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“E” is for Excellent, “L” is for Luddite. April 25, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
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Aunt Debbi of the super-fun and entertaining blog Aunt Debbi’s Garden was kind and generous enough to confer an “E is for Excellent” award on Poor Richard’s Almanac last week. Of course, this posed several instant challenges for our friend Ben. First, being a Luddite, I had no clue as to how to actually put the award up on our blog. Fortunately, the more techno-savvy friend who got our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders posting this blog in the first place again came to our rescue, and we are now displaying our “E” award for all to see.

But this posed another problem. You see, when an “E” is conferred on you, it is expected that you’ll in turn nominate ten blogs for the honor. Our friend Ben is not usually shy when it comes to the “Ben Picks Ten” category, as you know if you’ve read my earlier posts on music, fantasy, Southern comfort foods, and tomatoes. But in the case of great gardening blogs, our friend Ben thinks that ten is both too few and too many. I could pick one or two; I could pick twenty-five. But ten?!

However, it’s encumbent upon me to take a stab at this. But being a true Luddite, I don’t even know how to link to the blogs I’m nominating. (And Silence and Poor Richard are no help, believe me. Our hero and mentor, the great Dr. Franklin, who was the inspiration for this blog and would no doubt have founded Google and Microsoft had he been alive today, must be spinning in his grave. Sorry, Ben! We’re really doing our best.)

Okay, let’s start with some deserving blogs that I’m not nominating. Uh, say what?! You see, some of my favorite blogs have already earned this award multiple times, or, if they aren’t displaying the award, must have chosen not to do so for their own good reasons. But of course I have to mention them and the bloggers behind them anyway: Frances of Faire Garden (http://www.fairegarden.blogspot.com/). Melissa of Zanthan Gardens (http://www.zanthan.com/gardens/gardenlog/). Robin of Robin’s Nesting Place (http://robinsnestingplace.blogspot.com/). Melanie of Old Country Gardens (http://melaniesoldcountrygardens.blogspot.com/). Jodi of bloomingwriter (http://bloomingwriter.blogspot.com/). Joy of GardenJoy4Me (http://gardenjoy4.blogspot.com/). And of course Aunt Debbi herself (http://auntdebbisgarden.blogspot.com/). These blogs are great. If you don’t know them, spend some time visiting. You’ll love them as much as we do, and are sure to become regulars. They’re addictive!  

Now, on to the blogs I simply have to nominate for my “Ben Picks Ten: E for Excellent Garden Blogs” awards. Guys, gals, if I mention you here and you actually want to display the “E” on your blog, gulp. If you’re technologically savvy enough to copy it from my blog, great! Go for it. If not, I have Aunt Debbi’s directions to copy it to Blogger, if your blog’s on there, and will happily send them to you if you let me know. But if you’re on WordPress like me, I don’t have a clue. (Thank God it’s not an award for tech savvy or I’d never have won one.) In that case, good luck and God bless! Our friend Ben understands if you choose not to display the award, too. I simply have to mention you in my Top Ten because I love your blogs, and I hope Poor Richard’s Almanac readers will make the effort to discover them, too.

So here goes:

1. Hayefield (http://hayefieldhouse.com/). If I could only read one garden blog, Nancy Ondra’s would be it. It has it all: great photos, sound information, great writing. And it’s funny as hell, too. Nan is one of the most modest people I know, and she’d probably squirm if she read this, but dammit, she has everything it takes, and her blog is fantastic. Read it! You’ll be so glad you did.

2. Gardening Gone Wild (http://gardeninggonewild.com/). Another great blog with some of the best in the field contributing posts. Interested in containers, landscaping, garden photography, plants, nuts’n’bolts gardening tools and techniques? Get on over and make yourself at home!

3. Kate smudges in earth, plants and life (http://katesmudges.typepad.com/). Kate’s another one. Like Nan, she’s probably been nominated for this honor thousands of times and has simply been too modest to accept it. But let me just say, her blog is priceless and unique, earning its wide following in the garden blogosphere. On Kate smudges, plants and even bugs speak for themselves. A modern-day Beatrix Potter? Our friend Ben wouldn’t presume to say. But read Kate and you can’t help but love her and her garden world.

