The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Numbers are in decline.


Have other members noticed how the number of people using our site are declining?

I appreciate that it is a quiet time of year for gardening in general but the lack of interest has been gradually increasing over quite a long time.

When I look back on old blogs that I have written, most of the people who regularly commented are no longer involved with GoY. It made me sad to see so many names that have faded away.
Some of the blogs would attract a huge number of comments that went on for ages! Some of the blogs were written in rhyming couplets which also lasted for a long, long time.

My questions are:

Why has this happened?

Is there anything that we can do as a group to try to get some of those contributors back and also encourage new people to join us?

The friends we have made on GoY mean a lot to each and every one of us and I have a sense of unease at the way things are going.

Can YOU help?
I do hope so.

More blog posts by wildrose

Previous post: A wander around our autumn garden.

Next post: It could have been Spring today.



I know what you mean. I think other social media platforms are a big part of why some members have moved away. Also none of us are getting younger so that also has an impact.

21 Nov, 2021


Thanks Chris for the blog...I've been thinking the same for awhile..the site has become a little uninspiring.although I still love it.It's the first thing I look at after breakfast and opening my emails.I notice many of the members who only post questions don't comment on the photos or blogs.

21 Nov, 2021


I agree with you, Rose.

I can only put my own perspective: I have to say after 2 years' membership, I have been wondering if there is much more I can contribute, although I enjoy reading all the blogs. and info. from other members. Perhaps it's feeling that there is nowhere to go once we've shown our garden pictures over a period of a few years. And I have felt that if you try and start a discussion, very few (except the same lovely people) bother to come up with responses to keep the discussions flowing. So where to go after that?

I have enjoyed reading all the info. received from members who are far more knowledgeable than me. And seeing other people's plants and plots. So there is a lot to learn from being a member.

I don't think there is a way to bring people back once they have left as there is no means of contact. I haven't seen any comments from new members for months, have you?

21 Nov, 2021


The same is happening on the Patchwork forum I am on. I wonder if many of the members are just too busy with life.

21 Nov, 2021


Good thinking Chris, but I doubt there is much we can do. People have various reasons for fading from the limelight and it’s usually difficult to persuade them to return. Some have found other sites which they prefer (for example CottageKaren posts on Instagram where I follow her).

Personally I love GoY because it’s so easy to use, and coming on here always cheers me up because members are so friendly 🙂.

21 Nov, 2021


I belong to another two garden sites. One is slowly dying and the other is almost dead already.

And I belong to an art forum (together with two other GoY members) and that is nearly dead too.

I think the way people are using technology is changing.
I blame face book and instergram etc, they seem to have taken over and people are obsessed with them.

Personally I have relegated my laptop to evenings only. All that typing and clicking is getting on my nerves ... but I still look at GoY.
I suppose I always will because I like it and all the friends I've got here :)
even though they're dwindling away in front of my eyes.

21 Nov, 2021


Chris, I do agree, when I joined almost 3 years ago, it had a real buzz to the site. I understand some people have sadly passed away and others, like Karen in Scotland was disillusioned with losing her ‘library of plants’.
Like Julia mentioned, there are a lot of people who pose questions on the site but don’t actually get involved with posting pics or blogs or the like…
I’m not on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter…I do pop onto Pinterest now and then as I’m a member.
I do try to come on here as often as I can, although, I’m now doing yoga two evenings a week and one evening of Zumba.
Work can be quite busy and stressful and tiring some weeks, so I may miss a few days - reluctantly though! I’d hate to stop visiting and meeting up with all you smashing people on here. I’ve made lots of lovely friends and learned so much from all your gardening knowledge and experience, much like Ange has said.
As Sheila has said, it’s an easy to use site plus everyone is so friendly and make the day more cheerful!
I’m not sure how we can improve the numbers? Or retaining members…I hope someone has a ‘lightbulb moment’ 🤞

21 Nov, 2021


I found this web-board (after my return) has small # of enthusiastic and dedicated members which support each other. There is a healthy number of advise and conversation for everybody who cares. Sometimes it comes to quality rather than quantity what counts and I personally like this wonderful group of active people.

This is my take:
I suspect there are few "lookers" only.

The action in question section is healthy and the few experts are helpful and fast in responses.

Problems (if any) in my opinion:
1.There are members who occasionally post but never comment on anybody's else posts.

