What are the differences between DG and GardenWeb?

Seattle, WA(Zone 8b)


I've never been here before but since dave's garden shows up on a lot of google searches, I wanted to take a look around. I am an active and contributing member to gardenweb and would like to hear from anybody who wants to comment on any of the following:

1. What is different about Dave's (vs Gardenweb)
2. What do you use the 'paid membership only' tools for?Since I can't view them, I have no idea what they are or how useful they are.
3. Is there a lot of people who belong to both?
4. Is Dave nicer than Spike? (please don't kill me, but it's a fair question)
5. It doesn't look like copies of my posts and replies will automatically be emailed -- is that an option?

Any other input would be welcome. I don't plan to choose one over the other, I would just like to know what you think the advantages of each one are.

Thank you!!

That's a lot of questions. :) I don't have time to answer right now, but if someone else doesn't come along and respond before tomorrow morning I'll be back.


Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I e-mailed her the answers I knew -- Wasn't sure if she'd be able to see past the first post.

Ewing, KY(Zone 6a)

Hi Garlicgodess and welcome to DG. I will give this a try but I am sure you will have many responses.
1. What is different about DG? Well that's kind of hard to explain. I have been on both sites. DG is now my home I am happy here. It's more like a family where you know you opinion counts. You won't get sent to Disney for mentioning other sites. Plus you can contribute to almost all aspects of DG.You get to know the people here and they become like family. I think the main difference is that Dave and staff ask for opinions and let you contribute.
2. What do you use the 'paid membership only' tools for?Since I can't view them, I have no idea what they are or how useful they are.Most of features of DG are free. The main ones you get by subscribing are the forums there are 77 forums that you can exchange ideas and talk with other members on. Also some of the search features are not available to non-subscribers.
3. Is there a lot of people who belong to both? There are members that belong to other sites and that is not a problem that I am aware of.
4. Is Dave nicer than Spike? (please don't kill me, but it's a fair question)
5. It doesn't look like copies of my posts and replies will automatically be emailed -- is that an option?
That is not an option that I am aware of but you can use the watch this thread feature on any post and it will show up when you sign in to DG.
Happy Gardening.

Crossville, TN

Will she be able to read this below the first post? Mystic...that is VERY good...and you should email it to her incase~~! Jo

Ewing, KY(Zone 6a)

Jo that brings up another question. I thought you had to be subscribed to able to post on a thread.

Oklahoma City, OK(Zone 7a)

Here is what I emailed to her:

1. What is different about Dave's (vs Gardenweb)
My personal answer is that DG is more of a family than just a group of gardeners. We actually truly care about one another as if we'd known each other for ages. I have been on both sites and prefer Dave's. There are pros and cons to each, though. There is more trading that goes on on GW, but the people on Dave's are just nicer. Dave's is also a "Christian" site so folks have that in common as well.

2. What do you use the 'paid membership only' tools for?Since I can't view them, I have no idea what they are or how useful they are.
The Garden Journal is something that many folks use a lot to keep track of their plants. Also, there is a Trade Tracker which is great so you don't forget who gets what. I've been on for 2 years and don't regret a penny.

3. Is there a lot of people who belong to both?
There are quite a few folks who belong to both, but I'm not sure they have paid subscriptions to both.

4. Is Dave nicer than Spike? (please don't kill me, but it's a fair question)
Spike isn't even worth mentioning compared to Dave. Dave is awesome, kind, thoughtful, considerate and fair. Spike is none of those things (as far as I can tell).

5. It doesn't look like copies of my posts and replies will automatically be emailed -- is that an option?
I don't think this is an option, although you do have a choice of "watching" a thread so that when someone posts to it, you'll be notified first thing when you log onto DG.

I'm glad you asked these questions. They are valid and important questions. I hope I helped in some way.

