April 14, 2010

The thrill is gone

I'm having a problem with all the spring bloom posts I've been reading.

I started this blog in late January, joined Blotanical in February, and in these short weeks I have been dazzled to discover a huge welcoming network of bloggers posting and showing us their amazing gardens.

But there is a downside to reading so many garden blogs.  It's not the sheer volume of blogs to read and discover, although that's daunting.  And it's not the complexity of Blotanical points and picks, although that's a little mystifying for a newcomer.

No, it's the blooms.  The close-ups, the zooms, the tight focus shots of snowdrops, daffodils, cherry blossoms, and whatever comes next in the season.  I'm in zone 5, and my garden is new, so my emerging spring treasures are later than many others'.  By the time my iris reticulata peeked out, I was already over it, seen it, been there, read everyone else's joy at the tiny purple flowers.  I didn't feel like writing a post on them.

When my daffodils finally poked up and opened their sunny faces, I was already past any surprise... I'd seen so many daffodil closeups and narcissus shots that boredom, not excitement, greeted me when I ventured out into my garden.

The hellebores, the blooming witch hazels, I'd been reading about them all and seeing them online in warmer gardens for weeks.  By the time they showed up for me, I'd already seen so many that the delight was missing.

I'm not as far north as some gardeners, so I shouldn't complain.  And the joy and pride of bloggers who share their early blooms is nothing to dismiss!  Not to mention their extraordinary photographic skills.  I want to enjoy others' gardens.  But, like an addict who has to limit exposure, I need to cut back on reading early spring blooming posts.

I am still an avid blog surfer, still finding so much to read on Blotanical, and marveling at much of the creative writing.  But I will linger on posts about design and composition and problems and structure and personal revelation in the garden, and not so much on bloom closeups. 

I still want a thrill when I see something coming up in my own garden.  I don't want to greet each new shoot with "oh, finally?"

To achieve that, I need to step away from the bloggy blossoms.


  1. Bravo Laurrie, I'm with you. I am also in a zone5 garden. When my longed for snowdrops finally appeared, I posted one picture, but not the multitudes that I had been seeing for weeks, I felt that everyone was bored with them by that point. But, I did start my blog to be my own personal journal of my garden, not so much for others, so I had to put it in.
    I also look a lot for design advice, and love the landscape shots, macro I can see anywhere and everywhere.

  2. Dear Laurrie, Nothing, I believe, compares with the wonder and beauty of the plants which grow and which have been nurtured in one's own garden. So, do not be in any way disillusioned with your own. Indeed, coming that bit later they take on an even greater significance and value.

    For me, design is as much a part of gardening as individual plants. Probably, in truth, more so.

  3. No picture, no Mass of pictures, can compare to a flower. A real flower. An actually growing in my garden flower. Don't let this world wide virtual garden take anything away from your delight in your own garden.

  4. I'm one of those people guilty of posting closeups of the same things everyone else is posting. It doesn't really bother me, and I'm still excited by what's blooming in my garden. My eyes just like to feast on colour when I'm reading a garden blog. I try and inject my posts with a little bit of weirdness/humour to make it not so monotonous....

  5. I try not to post too many close-ups, because that's what everyone did, especially in the earlier days of forums and digitial photography. I still post a lot of them. It's just too easy to do it.

    There are an almost overwhelming number of really good gardening blogs now. I want to look at them, but even more I want to spend every possible moment doing garden and farm work.

    I will be frank, Blotanical mystifies me. I've never seen the attraction.

    Design is an interesting issue. That's a mystery to me too, really and truly! Perhaps I should write a post about it, and what an elusive thing it is, to me anyway. :)

  6. Oh, Laurrie, I am zone 3 - I hear you! I don't think I realized spring came sooooo much later here than the rest of the world until I discovered the garden bloggers.

    Now, I have hinted to hubby that we may have to start dreaming of transferring/retiring someday to a warmer zone so I can catch up! ;-)

    (Not sure he has entirely bought into my reasoning yet...)

  7. I totally get it! We're on the same track (started blog in January) - and I felt a little silly posting a crocus weeks and weeks after some blogs. But is was my crocus. Fortunately, there's no way to post smells - those are yours solely. That's what I've been enjoying most about being outside this time of year - the smell of blooms, of dirt, of leaves. Can't get that on a blog. Your blooms are lovely by the way!

  8. Deborah, I keep a second journal blog for documenting progress in my garden ... but no one sees that blog!

    Edith, I agree that design, can have as much interest as individual plants, and design motivates me more.

    Diana, your'e certainly right.. the real thing is always far better than seeing it virtually... I just need to pace myself better online!

    Kyna, love the humor... always a fun read in addition to the blooms.

    Sweet bay, I'd like to read a post on your elusive design goals... I find design such a mystery too, but constantly want to improve.

    Garden Ms. S, zone 3 surely is a challenge, but oh, the rewards after your long winter!

  9. Kelly, I agree. It feels like copying to post after everyone has done it. BTW, the bloom pictures in this post aren't mine, they're free stock photos... trying to make a point, sort of, with black backgrounds and no garden reference.

  10. Gee, I have a different point of view. I look at more southern spring photo posts as a reminder of warmer sweeter blossoms to come, and when I get to see photos of spring blossoms from farther north - well after mine have gone by - I look at it as a chance to revisit how my blossoms looked. I agree there is NOTHING like the real thing, but I don't mind sharing blooms that come before or after mine - they are still beautiful flowers whether or not they are posted first, last, or somewhere in between.

  11. Joene, I'm trying to cultivate an appreciation for the "flow of the season" as you describe... it certainly extends the spring season for months and months!

  12. I feel this way about the birding information that is given on a bird list I belong to. When people in my state are seeing things so much earlier I get anxious thinking I am missing birds in our area even though I am birding quite often. I have learned to let that go. Before the internet I relished each bird not wondering why it took so long to get to my area. Somehow reading about other peoples gardens doesn't affect me that way. I just see it as a big wave in the ocean about to sweep over my area. I like seeing what will be featured next, or if something of mine blooms or pops up before someone elses a little further south. I don't think the design of the garden is ever finished. I am always adding or changing plantings as things grow or my interest changes. I do enjoy your posts. They are so well written. I hope you continue to share your gardening thoughts with us.

  13. P.S. Blotanical lost me when they started the competition thing of how many points for this and that. I don't garden or read blogs to compete. I just like the comradarie of the gardening community. Who else is going to care if you kill your Aunt Bessie's favorite iris by planting it too deep or if you have a marvelous space of your own to sit and while away the hours reading a good gardening book or catching up on your garden journal?. Cheers.

  14. Lisa, thanks for your thoughtful comments (and compliments). I love the description of an ocean of bloom photos sweeping over the area as the season progresses northward. I agree about Blotanical competitions -- not my thing -- but I've enjoyed the access and community parts of it. Thanks for visiting me.

  15. I've had the same experience!

    I've also felt that so many others post gorgeous, up close and personal images of flowers and plants, perhaps leading some non-gardeners to believe that gardening is working mostly with perfect specimens of plants and never getting dirty. For me, gardening includes so many back-breaking chores and hard physical labor, whether it's carting mulch around in a wheelbarrow or digging up sod to expand my gardens. I enjoy it (mostly) but much of it is down and dirty work, not something you'd necessarily think about when you look at those perfect flower photos!

  16. Fern, the gorgeous blooms are the reward for all the dirty work -- but I was sure surprised when I started, to find out how dirty the whole enterprise is. It is a lot of hard work, but we do it, and as you say, we (mostly) enjoy it!


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