Mar 21, 2010

Garden Bloggers With "Ugly" Gardens Strike Back

On Thursday Susan Harris of posted a guest post by Robin Ripley, her business partner in the new Garden Center Bloggers venture and co-author of Grocery Gardening. In the post titled The Dark Side of Grocery Gardening, Robin argues against “ugly vegetable gardens” that are “giving respectable vegetable gardeners a bad name.” She suggests that gardeners who are going to approach vegetable gardening in a “lackadaisical way” find another hobby.

Almost immediately the comments on Garden Rant turned negative and against the guest blogger. Some in the garden blog-o-sphere have taken issue with the elitist and snobbish tone of the rant. I know I cringed at the reference to tomato cages from Wal-Mart and was puzzled by the tone. When I met Robin last Spring I actually found her to be nicer than then the nice I was expecting. Her "rant" actually came as a surprise to me. The morning of the 19th I awoke to find a new post by Colleen over at In the Garden Online titled Giving Vegetable Gardeners a Bad Name Since 1996. Before I read it I knew that it was a response to Robin’s guest post on Garden Rant.

This morning Gina of MySkinnyGarden published My Name is Gina. My Garden is a Mess, where she too defends “ugly” vegetable gardens. Moments later J-Dog of Dig-it-Yourself published I Love My Ugly Garden!!! All three of the responses have been pretty personal, as they were when garden bloggers were up-in-arms over The Atlantic’s piece they perceived was attacking school gardens. Make sure to read the comments on these blogs to gauge the reactions of other garden bloggers. I’ll update this post if more bloggers post defending their “ugly” gardens. *

It is interesting that Cool Spring Press who published Grocery Gardening earlier this year and who prides itself on being a publishing house tuned into social media has remained oddly silent as this controversy has gained steamed and jumped from Garden Rant onto other blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Similarly quiet are Robin's the three co-authors of Grocery Gardening. I find it hard to believe that someone’s Google Alerts aren’t buzzing over this conversation. In fact, the only person seemingly interested in doing damage control is Katie of TheGardenofWords who has rose to the defense (see Garden Rant & ITGO comments) of her business partner in the Garden Center Bloggers venture.

I pointed out in a comment on Colleen’s blog that it was an interesting marketing tactic to offend potential buyers of the Grocery Gardening book and alienate some of the same garden bloggers who just weeks ago were praising the co-authors of Grocery Gardening.

On Colleen’s post, Jodi of BloomingWriter says in part:

On the original guest post someone commenting as Lindsey writes:

“Bitchy” or not, Jodi brings up a good point: This whole meta marketing attempt (business partner allowing business partner to market her book on her blog with a guest “rant”) seems to have backfired, in a big way.

Update: Robin has responded on her blog.

Update #2: Check out the comment by Gayla Trail on Colleen's post.

Update #3: There's a bit of chatter on Twitter now about potagers, primarily because that is the style of garden Robin keeps. I was going to share this link on the BBG website and thought it was funny that this whole thing about ugly and messy gardens came about because of a potager.

In France today, potager design is typically informal, or romantic. Often called the jardin de curé, or country curate's garden, this intimate and sensual style is comparable to that of the English cottage garden, except that it is centered on vegetables rather than flowers. Its inspiration is a complicity with nature rather than a desire to impose order, and this fashion has been fed by the growing influence of organic gardening in France over the last twenty years.

Emphasis mine.

Update #4: As I've noted Cool Springs Press, and Robin's co-authors on Grocery Gardening, Jean Ann Van Krevelen, Teresa O'Connor and Amanda Thomsen have remained silent as the Grocery Gardening "brand" has taken a hit with people saying they will not buy the book because of the original rant. For a publishing house that talks a lot about building and protecting brands it is interesting that they're remained silent on the whole issue. Today, a tipster Emails me with news that could explain why:

Oh, and here's another interesting thing about JAVK: [edited] You notice that she's not involved with the Garden Center Bloggers, even though many of her pals/co-authors are? Yeah, that's because she's working with CSP to cut them off at the knees. They are doing their own version of GardenCenter Bloggers, expecting to do better because they have connections that independent garden bloggers may not have...

So Jean Ann Van Krevelen and Cool Springs are starting a business in direct competition with Garden Center Bloggers that was recently formed by Susan Harris, Robin Ripley and Katie Elzer-Peters. Both of these groups will be creating content for garden centers. Hmmm.