Happy Gardening,

Jones Creek, TX(Zone 9a)

I know one big diffrence to me is that Dave's forms are more user friendly.....I found on Garden Web it was harder to open pictures and they were'nt as good in my opinion so I like Daves better.........and for all the reasons everyone else has posted to........... :o)

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I pondered this question for quite a while before answering, and I wanted to let members have a chance to note the differences in their own words before any sort of "official" response was given. Fortunately, that means there isn't a lot of ground to cover, as a lot of good information has already been provided. Here are a few personal observations from participating on both forums over the past several years:

What is different about Dave's (vs Gardenweb)

1. From a technology standpoint, DG uses different software, which gives users more features and flexibility (editing your own posts, for example.) Dave could certainly explain the technological differences much better than I, but from my viewpoint, DG has continuously evolved over time, while GardenWeb has remained fairly static (the Plants Database and Garden Watchdog have grown by leaps and bounds in the past two years.)

2. From a personality standpoint, Dave's Garden caters to a broader range of users, as illustrated by the wide variety of forums offered (many of which have nothing to do with gardening, but are of interest to gardeners who are members here.) There are some potential pitfalls to that, but by and large our members have been good at remembering our main purpose is to be for and by gardeners.

3. From a philosophical standpoint, Dave is "firm-but-fair". On one hand, DG is more strict on language, off-color jokes, etc. But on the other hand, Dave is more likely to issue a warning (or two) before a member is removed from our midst. Meaning you're not going to wake up one morning wearing mouse ears, courtesy of Dave, just because you mentioned a competing website or some other infraction of an obscure "rule". But you might receive an email message, letting you know a post has been edited or removed, and the reasons for removing it.

4. From a size difference, who knows for sure? We post our membership and subscriber numbers, but I don't think GardenWeb does, which makes it hard to compare. Since some of GardenWeb's forums are open to any/all users, it's probably fair to say GW has more active participants on their forums.

Is there a lot of people who belong to both?
Yes, I believe there are. Do we know ALL of those who belong (or subscribe) to both sites? No, not offhand. But a lot of members maintain a tradelist at one place or the other. GardenWeb's trading forums have always been one of its hallmark features, and they're very active. Ours are smaller and less active.

Is Dave nicer than Spike? (please don't kill me, but it's a fair question)
The fact that you hesitate to ask the question tells you something about Spike. The fact that you CAN openly ask that question here tells you a lot about Dave. See the philosophical differences above :o)

It doesn't look like copies of my posts and replies will automatically be emailed -- is that an option?

Email notification isn't an option. You can choose to "watch" as many threads as you want - not just those you start. Because you can do that, it's easier on your email inbox to avoid receiving emails every time a new post is made, as you can easily find yourself watching hundreds of posts.

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

Since I am a paid subscriber to both sites I can give my opinion of both sites.
I find that there is less bickering over here. There seems to be a rash of hecklers lately over on GW that are getting my dander up. I can't stand people who just want to take over because they paid their subscriptions. That seems to be what a small group of women are doing over there.
I joined Dave's garden because I was around before it existed and came over here to look around. I wanted to participate more so I sent my subscription amount in.
I do not get sent to Disney anymore, just get an Email about what I did called a "Friendly reminder". I guess I could end up in disney if I were more radical. My last reprimand was for posting the name of this website. I didn't know it was banned and honestly cannot see why the policy of not mentioning a "competitors" site was not allowed. Seems a bit paranoid to me.
Anyway, I believe in a democracy, but also respect the webmaster's decisions on how they want to run things. It is all about doing what the rules are when you are in my house. So even though I might disagree with a policy, I won't push it.
I do miss having emails sent to me. By being on both sites I sometimes forget that a trade is not sent to you and do not mark the watch this thread. Which is my fault no one else's. You just have to realize the difference in software.
I guess I like both sites because I enjoy a common denominator of gardening.
Half a dozen of one or six of another. It all comes out the same. Just the more the merrier.

Alpharetta, GA(Zone 7b)

I have ran into couple of bad traders in gardenweb, and heard a private list of named bad traders on gardenweb. But I have not ran into any bad traders in dave's garden.

And gardenweb sending people to disney was not open comminication, their rules are too strict, feel like you're under micro management.

Just my 2 cents.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6b)

As a member here and at GW I can safety say there is one main difference between the two.


