Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ya aint got pictures? Ya aint got nothin’!

What my sunflowers really look like
Let’s just get this out of the way first. There is no such thing as a perfect garden. Thus, when one follows a particular blog or several (as in my case) and sighs with head in hands and mopes that one’s own blog will NEVER be as good as those others. Well…that’s just a load of manure! A garden, and a garden blog, is just as good as the work one puts into it. Furthermore, a blog is a constructed space, so it’s only as good as I let you see it is. Image is everything. A few cases in point…

Number 1: Although the blogging medium utilizes words, most bloggers blog
around images because truly, and especially in a garden blog’s case, a picture is worth a thousand words. Since the blogosphere was born from out of mother internet to appeal to readers who want quick vignettes and infobites, you’ll notice that posts are short summaries, generally in diary format, usually with embedded links so that readers feel they maintain autonomy in deciding if they require or want more info. Often the post is just a frame or caption for the image; a caption on steroids, or in the case of garden blogs, a caption on Miracle Grow.

Number 2: Images seen on blogs are carefully constructed and chosen to draw the reader in. No matter how much we bloggers protest that we are renegades, breaking down the ivory tower of information production, we are still nothing if not products of our society. We may be masters of a post-post modern medium, but hey, old habits die hard. We CAREFULLY choose the images you get to see.  It’s really not as informal as we like to make it appear. It’s like, if you were coming over to look at my garden, I’d pick up the trash, pull the weeds and rake a bit. Same with the images I choose for my site, and all the images seen on my own favorite blogs.

So, I (we) can quit moping. If you want to blog, start a blog. If you want a good blog,  get good pictures and write good content. If you want a good garden, get off the computer and get back to work :-)


  1. Hi Shannon, interesting post. I try to take pictures of the garden when it isn't looking great but it's so tempting to show the lovely and not the potentially lovely. Have you visited Edith Hope's blog? She uses words not pictures. cheers, catmint

  2. Nice. Perspective seems to be key. Who knew that a portion of a sunflower would have more ability to draw you in than the sunflowers in the garden pic? I enjoyed your post!

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  4. Your post made me laugh! I have neglected my blog most of the summer, in order to get my garden in order after a year of illness. What a lot of weeds went to seed!
    Pictures on blogs are indeed important....I rarely read blogs that don't have them.