4. Bamboo Geek (http://bamboogeek.blogspot.com/). Sean, aka Mad Man Bamboo, endears himself to all of us at Poor Richard’s Almanac because he really, really believes in being green, and he clearly believes in practicing what he preaches. Read his blog and you’ll learn about cutting-edge developments in green living as well as great info about bamboos and other plants. Go, Sean!!!!

5. Future House Farm (http://futurehousefarm.blogspot.com/). Meg and Kelly are trying to garden organically and raise chickens in a rented house outside Philly. This alone would warm our friend Ben’s heart (chickens! organics!!!). But it’s just skimming the surface of their fantastic blog, which is a real favorite here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. First, there’s the pirate flag flying proudly over their blog (aaarrr!!!! yarrr!!!!). Then, we don’t know anyone who can caption photos so succinctly and memorably. Every time we look at their posts, we start laughing. Love them, love them, love them!!!!

6. The Deep Middle (http://deepmiddle.blogspot.com/). Like our friend Ben, Benjamin Vogt of The Deep Middle is a poet as well as a gardener. His blog bravely reveals his gardening and poetic triumphs and tragedies. It’s somewhat comforting to our friend Ben to know that I’m not the only one who hasn’t won a MacArthur “genius” award or the Yale Series of Younger Poets award. Benjamin’s posts are always good reading, guaranteed, even if you’re not a poet and haven’t read any poetry since high school. Promise!

7. Tomato Casual (http://www.tomatocasual.com/). Aunt Debbi also nominated Tomato Casual, and I’m sure she’s not the first. If you love tomatoes, this blog is simply a must-read. Reggie, Michael, Kira, and the rest of the Tomato Casual team should get endless awards for their funny, fabulous, informative posts. Reading the day’s Tomato Casual post is simply one of the best and most inspiring ways to start any day!

8. Cinj’s Chat Room (http://cbmvwag.blogspot.com/). Our Poor Richard’s Almanac contributors love Cinj for her relentless honesty. Yes!!!! Cinj posts about gardening and crafts, topics near to our hearts, but she doesn’t shy away from tackling heavier issues, either. You go, girl!!! This is real life, and somebody needs to be talking about it.

9. Barbee’s Blog (http://barbeeslog.blogspot.com/). Barbee’ blogs in Lexington, Kentucky, one of our friend Ben’s favorite cities. Her garden photos and posts put her squarely on our friend Ben’s radar. Check out her blog, you’ll love it!

10. Weed Whackin’ Wenches (http://www.weedwhackinwenches.blogspot.com/). Curmudgeon and Wing Nut enliven the gardening blogosphere with their adventures and misadventures. Aunt Debbi nominated them also—probably plenty of others have, too—but if you haven’t discovered them yet, you owe it to yourself to check out their blog (and their marauding raccoon!). Go wenches!!!!

So that’s the story here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. There are plenty of other blogs we adore. But there seems to be something about the number ten. Our friend Ben is in no position to complain! So please, start clicking the links and checking out our picks for yourself. You’ll be so happy you did!            




1. Melanie - April 26, 2008

Oh my, and the truth is I can’t figure out how to get that darned “E” on my blog. Now my face is red (although at first I typed “read”). sigh… if only I was a bit more computer savvy.

Congratulations on your award, it’s well deserved! By the way, don’t bother stopping at the Walmart on route 22 between Easton and Interstate 78. Blah, I don’t think I was there more than 2 minutes 😦

Thanks, Melanie! And thank heavens I’m not the only one who doesn’t know whether I’m coming or going technologically (but at least you can post pictures!). I see you’re on Blogger, and I also see that I lied when I said I had Deb’s directions for posting the E–must’ve thrown ’em out after I realized they didn’t work on WordPress. But if you go to Aunt Debbi’s Garden and check out her post “Thanks VP for the E,” then look at my comment and her response, she tells you how to do it right in the comment. Good luck!

2. linda - April 26, 2008

Congratulations! Good choices on your ten as well.

