Bloomin' Beautiful: Planters get social, virtually anywhere

Facebook Groups, social media, a place for garden ideas to grow

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How Facebook groups and social media can help expand your gardening know-how.

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GOOD TO SHARE: This Insta-perfect photo of a hippeastrum is one of many shared on social media groups around the world. Photo: Paul Lucas

GOOD TO SHARE: This Insta-perfect photo of a hippeastrum is one of many shared on social media groups around the world. Photo: Paul Lucas

A while ago a friend sent me in the direction of Facebook and Instagram.

I am still wending my way through the intricacies of both these social media platforms but, with practice, I'm getting there.

I wasn't all that keen to start with; I felt they would be a big timewaster. It is true, they are. But on the other side of the coin, I'm learning heaps.

One of my major interests in life, of course, is gardening - and I'm now part of three worldwide gardening groups with Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook groups are where people - from all over the world - can share common interests and related content and express their opinion.

I get to see wonderful photos of flowers, plants and gardens. I have a Russian "friend" who has posted photos of bulbs that would be unobtainable here in Australia. I probably will never see those in real life but it is nice to know they exist.

Every day I'm seeing pictures of wonderful things. This helps me enormously when I have to judge a flower show or competition gardens. I can immediately see what is good, and what isn't. And I do get very excited when someone posts a lovely flower that is unfamiliar to me or even a wonderful example of a more common one.

It is also interesting to read comments made by gardeners around the world - what conditions they're coping with and what problems they may have.

I try to find the time to respond to their questions if I know the answer and learn from others' replies. If you would like to join up with one of these groups and don't know how to go about it, there may be someone at your local library who can help.

Alternatively sign up to Facebook or Instagram, search for 'gardening groups' and see what pops up.

Note: Some Facebook groups are publicly available for anyone to join, some require administrator approval for members to join or keep it private, and others are by invitation only.

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