Search This Blog

My Vertical Garden Wall

My Vertical Garden Wall


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Its not Botanic but Blotanical.

Sometimes after awhile setting & had settled with all the post and garden stories, I wondered what other gardeners are doing. I had "googled" and viewed few gardeners and also commented on their garden but realised that most probably the other gardener view & update their blog once or twice a month or much lesser than that. (or probably its a dead blog)

Then I found that there are a community of gardeners who meet in cyberspace where they do chat & discuss garden matters and get comments interacting with each other.
This place is Blotanical.

I found instantly many gardener friends who are so enthusiastic about getting to know about me & what I garden. I get to know about gardens which I'm familiar like the tropical ones & those which are totally new for me like the temperate climatic ones.
This is where the reality of "one man's weed is another man's garden - you can literally see it here - what people garden.

But getting to start it isn't easy - not for me.

I had first had tough times getting my blog in the list as its requires that the loading the blog detail from firefox. Then the navigation was quite confusing for me and often times my PC hangs and I have to reboot again & again.
So much so, I had put Blotanical on hold as its too much for me. I reasoned that it must be for the experts and I have decided to focus just on my blog.

Then after awhile, when time permits I started to experiment and discover new things in Blotanical. I had decided just login and see & view and do what I can. Slowly but surely I got familiar with it and just know where to go & what to do.

Those those who find it hard like me, don't worry - you will get used to it - just log in and check on each new features. Sometimes I have forgotten where the feature was and it took all over again to discover again.

These are some of the tips which I have learned over time.
It may help a bit and make easier for new comers. Most of the information and setting can be found in the HELP section, I just want to emphasise few things here.

1) Select your favourite blog and fave them.
Actually this is the most difficult part.
Why I say this?
Its because I have received a lot of welcome from many members but later some of them, become impersonal and not relatable. (after commenting or picking on the post)

So, if you are faving anyone, do take in mind that its just temporary.
Keep in consideration that its ok even if you choose to "unfave" certain blogs or blotanist after some trial period.

Some blotanist do return the kindness (by returning the favour by "faving" you) when you "fave" them but do not expect this to happen to all of the blotanist. Most of them will leave a thank you note.

I would seriously consider when a blotanist do not appreciate the kindness when a blog is faved. Its not the thank you that I'm seeking rather its the response that its important.
Why continue the fave when there is no response?
Better give it to someone who is more relatable and responsive. Of course given the benefit of doubt - do give more time & see if they respond to you.

Once you selected the "Fave"s the list will automatically load into the pick section on the "My Faved Blog Posts". (saves you the time to go one by one to check on the blog from your main plot)

2) What happens next? - The Pick section.

Ok, once the fave is done, do go the pick section - this is where most of the activity takes place.
Click on "Picks" then look for the righthand side corner & you will find the "My Faved Blog Posts" Here you can easily read all your "faved" latest updated gardener's stories & pick the post.

Again, if you go to the section next to it: "My post" you can find who had picked on the post and that would give you the opportunity to visit the blotanist who had picked and you may message them to thank them.

When the pick count reaches 16, it would appear on the mainboard where all the blotanist can view & read the best post for the week based on the majority of picks counted by from the "faved blog".

4) What do you want from Blotanical?
(some website ask this question before getting anyone in)

This is the most important question one have to ask before getting signed up and later getting bitter or disappointed. The purpose & the motive is very much important as this will determine the satisfaction in being a blotanist.

I for one want a relate-able, responsive gardener who would share their thoughts and comments with me concerning my garden and versa visa concerning their garden stories.

There are those who are totally dedicated to Blotanical in being faithfully following on the picks and reading at least about 20 blogs a day and selecting "pick" on them. Doing so will create the connection with the gardener's blog where communication is open.

I did many times go the the "200 Most Faved Blog Posts" and manage to pick & comment on them. These I would do so when I have the time. Again, after reading about 10 blogs or so from the screen - I just become tired. Some return the favour by thanking me in my comment box for visiting their blog and that's another new friend being created through gardening.

Not all people have the time, I for one visit Blotanical like 2 or 3 times in a week & may spend less than an hour updating comments, picks and thanking them. So, its a little tedious to have a high expectation when it comes to the system.

