Every Friday we feature a new site for our Blog of the Week. Today, we’re introducing Michaela from The Gardener’s Eden. She’s a professional garden designer, writer, speaker and photographer based in southern Vermont. Her garden designs, photographs and articles have appeared in numerous online and print publications, including Birds & Blooms Beautiful Fall Gardens/Magical Winter Yards, on newsstands now!
1. What’s the inspiration behind your blog?
In the winter months, I present gardening seminars to new and experienced gardeners. I started blogging as a way to communicate helpful tips and notes with my garden seminar attendees. and design clients. Before studying horticulture, my formal education focused on literature, and I’ve always loved writing. But once I began blogging about gardens, I found that I also wanted to share what they looked like. Out of necessity, I picked up a camera and quickly developed a passion for photography. Soon, I was taking photos in the garden every day, and I wanted to share what I was seeing. Sharing the beauty of nature is now the greatest inspiration for my blog.
2. How long has your blog been around?
I began blogging somewhat sporadically in April 2009, and I now publish an average of two to three new articles per week. Most of the posts are focused on garden design and maintenance or specific plant profiles, but I also share kitchen garden recipes, book or product reviews, occasional interviews and, of course, lots and lots of garden photography.
3. What’s your favorite backyard activity?
Since I began using a camera in 2009, I would say that outside of gardening, my favorite backyard activity is photographing the flora and fauna in my gardens and the forest surrounding my home. Looking through a camera lens has made me see the world in a new and beautiful way. It’s compulsive, really. I just can’t seem to take enough pictures!
4. What’s one quirky thing about yourself we can share with our readers?
I see beauty in things that might sometimes repel or even spook others. I have a collection of natural objects — birds’ nests, seed pods, snake skins, snail shells, animal bones, skeletons and dead insects — that I find and keep in pretty apothecary jars on my bookshelves. I love studying nature, and my collection serves as an inspirational, natural history museum in miniature.
5. What’s one of your favorite or most popular blog posts and why?
My favorite blog post ended up as a three-part “Autumn Brilliance” series, and I like to build on that theme every year. I love writing about fall and winter gardens, and I delight in showing others how to create knock-out garden designs in latter part of the season. I live in the Northeast, where the growing season is quite short. Designing gardens with four-season interest is particularly important here. I’ve found that these blog posts — especially those focused on attracting wildlife with colorful fruit and textural seeds — are quite popular with readers.