h1 If you want to go to a specific destination, we'll suggest a hotel, a restaurant, a shop, and a garden to visit.
Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista
Gardens are cropping in unexpected places these days – and it's not just because it's spring. Look around and you’ll see there’s been a climate change in the way we think about what it means to live outdoors. Consumer spending on food gardening is soaring. Sales for do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities top billions of dollars each year. That's why Gardenista was born a year ago today, a natural offshoot of Remodelista. Gardenista brings Remodelista’s aesthetic to outdoor living, with the same balance of high-level design and attention to detail that informs Remodelista’s coverage of interior design.
And what an incredible first year it's been. Under the direction of former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla, Gardenista was named one of the Top 25 new sites of 2012 and nominated for a coveted Webby Award. And last week Gardenista launched its first ever Considered Design Awards. Yup, the editorial team at Gardenista has been busy!
We caught up with Michelle to find out what some of her favorite moments and posts are from the last 12 months – and what's ahead.
You launched Gardenista a year ago today. What's the coolest thing you've learned so far? Everybody wants some connection to the outdoors. Even if you don't have a big yard, or any yard, or if you live in an apartment where you barely get enough sun for a house plant. Our readers told us this -- we all like to breathe fresh air, eat fresh herbs, or nap on a blanket in the grass on a sunny day. Learning this has made us expand our definition of a garden: maybe yours is one fern in a pot that you move from room to room to catch the light every day. Or maybe it's a windowsill pot of chives that you snip for dinner. You can love tending it just as much as if you had 100 acres.
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What's your proudest moment so far on Gardenista? We got a comment just the other day on a post, from a reader in Oklahoma who wrote that the weather where she lived made it hard to garden. "We live in Oklahoma where we can have spring, summer, fall and winter weather all in one day. It's absolutely psychotic. One doesn't just plant seeds or transplant flats of annuals. Gardening is an exercise in hope and futility," she said. "So I'm not going to send a picture of my garden. I'm just going to say this site lets me see gardens I will never know. Thank you."
Any favorite posts? We're only a year old but we've already got a list of all-time favorite posts. Steal This Look: Michelle Obama's Vegetable Garden was a fun one; the sneakers she was wearing in the photo sold out after we pointed readers toward them. A new favorite is a post we published last week, about the real-life garden that is the inspiration for the movie sets for The Great Gatsby remake; we had so many gorgeous photos that Architectural Digest linked to our Gatsby post even after publishing a similar one of its own.
What about surprises? People just love indoor citrus trees. Or at least the idea of them. Anything we write on this subject is very popular.
What's next? More of our own original DIY posts with gorgeous photos -- we think of it as garden porn. We're also about to launch a garden-to-table column that follows a single edible ingredient from the dirt to your dinner plate. And we're planning to start publishing Garden Travel; if you want to go to a specific destination, we'll suggest a hotel, a restaurant, a shop, and a garden to visit that we've already reviewed on Remodelista or Gardenista. We'll put together the whole weekend package for you.
Follow Gardenista on Twitter @Gardenista.