Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thank You, Dear Friends!

Today marks another milestone in my life--no, not a birthday or wedding anniversary, although it is an anniversary of a sort. A year ago today I pondered the question, "To Blog or Not to Blog" and entered this wonderful world of cyberspace friendship.

Last January, my friend Beckie suggested I might enjoy reading her cousin Lisa's blog, which I did. For awhile I "lurked" around Greenbow and eventually got brave enough to sign up for a Blogger account and began to leave a few comments on Lisa's blog. When Beckie decided to begin her own blog at Dragonfly Corner, I became even more curious and eventually decided to take the plunge myself several weeks later.

That first post contained only one picture--my front yard (to the right), which ironically looks much the same today except for quite a few sticks and small broken branches. I think my intent was to show that I had lots of room for garden expansion, but truth be told, my eyes and ideas are bigger than my energy level:) Before publishing this first post, though, I began reading other blogs as well, particularly Carol, Jodi, and Mr. McGregor's Daughter, who unknowingly were my mentors in how to create and write an interesting post. My thanks to the three of you, as well as Beckie and Lisa, for your inspiration.

I received a total of 6 comments on that first post, which isn't bad for a first-timer. Of course, two of them were mine, one was from Beckie, one from Lisa (whom Beckie had told about my blog), one from Carol kindly encouraging a newbie, and the fourth from Cheryl (whom Beckie had also told). I had never visited Cheryl's blog before, but with this first exchange, we became regular visitors, and today I think of her as a dear friend--all because of blogging.

I joined the blogging community primarily as a garden blogger, hoping to get ideas for landscaping our property and tips on dealing with some gardening problems. As a novice gardener, I soaked up all the information I read. An early post of Lisa's inspired me to plant some zinnia seed for the first time in years. I've gushed over these zinnias since last summer, so needless to say, I was very happy with this idea. Other blogs have enticed me with photos and praise of other plants, so that I've developed a very long plant "wish list." For example, I've already planted a "Limelight" hydrangea and ordered some hellebores for this year after reading all of your glowing recommendations.

As time went on--and I discovered the macro setting on my camera--gardening became more than just a solitary pastime and a way to beautify my yard. I became eager to share with you some of my successes--as well as failures--and I began to read more and more blogs. I wish I could name everyone who has so kindly left a comment, encouraging me and offering advice, but I know if I started naming names, I would leave somebody out. If I read your blog on a regular basis, you know I enjoy reading what you have to say and that I value your friendship. It's amazing how many wonderful people I have met! While most of my blogging friends live in the States, Canada, or the UK, I have met so many different people all over the world from Sweden to India. I sometimes think that if our world leaders could share ideas as we do that this world would be a much better and more peaceful place.

You, my blogging friends--gardeners and non-gardeners alike--are the nicest people. You compliment my flowers, chuckle at my sometimes feeble attempts to be humorous, show true concern in scary situations such as my father's recent stroke, and are always supportive. You have indulged me in my showing off my grandchildren, both my true offspring and the adopted furry ones. I thank you for that. I have enjoyed being able to share your joyous moments, and when life hasn't gone so smoothly for you, I hope you view my concern and care as sincere.

I have learned so much from all of you, and it hasn't all been about just gardening. I've learned about photograpy, art, new books, and many things in between. Thanks to Cheryl, in particular, I have learned about the true "secret lives of bees." My appreciation of wildlife and nature in general has deepened over this past year. I have watched the birds more, and I now can identify some of them besides the common cardinals, robins, and sparrows. I've always loved butterflies, but for the first time I know the names of some of them beyond just the monarchs. I've learned to spend more time "in the moment."

Not all of the blogs I read are about gardening or nature. Two of my early visitors were from different parts of the UK, Suburbia and Liz. Suburbia was at first horrified by my treatment of rabbits, until she realized it was all an April Fool's joke. Liz, who writes about a variety of subjects, both serious and humorous, often writes about her adorable, if mischievous, dog George, who is in part responsible for my adopting Sophie. Through the two of them I have found other non-gardening blogs that have become part of my reading list as well.

I have indeed learned so much from bloggers, such as how to start seedlings indoors--these Black-eyed Susans to the right are looking good right now! (And no, the pots aren't purple; the grow light makes them look that way.) But most important have been the friendships I've made in this community.

