Austin Monthly Best Gardening website Zathan Gardens

December 31st, 2008
Austin Monthly's Best Gardening Websites

I experienced quite a thrill when I opened up the December 2008 issue (The Cool Issue) of Austin Monthly to the “Keep Austin Wired” section and saw Zanthan Gardens listed among Austin’s best gardening websites, along with The Natural Gardener and the city’s Grow Green sites.

Austin frequently ranks among the geekiest spots in America and when it comes to garden geekiness, it has no close contenders. As 2008 draws to an end, Blotanical lists 31 Austin garden blogs. (I can no longer keep up with them all.) So to be singled out…well, I squealed with delight.

I’m surprised, too. After eight years of writing Zanthan Gardens, my passions are shifting. 2008 has seen a series of transitions at Zanthan Gardens, both virtual and real. It began with the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling and meeting many people I knew only through their garden photos and writing. Spring Fling was an intoxicating experience: a reunion of old friends who had never met before. And bonus! I got my photograph in the Austin American-Statesman, garden blogging in the meadow.

After Spring Fling, I became more interested in chatting over the back fence with my fellow gardeners than with writing about my own experiences. This, combined with a really awful summer in Austin, has resulted in a dearth of posts these last eight months. I spent most of my time reading other people’s blogs, leaving comments. Then I discovered Twitter and blogging seemed cumbersome and so 2006.

I’m dissatisfied with garden blogging. I think there are going to be some changes. My interests are focused elsewhere and it’s so easy to keep up the social side via other channels. I find that I long for a winter, a true winter–time to be dormant and still. In Austin, of course, we have no dormant season. The garden To Do list is always full. And as Austin’s drought continues, I find myself just limping along…tired of the dust, tired of watering, tired of waiting for rain.

In some ways it is all those other gardens I’ve read about via your blogs that has made me dissatisfied. They’ve given me an itch to be elsewhere, to garden elsewhere, to grow different plants, to have different seasons (admittedly, I don’t think I could handle your winters). I do truly believe that one must garden where one is–we mustn’t try to turn the desert into Wales. Although others make very successful gardens in Austin, the challenges no longer arouse my interest. The garden is no longer a refuge; we are at odds.

Being a gardener, I recognize that dormancy is a natural state. Sometimes in late spring I worry over a plant, looking for buds, scraping the bark for a sign of green and wonder if it’s going to spring back with Spring or if it’s dead and brown forever. As for Zanthan Gardens, all things to their season.

Austin Monthly Best Gardening website Zathan GardensAustin Monthly Best Gardening website Zathan Gardens