GW is a corporation formed to make a dollar w/ profit as the driving force.
Rules, both visible and obscure are ruthlessly enforced by the entity known, visibly at least, as Spike.
It seems gardening runs a distant second and friendships are pretty much actively discouraged or at least not encouraged.
ANY deviation from corporate policy is not tolerated.

Here everything seems to be driven by gardening W/ developing friendships a very close if not equal second.

I've dealt w/ Terry on matters in PlantsDatabase and Dave w/ a question on membership and was impressed by the fact that I got a REAL answer.
Not a form letter, not a corporate policy talking head but a real answer.
That shows concern for the members to me.
That adds up to care in my way of thinking.

The thing that impressed me the most, after the wealth of knowledge here, is the depth and duration of the friendships formed on these pages.

Lest you think I'm exaggerating about GW discouraging friendships or core groups in a Forum.

I am a member and Moderator/Co-owner of a Yahoo group
of 30 exiled (banned) or expatriated Balcony and Container Forums members from GW.
If you're familiar w/ the Balconeers over there and wonder where they went..........

Western, PA(Zone 6a)

Here you don't have to resize the photos for uploading. A real plus. I believe Dave said one time the photos are automatically reduced to 'fit'.

And the 'anytime' editing feature is great.

There are a whole lot more features that will always give both sites the separation. As said above, the personalities of each webmaster are the real sustaining difference.

LA, So CAL (Northrid, CA(Zone 10a)

What is the difference between GW and Daves...
GW dosent have a chance compared to the special people on Daves.. ...
less drama and real people who remember that seed trading is a way to share.

This message was edited Nov 18, 2003 10:46 PM

Paris, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm new to gardening and have used both sites in my quest to learn about the plant world. I chose to become a paid subscriber to DG, because I wanted more access to the Plants Database.

I haven't posted much yet, as I am still familiarizing myself with this site, and reading what others have written and asked. I'm finding it very helpful and more to my liking than GW, but I feel I must be fair and say that I have learned some useful things from their members too. The atmosphere is different, but I've personally never had any bad experieces.

Spokane, WA(Zone 5b)

welcome jdee - this is a nice place that is fairly low key. I've been to both (actually still have a membership I've barely used at gardenweb) and guess that is because I like it here better. I find this more user friendly, computer wise, and the people very helpful, understanding, caring and nice. I've made alot of nice friends here since last November when I joined.

Mount Hermon, LA(Zone 8b)

"Meaning that you are not going to wake up one morning wearing mouse ears."

Terry, I couldn't stop chuckling over that phrasing. So funny. Loved it!

(Zone 5b)

DG newbie here. After spending about 4 years on the GW I was kicked off (with no warning) for merely posting a link to Mel Gibsons movie "The Passion" on the rose forums OPEN TOPIC/CONVERSATION forum. All I said was, quote: "coming soon to a theater near you" and posted a link to the movies website and thats all. I sealed my fate by daring to question Spite on what he did to me. His reason for kicking me off... I "ignored his warning" ( I never received a warning) and I went against the no politics/no religion policy which I did not know about relating to the open forum. Ironically the person who started a thread on Witches and Warlocks was not given the boot. Never the less nobody was talking about religion rather quite civilly discussing the pros and cons of the movie. Frankly I didn't care if I was permanently banned as I have a much friendlier msn rose & garden group forum I go to anyway and was spending less and less time on the GW not to mention I was not impressed with Spites double standards and unfair treatment. It is no secret that many people have been kicked off the GW for ridiculous reasons and that Spite is a rude and arrogant person and frequently treats his members like children. Oddly enough he seems to have some fans. I understand that there has to be rules and limitations but the problem with Spite is it goes way beyond that to unwarranted heavy handedness. Since this happened to me I have heard many first hand accounts from those who have had the same thing happen to them so this is not simply a matter of Spite kicking off trolls but it does seem to me he is on some sort of power trip and gets his jollys doing this. I do not say any of this in a vindictive manner. I feel sorry for the man because we all reap what we sow and eventually it will all come back on him.
Sounds to me like DG will be a much friendly place to visit and I look forward to getting to know you better.

