Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cyberland and New Horizons in Blogging

What is it that bloggers really like about blogging? For me I guess I would go back to why I began blogging in the first place for the answer to my question. I started this blog publishing through an FTP website. I had never visited blogs prior to beginning my blog and never had even heard of 'garden blogs'. My sole intent upon taking the 'job' of garden blogger was to reach out to my community and share whatever little garden knowledge and resources I had within my reach. That was my sole the beginning.

Now that I have been blogging for about nine months, faithfully nearly every single day (330 posts thus far), my intent has changed. My goal is not to reach out to my community and share resources and knowledge. No. I do still do that, but it is not my goal. I think now my goal has become to document my experiences in my garden while learning and relating to others here in cyberland. Yes, that is my intent now. I can truthfully say this. The big emphasis would be on relating to others with the same interests as me. It is hard to find people with your same interests in the real world. I won't even go into detail why I think this is so, but I find it to be true.

I have definitely documented my experiences and shared some things from my garden and life, but I have learned a lot too. Gail has taught me Tennessee has its own coneflower and all the subtleties of wildflowers. And let us not forget her PPPP. She was the first blogger I met in person and I am ever so delighted to have met her. Her enthusiasm is refreshing. Frances has taught me viburnums need a pollinator, that when you share plants you really need to share plants, and she has taught me countless other things by sharing her wisdom. Frances is the second blogger I have met in person and that was a wonderful afternoon meeting a friend from online in person. The fact bloggers are willing to share their lives and take chances on new friends is uplifting. Dave has taught me how to start cuttings and how cool vegetable garden beds can really be when you take the time to design them thoroughly. He is the first blogger I really began talking to and he has helped me in many ways. We have been talking now for about seven or eight months and I feel like I know him and his family. Perhaps we will meet sometime, maybe at a plant swap. From DP I can follow along while she learns hows to grow vegetables in the Square Foot Gardening method. Pretty interesting. I've learned Jillybean makes really great barbeque sauce and is an excellent cook. Something I am not. I've learned from Aunt Debbi/Kurt's Mom about a special kind of soap that would help save my skin from poison ivy rashes. I wish I had it now because I have the rash all over my legs. Suzyq has taught me that no matter how many people read your blog, that doesn't necessarily mean they want you to talk with them on the blog. Annie in Austin has taught me gardening in Texas is really, really hard. All the gardeners in Texas must be ultra gifted to have so much in bloom all the time. She has been blogging for over two years now and hats off to her! Roses and lilacs and GGW taught me about French lilacs. Layanee has taught me to look at frosting in a whole new way. Cinj has taught me that even in cyberland, the real world is never far away or even totally separate from blogging. Sarah has taught me the world is not so big, even in cyberland. Sarah Laurence has taught me that the world is actually very big in cyberland, yet very small. She lives in England, yet is from my hometown and blogs about it-while living in England! She is actually the reason I started this post.

Sarah L.'s post today talked about meeting a fellow blogger and how neat blogging can be. This got me to thinking about my blog and not only my blogging friends, but also the non blogging friends and family I talk to on here. I guess the key to my blogging is being about to talk and have conversations with others, perhaps with the hope of becoming friends, or not, or perhaps just to relate to others who have similar interests as me. I never knew my sister Dawn was such a funny person until she began talking on here. I always knew my mother loved the computer. It was often a distraction when I would call to talk with her. Now we talk daily and it has been a joy. My old friend Anonymous stays very busy with her children and husband. Again, talking was difficult. Now we can talk each day.

Some new friends I have met on here are Nina and Lola. Both love to garden and work very hard at it. They also love sharing and we all enjoy reminiscing. I have met Nina several times and hope to one day meet Lola. If not, I am betting my mother will for sure when she travels to Florida this winter. Last but not least is Skeeter. Skeeter has been the most faithful person on this blog and it is truly a feat. She always has good conversation and adds to the talk.

The talk. That is the fun part I guess. Because through talk and sharing you learn and relate to others. Isn't this the way we learn to know others in the real world? And don't you sometimes find the real world gets in the way of relating at times? Blogging is work, but so is life. We all have to work at it each day, whether we realize it or not. Marriage is work, raising kids is work, performing your job is work, even vacationing is work, and it all adds up to life. But in all we do it is important to remember to enjoy life. Blogging is an enjoyable part of my life and the new and old friends and family on here have made it all the more enjoyable.

