Follow on: Instagram for gardeners

As a primarily visual medium, Instagram eschews politics and offers beauty with few beasts

Just what you need: more social media. We should all ditch our phones, step outside into the fresh air and do one real thing to make the planet healthier: garden.

Yet we all have low moments, or twitchy distractible ones, moments standing in lines or at home alone when we swipe for a snoop on Facebook. Rather than cure my clicky/cliquey addiction I’ve transferred it to a healthier platform: Instagram, where I’ve found a wonderful community of knowledgable plant people. As a primarily visual medium, Instagram eschews politics and offers beauty with few beasts.

Here’s how it works: people upload photos and hashtag them (they put one of these # symbols before the subject of their photo). This makes the app searchable. So say you’re gearing up to plant sweet peas (which you should be right now), you can search under #sweetpeas to see pictures of varieties you might like, learn where to find interesting seeds and discover cultivation tips. All of the above might be available at a garden centre, but I guarantee the diversity of information is not. Instagram is global and depending on who you follow, highly collegial and professional as well.

Have a thing for alpines? Formal gardens? English borders? Old roses? Topiary? Instagram has it. Your ‘feed’ is set by you: what matters is not who you know, only your own taste.

Instagram is also free. You can use it to chronicle your garden over time and set your account to private. You need not even post a picture at all – you can use it for research searching  #gardenersworld, #botany, or #horticulture for starters, then narrow down by subjects of interest.

For English gardens (always good choice given our climate) try The Royal Horticultural Society @the_rhs; London’s Garden Museum @gardenmuseum; The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew @kewgardens; @gardens_illustrated magazine and the National Trust @nationaltrust.

For garden design @debbytenquist does a grand job of locating pictures of famous gardens and describing why they are significant. Trending designers such as Dan Pearson @coyotewillow and @pietoudolf regularly post, but people also post about luminaries using their names as hashtags. For example, you might follow Great Dixter, but you can also see what head gardener #fergusgarrett is up to.

For tropicals try @rbgsydney, for succulents @succulove and for roses @david_austin_roses. @botanicaetcetera serves up wonderful historical and artistic miscellany.

Two local hashtags to try are #yyjgardens and #yyjflowers. My own account @cultivatedbychristin just hit 10,000 followers. I post pictures of my own flowers, but also chronicle my botanical trips and feature other gardeners. Since joining in 2015, I can’t count the number of new plants I’ve discovered, not to mention the gardens I’ve visited and plantswomen I’ve now met face-to-face. Occasionally I worry over my penchant for esthetics over politics, but it’s not just beauty I’m after online: for me, education simply trumps Facebook’s anger and ennui.

Christin Geall teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Victoria and is an avid gardener.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alice Munro among Nobel Prize winners urging Trudeau to deny oilsands project

Alberta premier says Teck’s Frontier mine would create 7,500 jobs, $70 billion in government revenue

Unrelated occupancy limits creating divisions in Saanich

Gordon Head Residents’ Association wants to see conditions to hold landlords accountable

Oak Bay cyclist runner-up in Spanish stage race

Adam de Vos on podium amongst World Tour best in Spain

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

Greater Victoria has Canada’s sixth-highest ‘moving penalty’

Disparity between vacant/occupied units incentivizes renovictions and reduces mobility, researcher says

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read