Noblesville, IN(Zone 5a)

I just have one thing to say right now, Dave is a saint and Spike is nooooooot.

Hi Cottage_Rose_Z5,

I'm sorry to hear of your frustration at GardenWeb. Working under an unspoken set of rules is difficult (I say impossible) and leads to frustration; this thread is evidence of that!

Just FYI: the reason this site is friendly and safe is because I manage it with an even heavier hand that Spike does. The difference is that I always operate (within my ability!) under the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy (linked from the footer of this page).

Actually removing a person from this website is an extremely rare occurance, but it does happen. It's like kicking a person out of your own home and nobody likes it, but it does happen.


(Zone 5b)

Thanks Dave. :)
I think you hit the nail on the head with the "unspoken rules" factor....plus the unfairness and double standards that seem to be a problem over there. I have never dealt with such a rude and arrogant webmaster before.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Can you imagine a society where no rules were spelled out, and discipline was soley at the dictator's discretion? That would be awful. Dave, we appreciate the way you keep this neighborhood.

Canadaigua, NY(Zone 6b)

I really hope that she reads this entire posting. You all have great advice and definetly some horror stories! I wanted to sign on as a paid subscriber to DG, but I don't have a Credit card (I'm young and that would KILL my credit, I am very bad w/$$) anyway,before my boyfriend would send the $$ he told me that I had to check out the other sites. As soon as I logged onto GW I was greeted with a(not bad) but not good attitude. Almost like.... I wasn't wanted there. So I left promptly and came here. I ran into a post from long ago here. That had gotten way out of control! No one stopped it, there were warnings given and I felt it was handled in a very democratic way, so I posted my young,peace/love, feelings about it and got an email from dave the next day! I felt that, this was my deciding factor. I paid and never went back. As someone who is new to gardening, I have never met so many useful, committed, and caring people. I tend to have a lot of questions, and they get answered... that's what matters to me! Meredith

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

There is one rule that Spike abides by. If you ask to be removed from membership but have already paid a month before you were due to pay for a new years membership he will not refund your money at all.

NW Qtr, AR(Zone 6a)

Geez, haint nobody lern'd yet ... that 'home' is where the heart is !?! ...

Yep, Daves Garden pretty much fully qualifies for a place where you can hang your hat a spell ... sit and visit .. wander about .. view some outstanding photos of lawns and yards, and every type of garden imaginable .. along with most every critter that jumps, falls, flies or crawls .. into or near them!

Ya can ask questions and seek opinions .. and ya get a good blend of answers to boot ..

DGer folks 'cyber' arms .. pretty much readily accept anyone ... No matter the wrinkles, stumblin', stutterin', and wee faults ... Sight unseen .. with dents and all !!! .. hee hee ..

I, feel most fortunate .. that I'd not ever checked out any other garden sites before happenin' upon Daves Garden. From all indication .. I've saved myself, from what would've have proven to be .. some excess and wasted mileage .. and, apparently, one
mitey bumpy ride too! .. ha!

Thanks Dave and 'family' ... for allowing me the pleasure of such wonderful company! ((hugs)) - Magpye

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

Yes, Dave's garden is a much friendlier place than GardenWeb.

I belong to both sites and I spend much less time at GW than I used to. Spike has gotten rid of so many people because of one infraction or another that there isn't really anything going on there any longer. I've noticed that posts will sit with no replies for quite a while before being answered.

Another thing, just try and mention Dave's Garden on GW, you'll get a notice that says something to the effect that Dave's Garden has spammed GW before and if you continue to try and post anything that has anything to do with DG you will be banned.

While both of these sites are "businesses" and their purpose is to make money, I think that Spike is a little too paranoid. He needs to loosen up a bit and not be so high-strung. I think that it would be good for his business. Also, the flashing ads that say you have just won something are very annoying. Those ads really cheapen the site. Just my HO.

