Finding A Garden Communicator

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by C.L. Fornari

Changes in the GardenComm Directory

The expression “the more things change, the more they stay the same” might be true in many areas of life, but not in garden communications. In the 21st century the ways people understand and engage with plants and gardens has been rapidly evolving. A mere 30 years ago only a handful of people were familiar with the word “permaculture,” and if you spoke of a “green roof,” you were most likely referring to a traditional, sod-covered building in Scandinavia.illustration blog 1

Up until the turn of the last century, a garden communicator was a writer, speaker, photographer, or broadcaster. Bloggers and podcasters didn’t exist, and no one was spreading information through social media. The internet has changed everything, and we’re constantly adapting while we discover together where this digital world will take us. Today, a more accurate saying might be “the more things change, the more we are called to change with them.”

As individual members of GardenComm move forward in this rapidly transforming new world, our organization is doing the same. One of the best examples of this growth is in the directory on our website. The link on the homepage that says “find a garden communicator” leads to our Connect page where anyone can find members based on the type of communications they do and their area of expertise. For many years there were six types of communicators…now there are 12.  Under “areas of expertise” there used to be 40 options, yet now there are 61.

Thirty years ago we didn’t envision our members blogging, podcasting or as social media influencers, and we never expected that we’d be communicating about climate change, green infrastructure, or Xeriscaping. From foraging to phytoremediation, or urban agriculture to outdoor living spaces, our members have expanded into unexpected areas of expertise as the world changes.

We are #TeamHorticulture. The more things change, the more we grow.



Move Over Hydrangeas – Houseplants Are Back!

Striped bamboo fern, bird's nest fern, heart fernby Lisa Eldred Steinkopf

Sign-up for Lisa’s Webinar Today

Houseplants have taken a back seat in the last few decades. They were huge in the 70’s hanging around in their orange macramé holders. It seems hydrangeas, cone flowers, hostas, and perennials in general were the hot topic for so many years. Guess what, houseplants are back (and so is macramé). Move over hydrangeas. I could not be happier!

There is a plethora of information out there about houseplants. More is coming out every day. Much of it isn’t all that reliable. Why does everyone still think “drainage” in the bottom of a pot is necessary? Or that misting a plant raises the humidity for any amount of time? Why do so many people not know which way their windows face? These are all questions that keep me up at night. Do they make you lose sleep? Probably not. I am a bit obsessed with houseplants.Trichomes on Tillandsia tectorum

Once these questions have been addressed and you know which way your window faces, its time to choose some appropriate plants. Low light, high light, medium light. How do you know what you have? Just because you have a south window, which should be high light, doesn’t mean you will have that good light. Why? An evergreen tree is in front of the window, blocking the light. Or your neighbor’s house or the neighboring apartment building is casting a shadow. All these factors must be considered when deciding how much light you have to offer your houseplants.

So now you have your light situation figured out, have purchased appropriate plants (notice that is not singular), and all is going along just fine. Then you start seeing yellow leaves and one of your plants just doesn’t seem happy. What is going on? If you have a problem with your plant, the first thing to do is figure out what the problem is. Don’t assume you have bugs and spray insecticide. It may be that your plant is simply acclimatizing to your house and while doing so, may lose a couple of leaves. It isn’t unusual and it will adjust. Yet it may be an insect problem or a fungus. This is what must be figured out before action is taken.

These are just some of the things I will cover in my upcoming webinar. Please join me to talk all things houseplants. It will be fun!

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Meet the Author

Lisa Eldred Steinkopf is the Houseplant Guru,lisaPS 4 featuring all things houseplants on her website, She is the author of Houseplants, The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants and Grow in The Dark, How to Choose and Care for Low-Light Houseplants. In addition, she has written for Better Homes and Gardens magazine,, Real Simple magazine, the houseplant section of Allan Armitage’s app and writes regular columns for Michigan Gardener Magazine.