Sunday Opinion: Making Friends

This past week was loaded on the front and the back end with work-spring is like that.  I have a number of landscape projects under construction, and a big backlog of design work.  I had three appointments with clients today-Sunday.  The Better Homes and Gardens crew got a big chunk of my time this past week-as well they should. I am updating a front yard landscape of several old clients, landscaping from the ground up a new home for an old client,  advising another client about terrace furniture and pots, re-mossing 8 wire planters and pedestals for the new season, ordering in fine topiary plants and taking delivery of specimen rosemary plants, taking delivery of annual plants at the shop-planning the container planting season.  I have three clients with early June weddings at home, and another three clients with important events taking place in the garden in early June. 

Relentless rain and cold over the past 3 days-I am getting no help from the weather. For 6 weeks, the weather has been wet. Water was gushing into the shop through the wall today-no kidding.  Weeks ago, I hired Rebecca Gill from Web Savvy Marketing to completely redo the Detroit Garden Works website.  I disliked that I could not update it, nor could I copy pictures from it.  I disliked how the website was search unfriendly.  I took a leap-as I understand next to nothing about internet communication.  I gave Rebecca the go ahead.  Frankly, I would spend an hour with Rebecca, undestand next to nothing of what she was saying, and feel tired.  But one thing I did get.  The new website would be on a wordpress platform-the same as my blog.  The idea that I could write and post pictures and writing to my own website sounded like a swell idea.

This I know-when you truly believe that someone knows what they are talking about, the best thing you can do is get out of their way, and let them do what they know how to do. This I did, and consequently Detroit Garden Works has a new website.  We also have a facebook page.  Oh boy.  Tomorrow, I have an appointment with Rebecca-she has plans to school Jenny about Facebook and Twitter.  As Jenny is barely 30, I have a suspicion she already knows where this is going.  I have every intention of sitting in on the session, to see what I might learn.  

 I like writing this blog for two reasons.  It is very hard to write about a topic until you have your thoughts all sorted out.  The composing and editing process that accompanies the writing  has helped me to understand my process, and spot what needs doing better.  But by far and away the best part is the sharing that goes on.  People from all over write in-I sometimes get comments from posts I wrote a year ago or better.  What people have to say is a way of meeting and talking about a topic we both hold dear.   I have contact now with all kinds of gardeners who share and sympathasize with my problems and failures, and enjoy my efforts.  I have never belonged to a garden club.  Years ago I would have told you that I had no interest in talking about gardening-I just liked to do it. This is not exactly true.  I talk to my clients all the time about gardening.  If I am proposing that they make a change or addition of a landscape, I have to articulate what that change will accomplish, and  why I think that addition is important.  

Rebecca sent me an outline for the meeting.  The first topic of discussion?  How facebook is a vehicle for Detroit Garden Works to make friends. I am sure you can tell just from how I have phrased this that I am in uncharted territory.  A new way to make gardening friends?  OK, we will give that a whirl.


  1. My dear readers, do not let Deborah fool you. While she may claim to understand little of what I say, she understands a great deal about the internet and the value it brings to those who are passionate about what they do.

    I’ve been working with internet marketing for almost a decade. I was blogging well before it was cool or long before mainstream internet users read blogs. I’m passionate about it and I love meeting other people who are passionate about what they do each day. This is why I immediately liked Deborah. Okay I can’t lie, the cool dogs floating around her beautiful store helped too.

    Each week I speak with business owners about optimizing their websites and “making friends” on the internet. Some understand this and some do not. Rarely – okay never – do I come across someone who already has a very successful blog and have large about of internet followers. But Deborah did and is an clear reminder that you do not need to be an internet superstar to connect with your readers. You just need to love what you do and share your passion with others.

    I encourage all of you to make friends with Deborah and her awesome team at Detroit Garden Works on Facebook and Twitter. Please feel free to throw a hashtag at her in Twitter or a nice comment on her Facebook wall. List her on Twitter or recommend her to a friend on Facebook. Show her that the internet is the perfect place to make friends. And I say that with utmost conviction, because I love the internet just as much as Deborah loves her garden.


  2. The ways we humans stumble into that which we never even realized. You have created one hell of an online garden club…we couldn’t live without it. You are its leader. It gets us through the winter and fuels us over the other three seasons. Thank you for your devoted time.

  3. Cool !!! i’ll quickly make a jump to FaceBook in ordre to find you and i want to see the new website !!! i’m so excited !!

  4. Oh… You had me at “Sunday Opinion”.
    I stumbled upon Deborah’s blog a few weeks ago and it is now a must read for me. Very educational. It’s exactly what I needed to help me clarify my own thoughts….
    So much about gardening is based on our likes and dislikes…and very strong opinions…. 🙂
    Have a great, busy, busy week!

  5. I love my Facebook feed. Unfortunately, I’m not local.

    I think it’ll prove successful for you!

  6. Deborah I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy visiting your store. Sometimes when I have a particularly rough day at work (I am a registered nurse at an inner city hospital) I make a stop at your store to regroup before returning home. I always leave in a better mood!! I have purchased several items from your store, and my friends always comment how nice they are!! I was the customer who purchased the lead face mask in March, and it inspired me to create a lead and cast iron themed perennial area in my garden.

    Thanks for creating such a wonderful spot!!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear John, I did not know your name, but I certainly know who you are. You have chosen some very beautiful and thoughtful garden ornament-I do remember the day you purchased the lead mask. Thank you for your letter-I like knowing that the shop is a place you choose to visit. Deborah

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