Here is an Email from Jean Ann Van Krevelen that the tipster forwarded to me:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Hello All
From: Jean Ann Van Krevelen <[edited]>
Date: Mon, March 08, 2010 6:53 pm
To: Jean Ann Van Krevelen <[edited]>

I am just back from a whirlwind trip to a couple of states...and
unfortunately during the second half of my trip, I got food poisoning.
I am much better now, but it wasn't pretty. In the haze of last week,
I didn't get everything out to all of you. So, here is the non
disclosure/non compete agreement I sent last week. If you haven't
signed it, please do. If you haven't sent me a bio and headshot,
please do. If you did those things already, then your beautiful mug
was shown around to some very important people last week. :)

The good news is that I think we will have multiple opportunities for
social media marketing and blogging. I should know about at least one
of them by the end of this week...and I suspect the other isn't far
behind. Generally, we will be providing content in a number of
creative ways to garden centers and hort businesses, big and small.
And if you have been keeping your ear to the ground this week, you
will notice that some of our colleagues are doing the same. While I
say good for them, I also know that we have relationships that will
make our effort super successful, so just be patient with me a bit

If you will all reply to this with your contact information, that
would be great. I want to get a docket going.

thanks again,

Update #5: Jean Ann Van Krevelen published a post today on the Cool Spring Press website today explaining that she was busy this weekend speaking at a horticulture event. I tried to leave a comment on the post but it didn't/wouldn't go through. I'm not sure that the "busy" excuse flies in today's digital age where everyone is connected and the controversy is happening in the same social media tools you are logged into on a daily basis. Also, apparently their "content sharing program" was some kind of secret as the word "leaked" is used in the post. I wonder is it any different than the program written about here on their own website? And as the Email passed on by the tipster today indicates information about the program may have been sent out to people who hadn't even signed the confidentially agreement, as she asks for the forms to be signed and sent in. But it doesn't really divulge anything that you can't decipher for yourself reading this page and this page on the Cool Springs Press website.

Today I heard from someone close to the Garden Center Bloggers program and they don't seem to be too worried about the competition and as they feel they're doing something different than Cool Springs Press. I also get the impression that they think their payment model for garden bloggers and writers may be better. But that is speculation as neither I or the person associated with the Garden Center Bloggers have seen anything about how much Cool Springs Press is going to pay these bloggers and writers who will be creating content for them.

Also, I'm really shocked at the use of personal Email account being used to conduct official business that apparently was suppose to be some kind of secret. Good lord, I didn't know people besides VP candidates from Alaska did that. And there is probably a post in here in how Cool Spring Press has behaved like "old media" in handling all of this. It is sad because up until now I'd seen some really good examples of using social media to sell books.

Have anything new to add? Send me an Email.

*I probably will not posting a picture of my ugly garden because I did it on Facebook on Thursday before the guest post and outrage. I was ugly before it was cool ;0) Here are recent #uglygardens posts. I'll add them as I see them. These are in addition to the posts linked above.

ReadBetweenTheLimes: My Ugly Garden.
Blooming Writer: I may have an ugly garden. Depends on what day you look.
SnarkyVegan: My most embarrassing ugly vegetable garden photos from 2009.
The Kat's Garden: Ugly is in the eye of the beholder.
Happy Hobby Habit: Ugly Garden Silence.
Terra Mirabilis: Is your veggie garden ugly.
Growing The Home Garden: Gardening Rules to Live and Garden by.
Gardening in My Rubber Boots: My Veggie Garden Evolution.
My Northern Garden: Are Ugly Gardens A Feminist Issue?

If you're looking for a good vegetable gardening book minus the elitism, I recommend Grow Great Grub. Yes, this is me shamelessly trying to profit from controversy. :P

Anonymous comments in this thread will be deleted. I don't care if they are good or bad, if you have something to say "sign" and own it. Or go be a coward somewhere else, it is a big internet.



  1. Anonymous3/21/2010

    It is shameful how these people have left poor Robin hanging in the wind. Why aren't her friends and publisher coming to her defense? She's actually quite nice and I have learned a lot from her blog.

  2. Hi Anon,

    Thanks for commenting but I'm of the opinion that if you have anything to say (nice or not) I should be said under your "name."

  3. I'm coming all apart. I really am. I'm 100% in favor of ugly gardens, any garden is a good garden, power to the people, all hail the tomato, yadda yadda. But after reading Robin's comment at Colleen's, I do believe her intentions were not evil... and isn't our blogging about it creating just as much media coverage (if not more) than her original post?!

