Rock Garden Quarterly

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McGregorUS
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Joined: 2009-12-18
Rock Garden Quarterly

So the Forum goes live - the latest of the upgrades that webmaster Hugh has been pushing through over the last few months. And I thought I’d get in right at the beginning - and anyway I'm in a different timezone over here in England. It's coming up to 1 o'clock lunchtime (5 hours ahead of EST) and it's bright and sunny here in East Yorkshire (originally I'm from London) and there's snow on the ground again which is unusual here.

I'm Malcolm McGregor and some of you will have found out that I’ve just been appointed as the next Editor for the NARGS Quarterly (details on the NEWS page of the website - along with a great offer for Vojtech Holubec & Pavel Krivka’s wonderful book on the Caucasus - at $30 or $40 - domestic US or elsewhere including shipping - this is a stunning offer for a stunning book). So I’m particularly interested in finding out what people feel needs to be done.

My first issue will be the Fall issue so there’s plenty of time yet for me to work through a lot of stuff. But there’s already some things that I’m clear that I want to do including such things as using color illustrations throughout. But as far as content is concerned there’s also the ideal that every issue should have something for everyone. It seems to me that these are some of the things that the Quarterly should cover:

PLANTS - native/non-native/wildflowers/garden plants - growing/taxonomy/identification
ROCK GARDENER'S GUIDE - gardens/nurseries/wildflower sites - guides to Raleigh or Calgary or Ann Arbor or Salt Lake City or .......
PLACES - North America/foreign places - safe/dangerous - plant hunting/plant-guides/visiting/driving/walking
HOW TO GUIDES to taking cuttings/growing bulbs/building rockwalls/ mixing compost etc etc etc
PEOPLE - who's who - gardeners/writers/seed & plant collectors - North America/Europe/further afield
HISTORICAL articles - growers/nurseries/plant introductions/people etc
BOOKS - reviews/revisits/guides

and each of these could be at any level from Beginner to Expert; they can be text-based or picture-based ... if I get it right everyone will find something that appeals in every issue.

Obviously when it comes down to it no issue will have all these topics - but its an ideal and over two or three issues I’d hope to try and maintain that sort of mix. So any ideas or reactions would be really welcome .... in the end the Quarterly is in your hands as much as mine ... so I'm really looking for what you think.

Do you read the Quarterly from cover to cover? Do you just file it away? What do you want to see in the Quarterly? What do you want me to do to give you the journal you want?

Arie Vanspronsen
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-10-07

-Hello all
My name is Arie Vanspronsen I'm from Waterdown Ontario Canada
A member of the Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society
                      Alpine Garden club of B.C.
                      and N.A.R.G.S.
Have been Gardening actively for about 5 years
I have been inthe nursery business  for 42 years as a plant propagator
I needed a hobby for my retirement in 4 years so what other hobby is there?
Working with plants all day and comming home to work in my garden is very relaxing
Hope to be able to particapate in this Forum
I have been following the Scottish Rock Garden Forum for 4 years years but not pasticapated to musc in the discussions
Good luck on this new site

GrazG
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-08-10

Malcolm, welcome!

We are thrilled to have you at NARGS and I'm pleased the discussion is already going on.

Grazyna Grauer
NARGS President
Columbus, Ohio, zone 5

McGregorUS
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Joined: 2009-12-18

Thanks Grazyna - it's always exciting to take on something new and I'm hoping that people really do have things they want to see from the Quarterly. It's got a great history but everything needs a new eye now and again!

malcolm

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

GrazG
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-08-10

I hope NARGS members contribute many good ideas on what they would like to seed in the Quarterly.
I really look forward to seeing the replies to your message.

Grazyna

GrazG
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-08-10

Sorry, "see", not "seed"! Although seeds are a good topic for our publication...

Grazyna

Sellars
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

Malcolm:

Thank you for taking on the position of the editor of the Rock Garden Quarterly (RGQ) and seeking input on your ideas.  I very much like your proposals for content and look forward to the redesign of the journal. I agree with you that the RGQ should cover a wide range of topics and have something for everyone.