The most important thing is not getting all the points
and reach that goal of "Guru status"
rather its all the gardener friends you will able to meet,
visit all those lovely garden and say, "
Ohhh's!! & Ahhh's!"
To share the joys in the harvest,
re-living each season (though its all summer in the tropical)
and to give some & get some encouragement & support.
In being familiar with someone's garden,
knowing that gardener's favourite plant, flower & fruit.

To know that this person is having snow & that person is living in the desert
and all that is available at the finger tips when you sign in for Blotanical.
Do click here for Blotanical.

This is my supposed Hibiscus plant which I wanted to convert it to a bonsai. It did well for few years but I have decided not to trim or prune it. Just after few months the first flower bloomed.
I would like to dedicate this to Blotanical.
Sometimes, it takes very long to do something, but when its been keep at it, one day you will reap its reward.
Thanks you all those who are close to me in Blotanical, for all the wonderful comments and thoughts, gardening is so much easier with all of you around.
Blessed Christmas & A Wonderful New Year!


Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

A very well written post on Blotanical. Make sure that Stuart gives you a red star for this.

Sue said...

It's hard for many folks to keep up with posting and responding due to jobs, etc. It's important to remember that just because they don't respond, doesn't mean they aren't interested or aren't reading.
Best of luck with Blotanical!

Nell Jean said...

Thank you, James, for reminding us why we're here and what we should be doing. Blotanical takes a while to learn, especially the rules that aren't written.

I read garden blogs to learn what others are growing, and how they put together their plants (design). When I read your blog, I can relate to many of the same plants. When I read a blog from Norway or Sweden, I may find something new for the greenhouse in their selections. It's all fun.

Autumn Belle said...

Nowadays blotanical has so many blogs, it is really difficult to keep up. It certainly takes up a lot of our time. Sometimes, I am late in visiting my commenters too. Pening kepala-lah but its a happy problem. Its the friends around the world we get that matters.

Diana Studer said...

I rearrange my list of faved blogs often. Sometimes I chose a blog for one post, then realise the others are not for me. And there are always new blogs to add to my list. While you are still on the NEW list, you only need 7 picks to be on the front page. And don't mind if we visit without commenting. The post may be amazing with beautiful photos, but we are tired, and can't think what to say this time. You can use a free stat counter to tell you about your silent visitors. Where we come from. Which post we read. Which pictures we download. What keywords we used to find you ( I had Dusty Diana once!)

Diana Studer said...

And a PS, if you keep picking, guru status sneaks up on you. I only started in June.

Barry Parker said...

James- Thanks for visiting my site. I'm going to pass on your details to a friend who has moved from Canada and is now gardening in St Lucia. I think he'll be able to learn a lot from you about his new climate.

Noelle Johnson said...

Hello James,

This was a well written post. I think your Blotanical tips will help many newcomers. It can be a little confusing at the beginning. I think many people will be helped by your post. Your Hibiscus are beautiful. I saw one trained as a small tree and the trunk was braided. It was so interesting.

Anonymous said...

Well said, James. I must admit that I think about the picks and faves a bit differently than you do. I do picks first and then "fave" a blog when I'm picking that person's posts over and over again and realize that I don't want to miss any of them. But I think one of the beauties of Blotanical, as you point out, is that people can use it differently depending on what they want to get out of it. -Jean

Andrea said...

Hi James, i agree with you and most commenters here. Consider my case, i am working, have to rest my eyes at night and even if i desire to be a member of some groups i will just turn out to be unethical in not returning the comments, visiting their sites, etc. I would love of course to see many people see, read and comment on my blog but i have to make the choice. So i would rather visit some interesting commenters of my bloglinks or i pick from their links. Just like you, whom i just picked from Autumn Belle's site, which i follow regularly. Other wonderful blogs from there i follow too, like Kiki, Tatyana, Jacqueline, Kanak, Charlotte's and Charm and Spirit.

I of course miss some regularly but i am really happy visiting theirs. I am happy if they visit mine, but am still contented just visiting them. Like you, thanks for giving time looking at mine.


Sylvana said...

When I first started Blotanical I found it hard to navigate too. In fact, some aspects are still confusing to me!

