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Tips For The Garden Blogger Pt 9

One of the things that I like so much about Blogger is it's ease of use and that it's owned by Google. Yes you read right, I like it because it's owned by Google and they own or provide a lot of other services for people like you or I who have an interest in publishing but don't have the coding skills or resources to build real websites. If you're garden blogging on Blogger you probably already have a Google account and maybe you haven't taken advantage of the different add-ons to your account.

Shortly after I moved my gardening blog when the new Blogger was in beta one of the features I signed up to use was Google Page Creator. Google pages are simple to create (and use) websites for those of us who don't have the knowledge and expertise to create a website on our own. The only thing I don't like about them is that they're not exactly like Blogger and you can't modify it like a Blogger template. But you can easily add content by just clicking and typing in many instances and it's free so I shouldn't complain.

I've been meaning to write about how you can use a GPC to expand your blog or add more content but I haven't done much with my GP other than use it to host some images for my blog. If you notice there's a picture of a ladybug on the right side of this entry. If you click on it you'll be directed to a blog entry here that holds images of a few insects in my garden. The same is true for the picture of the Castor Bean seed on the left and further down below, and the banner that appears on the side of this blog.

In my entry about weeds in Chicago a fellow garden blogger left a comment and link that directed me to a Google Page about weeds, so I went to take a look. Verde Urbano not only has a GP about weeds but an accompanying blog and Google Map, Google Calendar-even YouTube (owned by Google) videos about weeds.

Now, there's someone who really appreciates weeds. The pages are all in Spanish but just scrolling the two links above should give you an idea of how you can combine various free services that are available to you under your Google account and expand on your blog and add content that your readers may appreciate.

Use GPC to free up your sidebars if you're running out of room and post your reading list on a page devoted to books you've read. Do you have more than one hobby? Add your recipes on a GP and link them in your sidebar. Post your plant/seed/book/craft trade list on a GP and link to it in your sidebar. Or use it like me and host images, buttons, badges and things you create for your blog. Do you have a blog roll for a meme or a club you've started or want to start? Make a GP about it detailing the history and participants include images and links to your blog posts about it. A GP would be a great place for all those random images or thoughts that you may think don't fit into your garden blog theme.

If you've already combined a GP and blog feel free to show off in the comments section to this entry, or if you think of different ways to expand your blog with it feel free to let me know also. I'm going to go off and revel in the satisfaction that I managed to get through this entry without using the word synergy and see if I can catch up to Verde Urbano and actually do more with my Google account.


  1. I didn't know googlepages exist. I don't see it listed in the "My Account" area. I'll have to peek around and see what's there. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. Google sure is handy, I have to take a walkabout after reading this. Great tips as usual. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the heads up on googlepages! Like you, I enjoy seeing the new stuff google comes up with. I've done static webpages for awhile, but it is always good to see new ways to do things, and I'm playing around with the google page I made now.

    You have to add me to your list of new fans- I love your blog! You are on my blogroll now, and I look forward to seeing your posts on the weedlot described in your other post. You will likely find that many of the weeds are imports from Europe and Asia.

    I used to live in Chicago- in Evanston area. I loved going downtown and to many of the different suburbs of Chicagoland, and Lake Michigan is my favorite great lake ( but shhh- don't tell my fellow Buckeyes).

  4. Dragon Stone and Rosen Geranium, you're both welcome.


    Welcome. Do you still live in the state? I tried to view your blog to jog my memory and see if I've been to your blog but your profile is blocked.

    You're right about the weeds here. About two years ago I saw a very nice Columbine here that I didn't have an ID for in an empty lot. Unfortunately I didn't save seeds and it's never come back since.

    Next time you comment feel free to leave a link to your blog- thanks for the nice words.

  5. Man, it's downright difficult to try to make a homepage on googlepages. I've been fiddling with it for a bit but it never seems to do what I want it to do.

  6. You find it hard? I figured since you had experience it would be too easy for you. I found it pretty easy to play with but just not as easily adaptable as the blog template is.


    This is my test page. The images don't want to go where they go and I can't make the text do anything. It's very limiting. I feel like just editing html but googlepages seems very limiting. I have to use this format? Hm.

  8. hey DS,

    I took a look at it and it looks pretty good to me. Although I know what you mean about positioning the pics. I always have trouble positioning the pics in blog entries and it's even harder to get them to line up in GPC. You have to move them around a lot and you have to have display them at a small size. I think they made it limiting to make it easier for those of us who don't know a lot of HTML.

  9. My profile blocked? How could it be;) I don't know why- because I am known for my egotistical desire to have the blogosphere familiar with me. I think it is that obvious, anyway.

    No, I haven't lived in the Chicagoland area since before I was married, so all my real garden experience is in Ohio ( I have lived here most of my life -ol' stick in the mud!). I used to love visiting the Baha'i temple gardens, and bicycling the lovely Northwestern campus...long time ago.

    You do a great job on your blog and you have a very insightful eye- I really appreciate your posts.

    Anyway, I wonder if Chicago area is sandy soil woodland originally? Things grow pretty lush there- good orchard land like Lake Erie? don't know.

    The google pages are harder for ppl familiar with html- just like these Blogger templates can be- they protect themselves from mess-ups by restricting design and stuff- but eventually someone works on hacks - so maybe the google pages will have a site dedicated to "google hacks" like 'blogger' does. It took me a long time to get the grasp of blogging software- and I never quite get it before moving on to something new and horrible to learn... self-induced torture is what that is;)

    almost forgot:
    is my blog

  10. Hi again,

    Yeah the Baha'i temple is really something quite spectacular. Although I have to admit the first time I ever went to it I was very confused and a little scared by the inverted Swastikas on the building.

    Thanks I try to make my blog a little different.

    Funny you should mention the soil, just the other day I was visiting a house near the lake and was in the yard and out of habit I pulled out a weed and the soil was so sandy that it came out without any real force. I was in awe because my soil is very clay full of broken rock and when it's dry it's like a brick. I turn over the soil in the fall and allow the freeze-thaw-cycle to break it down because once the spring rains hit, it's virtually impossible to do anything to it.

    The soils in the city are really different from area to area depending on when the area was developed.

    Yeah I can see that the Google pages would be difficult for people who know HTML because they're so simple and don't allow for customization. I've searched for hacks but have yet to come across any real ones.

    I'll check out your blog in a few minutes.



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