I suspect that your main challenge will be to source content for the RGQ.  Rock gardeners (with a few exceptions) are a somewhat reticent species when it comes to preparing formal material for a journal.  One method that some other journals use to bring material into the pipeline is to have a team of Associate Editors.  For the RGQ they could represent different geographies and/or subject areas.  They would be responsible for generating content for the RGQ by encouraging their contacts to contribute and could also support you with ideas and mundane tasks such as proofreading.

Another way of sourcing material could be to have Correspondents from the different chapters of NARGS. There is a great wealth of local knowledge in the chapters.  The Correspondents (or another local contributor encouraged by the Correspondent) could contribute regular articles on local issues.  For example, rock garden designs in the chapter area, plants that are being successfully grown and information on the best wildflower sites in the region.

The content of the RGQ is primarily the responsibility of the members of NARGS even though some may think it is all the Editor’s job.  The Editor provides leadership and direction but ultimately you are dependent on the members to contribute.  The suggestions above are a way of making members more aware of their collective responsibility.  If members are not happy with the content they can volunteer to be an Associate Editor or Correspondent.  :)

One other comment I have is that I would like to see the RGQ available as a pdf on the NARGS website.  It could be password protected for access by members only.  It would be good if it was set up so that it could be indexed by Google.

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

McGregorUS
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-18

It's great to get a response David - thanks for that and for the recognition that the Editor is only going to be as good as their contributors. Glad you like the content ideas and the general philosophy

You are quite right that many rock gardeners are reticent (although as you say not all) and I think the idea of having Correpondents from each chapter (or group of chapters) who were hunting up material might help alleviate some of this. And I would love to get local Correspondents taking on the idea of a what I called a ROCK GARDENER'S GUIDE to WHEREVER with bits on local gardens, nurseries, wildflower sites etc etc. Anyone who wants to try the idea out would be really welcome. What about your chapter David?

And I loved your comment

Quote:

If members are not happy with the content they can volunteer to be an Associate Editor or Correspondent. 

If only ....

As far as setting up something with the website - although exactly what I'm not yet sure - I'd welcome suggestions. The idea of putting the journal on as its published would be good - ideally we would build up the whole archive in time.

Thanks again

Malcolm McGregor
Global Moderator/NARGS Editor
East Yorkshire, UK

HughGmail
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-07-08

David wrote:

One other comment I have is that I would like to see the RGQ available as a pdf on the NARGS website.  It could be password protected for access by members only.  It would be good if it was set up so that it could be indexed by Google.

David - this has in fact been a topic of discussion for a few months now.  As webperson my concerns are several including download time for what would be a relatively large pdf file.  Stay tuned and thanks for the suggestion for using the web as a vehicle to distribute the RGQ.

Hugh Mac Millan
Former NARGS Web Master, Moderator
Eriogonum enthusiast
Zone 5+- - Front Range, Colorado (Denver area)

Sellars
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

Malcolm:

Unfortunately here in British Columbia we do not have a NARGS chapter.  Most NARGS members also belong to the Alpine Garden Club of British Columbia or the Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine Garden Society.  But despite being chapterless I will give your idea on a ROCK GARDENER'S GUIDE some thought.  For example the most northerly extent of Lewisia tweedyi is in British Columbia and every June we make a pilgrimage to see them in flower which is about a two to three hour hike.

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

Sellars
Sellars's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-29

Hugh wrote:

  As webperson my concerns are several including download time for what would be a relatively large pdf file.  Stay tuned and thanks for the suggestion for using the web as a vehicle to distribute the RGQ.

Hugh:

I was thinking that the RGQ would still be distributed by mail as a print copy but that members could also access a pdf copy on-line.  The on-line copy could have lower resolution images (but still adequate for screen viewing) which would reduce the file size of the pdf for downloading.

David Sellars
From the Wet Coast of British Columbia, Canada

Feature your favourite hikes at:
www.mountainflora.ca
MountainFlora videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MountainFlora

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