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Alpines and bulbs but not blogs

BulbLogpage597 We’re overrun with blogs these days. A few of the best are listed on the right but a couple which do not, perhaps, get the notice they deserve are hosted by the Scottish Rock Garden Club (SRGC).

The Bulb Log Diary is written by Ian Young, the President of the SGRC, and he posts on bulbs in detail and with superb photography about every two weeks. He grows an extraordinary range of small bulbs, and writes about them and photographs them with care and thoughtfulness.

Also, from the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in Surrey comes the Wisley Alpine Log written by Paul Cumbleton who runs the Alpine Department there. This provides a fascinating insight into the work and development of Wisley’s alpines and is well worth following.

Ian’s most recent entries are on tulips and especially on fritillarias, and then on corydalis revealing their extraordinary variety. Paul’s recent additions have been on the creation of new planting areas on the Wisley rock garden for hardy (zone 8) carnivorous plants and on hepaticas and other mid-March alpines.

They’re always interesting, always a good read – even for gardeners who never grow alpines or dwarf bulbs - and some of the photography is spectacular.

HepaticaHarlowCarrpage But here’s the problem: they’re not actually blogs. For some reason they’re formatted as pdf files so there’s none of the interactivity we expet from blogs. They display in the web browser and can easily be downloaded but you can’t comment about them on the spot, you have to go to a separate forum to which there is no link. In fact it’s impossible to go anywhere else except back to the contents list. There are no links on the pages at all.

This is such a shame, the unusual format is a definite deterrent going back regularly and to posting comments. We’re all so used to RSS feeds and just clicking on the Comment link at the end of a post to add our thoughts that I’m sure the SRGC miss out on many readers by using this approach.

However, in spite of all this, my recommendation is to go take a look. Regularly.

Go to Ian Young’s Bulb Log Diary

Go to Paul Cumbleton’s Wisley Alpine Log

Comments

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Martha

Thanks for the good blog leads.

Margaret Young

Hello, Graham,
Great to hear that you enjoy the Ian Young's Bulb Log and the Wisley Log on the SRGC website.
May I make few points about your comments ?
Ian Young is a former president of the SRGC and his log has appeared every week since 2003. We encouraged Paul Cumbleton to begin the Wisley Diary and it appears every two weeks on the SRGC site.
These are Logs, not Blogs... a fine distinction perhaps, but one which is relevant! On the main page for each Log there is a direct link to the pages of the very busy SRGC Forum, where comments and discussions can take place about the Logs... and many other things besides. The SRGC Forum is one of the most vibrant and interactive of its kind and we are not aware of too much difficulty encountered by Folks finding their way there to comment and share their experiences. Perhaps you missed the links to the Forum areas? We will look to make them more prominent.It is sometimes tricky to make such things obvious enough, as can be seen from the rather pale coloured text of the links you show! :>))

All previous Logs are archived on the site to allow for re-reading. Recently the decision was made to move to the pdf format and we have found this popular with readers who can download easily to read offline and enlarge photos etc at will.

With best wishes,
Margaret Young
SRGC WebTeam

Margaret Young

P.S. I should have mentioned that the Bulb Log is read by nearly forty thousand people a week .... bless every one of them!

Graham Rice

Thanks for your comments, Margaret. Yes, I was aware of Ian's previous role as President of the SRGC and that his log has been running for some years.

But I think we'll have to agree to differ on the format. When you go from the Contents page to individual entries, each individual entry opens in a new window (excellent) but there is no link from the individual entry to the forum - you have to take two steps to get there (back to the Contents page then follow the link). Using a blog format, as here, enables the responses to be viewed on the same page as the original entry/blog post.

Either way - it's superb.

Margaret Young

Yes, Graham, I see what you say about the two steps back to get to the Forum.... we'll have to think about that one.... should be a simple "fix" , I hope!
One advantage of the Forum reply route is the chance to post one's own photos etc and interact that way and it allows the Diarist to respond with more photos, perhaps of an more detailed nature , for instance than might have been called for initially.The Blog system as used here is less interative in that way, is it not? Would you not need to utilise a whole new blog to incorporate such responses?

Regards from Scotland!
Margaret

Graham Rice

You're right, Margaret, these comments cannot incorporate images - at least I don't think they can (I'll investigate) - and that is a disadvantage. Although most commenters, I suspect, want to just spend a moment rattling off a few words and not spend more time on images.

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