So I ask you all, why do you blog? And this goes to both the bloggers and non-blogging readers. Don't be shy! Is it to learn new things? Is it to go to open house each day at a new and favorite garden? Is it to make new friends? Is it to talk? Is it document your garden? Why blog?

The yarrow above is a passalong plant. A fine addition to any garden. I will be posting on it next week and you all get to get involved-so be prepared to vote!

in the garden....


  1. Tina, what an in depth blog. It was very interesting. As to the questions, I do it to first learn, talk to other gardeners of whom I consider very good friends. Then to visit other gardens to see what they have in their gardens as each area has different plants growing. As I am at the stage of my life I really enjoy seeing ALL the gardens from every walk of life. In my enjoyment I have learned many things. I hope to continue to learn from these gardeners.

  2. Hi Tina,
    You said, "It is hard to find people with your same interests in the real world. " Which I have often found to be true too. My husband and I met online almost 6 years ago and we always joke that it was perfect because what else should we do, walk into a bar and shout, "Who here likes to play Scrabble?"
    I began my blog with the intent of keeping a record for myself of all things I do in my home and garden, but have, like almost everyone else out there, found it to be a great way to connect with people I would never know otherwise!
    Thanks for a lovely post!

  3. An interesting outlook! Tina, you do think a lot don’t you?... LOL
    I have learned so much by reading the Garden Blogs. I have recently checked out some of the other Blogs as I have a bit more time now. I also enjoy the chit chat and it is better then watching TV or hanging out in a bar! LOL.... I can sit here with my margarita in the comfort of home... LOL.....

    I am grateful for the people I have met in person through this outlet. Tina, Jillybean, Anonymous amongst others. I hope to meet more along the way...

  4. Lola, You are right on track with me.

    Sarah, I am so glad you agree. Meeting your husband online is a great way now a days. Oftentimes people are so embarrassed to say this but it is more the norm and certainly does beat a bar scene. And, ummm, I am not sure you will find many Scrabble players in a bar. Maybe though. lol

    Skeeter, I am a deeeeeep thinker and a loud talker because I oftentimes voice my thoughts. I did put thought into this post and I think you and everyone else so far agrees with me. You have said it many times, "What else is there to do but watch tv?" No conversing there unless you discuss the latest at the water cooler the next morning at work. Also a good way to relate. Anyhow, back to cleaning. Maybe tomorrow I can rest-outside! Not inside which is where I HATE to be.

  5. Awesome post and lots of good thoughts. I love to read the Blog because I learn so much from all of you. If I have a silly question I'm not afraid to ask --I know you will all get a chuckle but if I can't see you I'm good:0) LOL You won't be able to see me turn red:0) I also love having somewhere to chat with adults after chasing four kiddos all day. My kiddos really enjoy Skeeter's posts on furry critters, bugs, snakes --so much good stuff:) One fine young Sidekick has already told me more than once he is going to visit Skeeter --this being the guy I have a hard time keeping in his own room each night. :) Guess I should toss a few lizards, frogs and deer in his room:) Least I forget his passion for finding a snake --see Lola --he'd be all excited with a find of a snake. I really enjoy all of your company. Nina we look at your flowers everyday --can't remember there names so they are Nina flowers:) And, Jean --so full of great advice and such a uplifting person --truly enjoy your posts. Dawn --great hearing about your kiddos -since I can relate. And, your hunter's paradise --making my hubby want to read the blog. I could keep typing there is so much that everyone adds --so much fun! I hope to meet all of you eventually.

  6. WOW!!! You sure did a lotta thinking, from a very small part of Sarah's blog. Very profound and heartwarming. I agree with all you and everyone else has said
    (thanks Anonymous). I, like you Tina, had never read a blog till I first read yours. And that was a couple of months after you started it. Now I read a lot of them each day and so enjoy them all. Since I don't have time to read them all and also comment on them all, I still feel like I know the bloggers along with all the commentors as I always read the comments also. I have learned so much in these past few months and I love that....but....When your children live miles away it is hard to feel that you are totaly connected. With your blog and now that Dawn has her blog, I do feel totaly connected as we talk at least once a day, sometimes many times. It is great!!!! If I had the money Bill Gates has I would rent a whole hotel and fly all my blogging friends to it and we would have a whale of a party getting to see everyone in person for a few days. But then again, we would have so much to talk about and so many people to meet in person we would probably need a week!! What a post. Bet it makes everyone smile and think, I am so glad I have something in my life that is much, much better that a tv screen to watch all day.

