Step #1: Allow a Feed/Configure
For this to work your blog has to publish a feed. There are drawbacks to publishing a feed but there are also benefits like adding interactivity to your blog with these kinds of gadgets and widgets. If you want to add a list of recent comments to your blog click the Settings tab/link. Once there click site feed and configure your feed setting and click Save. Now go to Layout and click Add a Gadget in the sidebar or footer of your choice and choose Feed.
Copy and paste the following code next to where it reads Feed URL:
Remember to change "yourgardenblog" to the name of your garden blog. If you're using Blogger with the custom domain feature add the URL of the custom domain. For example:
Is what I added for this blog since I'm blogging with a custom domain.
Step #2: Edit Title/Displays and Save
In the next window the Title of the gadget/widget was www.GardenBloggers.com but I changed it to "Recent Comments." You can get creative with your title if you like and customize it for your garden blog. Some examples could be: "Gardeners Visited," "Seeds Sown," "Pollinators Landed," you get the idea. The max number of items (items here being the # of comments) is 5 because of a Blogger limitation. You can choose to show the date and the source/author or leave it blank, I like that option so I used that one. When you're done hit Save and move the gadget/widget up and down your sidebar to wherever you like.
If you're half as bright as I think you are you probably already figured out how to add Recent Posts to your sidebar too. Just repeat the process in a new feed gadget/widget but this time add the feed URL of your garden blog. If you're using a feed delivery service like FeedBurner your feed URL looks something like this:
The section in red will be whatever you named your feed.
If you aren't burning your native feed it should looks something like this:
If you copy and paste these remember to change the sections in red to the name of your garden blog.
On my personal garden blog I use the recent posts tip above to advertise the recent posts on all of my garden blogs in my sidebars. If you host more than one garden blog direct visitors among all of your blogs by using this tip. Sometimes the recent comments feed get stuck or jammed. If that happens either wait it out until Blogger fixes it or try reinstalling it.