People may not be responding for many reasons -- they may have limited time, may have missed the activity, or they just don't know what they are doing! I pick faves because I like the blog or blogger - not because I expect them to like me back; but it is nice to get a Thank You! Like jeansgarden, I pick my blog favourites based on how many times I get drawn to the person's blog. I pick Blotanist faves based on my interactions with that blotanist.

And you are so right about un-faving; it is OK to unfave! We only have so many spaces afterall, right?!

James David said...

Thanks Deborah - appreciate your comment very much.

Sue - point taken when you mention about responding (It's important to remember that just because they don't respond, doesn't mean they aren't interested or aren't reading)

Nell Jean - Glad to note that you can relate to what I have written.

Belle - I agree with you, sometimes - just getting started with Blotanical may really take a lot time and tiresome but I believe most gardener's friends understands.

Elephant Eye - I guess few of us do rearrange & unfave. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Barry - you & your friend are most welcome.

Noelle - thanks,I hope my post do help the newcomers. I have seen few braided plants that been trained and made into a treehouse kind of canopy. Really hardwork.

Jean - isn't that interesting. We are all so uniquely different and have our own creative ways & thoughts that there are more choices to choose from & decide which work best for us.

Andrea - I understand your situation, I had only managed to "get started" the Blotanical few months after signing up. Regardless, do what work best for you. Thanks for sharing & being part of life in my garden.

Sylvana - Thanks for sharing your point of view. Really appreciate how you see it. I guess we all get better at it based on how often we use it & getting famaliar with it.

Blossom said...

I really love reading and viewing all those beautiful blooms and gardens. But I don't have too much time that it becomes a big chore to me. The same goes for updating my own blog. I love my blog but haven't got time to post. Urghhhh ...

Anonymous said...

Hi James, I was surprised to see where you garden, it is so fun to see the tropical gardens, and all sorts, and hear about what it is like to garden, and live there. Blotanical is such a fabulous resource. As one who remembers trying to find good blogs to read about gardening before Blotanical was up and running, it was nearly impossible. No one place where they could all be found. There are so many now, so many good ones, and new ones every day too from all over the world. What a wonderful community. I have found that you get out of it what you put into it, but isn't that true of everything? :-)

Victoria said...

Hi James..great post! Lots of good info! I just joined Blotanical a few months ago..I am still learning the ropes!It is really fun to meet those who are excited about gardening and appreciate this gardening life we all live!
Have a great day..and..I LOVE the hibiscus! Beautiful!

D said...

Hello James and thank you for the post. I thought I was the only one who found it difficult to navigate on Blotanical, and since my time is limited, I tend to give up in frustration in my attempt to go from blog to blog... Thank you for your excellent post.

Wendy said...

I like point number 4. When I first got on, I thought the "rules" (and faves and picks, etc.)were totally fun and a really great way to encourage people to get involved. The blotanical awards seem in good fun too, but I sometimes wonder how it affects people who are blogging just to connect? I think it has the potential to be really fun, but also the potential to make some people feel bad - and can get in the way of simply blogging about a passion, and meeting new people who share the same passion.

Wendy said...

Oh, so my point is, when I go on blotanical, I prefer to use it as a database to find like minded gardeners as opposed to see who's picking my posts, how many points I have, etc. I'll comment b/c I've made a connection, not to earn points.

Wendy said...

I have to say one more thing (what a thought-provoking post!). There are times when I comment more than the other person comments on my blog. And I definitely try not to feel bad about it, or try to take them off my blogroll as "payback", but I've definitely taken someone off b/c I was thinking, "ok, well, obviously this person doesn't connect with me so I'm not going to keep poking my face in and bugging them!

Who knew the blogosphere could be such a delicate thing to navigate! :)

James David said...

Blossom - Thanks for sharing your thought, we all have limited time and do the best we can.

Frances - I totally agree with you, Well, we reap what we sow would be my way of putting it.

Kiki - Glad to know that you like my hibiscus and thanks for sharing your thoughts on Blotanical.

Di - You're welcome & glad we share the same experience.

Wendy - Ohh! Wow! Never knew you got a lot to say, thanks for sharing this - really appreciate your comment as it really opened a lot of unsaid words.
You have "nailed" it when you mentioned about the fun part & also that factor that people can get hurt when it because a favour to be return.
Above all, its not the points or the top 10 or status rather the connection which is important where one gardener relates to another.