  7. Thanks Anonymous and Mom, I didn't realize how thought provoking this post would be but it is glad to hear from you all and what about blogging it is you all like!

    Anonymous, Yes, throw in some lizards and critters. Little boys are made of ....

    Mom, Do you think everyone at your party would be talking on their computers and blogging? ;) Just kidding. They would all relate but probably never find the time to meet everyone! It is so weird how you can get to know folks on here.

  8. Nope, our blogging family would be on vacation for the week, enjoying each other for the week!!!

  9. Tina: It is a great honor to be mentioned as a 'teacher' in this thoughtful post! I started to blog simply to share my garden and gardening experiences with other like minded people. The added bonus is the camaraderie of bloggers the world over and how much can be learned from each individual. Thank you, you made my day!

  10. Gee whiz...having emailed all the comments, I miss the two times a day post! Yes, I had only dappled in this, reading doll bloggers and having my favorites but never commented til here. I like meeting you all and I find it addicting. My blog helps me get projects done!

  11. Good morning all!

    Layanee, Your post was a nice post and I do enjoy your blog. I'm glad you like my post and it is always nice to make a person's day in some small way!

    Dawn, The camraderie is nice but you lost me when you said your blog helps you get projects done. Works the opposite with me!

  12. Anonymous, you just send little sidekick on down my way. I have enough critters to keep him so busy, he would never miss his mama. Well, okay, he might miss ya a wittle... LOL....

    I found myself planting a lot more stuff to include a Veggie garden this year due to all the chit chat on the blogs! With all the watering I am doing with this drought, I am regretting all the extra planting but not the friendships in cyber world!

  13. You have most all your planting done (veggies) now enjoying blooms and food! I can see putting off weeding, tee hee. Doing unfinished projects to have something to write about. Both subjects are ever changing. Once my project is done, it's done, I leave it. You should see my current mess....never have I done this before...

  14. Tina,

    Hello...You know I am not really supposed to be on the computer! More on that later, but I wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed this post. You have been a wonderfully supportive garden blogging friend....since the first time we talked on our blogs! I started to blog to be able to connect to other gardeners, without having to feel apologetic about passion or intensity (garden addiction!). The delightful surprise....some good friends!

    Thanks for the link!

    See you later Tina!


  15. Such a wonderful post. Its good to see other peoples points of view and why they are also blogging. I started because I wanted my kids to be able to see how life was like when they were little. Now I leave myself notes so I can remeber things, and the fact that other people get to view our lives and comment on it is great also.

  16. I did not realize people would like this post so much. Maybe I need to stop doing so many garden posts? lol It is so interesting to hear people's views on the Internet and blogging and relating!

    Skeeter, I don't think you will regret planting-maybe just the water bill. lol

    Dawn, Projects are great because once they are done, they are done. Not so with gardens. Maybe this is why I love them so much? I bet your craft room is a busy place.

    Gail, It is definitely that connections with people who have like interests and we truly get to know them. Have fun.

    Sarah, That is such a sweet thing to do for your children. And it is a good thing you don't mind others reading and commenting. I guess we need that too with blogging? But it is a part of relating.

  17. Tina, I probably blog for about the same reasons you do. To meet others with similar interests, to share ideas, and to record successes and failures with photos and notes over time. I have met several wonderful people thru blogs including yourself. It amazes me how much gardeners think alike and how we seem to love the same things.

    Don't you think blogging is taking the place of garden magazines and books. The big advantage to blogging is interaction which you can't get with any book or magazine.

  18. What a great blog! and what a great question! I always get a good response from all sorts of interesting blog readers if I ask a question. Someone out there usually knows the answer, or can identify an un-named variety. We can share all our experiences, tips, successes and failures with likeminded people. I have even swapped seeds and visited other garden bloggers over the other side of the world. Blogging rocks!"

