Cold Climate Gardening hiatus coincides with garden blog explosion

– Posted in: About this site, Blogging Art and Practice

Excuses, excuses. Here they all are:

  • It is a truth universally acknowledged that a short growing season makes for a very hectic spring. I am a victim of this no more and no less than any other short season gardener.
  • The birthday season. Others drop out during the holiday season, but here in Purdyville we celebrate 9 birthdays between mid-March and mid-July, plus Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and two family reunions. That’s a lot of extra cooking and shopping and celebrating. It is wonderful to have so much to celebrate, but it does take time.
  • End-of-school-year testing and report writing.
  • A horticultural junket to Ithaca, NY and the writing of the article that prompted it. (Anticipated publication in Horticulture Oct ’06, Northeast edition only)
  • A complete backup, reformat, and reinstall of the almost 300 GB of hard drive on my computer.
  • An unexpected foray into genealogy. With the discovery two years ago that my local library offered, genealogy became yet another one of my interests. I try to limit it to the winter months, but my brother had a special need to investigate our mother’s paternal line, and asked for my help. This is what caused me to quit reading blogs all together. I used to catch up on my blog reading at the library while my kids picked out their books, but recently I have been searching through Ancestry’s databases for my great-grandfather and his parents and siblings instead.

The genealogy was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the blog reading has been a growing problem for a while now. Back when I first started writing my blog (four years ago this August) it was easy to keep up on all the other garden blogs, even without an RSS reader, because there couldn’t have been more than ten of them. As the garden-blogging world expanded, I was able to add them to my directory and my Bloglines account and stay on top of them. Even as late as the beginning of this year I felt that I knew more about more gardening blogs than anyone else. I was even quoted as an expert by Associated Press.

And then the gardening backwater of the Blogosphere exploded. I’m still not sure why. Perhaps enough gardeners had gotten computer-savvy enough to realize how well blogging meshed with gardening. Surely the advent of Garden Voices contributed quite a bit. All I know is I went from getting monthly requests to be added to my directory to receiving emails 2 and 3 times a week asking to be added to the Garden Blog Directory. And I just couldn’t keep up with all the garden blogs anymore.

I realized I was still treating the garden-blog world as an intimate coffee klatsch, and it had grown to the size of a high school. My high school class had over 400 students in it, and I didn’t worry about keeping up with every one of them. Sure, I had my own circle of close friends. Then there were others that I greeted with a smile and a wave, but only chatted with occasionally. There were others whose activities were known to me only because they were part of the “in” crowd, and some who hung out with kids with the same specialized interests–music, art, etc.–that just didn’t interest me. And let’s face it, there were students who were so completely overlooked by me that the only way I know they were there is because their photos are in the yearbook.

I’m coming to grips with the idea that I can’t keep up on every garden blog–ever. Harsh as it seems, I’m going to have to choose. I’m rethinking my Bloglines account. In the past, I deliberately kept it public so that those just starting a feed reader account (such as Bloglines) could import my collection of feeds and get a head start. I believe the creators of Garden Voices did just that when they launched their reblogger, though now their collection of garden blogs far exceeds mine, and mine is unwieldy. What good does it do for someone to import my feeds, if they are then going to have to turn around and cull out half of them? I’m thinking the blogroll at Garden Voices might serve them better, so I’m gradually going to restructure my Bloglines account to reflect my current interests. That means creating more folders and yes, deleting the ones I wasn’t reading anyway.

Even back in high school I was always doing a little more than I could comfortably handle, and things haven’t changed much. I’ve known this about myself for decades now, but I still can never see it coming till it hits me broadside. I never intended to stop blogging, but I guess I needed to be overwhelmed before I would stop and think about what I was doing and why.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

jenn July 26, 2006, 11:01 am


You are busy, busy, busy!

We’d like to hear from you occasionally, but you must focus on what’s most needful for you.

Meantime, I will just haunt Rundy’s site for new reads!