As Patty, our fearless leader, was jet setting and rubbing elbows with the garden elite in San Francisco, I was pouring over guide books, busily compiling my bucket list for this year’s garden treks. It should come as no surprise then that our new Best Gardening Blogs 2011 winner is a garden trekker herself.
Charlotte, the author of The Galloping Gardener, takes her readers to some of the most wonderful gardens England, India and North American have to offer. Her work, philanthropic venture and family life have afforded her the opportunity to explore gardens many of us may only see in books and magazines. Her talent for photography and an easy, conversational style of writing affords us the luxury of joining her on her trips; no passport required.
Charlotte is a self-described late comer to the garden life. In the introduction to her blog she writes, “You could say I was a late developer, but I suspect that in reality I am no different to many other women, who only come to love the garden when they have a little more time on their hands and the genuine maturity to understand what a garden brings in terms of satisfaction and solace once the children have left home.”
Charlotte carefully plans each garden trip, taking into consideration the weather, location of gardens so she can tour as many as possible during a given trip and the best season to see a garden, so it is in its full glory. A credit to her character, Charlotte only shares with us the gardens that inspire and live up to her expectations. There is no room for negative garden reviews in her blog.
It is easy to get lost in the pages of her blog. One spectacular garden after another entices viewers to stay just a bit longer and explore just one more garden. From the gardens at Vizcaya, Florida to Athelhampton House in Britain to Merriments Garden in East Sussex, each garden is an inspiration.
Perhaps her most exciting and rewarding garden venture is yet to come. Charlotte is building a garden in India where she recently completed construction on a hospital in rural Rajasthan. You can learn more about Disha Hospital, The Raven Foundation and the gardens at Jardins sans Frontier.
Jenny Koester, AKA The Landless Gardener, is the Garden Blog Editor for Horticulture magazine and the author of The Garden Life.