My name is not MrBrownThumb, at least not legally. The name encapsulates my philosophy on gardening. Everyone kills plants and there is no such thing as a green thumb. You don't ever learn anything about gardening until you've had failures. I've been gardening off and on since I was a kid. One day I needed a name to sign up for a gardening forum and since everyone was calling themselves a variation of green thumb, I choose to go brown. My MrBrownThumb garden blog is Chicago's oldest and active garden blog. Some people really seem to like it, since '07 it has amassed over 500k visit. My little slice of the internet has lead to things like being invited to blog here when ChicagoNow launched, writing articles for print, licensing my garden pictures and conducting lectures and workshops about gardening. Oh, yeah... and getting to talk to an interview my gardening heroes. I first became interested in plants when as a kid I would watch The Karate Kid movies and was amazed by the bonsai trees Mr. Miyagi grew. Years later I came across some bonsai trees in a storefront and was taken back to the memories of watching The Karate Kid movies and had to buy one. That little tree lead to a desire to understand the natural world and how we humans attempt to manipulate it. Now, my interests in gardening range from houseplants to seeds and plant propagation. In fact, I'm starting a seed bank in 2011. Which is ironic, because I have zero dollars in the other kind of bank. My latest project is co-founding and co-hosting #SeedChat on Twitter with @xitomatl. Every Wednesday night at 8pm Central gardeners from all over North America get together to talk about everything related to gardening with seeds. I'm grateful for recent opportunities like the one Mike Nowak has provided me by giving me a few minutes a couple of times a month on his radio show to talk about gardening in Chicago. Sometimes I give talks or facilitate lectures on gardening. Probably, the coolest thing about being a garden blogger is that I've asked to talk to kids about gardening. Don't laugh, I find this to be really rewarding. Mostly because kids seem to have just the right maturity level to get me. When I'm not busy trolling the internet, in the humorous way-not the malicious way, for laughs I may be updating one of my many, many blogs related to gardening. Seriously, I have a lot of them. In my spare time I put a marketing degree that I went into debt for don't use enough by consulting small garden businesses and non-profits. While all of my blogs are about gardening they, like gardeners, are a little different in focus. I invite you to look around them and leave a comment or five.
You can reach me through my contact form if you want to say hello or suggest an event, gardener/garden, community garden, garden club or topic you'd like to see covered on this garden blog. If you have questions about plants or gardening leave them in the comments section of the blog. If you see a question that you know the answer to, feel free to respond.
I would like Chicago Garden to be a little different than the MrBrownThumb garden blog. Instead of it being my personal garden journal, I want it to be about and for everyone in Chicago who grows something-- anything--either on a tiny windowsill or in a back yard. I welcome you to introduce yourself If I don't reach out to you first and help me create a conversation about and among Chicago gardeners.
Photos on this blog are taken by me (unless noted otherwise) and shot with either a Sony CyberShot or a Digital Rebel and cannot be used without my expressed consent.
I've set up a flickr group where you can share pictures of your garden or urban farm. Join the Chicago Garden flickr group. If you want to, you can find me on YouTube, Twitter (warning I tweet A LOT) Facebook.