Who else would share my excitement over these new tulips just emerging from the ground? Someone else would see only dirt and dried leaves, but I know you understand:)

While I am in thanking mode, I also need to thank a local blogger, Joyce, for this award she gave me recently. "This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day." That's quite an honor, Joyce; thank you! I am allowed to pass this on to up to 15 bloggers, but I know that many of you prefer not to accept awards, so I am going to pass this on to just one deserving person--Beckie. I think it's fitting that she receive this award since she started me on this journey, and because she helped me celebrate my blogaversary in a wonderful way yesterday.

What a better way to usher in a new gardening season than to attend the magnificent Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier! This gives you an inkling of what my next post will be about:)

Thank you again, dear blogging friends for everything. I hope to spend many more hours in the coming year with you and am looking forward to meeting a few of you in person this May in Chicago.


  1. Rose this is one of the sweetest posts I have read in a while. Blogging really does allow for so many of us to "meet" and really care about each other. Thank you for such a wonderful tribute.

  2. Aw, shucks, thanks for the link love and the kind words. I've enjoyed following your posts throughout the year, sensing your increased confidence with gardening through the seasons.

    I'm supremely jealous that you got to to the Chicago Flower show, will you be coming to the Spring Fling?

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  3. A lovely Blogiversary post Rose! I so enjoy your blog and your posts, your grandkids, Sophie, the granddog and all of it! But more I think I enjoy getting to know you and feeling like you are the friend I can call and chit chat with, though with us it is more of chatting on the blogs:) Which is perfectly okay and even better sometimes too. I enjoyed the background of how you got started with your blog very much. Maybe we'll meet someday, but I won't be at Spring Fling. As much as I'd love to attend, I can't do this to my husband and would not travel without him. Anyhow, you have a great time and Happy Blogiversary! Here's to many, many more posts and more chats along the way.

  4. Susie, Thank you! I am constantly impressed by the kind comments that people leave in this blogging community. It's been wonderful to know that there are so many caring people out there.

    Thanks, Carol! I used to "lurk" on your blog for awhile before finally leaving comments. You always have something interesting to say! The Chicago Show was fantastic; now we're talking about trying to make it to the Indy show as well. Yes, I'll be at Spring Fling with bells on:)

    Tina, Thank you, and you are certainly one whose name I would have included here, but I really was afraid I'd leave someone else out and then feel bad...Sorry you won't be at Spring Fling, but perhaps we'll meet up another time. My husband's elderly aunt lives near Nashville, and we keep meaning to go visit her. Maybe we could make a stop along the way!

  5. I hope you do come down here Rose. I remember something very nice you said to me last year that stuck with me all this time, and you've always been so kind. I would love to meet you. Elderly aunts in Nashville sound like a great traveling opportunity.

    And I'm with you, better not to name blogs and bloggers. I have gotten away from it myself more for technical reasons though. Happy Blogiversary again, and you still have a quite an awesome front yard:)

  6. Happy blog anniversary! What a beautiful post you have written. Blogging is such a wonderful way to get to know other gardeners and share. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts during your second blogging year!!

  7. I'm glad you did sign up Rose, if not we wouldn't have gotten to read so many wonderful posts! Happy Anniversary! I'm so glad I signed up myself too, as I got to know a lots of people through this world of blogging.

  8. Rose, thank you for all the glowing compliments. :} I am sooo glad you decided to become a part of this wonderful community. It has enriched my life greatly as I am sure it has yours. But more importantly it has given us a whole new area for us to share our friendship.

    You and I often tell tales of our friendship in our blogs, and I am sure readers sometimes get tired of hearing about it, but I have been so blessed over the years to have you in my life! Thank you for the award-I will treasure it. More importantly though, I treasure you as my best friend.

  9. Happy Blogaversary! Seems several of us only got launched a year ago. In my case, January last year!
    Long may it continue!

  10. Rose, thank you so much for the link and I am thrilled that I was any encouragement in your decision to enter the blogging world. You are such a great addition to the blogging world. You write so well and are able to express yourself in an interesting "must be read" sort of way. Can't wait to read about the Chicago Flower show.

  11. Happy Blogversary Rose !!!!
    You are one of the sweetest people I know on here girl : ) So glad to have gotten to know you and keep knowing you through our cycber gardens ! I'm speed reading this morning but I wanted to say hi and concrats on the anniversary : )
    Your Canuck Fan

  12. Happy Anniversary Rose! I have so enjoyed getting to "know" you and your garden.

  13. Rose, it's wonderful friends like you that make blogging so enjoyable.

    I'm so glad you made it to the Chi Flower show. I was too sick to go so please give lots of details and photos.

