Jennifer StackhouseSocial media

The transition from full-time editor and commuter to stay-at-home freelancer has been made a lot easier by two things: my garden and my new addiction to social and other on-line media.

The gardening is a bit of a no brainer. The garden is a place to unwind and also be creative. I’ve chopped, pruned, planted, fertilised, mulched and watered (and watered) over the past four months. My chooks and dogs are also happier as they are spending more time in the garden with me as well.

In between bouts of working on the computer (writing this blog, updating websites, putting together newsletters and magazine articles and even a book) I also have time to post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter and I’ve finally Linkedin.

Rose photo from Clair Levander

Social media is an all-embracing web once it gets hold. May be I’ll tire of its demands (opening your email in the morning to 86 emails from Linkedin is a bit daunting) but for now I am catching up with people I’ve neglected for far too long.

I’ve also become a bit of a zealot urging others to get on to social media trail. Take the plunge and do it is my message. If it all seems too hard just start with one thing, get used to that then wade in a bit deeper.

Iochroma photo courtesy Alistair Hay

One of the delights I’ve found by being part of Facebook is the sharing of photographs – and not just of FB friend’s dogs, kids and sunset shots. Although I love to see what friends and family are doing, it is the plant posts I learn from.

Melostomaceae plant from Alistair Hay

Among the connections on my Facebook are people who post photographs of brugmansias (every one a winner) and other flowers, people who add shots of their gardens or show me plants growing in far-flung places (like Alistair Hay’s shots of various plants from Melastomaceae growing in Colombia). There are also Facebook sites dedicated to native plants and to a host more. If you don’t find them, they’ll find you.

Brugmansia photo from Chris Tonitto


Then I’ve signed up for newsletters from the world of science, horticulture and environment along with updates from on-line media and special interest groups. I am enjoying having time to read stories that interest me from bloggers, websites and of course the likes of The Atlantic, The Global Mail and other on-line newspapers.

Brugmansia photo from Chris Tonitto


Getting involved in social media isn’t something you have to learn how to do. It is easy – you just log on to whichever media you’ve decided to join, then follow the prompts. As well, it is available all the time and it’s at the tip of your fingers. So get involved (start by posting a link to GardenDrum!). You’ll be delighted by the journey.


Like this post? Why not share it with a friend?

Jennifer Stackhouse

About Jennifer Stackhouse

Recently Jennifer Stackhouse made the big move from Kurmond in NSW to a Federation house in the little village of Barrington tucked beneath Mt Roland in northwest Tasmania. With high rainfall, rich, red deep soil and a mild climate she reckons she's won the gardening lottery. She's taken on an acre garden that's been lovingly planted and tended for the past 28 years by a pair of keen gardeners so she is discovering a garden full of horticultural treasures. Jennifer is the author of several gardening books including 'Garden', which won a Book Laurel for 2013, as well as ‘The Organic Guide to Edible Gardens’, ‘Planting Techniques’ and ‘My Gardening Year’, which she wrote with her mother Shirley. She was editor of ABC 'Gardening Australia' magazine and now edits the trade journal 'Greenworld' magazine and writes regularly for the Saturday magazine in 'The Mercury'. She is often heard on radio and at garden shows answering garden queries.

4 thoughts on “Social media

  1. You are so right, Jennifer. Social media can be a force for good and open a new world of information and excitement. I have tinkered with it for some time, but since my change of employment circumstances mid year, have embraced it more widely and have had a “net gain” of many new friends.
    There is so much interesting sharing of minds out there. I come away inspired, refreshed, heartened and educated.
    And have learnt to podcast!
    Yes, the IN box can be a little crowded at times, but I find a sorting and filing system keeps it manageable. It does however, cut into gardening time! Ah well, we have to grow our minds, too.

    • Marlene
      It should be available and I have seen it growing in gardens, but it isn’t going to be easy to find. When looking for more unusual plants you have several options. You can ask your local nursery to source the plant for you (and any good nursery should be able to do this for you), go online and search the plant lists of nurseries or keep your eyes skinned when you visit other gardens, plant fairs and garden fetes. In the meantime, a search of the some nursery plant lists has brought up iochroma on this Melbourne nursery website:
      Good luck with your search. Jennifer

  2. Hello Jennifer

    Is your mystery plant in the “Social Media” blog the climber Combretum coccineum ‘Crimson Cloud’?


Leave a Reply (no need to register)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.