Garden Monkey sent me a link this morning to a piece about whether serious critical writing is going to get killed off by blogs. Brian Sewell reckons there's an argument against the democratisation of criticism: that amateurs will never do as good a job as the "skilled". But there are so many great things about blogs (spontaneity, intimacy, and the potential for developing long-standing private jokes about time-lapse photography are three that immediately spring to my mind).
Whatever the good points of blogging, though, the holy grail of bloggers is generally (as Jay Rayner points out) to become "real" professionals.
Typepad are celebrating three such successes this morning on the front page, and in the much tinier world of garden blogs we are currently toasting Deb from Beholder's Eye who has won a Malvern Autumn Show garden commission, and Emma Cooper, aka Fluffius Muppetus who had her first piece in The Guardian this weekend - about eating weeds.
Worth pointing out that I only know about these two utterly delightful bits of news from Garden Monkey. GM is on average more likely to be getting abused for being a wickedly malicious stirrer, but in my experience can be most often accused of being generous, thoughtful and proud of friends' achievements in a grown-up and verging on proudly parental fashion.
(Not that the Monkey will necessarily thank me for tarnishing their reputation with this allegation of genuine niceness.)
Anyway, I have some thank-yous to do regarding the Big Green Leaf: to everybody who posted pictures, to everyone who looked at the pics, and especially to those who took the time to comment. Installing Google Analytics can be good for the ego, but nice comments are better. I would particularly single out Victoria and VP who I noticed posting all over the place.
But in terms of my overall highlights: I've told everyone I know about Mrs Be's vegetable spectacular; I love Nancy Bond's utterly appropriate Robert Frost poem; I admired the pristine hostas of Lisa Greenbow; Q's Sunday Bug Safari; Joy Best's best efforts to make a garden despite raccoons and naughty boat-toting relatives; Zoe's mind-altering kaleidoscope of greens with special huge rave choon; and Karen the Artist's Garden's wonderful and funny gold, silver and bronze awards.
My best plant discovery was Hoe and Shovel's variegated shell ginger, and a Jatropha "Buddha Belly" - yum. But these are just little glimpses of the pleasure I got trawling round the whole
lot. Thank you all so much for taking part. And while we're raising our glasses, let's toast the benign authority of the blogosphere. Long may we all - ever so democratically - reign.