Thanks you all. Really feel appreciated for your much shared thoughts on this matter.

Anonymous said...

Hi James, I ditto Wendy. [She's a Fave.] I never check how many people have picked me or all that other Blotanical stuff. It's fun for some but I, too use Blotanical as a database. Hopefully none of us is taking this too seriously. It's VERY easy to get offended if one is looking to be of if you're just in a bad mood that day. LOL But life is too short for all of that, in my opinion. Just have fun. BTW, I was completely mesmerised by your slide show below, especially the fragapani!! Beautiful.

tina said...

I definitely like what Wendy had to say about blogging and connecting with others. Connecting is a side benefit of blogging but doesn't always work out with everyone, just like in the real world. I did not know you could actually 'get to know' others when I began blogging nearly 2.5 years ago. It has been a surprise, a real surprise.

The real reason I am commenting is this, I am one who almost always faves a person back when that person faves me, but I just don't get it when that person later unfaves my blog. I actually had one person do this to me TWICE! Feelings hurt, at times but I move on quickly. Perhaps my blog or comments did not meet their expectations or they faved my blog hastily without thinking. I joined Blotanical much later after I began blogging and still don't feel comfortable faving blogs, so I never initiate faves. It just can't be personal when I don't know the person, or so I keep telling myself. I have to remember why I began blogging and the connecting thing was not the reason. Thanks for pointing it all out and your comments surely give some insights into why folks fave and participate in Blotanical. For me participating here is being able to read all sorts of blogs in one place. I used to solely focus on my faves but that is much too limiting, even if one has a large list they can fave focusing on them is still limiting, or so I've learned even after being a late to Blotanical blogger. You have Happy Holidays. I am supposed to be on hiatus but still come here to read every now and then. And good luck with your red star if that was your intent.

James David said...

Grace - thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter, never thought about using Blotanical as a database - good idea. I had totally forgotten about the slideshow, thanks for mentioning it. Probably may do it for the latest bloomed flowers in my garden.

Tina - Sorry to note about the "unfave" factor. And its also easy to get hurt when people disappoint you.
Regardless, I really appreciate your sharing on your experiences and I believe what you shared could really help and bring to another point of perspective that all is not "fave" & "points".

walk2write said...

James, I saw your comment on Tina's site and decided to check out your site. That is usually how I find new (to me) bloggers now. Blotanical for me was a great place to start finding interesting sites. Like you, I was a bit confused at first as to how it works, the picks and all of that. I guess for some people, it can be used as a vehicle for an ego trip, but if you look at it as a useful resource, a database, a jumping-off point to find information and "meet" some fantastic people from all over the world, then you won't be disappointed if a few minutes in the limelight fizzles out to obscurity once again. Sometimes you really do get to meet those fantastic people and learn from new perspectives. I wish you well with your site and your garden.

Autumn Belle said...

James, I just dropped by to wish you A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jacqueline said...

Hi James, thanks for your thoughts and info on blotanical. Frankly, I had hoped to visit as many garden blogs as possible including yours to learn and interact with like-minded persons, but find that maintaining my own blogs itself takes so much of my effort and time that it's impossible to do what I had envisaged. So, I just surrender to do what I loved best doing and only visit other blogs when I have the time to relax and enjoy what's shared elsewhere.
I'm still lost wandering in blotanical as I'm unable to visit regularly and learn further...can you believe that I just found out today how to pick a post and that others have picked some of my posts, yet unknown to me? Well, there's much to learn and I'm sorry if I hadn't been able to thank them all.
Anyway, I'd like to thank you for visiting my blog and commenting kindly...please know that you're appreciated and if I don't reciprocate as often, it's just because of time constraint.
Here's wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and a great New Year too.

About Me

My photo
Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

Contact Me on the Form Above

Do put your queries on the contact form above and I will come back to you ASAP via e-mail. Also I'm open for any business / advertisement proposals / magazine articles / product sampling and sharing personal product experiences here in my blog. Also for specific plant queries where you need to send pictures for free consultation and plant help and aid.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Blog Archive

Popular Posts

Popular Post - 1 Month