Another Year of Growth for the Laidback Gardener Blog!

Ill.: Taweesak Chansawawirot, Pixabay &

Another year is coming to an end and I’ve yet again managed to produce one gardening blog a day throughout the year. Okay, there have been some cases where I accidentally published two blogs one day and nothing the next day, but the total is the same: 365 blogs published in 2019. There are now more than 1,900 articles on the Laidback Gardener site covering a wide range of horticultural topics.

And the blog is more and more popular: over 1.5 million views in 2019 (actually, 1,517,111). And over 1 million visits from all over the world. It makes me feel I’m actually accomplishing something.

How It Works

Larry Hodgson. Photo: France Bouchard

Behind the blog is one single person: Larry Hodgson, a 65-year-old garden writer from Québec City, Canada. I’ve gardened since I was a child and first started writing about plants in elementary school (well, sort of: I started writing a science fiction novel that never got beyond the third page, called “The Plant People of Cauldron Valley”), but really began seriously writing about plants and gardening when I was in my early 20s and started joining garden clubs … ones with newsletters. Everyone, it seems, needed free articles, and I loved to write about plants: it was a perfect match! By the time I was 30, I’d quit my day job and was writing about gardening full time. I even launched a few gardening magazines, although none still survive.

Over the years, I’ve written for over 30 magazines, newspapers and websites, hosted shows on TV and radio, written 53 books, led hundreds of garden tours, given over 1,000 lectures and, now, posted nearly 2,000 articles on the Laidback Gardener blog.

I do have help, though. My son, Mathieu, helped set up the blog four years ago, although I haven’t had to consult him on anything this last year, while my wife, Marie Falardeau, takes care of “finances,” something I’m horrible at. She doesn’t want me to pay her for her time, but instead, take her out to dinner every now and then. And yes, there are occasional guest bloggers and I am very grateful for their assistance.

And then I have you, my faithful readers, whose interest and participation keep me going.

How I Fund the Blog

The Laidback Gardener blog was totally non-profit at first. I started it for the challenge of doing so (who else writes a daily gardening blog?!), as well as the pleasure of sharing my passion for gardening with others. But now that the blog has grown, ads have been put in that bring in a modest income. Like about $4 an hour at this point: not even minimum wage! If I were rich enough to do so, I’d take all the ads off the blog. However, I feel it is legitimate to try and recuperate the cost of preparing the blog, which is why you’ve been seeing ads appear on the blog for the last two years. Every time you open the blog, a little money comes in. Less than a cent. In fact, much less than a cent. 

About Those Ads

No, I don’t choose the ads. They’re “targeted advertising,” chosen by a computer somewhere far away and based on your age, your sex, your on-line habits and purchases and more. So, the ads you see aren’t the same that others see. Hopefully, they correspond to your needs. If not, change your on-line habits and they’ll change too. If I spend half a day looking at seed catalogs on-line (which does happen), guess what ads show up the next day?

Keep Up Your Support

Obviously, readers can help make the blog financially sound. How?

First, click on the blog every day if possible. Or at least several times a week. If you prefer to save them up and go through a week’s worth on Saturday mornings, that’s fine too. Don’t just look at the subject, smile and skip the blog for that day. Always click, even if you don’t read it at the time (although I do hope you will at some point!). Every visit counts, even if it’s just a click. 

The same goes if the blog comes to you through another platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), as it does for many of you. Don’t just admire the lead photo or illustration and the first few words: click! Otherwise, I get … nada!

And tell your gardening friends about the blog. The more readers, the merrier!

If you’re new to the blog, you can easily “subscribe” (and it costs you nothing). Just push the “Follow” button at the bottom of the page. It couldn’t be simpler.

Have a great 2020 … and keep up your support!

Larry Hodgson
The Laidback Gardener

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

12 comments on “Another Year of Growth for the Laidback Gardener Blog!

  1. Great job. It can be lonely at times and you may wonder why you do it as I do with my blog. Then someone says something special and you know it is all worthwhile.

  2. Congratulations on another year of growth! Thank you for all the helpful information. Like the others, I always read first thing in the morning. Thanks to Marie and Mathieu, too.

    (The advertising bot-gods think I need a hearing aid. Faked them out! Really.)

  3. Happy new year. It’s been a really enriching one for me and your blog has been one of the main culprits. I got seriously hooked on gardening this year and it all started with your well-written, detailed, and logical posts on poinsettias. Your blog has been an invaluable source of information. It’s one of the few pages where I’ve turned adblock off. Thank you very much for giving this wealth of knowledge freely to the world. I’ve bought your book “Houseplants For Dummies”. I would love to support you on a platform like patreon if you had one!

  4. bubbles1990

    I have been guilty of just reading the tag line and sometimes deleting without opening article. Mostly when I end up with with over 1000 emails. Unsubscribe is not my best friend. However, I read this one and now that I know how to “pay” you fir your wonderful articles , I’ll be sure to open each one. On a side note, I don’t remember looking for wrinkle cream, but I must have as almost every add promotes this product, lol.

    • I sooo get the “1000 emails”! I figure the ads are also sexist: they’ve figured out I’m a man and men rarely care much about wrinkle cream, but a woman of a “certain age” might. Sometimes I get golf ads even though I never play golf: again, sexist. Men of a certain age, apparently, play golf. Still, I overwhelmingly get ads about gardening products. They’ve certainly got me pegged there!

      Thanks for your comments… and I love your name!

  5. Willa Wick

    Larry, I think you’ll find many of us read your blog over morning coffee and thank you over and over again for your daily information. I write a monthly newsletter for our Horticultural Society and often use a paragraph or two from something you’ve written (giving credit to the source of course). If it’s something I think my people should read the whole article to be intelligently informed then I copy and paste the link so they only have to click and they’ll land on the right page (and hopefully sign up to get their own morning dose of gardening things they didn’t know)
    Hope you can continue with the blog for a long time.

  6. evelyn lynch

    Happy New Year! I read your blog every morning over my cup of coffee. Part of my morning routine! Thank you! Looking forward to another year

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