Thanks, Dave, for doing such a great job. May you live long and prosper. (a quote from some little TV show that has been running for 30+ years (c:)


Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

One more major difference is that the technology/software used at Dave's Garden is far more advanced (superior) than the software used at GardenWeb. Once something is posted at GardenWeb you cannot edit or make changes to your post (like I am doing right now to this post at Dave's Garden)

This message was edited Feb 27, 2005 7:32 AM

Beaverton, OR

This is interesting. This is the forum topic that I stumbled upon that triggered my subscription to this website - Dave's that is.

I visit very few forums. Mostly for recreation and sharing ideas.

The most important element for me within a website forum is "civility" - manners, protocol, etiquette, caring.

It was not hard for me to his the delete button to remove the Garden Web from my favorites list. And that was mostly due to the nature of responses from some users to other users. Not just that, but the fact that it continues.

There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with people, but it is wrong to abuse them, humiliate them or put them down. What's worse, is when administration allows that to happen. I had watched and participated at the gardenweb for about a year sporadically. The remarkable part about the posts, was that the most rude people were allowed to stay on board, and many of the insulted people were the ones banned from the site. Part of the issue stems from users that promote advertising on there. The way they get around self-promotion is by referring one another. Those people risk a financial gain if they get banned, so what they do is network email complaints against users that they enter into a conflict with. It's not obvious from a single post, but if you take time to read a few weeks or months worth of posts, you will discover what is going on.

This does not mean that there were not good ideas there. But the forums take on a hostile and political nature. So if you want landscape ideas embedded into a tapestry of conversation woven with conflict, that may be an option. But if you like a wealth of garden and landscaping information in a polite and neighborly and professional setting, then Dave's is the option you will want. The gardenweb offers basically nothing that can't be revealed in here.

One last thing - you can tell that Dave is a gardening man. A gardening man's name and contributions show up everywhere when his heart cares about his work and interest with plants. That's why this site and forum is a CONTRIBUTION to society, not just a commercial enterprise.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Well! After reading all of the below entries, I am prompted to chime in also.

I have been a member of GW and Daves about the same amount of time--about 2 years. I found GW first, after searching for some kind of Gardening Forum to discuss issues, share information, ask questions, share MY knowledge, etc. I think I used Google a lot here....
I do not remember just how I stumbled onto Daves Gardens??? I checked it out, but was restricted from the Forum discussions until I was a paid member. For just $15 a year--I joined. A small fee! Glad I did!

My first impression of Daves was not all that favorable. Seemed that there were too many people putting up posts to just say, "WOW!", or "Great picture"!, or "Sure is pretty"!, or those kind of comments. Coming from time spent om GW, it seemed that these posts were superfluous and "meaningless". You NEVER see a post on GW that just says "WOW"! They are always more serious and advice-oriented. They seem to have more context. What I have realized over time, as I spend more and more time on Daves, is that this IS truly a "family" and that these people are all warm friends and members of this HUGE family. I, personally, still would not enter a post just to say, "nice picture". I would want to offer some advice or share some first-hand experience I have had with the Forum question at hand.

One reason I like GW is that the posts seem more "serious" and to the point. This is my first year growing 2 Brugs. I rely on certain old-timers on GW for exact advice. My dilema on GW is that I have not yet figured out how to post a picture! That process seemss SO COMPLICATED there!!! SO! I have problems, and I ask questions, BUT--I cannot post a picture for them to see what I am talking about! This is so easy on Daves!!! I appreciate that!

Since I visit very limited Forums on GW, I have not experienced any of the negative things I read about. I was warned once for talking about exchanging seeds on a regular forum and I had my post removed once, because I mentioned a very Garden-oriented Web site we all live and breath by here--locally. I had NO warning! But I went back to see if anyone had responded, and it just wasn't there! I guess I just haven't "rattled any cages" serious enough--yet to be reprimanded! I don't want to either!

Overall, I do not feel that I am on an equal par with all of the people on Daves or GW to be considered one of the "family" yet. Any of my gardening efforts PALE next to all the ones posted and pictured! I am just not all that "into it"! However, if I ever had a question, there were a lot of encouraging answers in a day or two. That feels good!

