garden centers as well! What this needs to come with are Excel spreadsheets and wholesale ordering catalogs so we can design our custom inventory mix. Mine will be heavy on purple and black plants this year. What about yours?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Buy Local Day

Yesterday was Buy Local Day. As a local gardening magazine, I'm thinking this is a great new annual tradition. It will at least bring attention and some education to that aspect of our global lives. Washington Gardener magazine uses a local printer, local writers and photographers, local office supply sources, etc. The only thing I haven't been able to find locally is a good garden cartoonist. Anyone know one in the DC area?

Putting a "local business" sign at our booth during the recent GreenFest was a great idea that had a good reaction from all attendees and one we'll continue to do. Trying to brainstorm now how else to convey our local-ness. I think it is obvious -- inherent in our publication name and mission -- but many, many people come up to me and ask if we are independent or a local-company. This is usually asked in a tone with a bit of edge or attitude to it. Then they follow up with the same questions -- where are you from? what is your gardening background? your journalism background? It is really pretty tiresome to continually repeat these same answers - though once I'm through the questioners seem fully satisfied.

I'm not sure where these questions come from, except maybe they've been duped before - if so, then by whom? Do they think I'm a front for Home Depot? Or shilling for some big garden catalog like Burpees? Or just pretending to be from here? Next time I'm asked, I'll start grilling them back and investigate more on this misguided perception and its origin.

Friday, November 17, 2006

In The Zone

Our latest Washington Examiner article is now out. All about planting zones. I was only able to scratch the surface of that vast subject with this piece. You could easily fill a book about all the little micro-climates and zonal differences we have in our region. Just walking from one block to another in my neighborhood I can see vast differences. One block north, but facing south, a house always has February Gold daffodils blooming at least a week prior to mine. But then I go a few blocks south and the homes bordering Rock Creek Park seem to get frost earlier and more often than I do in a street-side property.

Read it online (Nov 17 edition - page 64) or grab the print version at street boxes around town today - the article is on R8 (Real Estate section - page 8).

The same piece is also in the Baltimore Examiner, which is posted here (see Nov 17 edition - page 106). You can of course get the print version in Balitmore and its surrounding counties also. The article is on R38 (Real Estate section - page 38).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Let It Rain

The newest Washington Gardener Enewsletter issue is now out and posted now to our archives. It is free and please pass the link along to your gardening friends. Note that the Enews is provided courtesy of Washington Gardener magazine and cannot continue without your magazine support via subscriptions and advertising.

This issue features rain barrels, a new plant intro from Heronswood (aka Burpee), local area garden events for the next 4 weeks, a November to-do tasks, a link to a new searchable map of area garden centers, and lists of "What's Blooming" in area gardens.

I enjoy putting this out and seeing the readership grow by the 100s. What I don't enjoy is the slow delivery time and glitches thanks to Zinester, our enewsletter host. They are free - so I can't complain too much. Though I find it pretty incredible that a test version I sent to myself at 10 pm does not arrive in my email inbox until 10 am the following day. It is supposed to be instantaneous! So much for 'testing' it. May add 'look for new hosting service' to my growing things-to-do list.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Acorn-head and Damn Proud of it!

We just got named Blogrankers' "Blog of the Week" in their weekly enewsletter. That is pretty unexpected and cool. If you scroll to the very bottom of this blog page, you'll see a little "blogrankers" button - click on that and you can vote for our blog in the ranking.

On another note, the acorn article I wrote for the Washington Examiner is still getting interest. On one neighbor wrote me, "I am collecting the acorn tops, which make great whistles! I distribute them in jobs skills and conflict resolution trainings I do with youth as a concrete way way of showing how 'nature calls!'" This is the first I'd ever heard of this use for acorns! So I did a google search and found this acorn whistle link. I've tried it a few times this morning - still can't get the hang of it. I think I need someone to demo it live for me. Apparently it is loud - so stand back from those attempting it.

You'd think I should be able to be able to do this "naturally" as I recently found out I'm an "Acorn-head." That is the (new?) name for those of us who live in downtown Silver Spring. Named after the acorn-shaped gazebo that dates back to the 1850s and is about three blocks from my house. (This picture is from http://www.silverspringdowntown.com/. I really need to get over there sometime and take my own pics of it.) I must say I like this name and plan to design a T-shirt to go with this new moniker and will wear it proudly. Now, I just have to find a company that can make acorn-shaped hats for us to also sport at Silver Spring gatherings.

What does this have to do with publishing a local gardening magazine? I ask myself this with every blog posting and find I'm starting to veer way outside my described blog goals. Okay, at least this one deals with publicizing our magazine (Blogrankers link and Examiner article) and is a story about local plant life (oak acorns) history, and parks.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

My Job

Yesterday my younger niece, Lexi, who is age 3.5, informed me that her "job" is three-fold and in this specific order:

  1. 1. to dance
  2. 2. to play
  3. 3. to pick flowers

Hmmm, it sounds pretty close to mine, but I'm thinking I need to reshuffle my priorites and work in a lot more dance and play!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Brookside Garden of Lights Contest

Win a Pass to the Brookside Garden of Lights

Tell Us: What’s your favorite indoor plant?
An indoor garden can give your home that extra touch of warmth and life so often lacking from many home spaces -- especially in the wintertime. Do you have a favorite indoor plant? If so, we’d like to hear about it. Describe your favorite indoor plant and email it to editor@washingtongardener.com. Include your first and last name, city and state, and an original digital photo. Deadline is December 3, 2006. Your entry may appear in the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Washington Gardener magazine.

One entry will be chosen at random for a pass to the Brookside Garden of Lights in Wheaton, MD. The pass is good for one car or van full of people. It includes a 10% discount on merchandise at the Marylandica Gift Shop.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Press Darlings

Our latest Washington Examiner article is now out. All about bringing fall color to your home garden. Read it online (Nov 3 edition - page 58) or grab the print version at street boxes around town today - the article is on R2 (Real Estate section - page 2).
Pictured here are my 'Sheffield Pink' Mums, which are going gangbusters in my front bed right now. That brings me to their inaccurate name. They actually look just like peach-colored daisies. Why do the English call peach things pink?

We had a great time doing a garden spot for local NBC affiliate - WRC - Channel 4 yesterday. We demonstrated how to divide perennials which was our GardenBasics column topic in our Sept/Oct '06 issue. They also gave us a nice link and mention in their own blog. Here is an excerpt:

"You've nursed that plant the best you can, but what do you do when it gets too big for its space? Kathy Jentz, editor and publisher of Washington Gardener magazine, came to visit News4 today to teach us how to divide perennials in five easy steps..."

We hope to do Channel 4 again soon - just trying to figure out how to demo Lasagna Gardening in a live, camera-friendly way.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Going... Going...

We've donated three subscriptions to Washington Gardener magazine to one of our local public TV stations (MPT) for their online auction fund-raiser. You can bid now at http://auction.mpt.org/. We are under the Home & Garden category. Hoping this brings some attention to us with their link and we will get a few on-air mentions as well. Only 10 days to bid.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Nov/Dec 06 Issue Out

The Nov/Dec 06 issue is now out - in the mail to all subscribers and in local stores shortly. All new subscribers will start with this issues, unless otherwise requested.
This issue is packed full of great info for local gardeners. I'm especially pleased with this issue's Before/After piece and our interview with "Green Roof Guru" Ed Snodgrass. Our feature story is on pursuing a career in the Horticulture Industry and our list of green career resources is worth the cover price alone.