Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reaping The Rewards

I love blogging~~there are rewards that many don't understand~~unless they are garden bloggers. Where else can we talk about gardening as much as we want or show photos of our 'darlings' without seeing peoples' eyes glaze over!
But, it's so much more then that.

The real rewards come from all of you. Sometimes they arrive in a great big box filled with plants or a small envelop with coveted seeds! Gifts from your garden. (Over due thanks to Tatyana and Sweetbay for the seeds and Tina and Monica for the plants!)
Don't you love it when someone writes something that makes you laugh until your sides hurt.

I've read posts that have stayed with me for days; some sad, some joyful. I've seen photos that dazzle. I've pondered questions you've asked; searched for the id of plants you've posted and in the process, learned so much.
My garden has prospered and so have I.

Just the other day, my friend Lisa, who blogs at Natural Gardening,
gave me the best ever compliment.
She showed her landscaping class my way back backyard
to inspire them.

Bumble nectaring in the Goldenrod

Lest you travel down the wrong path,
Lisa was leading a program entitled ~~ 'Renovating the Garden'.
She bumbled them over to my last year's Halloween Post!

It was a Dark and Scary Walk (to see the post go here). The wayback backyard was an overgrown jungle of junipers and bush honeysuckle. It wasn't a stretch to make the photos eerily atmospheric! Her hope was that participants would see the changes made at Clay and Limestone and be inspired: to not give up and to reclaim their own neglected spaces.

I know very well how easy it is to collapse into being over whelmed by a big garden job!
In case you've forgotten or are a new reader, here's a look at the before.

In the south, with our longer growing season and mild winters, it's especially important to keep on top of invasive thugs and some overly enthusiastic natives! It didn't take long for my garden to be overwhelmed when I was sidelined from heavy gardening. Last winter we took back the wayback and began renovating the neglected gardens. When Lisa emailed me, I couldn't help being tickled Practically Pink that she chose to share our progress with her class.

and the after~Spring 2009 It's so empty!

Here's a photo from this morning~~
The thugs are thrilled that we've had about 9 inches of rain this week.
For that matter, they have grown like crazy during this wet and cool summer.

There's one other gift from blogging~~It keeps me motivated in the garden!

Thank you!

“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” Catherine Aird


  1. Good morning Gail, you are so right about the joys that blogging brings to our lives! And not just gardening joys, although there are certainly plenty of them, but making friends from all over the world with others who share the passion of growing.

    That is a wonderful quote, too! :-)


  2. Ah yes, the motivation thing. Blogging does help with that. Which reminds me-today is a gardening day. Can't wait since we've finally got some rain. You thanked me when I gave you the plants but again, you are very welcomed. I enjoy sharing plants. I remember the scary post too-it was a really fun one. Have a great day today.

  3. That quote is hilarious! Thank you for a great laugh to start the day! And I agree that blogging does keep up the motivation.

  4. Dear Gail .. just seeing that last year's Halloween picture got me all excited this early in the morning about HALLOWEEN again ? LOL
    For the first time in weeks .. I had a great time in the garden working darn hard .. it is dry as a bone (well .. hopefully yesterday's frantic watering, weeding and snipping has helped it) .. I guess what I want to say is that I connected with it, after it has been so long, with being sick and not being able to do that .. it was a hole in my heart quite frankly.
    Even this morning .. I'm scratched up and aching, but I am so happy looking out there knowing that connection is still with me .. and more to come as I manage it ..blogging about it all has suffered too. But touching the garden has to be to satisfied? first LOL : )

  5. Oh yes, blogging keeps me motivated. It reminds me that there is someone out there that cares about my garden efforts or is at least interested. The advice and sharing is a great bonus to blogging.

    I loved the quote too.

  6. There is no pleasure so great as a pleasure shared, and blogging certainly is that, Gail! I enjoy every post on Clay and Limestone, combining as they do your humor, whimsy, and wonderful gardens. You always give me something delightful to take away!

  7. Blogging definitely keeps me more up to date in the garden. I wish I could have gotten up there this summer to see C&L as it looks when it's in season. Are you interested in any caryopteris? I think I made a few too many cuttings...

  8. Hey, the Penstemon X is *still* blooming! ;-) And I love blogging, too, it has many rewards as you pointed out.

  9. Gail, you have put into very eloquent words just what I feel every time I blog! I have often seen that "glazed-over" look in the eyes of family and friends when I mention something gardening-related. If I couldn't share my joys and failures, not to mention excitement, with my fellow bloggers, I'm not sure what I would do. And I've learned so, so much in the process!

    Your renovated Garden of Benign Neglect looks beautiful today, the perfect place for a woodland walk. And....oh, I would say more, but I just noticed your sidebar note about PPPP. I'm off to e-mail you now!:)

  10. Yes, garden blogging: inspiration, information, and in-touch-ification with and from a great big (and yet small and intimate) world of like-minded, interesting people from all over the planet. You, Gail, are amongst them.

    Plus, writing about and photographing plants opens your own eyes and mind to the realities and miracles of nature and horticulture.

    Parts of my garden do serve as a horrible warning, which is why I've determined to do some renovation of my own. I'll be sure to take "before" and (eventually) "after" pictures.