On the positive side (on Daves), I love the diversity of the Forums. I have spent a lot of time on the Recipe forum (and have Dave's Cookbook in my favorites). And even if I have not ever contributed, I think having the "Parking Lot" and "Jokes and Chat" and "Dirt Cheap", AND Daves, makes Daves a lot more fun to visit.

How much time do I spend on either nowadays? HMMMM! I think Daves is winning!!! Love all the pictures you guys post! Sometimes, late at night, I unwind just by being on one of these Garden Forums before I go to bed. I think Daves puts me to sleep better--this is NOT a negative! It is just that I get so carried away on certain posts that I want to look at them forever--see all 10 pages!

I feel that I have not yet skimmed the surface of all Daves has to offer. Maybe that is why I have such a limited "experience" on this Web Site. Getting there, though! I am begining to recognize some names that I rely on for good advice or great recipes! I DO have "fuzzy feelings" about all the people on Daves. GEEZ! They are from Canada and Europe, and Australia, and S. America! What an experience! World-wide advice at my fingertips!

YES! I renewed, and will continue to do so! Gitagal

Beaverton, OR


If you want to post a photo at GW, I recall it's done by inserting it in a code into your message text. Such as:

Blah, blah, blah, and here is my photo...

blah, blah, blah

YOUR IMAGE URL GOES INSIDE THE QUOTE MARKS. It usually starts with http://

I just buzzed over to that home page and entered "img src" into the search box and found this old topic:


Your image must be on the internet to post at GW, even if you need to put it on webshots or ofoto.

EDITS --- I guess part of my message dissappeared, so I won't try to reinsert that disappearing code, but the link should take you to a page with it anyway. You will look at the part to add an image and under the #2 part it shows "linking" and "display". In the "display" part, it shows you insert a file name and location after on the end. The URL will have quote marks on both ends. The whole string of characters is run together with only one space - that's between img & src.

This message was edited Sep 19, 2004 9:15 AM

This message was edited Sep 19, 2004 9:21 AM

Spring Valley, CA(Zone 10a)

Well I joined GW about early summer of 2003. Basically the forums I frequented were Cactuses and Tropicals. Over time I began to post a fair amount but not really that frequent. I also started to read the 'Spike' comments. I didn't think too much about them at the time. I mostly like to post pics of my garden and see and read about other plants that I'm not familiar with. Anyway in the Tropicals forum one day, I innocently posted about not seeing a regular poster who was very knowledgeable. A few hours later I checked the post and someone had mentioned that the post would probably be pulled. The next day it was gone and I received an e-mail from this Spike person to "give it a rest". That didn't settle very well with me, and I stopped posting for awhile. Eventually over time I began to post again. Then on one of the forums someone wanted to vent. The poster was disappointed in not receiving her end of a seed exchange. She phrased it very well and didn't name names. She just said she wanted to vent. I can understand this, because sometimes I've felt this way and just needed a "pat on the back", so to speak. Anyway, I responded and told her that most people aren't that way and to just consider it a lesson learned with that person. The post was gone the next day. For me that was it. I sent this Spike person an e-mail and said he didn't know how to run a website and said I was "out of here." He responded that indeed, he DID know how to run a website and my account was promptly deleted. Good for me!

I also realize now why he has hundreds and hundreds of obscure forums. When you enter the forum, you get a different AD banner at the top. This is where he truly makes his money and I feel that fundamentally he is not a gardener but a Internet geek whiz kid who came up with a great idea on how to make lots of money but has zero people skills.


This message was edited Aug 5, 2006 2:58 PM

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Thanks for the Hyperlink to the picture posting. I coppied it out and will see if I can understand all the "technicalities". My brain "shuts down" if i cannot understand something and I lose patience to override that. Too old! Too impatient for "instant results"......Just the child in me!

One thing I forgot to mention in my comparison between GW and Daves is how much I appreciate all the links and Hyperlinks the members on Daves post to expand the knowlege on any given topic! THANK YOU ALL!!! My Gardening Section in "My Favorites" is now about 3 pages as a result.


