Those who know me, will realise that I am a fan of Social media. - Twitter isn't all about what you had for Breakfast, Facebook isn't all posts about Cats, and Instagram isn't only selfies.
But can Social media make you a better Gardener, Garden Designer, Florist or Flower Grower?
Gardening can be an occupation that you do alone, Gardens, Greenhouses, Polytunnels aren't lonely but they're not normally a place for a crowd. Florists may be tucked in a workshop, Designers stuck to their drawing board, but with the world of Social media, you can reach out and find inspiration, discuss, debate and join in with your opinions. You can share experiments and see others successes, and also mistakes and mishaps to prevent you doing it yourself.
There are also a host of interesting suppliers out there, - and for flowery people, there's nothing like getting recommendations about the best variety, the longest lasting flower, the strongest growing plant, the best quality service in getting orders to you.
This week, i've talked to a book author about which varieties of Ageratum she recommends, and who to get it from. I've given my opinions to an American Flower farmer, who I greatly admire, I've been given some sample Dahlias to try by a brilliant supplier, who i'll now be using a lot more regularly, and i've joined in a chat about Photos for my blog which i'm learning about all the time.
In the last 2 weeks i've also been introduced to a Florist in Farnham who would like my flowers, Received messages from 3 more who are impatient for me to start selling them, and wanting to know what i've got ready and "met" 2 more South East Growers, who want to join Flowers from the farm.
Now social media isn't the only way that I learn about gardening, - I'm looking forward to my Garden Society Spring Show in a couple of weeks, where i'll see if my Hellebores and Daffodils can match up to others locally (and when they don't, find out what else I need to do). - I'm booked in to several workshops this year, to see how others grow Sweet peas, and Roses, plus i'll be learning from the Florists I work with in my quest to get there on the Handtied bouquets.
But for my daily burst of inspiration, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have given me huge amounts of Information, Inspiration and Enthusiasm, to learn, and improve my gardening and flower growing.
I've encouraged lots of people to join the Social networks that I love, and in February, I ran a "Social Media for Flowery people" workshop, with Rona Wheeldon of Flowerona. Our Aim is to let people know what they should be saying to contact with the right people, so there is never that "what shall I say?" moment. Rona runs a session about Photographs for Social media. - If you've ever read her blog, you'll realise how wonderful and emotional, beautiful pictures can be. - We're now running another Workshop on the 31st March.
- There are lots more details here, but it is aimed at those who have a Gardening or Flowery background.
Our last workshop, had Florists, Flower growers, Garden designers, Horticultural colleges, Floral Charities and a Catering company who supply a flower school, as participlants.
100% of them said they would recommend the workshop to others.
So YES, - I am a believer that Social media can make you a better Gardener, Florist or Garden designer, - it's a wonderful way to connect with loads of other like-minded people, - and if you'd like to learn how you can get the most from it, - please Join Rona and I on the 31st March.