PASSIONATE ABOUT hydrangeas? African violets? Bonsai? Orchids? There’s a Facebook group, or 10, for that.
Plonk the name of your floral or arboreal obsession into the search bar at the top of your Facebook page and the choices mushroom with references, resources, photos and mentions.
(If you don’t have a Facebook page, feel free to stop reading now.)
Let’s take hydrangeas (because I love hydrangeas). Among the numerous groups sharing the love, the two largest are the egregiously named “Hydrangea Happiness,” with 6,795 members, and the more elegant “Hydrangeas,” with 5,900 followers. Both share photos, tips and such—with up to six posts a day.
I got tired of counting the number of FB pages devoted to roses, stopping after 25, though there must be at least 100, with names like “Roses” and “I Love Roses” and “Beautiful Roses,” which are just what they appear to be, pages devoted to photos and comments about the plant.
As you weed through them, the curious emerge, like “Roses . . . Just for You.” Which is devoted to “appreciating the beauty of GOD’s creation,” and cautions that there are “no nude pics and videos.” It seems that 197,086 people appreciate this page, posting photos and comments up to 300 times per day. This does not strike me as a jolly crowd.
Then there’s “Skulls and Roses,” which has lost an alarming number of members since I last checked in, dropping from 13,000 members to 985. The group is just what it says, “a place where you can post pics of Skulls and Roses.” Unfortunately, I can’t describe a typical post because you have to join the page first, something I am reluctant to do, given the rate of attrition.
You do have to weed through these pages to find simpatico content and contributors. It’s as if you’ve arrived at a party with a bunch of strangers who could turn out to be bores, drunks or your new best friends. Don’t sit down until you get the lay of the land, as it were.
Some groups have rather marvelous monikers, like “Lawn Care Mafia.” There once were seven groups that shared this name; now there are just two, and between them they have 42,000 members. An upstart called “The Real Lawn Care Mafia” has recently emerged, with just 24 followers. I don’t know what to make of this. All of these sites feature really cool, loud and large equipment and photos of complete irrelevance, such as the pimply-faced kid sitting in a car with what look like 65 acupuncture needles stuck in his forehead who asks, “How would you title this picture?” You think the entire mafia set is a bunch of guys, maybe?
“Container Gardening Gone to Pot” is the first plant FB group I ever joined. This was because of the name, which amused me. Here you can find gorgeous posts such as a recent video of the orchid show at England’s Kew Gardens alongside items like what is clearly a pot of geraniums with some innocent asking, “What is this interesting flower?”
There are frequently a lot of stupid questions on these pages, all of these pages. But if you’re just learning to garden you can forge forth fearlessly and ask away. Everyone is treated with kindness, which is probably because I refrain from commenting.
“Mid-Atlantic Tropics,” another of my favorites, is a non sequiturial* group of fools like me who insist on trying to grow Bird of Paradise among other clearly tropical plants in places where snow is at least occasionally known to fall. There are some amazing tropical gardens in Pittsburgh, by the way.
No matter which state or country you live in, there’s a Facebook gardening group for you—frequently there’ll be several, so you’re covered within any state from mountain to shore.
In Washington DC there’s DC Gardeners, which goes way beyond the cherry blossoms to ferret out special events and garden tours, host a garden book club and book signings—and generally promote public gardens and city gardening, from ponds to vegetables to native plants.
And there’s Washington Gardener, which hosts a lively Facebook page in addition to a gorgeous monthly magazine.
Prefer hands-on, hit-you-right-on-the-nose garden inspiration? A reminder that The Philadelphia Flower Show, the Big Mama of US flower shows, runs from February 29 through March 8, this year featuring a toast to the French Riviera along with the usual extravaganza of garden displays, presentations and demonstrations—plus a drool-worthy assortment of plants and accessories to buy and take home.
*Not a word, but should be