Valley Village, CA

You all hit it on a nutshell, I don't need to make any comments now, Spike will let people belittle, and bash.
Dave will not. If you complain about somethng else that is bashing and it doesn't need to be you, will I was eliminated. I tried to protect the others and his forum. Well I was the one that got punished. It's just not a safe place to be if you have any self respect.

We have good people here, It works like a team and I think the credit goes to Dave.

Greenback, TN

I joined GW a few weeks back. I was blocked from posting because I had asked my questions in the wrong places and was told that I "could not comprehend the instructions". LOL! I politely mentioned that I can comprehend many languages but he had such a small grasp on the vernacular that his "gentle reminders" were impossible to sift through and could I help him to clarify? He responded to my offer to help with another insult and I promptly paid to join here. Smartest move I ever made!

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

I am a relatively new member of both GW and DG. In fact I am a very new DG subscriber although I've used some of the other features for a couple of months. As such I have not been around either site long enough to become deeply entrenched in the culture, politics, or cliques of either site. So, I'll add some comparisons of the two sites mostly from a newbie perspective. My non-scientific (and in a couple of cases possibly ignorant) ratings run from 1 (yuck or non-existing) to 5 (wow, how cool is that!)

1. Site organization and ease of navigation: GW: 1; DG: 4.
I am constantly getting lost at GW. Different forums work differently, some archive, some don't, some have multiple pages, other threads disappear as soon as they scroll off the page. At GW there is no way to tell if a thread has been updated unless I am the originator or if I happen to remember the number of posts or time of last posting for each thread (which ain't gonna happen!). Being very new at DG, I'm still finding my way around, but I've found it easier to do that at DG after just a couple of days than I have after a couple of months at GW. In fact that is the only reason I gave DG a 4 instead of a 5 because I am still too new to be completely proficient at navigating around DG, but I sure like what I have seen so far. I also just love that you can watch threads and indicate favorite forums and see whether there are updates just by going to the home page. I find this WAY better than scrolling through a bunch of emails intersperced with my business emails and of course all the viagra spams I get.

2. Features and information: GW: 2; DG: 5.
The plants database and the journal alone qualify for a 5. GW, in terms of features is a 1, but I gave it a 2 overall because there are some very knowledgable users there that have given me lots of great info.

3. Customer service: GW: 1 DG: 5.
At GW I get the sense that members are considered to be PITAs by the site owners/management. By contrast, I sent an email to DG though their "contact us" link yesterday at what would have been considered at or after close of business by most. I had a personal (not autogenerated email) response from Terry within minutes! She similarly followed up with replies to a couple of subsequent clarifications and did so again early this morning (Terry, do you ever sleep? LOL). I have to wonder if their really is a Spike or if that is just the bad cop personna bot at GW.

4. Photo hosting and My Info Page: GW: 1; DG: 5.
At GW you have to have your own web host to link photos from. At DG it is super easy to upload them and host right on DG server (wow how cool is that!). This is a biggy for me since my private web host is really a loan from a friend and I don't want to take advantage of his generosity by taking up too much of his space. I love the My Info page at DG. Let's me keep links to lots of things in one place without having to bookmark them separately and I really enjoy browsing the info pages of other members.

5. Forums and Trading: GW :4, DG: 4.
I give both equal ratings here but for completely different reasons.
The only forum I really go to at GW is the Texas Gardening Forum. I really like that there is a forum specifically for my area with lots of gardeners knowledgable in that specific area. There are many times when I search the web for some gardening info and I may find a lot....and it may be all wrong...for Texas. That particular forum at GW also organizes a lot of local plant swaps where you trade seeds, cuttings, potted and bare root plants, etc. in person. They are great gardening and social events and I enjoy them. DG on the other had has much more extensive features and a lot of activity in trading but from what i have seen so far, it seems to be mostly limited to mailing seeds. In just my short time as a DG subscriber, I have seen many forums that interest me (both gardening and non-gardening related) while at GW, none of them appealed to me other than the Texas forum. This is pretty much the one thing that will keep me going back to GW as well as here. A lot of times I just gotta have that Texas specific input and feedback and information.

