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A Surprising Greenbelt Connection

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Patrick Volk, Garden Clips

Recently I launched a new website that curates gardening videos, and I’ve been blogging about it on the team blog Garden Rant (celebrating 10 years this month!). So I wasn’t too surprised when the Connecticut-based videographer Patrick Volk emailed me about his gardening videos. Patrick lives with his family in New Haven, where a neighbor happens to be the long-time director of Yale’s Botanic Garden, so “the stars were aligned” for his dream of making gardening videos to take off. They teamed up to create a website and Youtube channel called Garden Clips.

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Over the four years they’ve been making beautiful videos together they’ve profiled many, many plants and even explained advanced techniques like hybridizing with a simple formula – a passionate expert talking and showing, filmed professionally. Check out their “Popular Playlists” for perennials, flowering shrubs, trees, and more. So far they’ve made 141 videos together, all of themmuch better than most of what’s served up by Google or Youtube’s own search engine and all of which I’d be happy to feature on my site.

In return, Patrick’s coached me in the ins and outs of serious Youtubing: the importance of playlists, About pages, tagging and “channel art,” how to manage subscriptions and contact other channels, even the benefits of joining a network, all of which had me stymied. After a couple of calls and several emails, my project Good Gardening Videos is on Youtube with 16 handy playlists and in just a few days, 105 subscribers. (Garden Clips has over 2,000 but hey, they started with zero just like I did.)

garden of Diane and Don Volk in Old Greenbelt

Service-side garden of Joanne and Don Volk in 17 Court Ridge Road.

But about Greenbelt!

As cool as this connection that Patrick and I share over videos may be, what’s even cooler is that he grew up right here in Old Greenbelt, in 17 Court Ridge, where his parents Don and Joanne Volk lived until two months ago. After college he lived in 11 Court Ridge until moving to New Haven for the job he has now. His dad was very active in GHI, serving on the board for many years. His mother, a landscape architect, designed many of the gardens I walk by every day.

Patrick discovered this amazing Greenbelt coincidence by reading the About page on my garden blog, and that clinched his decision to contact me. His email concluded, “I grew up in Old Greenbelt and really miss it, even more now that my parents just sold their GHI unit and I won’t be visiting them there anymore. It really is an amazing and unique place.”

Though his parents moved to New Hampshire, Patrick still has family and friends in the DC area and we’re determined to have an Old Greenbelt meet-up the next time he’s down this way. We have lots to talk about.

Follow Susan Harris:
“Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com and direct the nonprofit Good Gardening Videos.org.”

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