January 28, 2011

One Year Anniversary

One year ago, I sat in this chair on a sunny winter morning.  It looked exactly like this, with the sun streaming in, the amaryllis blooming on the coffee table, and the two Siamese cats claiming a spot of sun on the chair I wanted to sit in. 

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 the best discovery: I met real people!  Ellen Sousa from Turkey Hill Brook Farm and Beautiful Wildlife Garden read my blog and contacted me to ask if she could come to photograph my garden to include in a book that will be published next year.  Of course! 

    She came one day last September, she took many shots, we had a lovely visit over coffee... it was a surprising benefit of blogging.

    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!

    20 comments:

    1. Sounds like you have had a wonderful journey into blogging. Happy Anniversary, oh I mean Blogiversary. Anyway, glad I found your blog. I did not search for weed, but was enticed by you on your horse to take a peak.You do have a beautiful property and congrats on getting into a book.

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    2. As one of your appreciative readers, Laurrie, I can say how wonderful it is that you made the decision to join the gardening blogging world. Happy blogversary ... and keep your terrific posts coming! It's always such a joy to visit your garden, even if it's virtually! It's definitely a highlight every time I visit.

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    3. Congratulations on a year of blogging! I am glad the your weeds are very sorry! I have enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to many more of your posts. I have been blogging since Oct, 2009, and before then I had no idea of the world existing out there in the blogosphere. It has been great to meet other gardeners and experience their gardens, even if only virtually.

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    4. Congratulations Laurrie, It was great meeting you and the others - it would be fun to get together when there are actually plants growing outside!

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    5. Happy Blogaversary, Laurrie! How exciting to have your garden pictured in a book! I had much the same experience as you with Facebook--I joined it to stay in touch with family members, especially my daughter in Oregon. None of them are into gardening, so when I've posted garden photos or comments, I get much the same reaction--get a life:) Isn't it wonderful to be able to share your passion for gardening with a community such as this? I've been lucky enough, too, to meet some blogging friends in person, and I'm always amazed how well we get along; not strangers, but friends with a common bond.

      It's been a pleasure to meet you--may you have many more years of happy blogging!

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    6. Laurrie, You've come a long way baby! It's been a pleasure getting to know you and your garden through your blog. I'm looking forward to seeing what the coming year brings.

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    7. Congratulations, both on your anniversay and on being in a book! You could write your own book, a combination of gardening and comedy. :)

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    8. Happy Anniversary. I too find garden blogging very fulfilling and have met many new friends by doing so. Keep up the great writing!

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    9. Congratulations on year one. I'm honored to be one of your garden blogger buddies, Laurrie. We all have met and 'met' some wonderful people through our blogs. I'm grateful our blog paths crossed.

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    10. Exactly!!!!
      I "accidently" became a garden blogger too. Almost a year ago.
      You've had a wonderful year meeting so many people.
      I'm still not on facebook. This is where the real stuff happens. :-)
      Happy blogversary.

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    11. Thank you, everyone, for visiting and commenting!

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    12. Happy anniversary Laurrie! So glad to have found your blog and can so relate to how you feel about your blogging friends. It was a shock to me that people would actually read my blog and then when they made comments, I was amazed! My family reacts much like yours...indifferent. But my gardening friends, they know how to get excited about gardening observations and how they relate to life! I love that! Sincere congrats on your milestone and having your garden published!

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    13. Laurrie, congratulations on one year of blogging! It's quite an accomplishment and you've done it very well. I laughed when you said you searched a plant and your own blog turned up in your results. Seems you're an authority on the subject and you didn't even know it.

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    14. I, too, am very glad you blog. Since I never venture outside, I live vicariously through you...and it is the only way I can keep tabs on you!

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    15. Laurrie, it's been our pleasure that you have started blogging. Congratulations on a great year!! :)

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    16. It has certainly been my pleasure to find your blog. Even though we are not close in geography we are in the garden world. I so enjoy your sense of humor washing over the dreaded "weeds". I wish you many happy years of blog writing. Who knows maybe I will get way up north to actually see you and your weed collection, I mean lovely garden or maybe you might pass through Indiana where you would always be welcome at Greenbow, aka Weedy Wallow (this is what my Dearly Beloved wanted me to name our garden).

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    17. I'm so warmed by the generosity of all your comments!

      Gail, ha! I knew you'd be a little miffed by the comment that my facebook family don't go outside :~)

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    18. Happy Anniversary!
      Well Laurrie. I am certainly glad that you found a forum in which folks could appreciate your work. I'm still trying to figure out if facebook is going to work for me or not.
      I have only been following your blog for a little while and I already love it!
      This post has ancouraged me to keep on with my new blogging endeavors as well. Thanks for the encouragement!

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    19. Forest Keeper, I'm glad you are encouraged to keep on keeping on with your new blog!

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