Thanks, Linda! Your E is so well deserved as well! Love your blog, and love George, too!!! (Dogs need more bragging rights in the cat-heavy garden blogosphere, say I.)

3. mss @ Zanthan Gardens - April 26, 2008

I won an award? This is the first I’ve heard of it. Thanks for letting me know via your “non-nomination”.

I will have to second your list of choices…which is sort of the problem of these kind of pyramid scheme awards, isn’t it? By the time one is at the bottom of the pyramid, as I am, nearly everyone else I could think of has already been nominated.

Maybe I will have to come up with my own “critics choice” award. Although, that’s how I view my sidebard…which really needs to be updated to include you! Now I’m going to check out your recommendations…there are a couple whose names are familiar but which I haven’t started reading yet.

Geez, MSS!!!! If you haven’t already gotten about bazillion “E” awards and simply ignored them for whatever reason, good God, please consider yourself to be a recipient of a “Lifetime Ben Award” and put that “E” up on your blog! For mercy’s sakes! Nobody deserves it more!

4. Cinj - April 27, 2008

First of all, congratulations on your “E”. You totally deserve it! I’m not so sure that I do…. Gulp!!! How sweet of you!

I must admit I’m not entirely tech savy either. If I have long enough to play around I may be able to figure these things out. If you look at my earlier posts you’ll see that it took me a while to figure out how to post pics. I still haven’t figured out all of the sidebar type stuff either.

Of course you deserve it, and many thanks for the kind remarks! As for the tech stuff, I’d be totally doomed if I didn’t have a sweet friend who was willing to go to the effort of helping me by putting things on the blog. Somehow, it should be easier…

5. Benjamin VVVVVV - April 27, 2008

I WILL be winning a Yale Young thank you very much!! By golly. By golly. I got me a lovely rejection today for an essay I sent to Orion. Is that good? Thanks for thinking I’m excellent. I think you’re ok, too.

Well, I sure hope so (re: YSYP award). And I’m still gunning for that darn Nobel!

6. Sean - April 27, 2008

Wow Ben, I’m honored, really. Thanks for the nomination, it means alot to me. I’ll post the “E” with pride. I have great respect for the thought, intelligence, and insight you bring forth in your blog. Coming from you, I’m humbled by the nomination.

Sean, aka Mad Man Bamboo via Bamboo Geek

Thank you, Sean! Now I feel humbled, too!

7. Cinj - April 27, 2008

Okay, blush. Thanks. I accept and will attempt to diplay it with pride. (Actually to be completely honest I’ve been secretly hoping to be awarded one for quite some time, but I assumed it was a lost cause.)

Harrumph! You put that “E” up on your site this minute! It’s well deserved!!!

8. deb - April 28, 2008

Aunt Debbi here, what a great group of blogs to add. Glad to see you were able to get the graphic copied and up.

Thanks, Aunt Debbi! Thanks again for nominating Poor Richard’s Almanac!!! And thank God for friends with more techno-savvy than I have…

9. reggieCasual - May 2, 2008

Our Friend Ben – Aww shucks! Many thanks for including Tomato Casual in your top ten list. We’re honored to be among such great gardening company. Our writing team really does love tomatoes, and we’re so glad you’ve made us a part of start of your day.

Again, many thanks the recognition!


So welcome, Reggie, and so well-deserved! Love your blog, and I’ve really been enjoying Urban Casual, too!!!

10. Barbee' - June 24, 2008

What a nice surprise! I must have missed this post when it was first published (mundane things such as travels, family, and gardening do so interfere, and disrupt, my happy blogging life). That carrier pigeon with the message never found me, either. But happenstance led me to it.

Thank you for the unexpected award and praise. Perhaps it was best this way, for I might have been inclined to rest on my laurels instead of working on the blog.

Now, we will see how limited my abilities are, or are not, as I attempt to figure out how to do the old technical switcheroo. If the bold and brilliant “E” does not appear on Barbee’s Blog, you will know the rest of the story. Humble thanks for the lovely surprise.

Welcome and well deserved, Barbee’! And don’t forget that we had to get someone else to put it up on our blog (being Luddites and all), so don’t despair!

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