January 28, 2013

When I Started

I began this blog on January 30, 2010. Wednesday is my third year blog anniversary.

When I started this blog, the 'Bloodgood' Acer palmatum had looked like this just the summer before:

Three years later it looks like this:

When I started, the sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum looked like this in the fall:

Last fall it looked like this, after I moved it to a new spot. It's not a fast grower, but I'm pleased with its progress:

When I started blogging, the black gum, Nyssa sylvatica, looked like this just leafing out:

In the fullness of summer three years later, it looks like this:

When I started this blog, there was a lot of lawn.

Now, three years later, there is a nice sitting area and new gardens surrounding it. There is still a lot of lawn, but not as much.

When I started, I put a big irregular bed in the middle of the yard and barely filled it with random plants.

After three years, it has filled in, compensating for the random design by mounding together.

In fact, after three years, its very lack of any plan is a plus, especially in the fall.

One of the biggest challenges I had the year that I started this blog was to reforest the hillside in back of our house, and screen us from the houses and busy road that ran up the small ridge behind us.

Three years later the entire hillside is transformed. You can't tell there is a road behind the trees now, or houses or traffic.

And in the process of creating that screening, a beautiful meadow and little forest has emerged.

Not everything has improved and grown since I began my blog. When I started I had four butterfly bushes -- two yellow ones, Buddleia x weyeriana 'Honeycomb' and two low, tidy dwarf ones called 'Lo & Behold Blue Chip'.

But now, three years later, they are all gone. I lost all of them in one winter.

I've had so many other losses too. Trees, shrubs, perennials, many are gone, some are replaced. But the remarkable thing about keeping a blog going is that I can always go back into the archives and see not just a photo of a plant, but a write up about something that appealed to me about it, or the experience I had growing it. And it's all instantly searchable.

A blog is just a journal, with pictures. I was never good at keeping written diaries. Blog journaling, with pictures, easy searchability, an encouraging audience of readers and commenters, and a community of other gardeners, turned out to be ideal for me.

Three years. When I started, who knew I'd still be at it now.

To all of you: thanks for reading!!

31 comments:

  1. what a lovely garden and good to see it "mary"

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  2. Congratulations on your third blogaversary! Your garden is absolutely stunning, you have brought it a long way.

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  3. It is such fun to watch the evolution of your garden. This is one reason I like to read blogs. Happy Blogaversary.

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  4. Great job! I find my blog is my journal too, and I go back three, four, five years to see what has changed, what worked and didn't, where to go, possibly, in the future. The transformation of your yard into a garden is a delight to watch.

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  5. Blog journaling certainly is a fine reminder of how a garden grows (and sometimes doesn't). Looking at your report, I'd say you're enjoying success at both journaling and gardening. Happy anniversary. Keep a-going.

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  6. Happy Blog Birthday! It's so interesting to see how your garden has transformed and grown in just three years. It looks like an estate garden, just beautiful. You should be very proud :)

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  7. Wow...what a difference 3 years can make...such amazing progress! That meadow area is absolutely stunning...I'm jealous!

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  8. Laurrie, congrats on your blog third anniversary! You did a lot of work during these three years, and the garden converted in another one, with beautiful meadow, new nice forest, maple and other plants. I love the sitting area, it's cozy. My blog is young, only one year and I need to learn blogging, so I'm your reader!

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  9. Congratulations on your third anniversary and for the wonderful garden you've created! Unless you maintain a blog it's impossible to appreciate the dedication and time committment. Photo chronicles of how a garden has evolved over time are a particular favorite of mine.

    Keep up the the good work!

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  10. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for sharing your gardening adventure. Laura J.

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  11. Yes, I was always dreadful at keeping a written-on-paper garden journal. My blog works well for me for record-keeping, even if not particularly well-organized.

    You did very well in three years on transforming your garden, especially the screening. I have done not so well, made too many mistakes. I've been blogging a little over three years now too, having started when we moved into a new house and wanting to use the blog as a record of the new garden's growth.

