Gardening in the Internet Era

by Fern on August 17, 2009

in General

The plant I’m holding in the picture below is a New Zealand Flax called ‘Black Adder.’ You all know how much I love black plants. Normally I would be limited to the black plants I could find at the nurseries in my area. But this plant started off its life in Ireland, made a pit stop in Sacramento, and now resides in my garden in Southern California.


Phormium ‘Black Adder’ developed by Pat Fitzgerald

You might be wondering how in the world I got my hands on an Irish plant, and what any of this has to do with the internet. Let me explain.

It all begins with Twitter. There is an awesome community of gardeners on Twitter. While some tweets are the banal “I’m leaving my house to go grocery shopping” variety, as I hope I’ve shown through the tweets I’ve republished on Life on the Balcony, there is a huge group of gardeners who are using the website to share links to interesting gardening articles, pass along tips, and offer up gardening advice. It’s through Twitter that I met Pat (@PatFitzGerald) and Carrie (@betweenthelimes).

Pat develops plants specially designed for small gardens and containers. His nursery is in County Kilkenny, Ireland; but as many plant breeders are known to do, he brought some of his plants over to California for pack trials. Being the nice guy that he is, while here in the golden state, Pat decided to give a bunch of his plants to Carrie to try out in her garden in Sacramento, CA.

This weekend, Carrie was visiting her family who live not too far from me, so she brought along one of Pat’s plants to give to yours truly. I had a lot of fun hanging out with Carrie for a bit, and am totally stoked to have a black plant all the way from Ireland.

That my friends, is gardening in the internet era. 5,172 miles bridged in the click of a mouse.

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