  19. You are a deep thinker, Tina! Like May Dreams Carol, you try to post every day, an admirable goal, but not my style. I've been reading and commenting on blogs for 4 years and the list is long! I have to rotate through them in batches - if there are daily posts I read several at a time and then choose one to comment on.

    As to why I blog - I hope you don't mind if I link to my post on that subject from Spring 2007. Otherwise I'll never get the patio pots watered!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  20. I started blogging to get away from TV I am addicted to blogging. Go figure.

  21. Roses and Lilacs, I truly agree with you blogging takes the place of magazines. I used to get so many more subscriptions than I do now-because of blogging. I can't even read the ones I have! Even the magazines have something similar to blogs. I am also amazed at the similarities between bloggers and people who love to garden. We think alike!

    Maton, Welcome and it too sounds like you love blogging for many of the same reasons we all do too!

    Annie, I read your very thought provoking post on why you blog and it is pretty much exactly as I said and everyone else. I liked how you added in the clematis as a surprise and likened it to people. Very nice post and well written. You too are a deep thinker.

    Jillybean, Which is better for an addiction? Blogging or TV? I vote blogging of course! I know most of you will agree as you can also learn things and get new ideas and talk to real people! It is not bad.

  22. Tina, that’s interesting to hear how your attitude about blogging has evolved. 330 posts – very impressive! It was fun hearing the personal connection you have with other blogs and how they’ve affected you. You have a lovely blog community of gardeners, friends and family – it’s like stopping by your porch for a chat.

    We both left Maine down different roads to new countries, and yet we met at a cyber intersection of our interests. I just loved that coincidence! I’m so touched that my post inspired this introspection. I’m also so pleased that we “met.”

  23. Sarah, Thanks so much for your kind comments. I am very happy to have met you too and don't tell my mother, but it is possible we may be able to come to Maine this year so perhaps we can meet at Fat Boy's for some drive in? I used to work there back in the day. Still love the lobster rolls. I am so truly enjoying my little blogging community and getting to make new friends is great. Glad to count you in the gang on the front porch.

  24. It is my hoping that just might make it happen Tina!!!!

    We went to Fat Boy's yesterday. I usually have the Ribeye Steak sandwich and french fries. Don't know why I always have the fries with it as it is a meal in itself.
    Papa had the Ribeye but I had a dinner....the fried clams. Mmmmmm they were so good. Could not eat it all so had it for supper also. Fat Boy's has not changed since Pappa was a kid. Do not see that very often. Places come and go but I guess Fat Boys is a winner that will stay around!!!

  25. Ah yes, Fat Boys, now that is a legend in town. The Burtons still own it? I bet they do, that is why it will stay the same. Those traditions of great food. We'll see on a visit. Work is hard now.

  26. Fat Boys rules! My SAD protagonist met her navy pilot husband at the sock hop while she was waitressing. I'd definitely meet you there, Tina, if we're in town. Lobster roll or BLT, hmmm. Keep me posted on your dates.

    It kind of looks like your mom figured it out (hi,Jean!) My parents are coming to visit here in England soon, and I'm stopping by NYC to see family on the way home. I haven't seen my parents in a year. It's hard being separated from family. I'm sure you'll enjoy your reunion too.

    Who could resist Maine in summer? My daughter is counting the days and dreaming of Cotes icecream.

  27. Hi Sarah, I know Fat Boy's is famous for their BLT'S but I never understood why. But love the Ribeye Sandwich, clams and shrimp. The sock hop sure is a popular yearly event.

    Being seperated from family is hard and out of my 4 girls, I have 1 in Tn, western ME.
    Fl and next door. Good thing is, I get to go other places. Went to go to Europe 2 times and loved it, esp Germany. That is probably because I spend much more time there.

    Many marriages came about because of meeting someone in a restaurant. I met my husband at the Dolphin Marina.

    The other day when we were in town the line at Cote's was very, very long!!

    Hope you all have good visits and safe trips across the big puddle.

  28. Jean, thanks! I love the Dolphin - what a nice place for a special memory. I'll remind my kids of the long line at Cote's - that will make them feel better about missing it. Good luck pulling together a family reunion!