    Happy Blogaversary! Hope you keep it up for many more years.

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  12. Looking at your before and after photos is an inspiration. I think you are ready for your close-up! So impressive.

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  13. Happy Blogaversary! So interesting to see the changes in 3 years. Encourages one to keep blogging because all the documentation is so valuable. Love reading your blog. Here's to another year!

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  14. I'm soooo happy I found your blog! Blogging is just like an interactive journal, except we get feedback and make friends. I love how you always tell it like it is. :o) I love how your garden has changed. It feels more whole than it did in the previous photos. I love how full it's become. Happy Blog Anniversary! Woo-hoo!

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  15. Congratulations Laurrie on 3 years and most especially on the incredible transformation your yard has undergone in that time. I can't get over how huge your trees have gotten. We are starting to see some difference in the trees we have planted a few years ago but we have a long way to go yet. Your yard is a great inspiration that one day we'll start to see some big changes around here.

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  16. THANK YOU to all the wonderful commenters, friends and fellow bloggers who have stopped by to admire my efforts and give me encouragement. You guys are the greatest!!

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  17. Happy Blogaversary times three! I love how you showed the difference in your plants from when you started blogging and then again three years later. And I love your forest! Make me want to plant one! If I just had the place for one!

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  18. Laurrie, I am SO glad I found your blog. I look forward to reading it as often as you write it! The photos and the story you tell are inspiring and helpful and fun! I hope to one day be at least a weekly blogger-or even a monthly. I have not found my way quite yet-but I will eventually. Happy 3 years and I look forward to the next 3!

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  19. Your garden has grown so much in the last 3 years and has made a lot of beautiful progress!

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  20. You've identified one of the many joys of blogging ... that we have photos and written records of our successes and miss-steps. In looking back we are reminded of how far we have come. Happy third anniversary!

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  21. Happy anniversary to your fantastic blog! I look forward to more before and afters like this...one day!! Your gardens are inanely awesome! Bravo lady! On another note do you have any recommendations for a small tree or shrub that will be anchoring an island bed in my front yard??? I'm zone 5 and need something that is in the form of a small tree or a shrub that has more of a tree habit...any ideas would be appreciated!

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    1. Nicole, I sent you an e-mail with some suggestions --- got a little carried away, I think!

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  22. Happy, anniversary! Nice to see the progress on those trees. Also, thumbs up on reducing the lawn space. We all need to consider more plantings and less turf.
    A very enjoyable read. Thank you.

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  23. Happy Anniversary, a day late! Your progress is amazing, isn't it!?
    Can you try to add up all those hours of digging and weeding? A labor of love, surely!
    Congratulations, Laurie, here's to more trees!

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  24. Thanks for all the anniversary good wishes!!

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  25. Happy anniversary Laurrie. I have enjoyed your blog since the beginning and hope to enjoy it many years into the future.

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  26. Happy Anniversary, a bit late, from me too (I was at the beach!). I hadn't realised that the plantings on the hillside were so young. They look like they have been there much longer than three years. That whole area is so gorgeous now.

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    1. Lyn, thanks! Some of the trees on the hillside were planted more than three years ago, I started in 2006 and 2007 and then kept adding more each year (and losing some each year). I was trying to show in the photo how they looked when I started this blog in 2010 --- tall individual saplings, but in the three years I have been blogging they've now grown together!

      Hope you're nice and tan from the beach : )

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  27. What an awesome blog. Your garden is spectacular and I love being able to see the developments over the years. The photos and resources are so useful - what a find! I garden in Zone 3 and wish I could grow some of the varieties you have. Thanks for making this available to us.
    Wendy

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    1. Wendy, welcome to the blog and thank you so much.

      Zone 3 must be a real challenge for perennials, but some of my very favorite trees / shrubs would do better in your garden than my warmer one (paper birches, kinnikinnik, yellowroot are all cold lovers to zone 2 or 3. And I would love to try amur chokecherry - prunus maackia - with its gorgeous bark, but it really doesn't like warm summers.)

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