Sunday, July 3, 2011

Joining the Carnival

Road show travelers beckon visitors at the gate in HBO's Carnivale.

I'm becoming more avid than ever in reading about plants, attending horticulture happenings, launching garden experiments, communing with plant experts and asking plant questions. I'm going out of my way to capture plants on my camera, no matter if they're a narrow two inches between the sidewalk and the next pedestrian's shoe or if they're a wide 30ft down a rocky ledge. I used to be a plant enthusiast, now I'm a full-on plant freak! Cue the circus music.

But you know what? I'm not alone. In joining the blogosphere I've discovered leagues of us who would wake at dawn to keep up with the secret lives of plants, climb onto a roof top searching for signs of green life, or eat the most unlikely vegetation just to get to know it better. We are plant freaks, all of us! What's more, we have our own carnivals to prove it. This month I am hosting not one, but two plant-themed blog carnivals right here on Beyond the Brambles.

A blog carnival, much like a brick-and-mortar carnival, moves from venue to venue every month, featuring a collection of attractions. In this case, the attractions are links to fascinating, amusing web articles (including writing, photos, video and sound clips) and the venue is this blog. I'll be collecting submissions throughout July to review for this month's edition of Berry Go Round as well as next month's edition of Festival of the Trees.

 COME ONE, COME ALL

If you want to witness these strange and exciting blog carnivals, I invite you to return on July 31st and August 1st for back-to-back carnival craziness!! If you have a plant freak streak in you and you operate a website, I urge you to read on. . .

Berry Go Round is a botany-themed blog carnival. I'm seeking close-up, intimate insights on the inner workings of plants for this one. To see more of what I mean, check out past editions of Berry Go Round. If you've recently had an epiphany about how grass grows, why a carrot needs elbow room, or where to find a bromeliad's babies, please share it with me! (Or any other true stories starring intriguing plants.) In turn, I may share it with hundreds more plantophiles in my carnival edition! This is a great way to gather a diverse group of readers and resources for your site.

Likewise is true at Festival of the Trees. As you may have guessed, it's all about the tree limbs, lives and lessons. Past editions all have their own themes, and this month my theme is "Lessons We Have Learned From Trees". After many hours of teaching children under green canopies, I know that the things we have to learn from trees are priceless and numberless. But they're not all scholastic. Ever been outsmarted at sports by a tree? Ever been roused to tears because of a tree? We live our lives close to them, often interacting with them so subtly that they suddenly surprise us. Sometimes they leave us with questions instead of facts. Often they leave us with incredible stories. I looove a good tree story, and I'm really looking forward to collecting them and sharing them. Everybody has at least one tree story, so give em here!


Even if you're not usually inclined to share stories or information about plants on your website, these carnivals aim at stitching a wide range of blogs and websites together with this common thread. Submissions for Berry Go Round can be entered here, and they are due July 25th. Festival of the Trees submissions can be entered to beyondthebrambles@gmail.com, due July 30th. I can't wait to read them!

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If there's one thing better than visiting gardens, it's talking about them. . .thanks for joining the conversation!