Lost in the land of YouTube

As I mentioned earlier, I've been spending a lot of time in the black hole of YouTube. I'm amazed at what you can find there and my mind boggles at the thought of the size of their servers. I try to limit my time watching videos so I don't feel like a complete slug. I've started spending an hour or so after Michael goes to bed (always promptly at 10:30) and browse through video after video after video. I'm more of a night owl anyway and since I'm not working, it it usually after midnight before I go to bed. My book-reading is suffering as a result. 

Michael says I like YouTube because my attention span is short and he may have a point there. But I find an endless stream of fascinating stuff and every search always leads to something else. I think the entire celluloid cannon has been added to YouTube. It is amazing. Being a classic Hollywood buff, I find interviews and clips of film stars on "What's My Line" and endless talk shows. I've been watching a lot of  Donna Summer videos and interviews. Watching a video of nothing but a record turntable spin Donna's 12" classic "Try Me, I Know We Can Make It" is surprisingly hypnotic and it carries me to a Zen-like state. But I digress...

Gardening-related videos are the best for late night relaxation and rewinding. I suspect the Covid crisis is the reason so many people are opening up their gardens digitally. There are a tremendous amount of videos from the British National Garden Scheme and a new one pops up every time I finish one. The members of that organization had to cancel their tours last year, like we all did, and they are sharing their creations the best way they can.  But that's not all - I've found plants that I'm interested in, gardening talks and seminars and documentaries about influential gardeners like Rosemary Verey and Christopher Lloyd.

Gardening seems to be thriving here in the U.S. too and that is very encouraging. Recently, I have stumbled across videos of people opening plant packages from mail-order nurseries. Some of these are actually quite amusing. I found a really funny one of a woman who had ordered from Heirloom Roses and she was reading their specific directions (you know what I mean) and was obviously taken aback by their instructions and she apparently had never heard of fish emulsion. And speaking of Heirloom Roses, you can find some very helpful and informative videos on growing and pruning roses by the owner of that nursery. 

When it comes to my own creative output, I am still in "slide show" mode, putting together photos of gardens that I've visited. I see that someone has posted some old gardening shows like "Gardener's Diary" and I realized that I have a box of those programs recorded from television on DVDs. I spent one afternoon trying to convert them to a shareable file format but was unsuccessful. Even if I could transfer them, is it legal to share them? Being a former librarian automatically brings up the question of copyright. It looks like the ones already on YouTube have been there for years. I have no idea.

Here is a slide show of Pam Harper's garden. I visited her garden in 2012 and long to see it again. What an inspiration she is!

 One of the most beautiful public gardens is the Red Butte garden in Salt Lake City, Utah. We stopped here on our trip to Portland a few years ago.

And, finally one of my favorite Portland gardens - the Lan Su Chinese Garden

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. Thank you for the garden tours. Your photos are outstanding, so well put together.
    I am often sucked down the YouTube. Right now not so much since my computer died. I am relegated to using my phone which isn't as much fun. Everything appears so small. Sometimes I like to stop the video and stare at an area. Ha...

  2. Thanks, Phillip, that was fun! YouTube is delightful but dangerous. I liked your music choices.

  3. Great slide show videos. A nice tour on a very cold snowy day.

  4. Thank you for sharing these beautiful gardens. Even though we may not be able to visit them in person, we can still enjoy their magnificence. The slide shows were wonderful and I especially love the Red Butte garden...watched it twice!!!

  5. Thanks for the wonderful video tours, Phillip! I loved the birdsong background in Harper's garden.
    I've watched many of the UK garden shows on YouTube too, most notably the 'Gardeners' World' and 'Love Your Garden' series, as well as the Chelsea Garden Show coverage. I've also enjoyed some of the Australian series like 'Dream Gardens', 'Gardening Together' (Diarmuid Gavin) and 'Gardening Australia'. YouTube truly is a black hole.

  6. Outstanding videos of your outstanding photos--thank you! What beautiful gardens!

    I'm not much of a youtuber, but there are some excellent things available.

  7. It is amazing how we can share our gardens now. Easy to lose time looking at YouTube for sure.


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