6. Culture and rules: GW 2; DG 3.
Ok, I know I said at the top of this now more lengthy than originally intended post that I wasn't going to get into culture issues, but I've changed my mind...at least a little. I get the sense that at GW rules are made up on the fly as after the fact CYA for banning someone. I also find that the rules are selectively applied. There seem to be some people that can break any of the rules with abandon and others that are history for some obscure or trumped up infraction. I've also noticed a vague sense of fear from some of the old timers there who seem to get unduly nervous when posts don't meet a certain cookie cutter sense of style or expression. In fact I've been emailed by numerous members there (but only outside the GW email system) either warning me or patting me on the back for certain posts that apparently pushed some invisible (at least to me) envelope. Don't need the drama and don't like the having to go behind the back environment. Still there are a lot of nice folks there (at least in the Texas forum who are the only ones I know) and they are very knowlegable (expecially about gardening in Texas). My 3 rating for DG is really just a middle of the road cop out rating since I don't yet really have any first hand experience with the culture or members here.

(Zone 5b)

Daves Garden beats the GW hands down.

Plus its quite refreshing to have a nice webmaster. Thanks Dave and staff!

This message was edited Apr 2, 2006 7:38 PM

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

OMG, I am so excited to see this thread!! I don't know if I'm more excited that I wasn't the only one banned by Spike, or if I'm so excited because I think I've found my "spot"! :))

What I found immediately that I loved about Dave's, is that Dave is a real person! He posts, has a profile and a picture. That told me that he knew what we were doing here and wasn't some invisible ruler in the Emerald City of Oz. A "prayer" forum? I knew it was different.

I WAS a non-paying user of GW, but am a subscribing member here now. I am a stay-at-home mom (rarely stays at home tho) that just wants to talk gardening. Online is the only way I have had to meet people in the last few years. I got on the list at GW and started getting "reminders" because my SUBJECT line wasn't descriptive enough! I thought "Just a couple of questions" was pretty self explanatory compared to "Wow" on another forum! My whole thread, including replies (those must have been really stupid people that replied) was deleted. During the hurricanes there were a bunch of posts talking about the members in FL. I got lost in all of it and a bit later asked about 2 people that had already been discussed. I said I couldn't keep track and was wondering how they faired, and Spike told me to send personal emails, and deleted it. A few of us local girls formed our own "club" (sort of) and because I thought it was rude and annoying to keep mentioning it on a big forum, I created a small Yahoo board for just us to discuss times to meet etc. Well yeah, you guessed it...Disney for me too. I agree totally, he will reap what he sows.

I was recruited over here, and will be recruiting friends that I've made from GW, if they haven't already beat me! Thanks for the stories, I don't feel so personally abused now.


p.s. Pville...I do miss the people on the Texas forum on GW, but was very glad to see you over here. I've received some very nice emails from people who are trying to keep in touch. I'll tell them about my new home.

This message was edited Nov 2, 2004 4:36 PM

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)


I'm really glad to hear that. I had intended when I subcribed at DG to still participate at least in the Texas forum at GW but as it has turned out I really have found every thing I need here and so I haven't been back. I feel badly about that only from the standpoint of some of the folks that we use to chat with there. But everytime I've thought about stopping in at GW, I think whatever time I spend reading and posting there is that much less time I have to read and post here, get my journal up to speed, do my research in the PDB, etc. so I've ended up never going back. Having you and some of the other folks I miss from there join us here is just the last lick of icing on the cake to make it perfect.


Englishtown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I just have to ask: What does it mean "getting sent to Disney?". My curiosity is getting the better of me since I have heard this term a few times over the last year or so.
I've heard of getting banished, and know what that means that you can't go back, but have no idea of what it means to get sent to Disney.

Burleson, TX(Zone 8a)

When you try to reply to a post, or send an email, it sends you to Disney's home page.

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