I opened up Blogger on my laptop, and began typing that my weeds were very sorry and wouldn't do that again. Then, on January 30 one year ago, I clicked "publish".
I had not thought about writing a blog, and I had not even considered myself a real gardener. I started blogging out of frustration with facebook .
I am on facebook for the same reasons many are: to see family photos (and, frankly, to track what my single sons are doing in California and Colorado, but I get very little info on that score). I am as yet grandchildless, so I would post some fascinating photos of my plants, and make some observations --- witty, trenchant, timely and savvy... you know. And I would get responses on my wall that varied between "get a life" and "you need to go back to work."
I gave up on facebook --- my family are not gardeners. Most of them don't even go outdoors.
I thought: "all those people on Blotanical... they get it."
So I joined Blotanical, a wonderful meeting place for gardeners who want to share what they see growing all around them. I set up the blog. I posted.
To my utter amazement, I got comments. Nobody suggested I needed to get a life; just the opposite! In addition I discovered other blogs that were fascinating to read, literally all over the world.
And I discovered more.
- I learned you will get a lot of search traffic if you title your blog "My Weeds Are Very Sorry". I get hits on "growing weed".
- I found the most visited post in a year of blogging continues to be the profile I did of my sweetbay magnolia last April. By a wide margin. Hundreds of pageviews more than any other post. Even today, I am getting visitors who come to that post via all kinds of inquiries about sweetbay magnolias.
- I experienced the shock of searching for some information on a plant in my garden, and Google returned my own blog post in the results. In the top position.
And earlier this month I met Cyndy, Debbie, Scott, and Joene --- Connecticut bloggers I have followed and shared comments with over this past year, as well as Colleen, a garden writer new to me. We garden in different corners of the state, but it's a small state and it was easy to get together for lunch in the middle.
It was wonderful meeting these avid gardeners for the first time. I already felt as though I'd known them forever from their posts and pictures and comments. They all live somewhat near me, are doing what I'm doing, and have a wealth of information to share with me, but how would I have ever met them? Without blogging, how would I have known about them at all?
There are other friends I've made this year who comment and whose blogs I love to read. A community. Real people, real gardeners, real plants --- the only thing virtual is the network structure that allows us all to communicate. I have to say I was flabbergasted that all this exists.
I'm still on facebook, I still look to see if my sons have posted anything that tells me what they're up to, but I spend my time online in the garden blog world.
It's been a very rewarding year!