2.There are members that have their "favorites" and only comment on these and ignore others no matter how beautiful their gardens or plants are . I remember few new members who had zero likes and no comments or 1 ....usually from Hywel. These people will not come back.
Participation and interest (or lack of it) in other gardeners activity is the key factor Wildrose.
3.There are other gardening options available now (Facebook, Instagram, personal webpages, You tube) which were not available few years back.

4.There was a problem with this site and people left for that reason.

Since I came back few new members such Kate and Anget are wonderful addition and I am honored to know them . Although I have a fond memories of some who left for one reason or other. But....most importantly I appreciate participation, wisdom and friendship of the core group here.
Other observation :
Regardless of not being monitored and has no moderator this site is very "civilized" which I cannot say for some out there.

So... these are my tidbits about this site.
Not sure if it is what Wildrose was after.

21 Nov, 2021


I posted this blog to get a response from other GoY members to really find out whether they have noticed what I have noticed and whether anything can be done about it ..........if anything actually needs to be done.
Thank you all so far for your thoughtful and diverse comments.

What is clear is that we have a real sense of belonging on this site and that the other members really matter to us.

Could the effect of the last 18 months of Covid in our lives have had an impact on our enthusiasms and involvement in things generally - just a thought.

21 Nov, 2021


I think you could be on to something there, Chris. could be a factor. Whether we have had the virus or known friends and family who’ve had it, it has had such an impact on all our lives. Plus lockdown. Well, I was fortunate to be able to go out and get on with my lovely job and be ‘out there’ of sorts.
For those enduring the necessity of a lockdown or must have been quite a scary time. I know patients who have suffered anxiety and loss of confidence due to the events in the past two years.
So, I think you’re right, it has had so many different effects on so many people…

21 Nov, 2021


I think covid may have a bit to do with it, but could you not equally argue that it has given people more time to join in with groups like this? We hear that gardening has more adherents over the period?
Dare I suggest that members sometimes don't post because they feel that if they have shown their gardens/plants once there is nothing fresh to add? That doesn't explain why they don't bother to comment on others' posts, though. If new members don't join then it will run the risk of losing new and contrary viewpoints which keep it fresh.

21 Nov, 2021


Thanks Chris for putting this on as you know I feel the same!
We both have been on here since 2011 and have really enjoyed this site.
I made a really good friend from Northern Ireland who unfortunately due to health problems, especially eyesight had to leave a few years ago.
We have always kept in touch most days and even went to stay with them quite a few years ago.
I thank this site for that!
Since then have made other friends, special friends, and without goy, I wouldn't go on another site!

There is a small community of us at the moment and I wouldn't want to lose that! But it would be nice to see new members!
To me, I would sooner have the smaller group than have none at all!
I don't know about any other site, but I think this one is more personal and is much better than just posting pictures!
It is lovely to look at other members gardens and where they live, seeing photos of their villages etc.
I agree that people will only come back if they want to, plus going back to when I started a lot of these people could be in their 80's.
All I can hope is that goy is allowed to continue to run!
It is also a back up for anyone who is struggling or who live on their own.

22 Nov, 2021


Perhaps it would help if there was a way of recognising when someone is “new” - or perhaps there is and I haven’t seen it?

22 Nov, 2021


There is definitely a sense of agreement here on the main issues and we want to hold on to what we have!

Sheila that is a good point. How DO we find out if someone new starts posting something on here so that we can join in and be welcoming?

22 Nov, 2021


When someone is new they usually post a blog or some photos, so all you have to do is click where it says 'Gardening Blogs' and 'Garden Pictures' .
I do it every time I look in. It only takes a few seconds, and you'll see all the blogs and photos posted to that day (i.e. up to the time you log on)

As for people who think they have nothing fresh to add because they've already shown their gardens .. all I can say is that a garden never stays the same. It changes every year, new plants added, established plants grow bigger or die off, or are rearranged etc, so you can never show it all, there's always something new to see.

The other two sites I belong to are just as friendly as this one, I have belonged to them for many years and have good friends there too.
And as I would never leave GoY, I would also never leave the other two sites. I enjoy them all :)

22 Nov, 2021


Thank you Hywel. I have just done that, looking at 'garden pictures.' You get a chance to look at the latest ones 16 at a time. I have never done that before. I did find a couple of new names before very long at all. I shall do that regularly now.
This was really helpful.