  14. Tina, I'm glad to know I said something that stuck with you all this time.

    Kate, Thank you! Blogging has been such a wonderful way to meet so many people.

    Chandramouli, Thank you; blogging is probably the only way I'll get to visit India:)

    Beckie, Thank you for all those kind words; be sure to "pick up" your award. We've shared so many things through the years, but I'm so glad I have a gardening friend like you to share this newfound passion.

    Maggie May, I've noticed so many people who just started about the same time--and I thought all of you here before me were veterans:)

    Lisa, Thank you for being so kind. You're probably tired of me thanking you for the zinnia idea, but yours was the first blog I read and hooked me on this whole obsession. It's been a fun year!

    Joy, Thank you for those kind words! I've really enjoyed traveling all over the word through cyberspace to meet so many people and see so many different gardens.

    MG, Thank you; I have enjoyed meeting you, too, so much, and I hope you have time to post again soon!

    Marnie, Thanks! So sorry you missed the show; I hope you feel better soon. I hope you are going to Spring Fling??

  15. Thanks for the link, Rose. For the life of me I can't remember how I stumbled on to your blog, but it's been so fun to find someone who lives in the area, and shares so many interests! It's always such a pleasure to read your wonderful, well-written posts! I can't wait to hear about the flower show!

  16. Congratulations on reaching your one year milestone!!! I've enjoyed the journey with you Rose. It will be a couple more months until I celebrate my blogiversary so you were ahead of me in this adventure. I'm so glad that we got to meet via the internet. I've enjoyed our visits to each other's blogs daily. Can't wait to see what the second year brings... :)

  17. Jeez, I'm just speechless. (Ok, I'm never actually speechless, but you know what I mean.) Thanks for the link love & for your kind words. I'm glad that I was able to help you on your journey to becoming a garden blogger. Congratulations on your blogaversary. I've enjoyed reading about gardens & life "downstate." Your raving about the Zinnias inspired me to try them this year for the first time.
    I definitely share your excitement over those emerging spears of Tulips. When I see them thrusting out of the earth, it whispers "hope."
    I hope you enjoyed the Flower Show, I can't wait to read your take on it.

  18. Congratulations, Rose! And thank you for the link!

    Will be having more photos of Sophie soon? By the way, garden + retriever puppy = trouble!

    And I'm definitely getting some zinnias this year.

  19. Happy Anniversary Rose!

    What a beautiful and heartfelt post!

  20. Well, thank YOU Rose, for blogging! I've enjoyed reading your posts and getting to know you and am looking forward to meeting you and beckie at the Spring Fling!

  21. My dear Rose.....such a sincere and beautifully written post.....
    I to, without doubt, think of you as a dear friend.....

    I have found bloggers to be so supportive, understanding and so helpful......I even think about people I blog during the day....do you? I talk to my family about my blogging friends, as though I have just had coffee with them....quite incredible......

    So dear Rose.....I am so pleased that you decided to blog.....I love your posts.....I never know what to expect when I pop over.....each one different....well written......and absorbing......

    Thank you........

  22. Happy Blog-aversary! I’m so glad you did decide to blog. You are right that the community is the best part of it. Lovely post!

  23. congrats on making it a year in the blogworld. happy day to you.
    your new sophie is going to be quite fun. goldens are so wonderful.

  24. Hi Rose, what a wonderful anniversary post! You gave us a lot of background info and now we feel that we know you even better! Happy blogaversary! And here's to many more! Clink!

  25. What a beautiful and sincere post. Oh Rose, I am so happy for you. Congratulations on your blogaversary and your award.

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that our world leaders should be bloggers. Sharing ideas instead of fighting. I too am truly awed by being able to visit gardens in India, Australia, UK, USA and here in Canada.

    I am so glad you decided to take the plunge and share your blog (and part of your life) with all of us.

  26. Dear Rose, We are lucky that a year (and a day ago) you decided to blog...Lucky to have a friend of your caliber...Someone who reads our blogs regularly, who offers us kindness and genuineness in every post and every comment to our posts. Thank you for your friendship. Congratulations on your blogaversary. Warmest thoughts and a big hug, Gail

  27. Dear Rose,
    Happy Anniversary. I too love our neighbors and friends. It is a honor getting to know you. I, like Cheryl, speak of my blogging friends as if they live down the street. I talk about what is going on in your world and often think of you while I am doing this or that.
    I am pleased we found each other.