  4. Monica,

    I don't think her intentions were "evil" either, she was trying to sell her book and make a few bucks. Can't blame her for any of that. The misstep I think came in how she went about it in the guest post and now the subsequent replies, where I don't think she really is seeing what it is exactly that has annoyed people.

    Perhaps it is a generational thing or maybe a class thing. Either way, I've been thinking about this issue since the CFGS because so many people mentioned that there weren't any "real" vegetable gardens. If anything I hope that this discussion gets people thinking about what a vegetable garden looks like. As I type this I'm looking at a picture of Rick Bayless' garden on the right-hand side. Beautiful vegetable garden, but it isn't any more beautiful than some rooftop gardens I've seen planted in buckets and containers.

  5. Remember the golden rule - bad press is better than no press. How many people will now take a second look at that book? The whole she-bang smacks of purpose. Exactly why I've seethed silently and kept my lips firmly pressed together and my fingers off the keyboard.

  6. Tina,

    Excellent point. Although...when the post was published it had a link to Robin's Amazon affiliate account to the book. The link wasn't formatted properly so it just gave an error. Today the link has been "fixed" with Robin's Amazon affiliate account removed and the link just goes back to the post.

    So, Robin doesn't get any online sales of her book with the guest post, her reputation among some bloggers and potential book buyers takes a hit, Garden Rant gets the visits and links. All of these posts will live on forever on the internet (which is why people warn you about what you say on here) which in the end won't really benefit Robin at all.

    Bad press is good press; except when the returns start to diminish and these started to diminish around Friday night.

  7. I, too, am curious about the reaction of the other Grocery Garden types to Robin Ripley's rant. After having read Robin's tweets, her article`s tone wasn't the least bit surprising. For some people, appearance outweighs substance. Instead of admonishing people, perhaps some encouragement and acceptance of a wide range of different gardening styles would be helpful. Not everyone has a wealthy lifestyle.

  8. It's too bad that people have to take Robin's comments personally--she was just expressing her opinions in an area where she has a lot of experience and feels strongly. Opinions are what Rant is about.

    To say she wrote the post to sell her book seems a bit catty. It's kind of chicken/egg; she wouldn't have gotten involved in the book unless she was a vegetable gardener who had ideas about how such gardening should be done.

    I've taken some heat on Rant many times; it's what I expect--though I don't expect to be defended by others. I doubt Robin expects defense from anyone at Cool Springs.

    Incredible BTW that the word "evil" would come into play here. Let's step back a bit.

  9. EAL, my GardenRant partner, said everything I wanted to say - except: This whole thing reminds me of the last time people were angry about something on GardenRant - it was a few designers upset that we're not pro-design ENOUGH. Too in love with messy, bug-ridden gardens and all that, like our Manifesto says.
    That's why I try to not get involved in the back and forth.

  10. EAL,

    It's too bad that people have to take Robin's comments personally--she was just expressing her opinions in an area where she has a lot of experience and feels strongly. Opinions are what Rant is about.

    Why is it “too bad.” People are now expressing their opinions about an issue that they too feel strongly about. I think if any of the people involved didn’t want a reaction to their thoughts they’d be writing in paper journals and hiding them under their mattresses.

    To say she wrote the post to sell her book seems a bit catty. It's kind of chicken/egg; she wouldn't have gotten involved in the book unless she was a vegetable gardener who had ideas about how such gardening should be done. 

    I have to admit I’m not a reader of GardenRant and I don’t read it unless someone points something out to me so I don’t know if Robin is a regular guest poster on GardenRant. With that said: it is HIGHLY disingenuous to pretend like the purpose of the guest post wasn’t to promote the book.

    Look at the title of the post and the use of “grocery gardening”  in the post. Did anyone call it “grocery gardening” before this book was written and published? Maybe it is a colloquialism that I’m unaware of but I’d never heard anyone use that term before. I just did a search of Garden Rant and only three results for “grocery gardening” come up. All of them from March 2010. The same thing goes with Robin's own blog. Three results for "grocery gardening." But maybe it is just a coincidence that "grocery gardening" is the name of the book co-authored by Robin and she just happened to title the post after it and use the term in the post even though in the 3 years she's been a garden bloggers she's never referred to vegetable/kitchen gardening as "grocery gardening" before becoming involved with the book.

    Couple all that with the fact that the post originally included a (broken) link to Robin’s Amazon affiliate account to the book and your “catty” seems more like me keeping it real.