22 Nov, 2021


Chris, this a thought provoking blog if ever there was one! About a year ago I was convinced that Growsonyou was going under, to the point of listing all my plants and data from my GoY Garden Page in a book to keep as reference.

I joined back in 2010 and over these past eleven years I have discovered so many like-minded folk, had many laugh-out-loud moments whilst reading blogs and comments, had gardening questions answered, sent and received parcels of plants and seeds.

All of this for free, no fee involved for registering on Growsonyou, and I have been lucky to have met up with half a dozen members in the flesh, so to speak.

I checked back on the number of blogs posted in October 2019, 46, then October 2020, 50 and this year in October just the 27. Now, to me, this shows a definite demise in the number of members actively taking part, whether it be down to changes in their lives, the pandemic or other reasons. Hopefully, existing members will return in the future, when times aren't quite so challenging as at present.

Gardening really doesn't change all that much, the same tasks, out of necessity, are undertaken in each season but we all plant new things, remove some too, and alter our gardens occasionally. We all take an interest in one another's news, offer helpful advice and suggestions.

I truly hope Growsonyou continues for as long it possibly can, as I love seeing photos and reading blogs of gardens in the UK, together with those from across the pond!

22 Nov, 2021


if you click on the members tab it lists the newest members. the latest ones look to be spammers as they are just a collection of letters.

22 Nov, 2021


Shirley thank you for doing all that research. It backs up my fears. However your lovely , positive comments have really cheered me up!

Seaburngirl I have just found the members information and it does list all the members who are still ' on the books!' How wonderful if some of them would return and give us updates on their plants and gardens.
My fingers are crossed.

22 Nov, 2021


One person who hasn't been seen since 2011 wrote a blog last April saying she's been away for too long, but hasn't written anything since.

Another has left because the forum had too many females ... to me an odd reason for leaving. Gardening is gardening whatever your gender is.

Again, another member said in 2009 that she wasn't going to come on GoY any more because she could keep up with her family on face book ... very strange, what's that got to do with gardening ?

I know three other members who post on face book. Two of them rarely come on GoY these days, and the third one hasn't been for years. I don't know why. I have a facebook page but really don't like it. I don't look at it often.

I know of three members who have died. There may be others.

... so I don't think the ones who have 'left' are going to come back, but if we stay just as we are it suits me.

23 Nov, 2021


I don't like face book either Hywel!
I wouldn't have thought to click on that either. I do click on members blogs but only get a few come up.

23 Nov, 2021


If you click on member's blogs Rose, then look at the bottom of the box you'll see it saying 'See all the latest blogs' and if you click on that you'll be able to see them all :)

23 Nov, 2021


Well,some very interesting comments ,and I must admit,I don't post as often as I used to,but not anything to do with losing interest,as I still love Goy,and have done since I joined in 2008. I still look in every day,unless we are on holiday,etc,as I don't own a smartphone,and taking my laptop with me, would be be a step too far,I think. Lol.

I know we have lost some of our regular friends, but most of mine are still here,and some I have been privileged to meet over the years,who have become 'special'friends,which is wonderful,so I can only presume that it is like anything else,people come and go,and you just wonder why,or something or someone,reminds you of a certain person,who you haven't seen on here for a long time?
Also,the many gifted cuttings,seeds,etc ,kindly shared between many of us.
I also ,quite often, have missed photo's or posts from regulars,and then weeks later ,I come across them.I'm sure it's not just me that has done this.. for example.. only this morning, I have seen a post and Photo's from Daylily,and noticed I missed a previous post from July, with a photo I didn't even see the first time around,when a few lovely ladies met at The Malvern show,so long ago,and had no idea what they looked like till today !

Yes,a lot have left,for whatever reason, but the rest of us,who are still here, will still continue to participate,and we will always lose some ,and gain some,and hopefully still enjoy Goy..I agree the humour and banter isn't as forthcoming as it was..some posts were hilarious,and attracted 100 /200 comments at one point ! I do look back and read them ,from time to time :o)

I am also on a local Radio Gardening website,and Facebook,and I also have email friends from Goy, so I enjoy all of these.
I did however, stop accepting 'Favourites' but only because sometimes ,I couldn't keep up,and I suspect it's not only myself,as we have all acquired so many lovely friends/members since the beginning of Goy.