  11. Wow, what an honor to have Lisa use your work as an example! Very rewarding indeed.
    Blogging with the possibility of other bloggers coming to visit in person is another big motivator to get things in order!
    Because of blogging I have been trying to use the botanical names as a habit as so many common names are similar for unlike plants. I used to interchange botanical vs common. Better habit.

    I too love the quote!

  12. Hi Gail, love the quote by Catherine Aird. I feel that may be my role in life;)

    We all need inspiration and sometimes encouragement and blogging is a great place to go for both. I remember your last years Halloween post and enjoyed it very much.

  13. Of all the wonderful gardens I've visited through Blotanical, your are among the most beautiful, Gail. Always a treat for the eye and soul. I could sit for hours in your Way Back garden. I agree with your post -- blogging has opened up a whole new world for those of us who partake. :)

  14. What an inspiring post! Happy Monday from a horrible example.

  15. WOW! The before and afters are amazing! I agree, blogging is a pleasure.

  16. Very inspiring before and after photos. I agree with you on the blogging. it puts gardening in a whole new perspective when you can share it with so many people.

  17. Gail, thank you for an inspiring post. I agree with all you have said. Have a wonderful day.

  18. Another entertaining post Gail!!

  19. Gail,
    I have been amazed by all that I have gained by blogging. I feel like I have friends all over the globe that I can go to with my failures as well as successes and find compassion, understanding, and most importantly...humor!

  20. I totally agree that blogging motivates. Your before and after photos are awesome!

  21. what a great post, Gail. Looking at fellow bloggers' posts always inspires, whether it be to get out in the garden, to try a new plant, or to look more closely at the plants I do have.

  22. Lovely post with a dash of humor. Always a delight to read your blog.


  23. All too often I labor in the service of the horrible warning, but it's a good thing when you can show the before to compare with an inspiring after. It's funny, but blogging doesn't motivate me in the garden, rather, the inverse is true. Blogging merely moves me to move the hose out of the way before I snap the photo.

  24. I absolutely love those first images of beautifully colour-coordinated plants. What a joy, and a good read! Gail, you're blog is certainly one of the joys of being in the garden blogging community!

  25. Very good post, Gail. I read & looked at pics of your way back garden from the first to now. I've enjoyed the transition. What beauty you have just outside your door.

  26. Blogging does indeed keep you motivated in the garden. I look closely at what really does inspire me and get the write about it, photograph it and them others may read it. What could be better.

  27. It's been a wonderful experience for me too Gail. Just getting to know other people who are as passionate about plants is nice. My family humors my 'hobby' but it's not the same. ;)

  28. Your Halloween post was hilarious, I hadn't read that one before. I agree, blogging is very rewarding, more rewarding than I thought it would be, really. That's great that Lisa used your way back backyard not only as an example but a beacon of hope. It's beautiful now. Love the quote too.

  29. Wonderful post, Gail! You expressed what many of us feel about garden blogging. Love your photographs, too.

  30. I am new to blogging and I'm happy to see that it has been so rewarding to others. How wonderful to be recognized for your efforts! BTW I love that wispy aster-boltonia?

  31. Ah yes, the joy of sharing the gardening bug with like-minded friends..there's nothing quite like it :) Blogging is a blessing indeed!
    Gail, I've just spent a most enjoyable half hour reading a few of your latest posts. Your photos and "ramblings" (an affectionate term for your wonderful writing) are a true delight. Thank you for sharing them.
    I do hope your tendonitis is better soon. Ouch! That must be painful...and a real bummer for both you and your readers. Poor thing.
    Happy Tuesday dear Gail :)

  32. Hi my friends, Thank you for popping
    by and leaving a comment! I think that I am still a horrible warning, but, hope some day to get to good example! I think the nursery pot hiding under the bench is a perfect Gail moment! ...I didn't see it until I posted the photo and it was too dark to get another one!

    hugs to you all,

  33. Ohh that quote at the end of your post is hysterical! Your garden is certainly in the "good example" category, though.

  34. What wonderful thoughts. Your pictures are certainly inspiring to me and I love gazing at your garden through my computer.

  35. Wonderful post Gail. I think I've said that to you before tho? You have a marvelous knack for thought provoking topics. I think blogging is great too for motivation although there have been times I've sat on my butt in front of the computer way more than I've been out in the garden! Last year, when I first started blogging, it motivated me to double dig my front bed (in hopes of a better floral display) and order many more bulbs & plants than I would have normally (a good thing or bad?) All in all, it's a great experience even if it does take a LOT of time!

  36. I do feel the same as you!
    Bouth with the garden and my ceramic!
    To bee abble to talk an get to know people from al over the world that have the same passion for gardening!
    Love from me... Linda

  37. truly you are reaping the rewards. You have a wonderful garden with pretty flowers.

  38. Gail, you've expressed it so well! My blogging has taken a backseat to my life lately...but, I'm getting excited about lousy weather arriving so I can spend more time doing what I love on the computer! It has been fun meeting so many nice people!

  39. I laugh out loud that you call plants thugs too Gail! Enjoyed this post and your transformation is great. Hopefully the sun has come out for you all down there. Carol


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson