Monday, April 21, 2014

A free plug

G'Day Gavin!

It's called starting off on the wrong foot. Send an email to a complete stranger you're hoping to ask a favour of… and get his name wrong for starters. I don't really mind: Gavin is a fine name and I am sure there are many gardening Gavins out there. It's just that I'm a gardening Jamie, but as I said, I don't mind. 

And that's what happened this morning. I received a very cheery email headed "G'Day Gavin!". It was from someone hoping to do a very modest little deal in the hope of getting some free publicity for his new Australian seed selling website.

The is familiar stuff for me. One of the little jobs I have to do as a garden blogger is deal with lots of emails from business promoters. As I've been around for a while and my blog has logged up a fair few hits (mostly due to its sheer longevity, rather than its popularity) people promoting their business send me emails offering all sorts of deals, in the hope of a bit of publicity. It's not enough to make me rich, but I would have a garden shed full of crap I don't want if I accepted every offer.

Very few of these promo emails are irksome, and I don't mind people giving it a try. In fact I can sympathise. One of the biggest problems in the business world is simply getting noticed, standing out from the pack in some way. 

So I always politely reply to most emails, saying "Sorry, I'm strictly an amateur blogger and so I accept no freebies or contra in exchange for blog postings." I reply in this way every week, sometimes a couple of times a week. I always wish them the best of luck.

A few get back to me, revealingly saying "thanks for bothering to reply". It must be a hard slog for them, sending out hundreds of emails, getting hardly any replies. So when they do get a "no" from me, it prompts some of them to reply because at least someone read their email.

The only promo emails that I don't reply to are those suggesting they generously do a "guest posting", based on their relevance to my gardening blog…. on highly relevant topics like cleaning blinds, home heating, insurance for pets… etc. I don't reply to the 'guest posters'. In this gardening blog, any guest posts would just be spam with a parsley garnish.

So while I am a dismal party pooper to the business world's promotional dreams, I have decided to give the authors of my "G'Day Gavin!" email a free plug because I like their website, the company is a new Australian company, they're home-grown, they're young, they're organic, and they actually have gardening products to sell.

I wouldn't have a clue whether they're good, bad, wonderful or indifferent. You decide for yourself. But they sell seeds of all sorts of plants, both edible and ornamental – quite an interesting mix, which mostly made me decide to give them a free plug. So you can check out for yourself the good folk at Fair Dinkum Seeds here:

And here's a little magazine story about them, a young couple called Leigh and Manami.

Good luck to you both, Leigh and Manami, I hope your business flourishes as well as your garden seems to be doing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The hen and her chickens

They're making babies in our succulent patch right now. Mrs Hen has produced a lovely brood of little green chickens, and I feel like a proud Uncle.

They're some sort of Sempervivum and they're enjoying this warm
autumn we're having. In fact, I should say "warm, wet autumn"
because that's how it has been here lately.

Such easy plants to grow, the sempervivums. I put them in the wrong spot when I first planted out the new succulent bed. I had them too far back and these little ground-huggers were swamped by their happy, taller neighbours growing much too big too soon. So I unceremoniously yanked the sempervivums out of their initial spot, popped them into the patch right on the edge of the pathway, and they've just got on with life, enjoying the extra sunshine. Cheep cheep!