    And anyway… I don’t have a problem with marketing or guest posts as a marketing device. It is a normal part of blogging life. When I asked Jim to do a guest post here about Buffa10, I didn’t make the offer because I’m “nice.” I did it to promote the event to garden bloggers and because I’d suggested to a client of mine that they should become sponsors of the event. It was a marketing/promotion where everyone would’ve benefited. If to speak honestly about marketing is ‘catty,’ then so be it . But to me it seems more like your personal hang-up than anything.

    Incredible BTW that the word "evil" would come into play here. Let's step back a bit. 

    Ummm, you may want to…oh I dunno…look at the context of the use of the word.  Maybe even entertain the possibility that the person who used it had no “evil” intentions in doing so, but it was just the first word that came to her mind.

  11. Oops forgot to say...thanks for commenting, y'all.

  12. EAL, I really wish you could have read the content of my comment (the one where I actually DEFEND Robin's intentions) instead of policing my word choice and asking me to step back. Nothing like being slapped for trying to be fair. Thanks!

  13. know what they say about opinions in general. At least if it were in print I could shred and compost it. Someday when it's no longer necessary for me to work and I can garden all day-my gardens will look the same way they do now: Messy, weedy, buggy. Just the way I like it. :)

  14. My main issue with the post at GR, and the reason I felt compelled to post as I did, is that the tone of Robin's piece was rather discouraging. I would HATE to be a newbie gardener, considering starting my very first vegetable garden (as many are doing this year, if projections from NGA are right) and see that if I were lax in weeding once in a while, or I deigned to buy the tomato cages at Walmart, that there would be other gardeners out there looking down on my fledgling effort, thinking that I'm giving them "a bad name." Why even bother? Just starting something is hard enough without dealing with that.

    She gave great advice about paths, weeding, supporting your plants, etc. My beef was not with her giving advice. I just didn't like the disparaging way some of it was expressed.

    1. It was VERY discouraging to someone who is handicapped as well as never having gardened before and my "garden" is a 4'x4' bit of porch - incl a place to for me to sit. I don't know how to begin, every tomato plant I ever planted died a most untimely death, I've had some herbs that succeeded, and cacti are all I can keep alive - either water-wise and light-wise being as we live in a dark cellar 24/7, (s'truth - our windows are "portholes" and at ground level in an alley that hasn't seen the light of day since before 1900 I'll wager! We run the lights day and night.) My gardening so far has been a couple of flowering plants in plastic pots, (LOOOOVE the idea I saw of someone using chicken wire to keep the blasted squirrels out of their plants, I tried gravel and then the pointy sticks that go thru Chinese Chicken Teriyaki - no luck, blasted little buggers!) And trying to grow a hide-behind vine in a place w/ only VERY early morning sunshine. It gave up trying sometime in May when the leaves REALLY came out! LOL!

      But yeah, it was like some stranger suddenly hollering in a crowd at me for wearing hideous clothes and everyone else turning around, looking and laughing. How did I know *then* that I'd read some 7 hours of blogs defending their "ugly" gardens?? Loved it! If I only had the space for the buckets and the sun. (And a small stool for the old back ya know... LOL!) The advice is good and truthful whether I like it or not, 'tho it could have been phrased as such more clearly. Her tone was ENTIRELY un-called-for and it HURT! "Well, heck, why try? I'll never measure up!! All these smart folks who know all the secrets of what plant grows where, all about bugs, can compost stuff and then have the strength to work it into the soil", all kinds of things like that. It's daunting enough! But don't worry, I'll definitely still try, all those "ugly gardeners" saved me! :))

  15. There is a moment in every garden, every year, when it slips out of our tenuous control. I have learned over the years to let go of the garden when it reaches this stage, in my garden usually sometime in August. I have a "beautiful" garden, and just today my kids were ragging me because I canNOT walk past a weed and not pull it (they have to restrain me when I walk past other people's gardens). But it's been almost a religious experience each year to give the garden back to the god and the goddess in the late summer, and let the wildness and the "ugly" happen. Because this is where the beauty starts for next year. If you don't let your mustard go to seed, you won't have mustard next year. Let the borage volunteers go-- they're your winter cover crop. The beans start dragging down the corn stalks, and by October you have mulch.

    No it isn't pretty. It's barely even cultivated. But it's part of the process.

    Now in June, if I see lambs quarters growing in your tomato patch, honey, I'm comin' in there to yank 'em out. My kids moved out, so there's no one to stop me.

  16. Since she's not able to respond personally, I thought I'd link a post of Katie's here from last year

  17. The tone made it impossible for me to value any of the advice. It came off so "Do it MY way or be wrong"...bleh.

  18. I mean Robin's tone, NOT Katie's!!

  19. Internet fights are fun to watch :) I don't grow anything I can't eat on my little urban homestead. I view it as a mini-farm and am unconcerned if it can't compete against a show garden.

  20. I have no problem with Robin or anybody else giving advice or even shaming us for not pulling weeds. But the name calling (ugly gardens) and ragging on people for the type of equipment they choose to or can afford to use (cheap Walmart tomato cages) is insulting. Not credible. I'm sorry, it just does. And you are either the type of person who thinks that type of nonsense is OK, or you think it stinks.

    We shouldn't have to read between the lines to get what a post means. Writers are responsible for the message they deliver. If we got it wrong, she wrote it wrong. To me, it seems to be a division based on what people place value on with vegetable gardens. Some of you clearly value appearance more than production. I happen to value production more. And I take offense to garden writers who are likely viewed as experts writing things that could discourage new gardeners. I don't know why THAT is so hard to see.

  21. Good discussion, even if some of the posts are a bit defensive. I think maybe we should all step back and breathe, work in our gardens for a bit, and decide what's important to us. I've decided that what the original poster wrote on Rant isn't that important to me.

    In solidarity with others, and to encourage newbies, I'll write a post, but I won't be mentioning the OP's name, or her blog, or the book that I now will not be buying--or more importantly, requesting for a review copy. Guess maybe I'm still bitchy, but I'm thinkin' there's a helluva lot more wrong with the world than messy gardens.

    Thank you, MRBT, for this chance for us to share our thoughts.

  22. Heaven forfend that people grow the sorts of gardens they want to grow, have time/money to grow, or whatever. I like a good internet fight as much as the next person, but I can't take this one seriously.

  23. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    See what you get for being nice. HA!

    You will weed my lambs quarter from my cold dead garden! I love that weed, one of my fave.

    This internet fight is pretty rad. If I was a better writer (and thinker) I could probably pull out the underlying (real?) issue in this whole discussion. I think as, @ChristinaGardens (on Twitter) mentioned, this isn't about "ugly" but about class consciousness. There's a wonderful and thought-provoking essay in here somewhere.

  24. Class (un-)consciousness, and also the human tendency to forget that one didn't always know the things one knows. Re-reading the original post, I was struck by the suggestions that the reader should already know:

    -how to identify the best location for each plant
    -to enrich the soil with compost
    -to weed early and often
    -to plan the garden so all parts can be accessed
    -to buy sturdy, expensive tomato cages

    Maybe raising these topics was a sneaky attempt to get people thinking, gee, if only there were a book that could teach me all of these things I have to know but am not familiar with, but I think that might be giving too much credit. I think she maybe just focused so hard on being edgy and contrarian, knowing she was writing for an audience of people who were already mostly hip to these topics, that she forgot that there were other kinds of people reading, who have different priorities, responsibilities, and capabilities.

    Just a theory. But a lot of the guest Ranters at GR seem to do that. Which is really strange, because the four Ranters themselves are, as I have said, about as threatening as a freshly-baked apple-cinnamon muffin, 90% of the time, and don't actually go out of their way to offend large swathes of their potential audience. I'm at a loss to explain.

    Personally, I had a pretty disastrous vegetable garden last year, not knowing any of the five items I listed above. I'm not necessarily positive I want to try it again. (I don't even like tomatoes.) Ripley's rant isn't going to decide the matter one way or another for me, but I don't read that and feel like, okay, I'll try again and do better this year: I read it and think, holy crap what a metric fuckton of work; that sounds like the least pleasant way to spend a summer imaginable, why did I ever think vegetable gardening would be remotely enjoyable in the first place.

    According to what she's put up at her blog, this is a reaction she's just fine with. People should understand that gardens take work, doncha know, and if you don't want to do the work, then you shouldn't be trying to grow vegetables. But telling people they may not have what it takes to grow vegetables and would be better off not trying is a damned odd way to go about trying to sell vegetable-gardening books.

  25. Personally, I had a pretty disastrous vegetable garden last year, not knowing any of the five items I listed above. I'm not necessarily positive I want to try it again. (I don't even like tomatoes.)

    Good comment, I'll probably be back to it tomorrow but I wanted to comment on this tonight. I started in bonsai/houseplants in the late 90s and I feel it prepared me to hit the ground running when I finally took up "outdoor" gardening. So, your experience is kinda blowing my mind. I mean, I basically consider you the go-to expert in houseplants on the internet and everything you do in containers is basically what you do in "outdoor" gardening. Bonsai and houseplants taught me everything I need to know when I started playing with plants outdoors.

    Soil composition? Yeah, you better learn that if you garden in small pots. Same for weeding (If your plants summer outside) and plant placement. I think of gardening outdoors like gardening indoors but without a roof.

  26. I think Mr Subjunctive hit the nail on the head there. There is definitely a "I've been gardening before it was cool and I know the 'proper' way to garden" vibe going on.

    And I don't think a disastrous first year of vegetable gardening, a "diatribe" against ugly gardens, nor the realization that SOME vegetable gardens take a lot of work should stop you from growing something to eat this year.

    (1) Definitely only grow stuff you enjoy eating. Who wants to spend one second of time growing anything you don't enjoy looking at or eating?!
    (2) Check out some of the alternative ways to grow things, like EarthBox. You don't have to buy that particular product, but by looking at how they do things, you can pick up a lot of tips on how to keep things easy (i.e. covering the surface of a container with plastic can cut down on weeding and water loss).

  27. I've been gardening for 20 years. I never feel like I know what I'm doing. I've been resisting turning my blog into a garden blog because I'm just a mom who kinda sorta figured out gardening on her own, without the internet, with some books, but mostly by trial and error. And as others have pointed out, that's the problem with the original post-- not that you SHOULDN'T weed, or think about layout (design's too fancy a word), but I think if I were a novice gardener my first reaction would have been, "Shit, you mean there are other types of tomato supports? I have been doing it wrong. How embarrassing"

    I tried to find a picture of my 20-year old, rusted, broken, triple-stacked (for strength) 1.99 tomato cages, in which I grow a harvest of 200 fruits a year, but I've apparently never shot one. Yah. Too embarrassing.

    Such a great discussion. Thanks, gardenrant!

  28. I honestly love the back and forth that rants like Ripley's create. They make us think. What I don't understand is the amount of people who think it is OK for a person to make such strong statements in a rant, but it's not OK for people to strongly disagree in the comments and elsewhere. Everyone is different and just because we are all gardeners, it doesn't mean we think exactly the same. We are all just stating our opinions.

    I'm not surprised, though, that the publishers are silent. Honestly, I don't know how I would respond if I were in their spot. Better to let the whole thing settle, blow over and move on.

  29. Anonymous comments in this thread will be deleted. I don't care if they are good or bad, if you have something to say "sign" and own it. Or go be a coward somewhere else, it is a big internet.


  30. For me a functional garden is a beautiful garden. I think a lot of gardening is trial and error and you shouldn't be penalized for experimenting or making do with what you already have or have access to (e.g. cheaply made tomato cages). Personally, I enjoy a beautiful professionally landscaped garden but I can still appreciate a homemade garden using recycled tires or makeshift pea t-pees. The gardening world would very dull place if every garden had the same aesthetic.

  31. "...holy crap what a metric fuckton of work; that sounds like the least pleasant way to spend a summer imaginable, why did I ever think vegetable gardening would be remotely enjoyable in the first place.

    According to what she's put up at her blog, this is a reaction she's just fine with. People should understand that gardens take work, doncha know, and if you don't want to do the work, then you shouldn't be trying to grow vegetables. But telling people they may not have what it takes to grow vegetables and would be better off not trying is a damned odd way to go about trying to sell vegetable-gardening books."

    Lololololol! What a metricfuckton laugh you give me Mr. Subjunctive! I couldn't have said it better (At the moment....because I'm drunk :)

  32. She had an opinion, and I can respect opinions, but there's opinions and snark, and then there's bad writing.

    Suggesting that people should give up a hobby because they weren't perfect at it is irresponsible writing. Who am I to tell someone else to stop doing something they love?

    There's 'snobbery' in all areas of hobbies, I believe. And I'm guessing this woman's making her mark trying to do it her way. More power to her for it, but it's not the type of writing I'm interested in.

  33. The unfortunate thing, for me, is that I've written some things advocating the partnership of good design and food gardening... and feel that now people have that "snooty" bad taste in their mouth when the idea comes up. Maybe it isn't so hard - or snobbish - to make that part of the garden pretty.

    Online, it is all in the "tone", isn't it?


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