A gardener’s guide to Instagram

Instagram certainly is very popular with over 100 million users. But what can it do for gardeners? Michael Perry takes a scroll through its features.

Instagram
Browse thousands of beautiful photos of gardens and plants in Instagram. Image: Michelle Board
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If you’re more of a visual person, then Instagram will be the social media app for you. This app has rapidly grown in popularity over the last few years, and now boasts more than 100 million users worldwide. Its simplicity and its intentional lack of advertising, makes it even more appealing to use.

In many aspects, Instagram is similar to Twitter, where you seek out users to follow, and are followed. As with any social media platform, it’s up to you how much you interact, so you can browse and salivate over other people’s photos of gardens and flowers, or broadcast your own colourful photos too.

Signing up is easy to do, and the app is very user-friendly.

Instagram
Keep up to date with everything on Instagram in the timeline.

Your timeline

Your timeline is the first thing you see when you open the app, and it’s effectively a newsfeed of photos from the people that you follow. Scroll the photos and click the heart icon if you like them, similar to how you would on Facebook. You can also leave a comment and send the photo to another user, or you can share to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Search Instagram

The magnifying glass button helps you explore the Instagram world, and is very useful when you first sign up and are looking for accounts to follow. It very cleverly suggests users similar to those you already follow, or you can type in a person or company that you know and see if they are there. In a similar way to Twitter, you can also search by hashtag, for subjects that interest you, such as #gardening, or #petunias even.

Upload photos

This is where Instagram really dazzles you, click on the camera icon and you can either upload a photo from your own libraries or take your own. But what’s even better is, you can add different filters and borders to your photo and really jazz it up. The wizardry also lets you change the focus points in the photo and all sorts of other tricks you never thought possible. Have a play, and then upload the shot for others to enjoy.

Recent activity

Click on ‘you’ and this is where you can see who likes your photos, and what they’ve said about them. Click on ‘following’ and you can see what other people are up to, and which photos they’ve liked. Another great way of finding fresh, exciting users to follow.

Instagram
The Instagram profile.

Your profile

This is a type of ‘dashboard’ for Instagram, where you can edit your profile photo and description, check who you follow and who follows you and see your own photo uploads, in a range of different formats. Here you can also click on settings and check your security level, and adjust as you wish.

Who to follow?

@the_rhs

As you would expect, this is a riot of colour. The account covers all the gardens, and keeps you informed on what the RHS is up to through the year, where to visit, and giving you tips on what to do now in your own garden.

@robsallotment

Follow the Big Allotment Challenge winner, Rob, as he shares his love of heritage veg and gives out vegetable growing tips. Expect loads of colour from purple beans, yellow beetroot and more.

@gardening_greek

My own account, where I share photos from the Thompson & Morgan trial garden at Jimmy’s Farm and from my travels. Expect the most glorious of flowers from Passiflora to petunias.

@nationaltrust

This account has some of the most sumptuous photography of National Trust properties and their gardens. It will inspire you to visit as many sites as possible.

@agentsoffield

I love this little niche account, where Ade & Sophie share their growing, foraging and cooking journey. See what they’re up to on their allotment, and how they use the harvests in the kitchen.

Michael Perry

About Michael Perry

Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan. Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media - so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook.
View all posts by Michael Perry.