By Sherry Larson
In his September 2, 2022, “Addicted to Gardening” Facebook post, Donnie Tincher writes, “I’m addicted, you’re addicted, we’re all addicted…Addicted To Gardening! We continue to gather here from around the globe to celebrate our mutual love for growing and gardening. We have grown from a few hundred members to 1.129 million in the last 18 months. We have weathered frost, snow, floods, heat, drought, storms, insects, voracious critters, weeds, and the loss of loved ones, and through it all, we have continued to support and learn from each other. We have laughed together, shed tears together, shared our lives and the beauty of our homes and our gardens together, inspired each other, and proved that kindness and respect are still alive and well in the world!”
Tincher has been gardening most of his life. And the gardens he has planted, cultivated, loved, and adorned for the past 20 years with his partner Kaiajade Levi are in Peebles, Ohio. Tincher is a builder by trade and met Levi in 2000 when he came to work on the home where they now reside. The grounds are enchanting with nature’s art. Tincher is the curator, yet the surroundings are unforced. He has participated with the flora, and one can sense mutual trust.
From burbling waterfalls to unsuspected garden ornaments, serendipitous finds flourish here. Everywhere one looks on the grounds, there are amazing plots of color, shades of green, towering sculptures, and stone formations. The Thailand Giant Colocasia (Elephant Ears) and the nearly one thousand Hostas that adorn the property are most impressive.
In 2014 Tincher started the Facebook Group “Addicted to Gardening.” As of March last year, the membership was around 800 members. Today it boasts 1.139 million members and counting. Tincher shared, “I started the group to have a place to share pictures of the gardens here.” For the first several years, he could only invite people on his friends’ list and their friends. In March of last year, something changed with Facebook, and the group shared as a garden group. Tincher said, “It’s turned into a really cool thing.” He continued, “Many older people that can’t garden anymore but loved it all their life – they love it because they’re getting to share their knowledge with people. The people who want to learn love it because they get all this good advice.”
Tincher is surprised at how quickly the Facebook group has grown since last year. He is pleased with how “good” the group is since Facebook is often known for people getting nasty with one another. He stated, “Everyone adopted the group as their own, and everyone tries to protect it.” The group has been an excellent resource platform for sharing photos, asking questions, and receiving answers and feedback about gardening. Tincher said, “There are some fantastic gardens on there!”
There are many local members on the Facebook group, but the reach is worldwide. Tincher wants to encourage folks to join and emphasizes that he has zero tolerance for anyone who does not treat others with respect on the platform.
Tincher said, “This has turned out to be much more than a garden group. It’s about showing people that we are all the same no matter where we are from, and we can all get along if we choose to do so.” Tincher said, “I think it’s going to continue to grow. I’m going to tell Facebook with some backing from them; I think I can show them the biggest group on Facebook within a couple of years.”
Tincher notes his goal to be the largest group on Facebook is much more than wanting to have the most members. He wants to bring folks with a common interest together. It will be exciting to watch the continuing progress of the group coupled with the growth of all the glorious foliage from around the world. If horticulture is your passion, join the group, spread the word, and in the words of Donnie Tincher, “Garden on.”