  28. Rose, Congratulations on your year anniversary! I know what you mean about blogger space friends. I love the blogging community and the people you meet through cyberspace. I communicate somewhat irregularly recently, but the thought of not blogging is not a happy one. I hope you have many more wonderful posts and many more wonderful friends. I laughed at the purple bags until I realized it really was just a grow light. Hope you enjoyed the garden show.

  29. Joyce, I don't remember either how we "met." It's been fun sharing some similar places and events with you. Hope you're feeling better!

    Racquel, Thank you; I somehow thought you had started blogging long before me. I sometimes think I spend far too much time on here, but I've learned a lot, plus I've gotten free seeds--thank you!

    MMD, I remember some of the posts of yours I read early on and wondering why does this woman hate rabbits so?:) Thanks for all the info I've learned from you. The Flower Show was fantastic!

    Liz, Why am I not surprised a retriever and a garden don't mix:) I'll try to get more photos up of Sophie occasionally; right now she doesn't stand still long enough for a photo.

    Laura, Thank you, and welcome back to "blog land."

    Monica, I'm looking forward to meeting you at Spring Fling as well! Besides learning a thing or two from you, I have a feeling we might share some laughs:)

    Cheryl, This has been the pleasant surprise of blogging--the friendships I've made. My family isn't that interested in my blogging, but Beckie and I often talk about our blogging friends as if we had just spent the afternoon with them, as you say. Thank you for those kind words--I am a Gemini, which fits me because I am a person of many moods:)

    Sarah, Thank you. The neat thing is that this community keeps growing as well--I keep finding other interesting people to "talk" to.

    Marmee, Thank you! I do love my Sophie, but right now she is rather trying, as puppies can be:)

    Frances, Cheers to you as well! I don't know when I found your blog, but it was after I had already started myself, or yours surely would have been one of those examples to follow as well.

  30. Wendy, Thank you for all those kind words. I think I found your blog through Cheryl's and I'm so glad I did!

    Gail, I remember finding your blog shortly after I started myself, thinking here's another newbie who might be interested in sharing ideas. But there was nothing amateurish about your posts! So glad I found you, and I do hope we can meet at Spring Fling.

    Sherry, Thank you. Beckie and I often talk about how this blogger or that one might think of a plant or a situation we're in. It's been so enjoyable getting to know everyone.

    Neva, Sometimes it's hard to keep up with blogging, I agree. But I find even when I've been gone for a few days, I can pick up right where I left off. It's been a pleasure to meet you--maybe we'll see each other at a football game one day:)

  31. Happy Blogiversary Rose! This is a really good posting of your beginnings on the blog. I enjoy all aspects of blogging, The pets, family, vacations places of interest and of course the garden chat as well. It is a wonderful outlet for us all. Congratulations on your milestone of one year and yes, a great way for you to celebrate your big day! Happy Blogging for another year to come!

  32. How wonderful to read such a lovely post in praise of blogging and bloggers!

    Happy first blogging anniversary and here's to the next 12 months!

  33. Blogging is great, especially for support and excitement on our achievements!! Gardening that is!!!

  34. Skeeter, Thank you, and you bring up an interesting point. I thought I would be writing just about gardening, but we all share so much more than that. I enjoy reading about others' children or grandchildren (or pets!) as well as seeing new ideas for the garden.

    Mean Mom, Thanks for the good wishes! I remember I first found you when I crashed your birthday party last summer:)

    Darla, You're so right. Other than my mother, my immediate family members are non-gardeners. It's great to have someone to share those achievements with.

  35. Happy Bloggiversary (sorry I'm late!)Such a lovely post Rose (I missed it earlier!) Thank you for the mention, I have enjoyed visiting you for a year now, on such a regular basis, you are so often part of my day.

    That rabbit post WAS funny, I remember it well!!!

    Here's to the next blogging and gardening year:) S x

  36. Hi Rose,
    I just started blogging in October, so I haven't blogged in the summer yet. I have been having trouble keeping up with all the blogs I like to read, but since I have summers off, I'm hoping to be able to keep up with everything.

    Congratulations on your blogging anniversary! I really enjoyed reading this post and the way you illustrated it. I usually don't read the comments, unless they draw me in some way. These did, and I liked them, too.

    I think I need to find your post about the rabbits.


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