blog redesign: a new look for a new season

bright-and-shinyWE’RE ABOUT TO TURN 1, AND IT’S ABOUT TO TURN SPRING, so we went and got ourselves a new outfit for the occasion. Meet a shinier, gussied-up A Way to Garden, and welcome. Want a little tour?

I was holed-up here this winter for what seems like forever, and tried to be productive, coming up with some new features for your enjoyment. First, the disclaimer: things are still a little raw, just like the weather; it will take some time to tweak and cajole it all into best behavior. But here are the high points I hope you will enjoy:

  • Typographic and design enhancements that make the blog more readable.
  • Gardening FAQs (also a tab up top), by topic, will address your most-asked questions. One on bulbs is there to start; another FAQ a week to come, once I get some sleep.
  • The month’s garden chores are still in the narrow-measure “sidebar” on every page, but for those in colder or warmer zones, my previous month’s and following one will also be available. The links are in the sidebar Chores text.
  • Our new weekly newsletter, long promised, now exists. “Newsletter Signup” is near the top of the first sidebar.
  • And there’s a picture of me on every page…but can you find it? (Hint: scroll. I’m lurking in what’s called the “fat footer.”)

Thanks to those who helped make it happen. You can find them (and the cat, who slept through the whole thing) on the credits page. And happy (almost) spring.

  1. helen says:

    Love the new design!

    Winter’s not quite over in Vancouver yet (there’s about 4 inches of snow on the ground right now), but I’m just itching to plant something, anything. I started some seeds just this past weekend, for the first time, and I’m excited to see what will turn up (and not). Your site has been a wonderful resourceful. Thank you!

  2. aja says:

    Lookin’ good! And yay for the newsletter – signing up right now! Thank you for all that you do and for making it even better.

  3. trudy says:

    Oops. With Firefox 2 and larger fonts, the site has to be scrolled horizontally to be read, and things overwrite each other.

    1. margaret says:

      Welcome, Trudy. So sorry for your display issues. Any chance you can get the upgrade to FF3? Hoping so…we want you to be able to see all. It’s so hard to work for all browsers with any one design, but current versions and slightly ex-current of all major browsers should be no problem. Keep me posted.

  4. suzanne says:

    Could not wait til st. pats day. We had 65 degree weather here at the Jersey shore so I put in the peas, collards’bunch of lettuce and arugula. Love the new site and your “arrangement”. Are they antique containers?

  5. margaret says:

    Yes, Suzanne. Like my Grandma Marion before me, I collect lustreware from England, mostly Victorian-ish era. Mostly copper glaze, some pink, some silver lustre. Yup. Among the other 10 million things this place is stuffed with besides me and Jack the cat.

  6. Don says:

    Gosh, what a great “do”; quite startling to see how much stuff you’re able to put on one page, yet everything is crystal clear.

  7. Heidi says:

    Margaret, Love the new design. Of course, I am not very picky and loved it before. So much information in one place. You do a real service to all gardeners. I do love the newer, larger type font. My screen is very tiny and I love to knit while I read your posts so I tend to lean a little too far away from the screen . This new larger size will be sooo much easier to read. We aren’t getting any younger are we?

  8. suzanne says:

    margaret You seem to have a great knowlege re: antiques. Maybe a new site? I also have a houseful of stuff mostly blue and white from England. Just put my favorite Delta blue pansies in the windowbox. Hope you have lots of talk re: tomatoes will start them in April. Brandywine a must. suzanne

  9. CovingtonKat says:

    Margaret – props for the larger font… :) So much info, so little time. Excellent slide shows…Love. Those. FrogBoys!

    I live in the great Pacific Northwest…where it is NOT supposed to snow in March but did this week. Hellebores are blooming like crazy cuz they don’t care…do you have and love them too?

  10. phil says:

    congratulations, margaret. i love your beautiful photos and your new slideshow tool. i think your redesign works very nicely. my only wish: maybe we could have just a little bit more of the divine ms roach. daily posts perhaps? we will all come back to visit you every day. :-)

    1. margaret says:

      Thanks, Phil. Now that the site is rebuilt (which took many hours each week for many weeks), I will post 4 or 5 days a week in the active season and 3ish in the offseason. And then there’s Andre on Thursdays. We hope to keep you all entertained. Just have to catch up from this hectic project. Lots coming this next week and onward. :)

  11. Kerry Nolan says:

    Hi, Margaret!
    The new look on the site is just terrific! I do have an urgent-ish gardening question and I hope this is the proper place to ask: do you know of an excellent resource or two for constructing raised beds for this summer’s vegetables? I have a sunny, underutilized spot in my yard and I think the raised beds would look better than simply tilling the land (I live in a small town and there’s lots of foot traffic past the yard).
    Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Kerry. When you say resource do you mean plan or materials or carpenter? My raised beds are so old I used pressure-treated, but wouldn’t anymore, but you are seeking rot-resistant material that is about 2×12 in dimension, by standard lengths. The longer the “boxes” the more cross braces you will need…anyhow, give me more details, and I will try to answer.

  12. Mike says:

    Very impressive! You are truly becoming an amazing example of a seasoned and experienced print professional that has successfully and masterfully bridged the chasm to online!

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