It is nice to see new members,who have a lot to offer, re photo's and tips ,blogs,etc, and we may not get as many as in previous years, but we are still going after all these years..was it 2007 when it started ? That is quite an achievement..
I'm with Hywel on this,as it suits me too.. :o) x

23 Nov, 2021


Thanks Bloomer for your wise words and your general calming acceptance of what we now have on GoY which is well worth cherishing.
My main concern was that interest seemed to be dwindling but perhaps by bringing it to people's attention it will give us all a new lease of life and sense of belonging to something very worthwhile that means a lot to us.
Thank you for all comments, ideas, questions and thoughts on here.

23 Nov, 2021


At least,you have had lots of interesting comments ,W.Rose,and just goes to show,that we do take notice of blogs,etc,which is a positive ,so onwards and upwards,to many more years of Goy.. :o) xx

23 Nov, 2021


Ok, here’s my take on it. One thing is that in GOY’s inception in 2008 it had novelty. Relatively, the web was in its infancy as well as the hardware and software that went along with it. Think of it, for the first time people were realizing that they could connect with their heads and interact in real time simultaneously without making a physical move. The phone accomplished that you might say but not really. Sneeze on the phone and the other party will say “bless you”. Sneeze on the web and the whole populous of the UK will chime in in saying that and you will know of each person who made the salutation. With this modality came the potential of not having to hunt for people who had the same interests and forming clubs or societies where each could meet in some physical setting on a periodic basis. One could now eastblish an interest and make the meeting place on the web 24/7 such a GOY. The Web based GOY became a very powerful magnet drawing gardeners together not from a village or town but a whole country, the world for that matter (and I use that phrase again) in real time with not only thoughts but visualization too. A thrilled membership increasingly populated this site exploring its potential for connecting with others of like interests and not only that but to know them in a more intimate way. For quite a while the GOY site was as it were - the only game in town. It was inevitable that other sites would be created which would draw members away out of a desire to distance themselves from, in their own point of view the same old members and meet a fresh crowd or for one reason or another found a newly created site which better suited their needs. As has been mentioned by others, time has taken its toll on membership, aging, illness and changing customs will cause a drop in membership. GOY is not a frozen “screenshot” and does change. Right now GOY is like that amusement park at the shore where at one time in the past people were enjoying themselves crowded shoulder to shoulder whereas now, the boardwalk is rather empty and a bit depressing. Yes, GOY has seen better times and it may never totally recover its membership as well as enthusiasm but what membership it has is the real glory of this gardening web site. Don’t worry, GOY has strong membership roots and it will not topple over.

30 Nov, 2021


Thank you so much Loosestrife for your in depth and very thoughtful response to this blog. Your words at the end of your message were very encouraging and warm-hearted - it was kind of you to take the time and trouble to comment on here.
Many thanks - Chris

30 Nov, 2021


I don't know how I'd missed this discussion until now!

Like many of you I've also noticed the tail off on GoY. There are days when I come on here & find there are hardly any new posts or blogs which makes me a bit discouraged.

I've also noticed that we hardly ever get any new members & I've been a member for 11 or 12 years. I made a blog a few years ago explaining why I wouldn't be on here as often I used to be, I'm a moderator on half a dozen groups on Flickr as well as an admin on a couple. This takes up a lot of my time as well. Though this year I have been coming back more frequently & have even made a few blogs.

Facebook, Instagram & YouTube have certainly drawn away some members & some have left for personal reasons or have just simply gotten bored & have forgotten to log in for extended periods of time until the day comes when they have forgotten they were once members.

I tried a few groups on FB but got tired of them. In general I hardly ever go on there any more. It can be months & months between one session & another. I've never wanted to join Instagram & only rarely go on YT.

You might have expected we would have gained more members during lockdown during 2020 but we haven't gained hardly any. Perhaps GoY doesn't come up very much any longer in the results of questions made on search engines for advice on plants. That was how I first discovered GoY. I suppose as less members make comments GoY slowly falls down the ranking list of gardening forums. Perhaps also people are now tired of this sort of forum & look for something more exciting.

I love being on GoY & will continue for as long as GoY still exists or while I'm capable of communicating still. I don't have a garden, or an allotment any longer, but I still like to contribute from time to time as well as look at other people's gardens & comment on them.

Long may GoY continue!

17 Dec, 2021


Thank you Balcony for your wise words written here. I think there are enough people on here who really do appreciate what GoY has to offer and we really do enjoy and value being part of it. It is sad that so few people have joined the site recently but your explanations for this make sound sense.
Thanks again.

17 Dec, 2021

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