Ten years ago, there were hardly any blogs, and gardening blogs were extremely hard to come by. The only one I knew of when I started mine was GardenSpot. I’m embarrassed to admit I copied Erica Bess Duncan’s custom template without asking first, making only minor changes. She was kind enough not to get mad. She didn’t even insist I take it down. Instead, she put me in her blogroll, which was quite a boon, as her blog got quite a bit of traffic back then. Erica’s second incarnation of Garden Spot is still online, though it hasn’t been updated since 2007.
From a dearth of garden blogs to plenty
In the early days of my blog, when I discovered a new garden blog it was worthy of a post announcing the discovery, so that my scanty readership would be able to find it more easily than I had. You can still read these announcements by browsing through the Recommended Links category. My blogroll eventually got so unwieldy that I created a garden blog directory. In 2006 I noticed garden blogs were proliferating and realized I could no longer keep track of every single one.
Garden Blog Pioneers
For my fourth blogiversary, I hunted down many of those first garden bloggers and asked how and why they got started blogging. The Garden Blogger Pioneer interviews were the result. The links to all those blogs still work, though some of them haven’t been updated in a while.
Another thing that has changed quite a bit: photography. You’ll notice my earliest posts had no pictures. Both digital cameras and scanners were pretty rare–and expensive. Our family was given a 2.3 megapixel RCA CDS6300 Digital Camera for Christmas 2002 and my first photo showed up in early spring 2003. But digital images were in their infancy, as were the software used to get them in their best form for online viewing, and actually posting them on one’s blog was far more laborious and cumbersome than it is today.
In 2005 I felt a bit taken to task for not posting photographs with all my posts, so I guess it still seemed cumbersome enough to not publish one with every post. I don’t remember when the tipping point came with this, but it was probably not long after this that I started making a more concerted effort to use photographs in my posts. At this point I try very hard to have an image with every post, as I realize it’s what draws many readers in. I tend to take photos specifically to illustrate a blog post, and often make use of family members’ photos for dramatic or purely beautiful shots.
A Sampling of Cold Climate Gardening posts
2002 – Planting Prima Donna Peonies
2003 – Triage Weeding
2004 – Cabin Fever in Extremis
2005 – My Grandmother’s Garden
2006 – Garden Whimsy/I Can’t Believe I Did This
2007 – Daffodils Are My Favorite Flowers
2008 – Seven Gardening Gifts No One Will Give Me
2009 – Mud Season: A Primer for Newcomers and Southerners
2010 – How Do You Know If A Plant is Hardy?
2011 – Mulch Can Kill Trees
2012 – Peony Rescue With Cobrahead
If you have a favorite not mentioned here, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. You don’t have to link to the post; just tell me what it was about if you can’t find it.
August 2002 – started on Blogger
February 2003 – moved to Movable Type
April 5, 2005 – switched to WordPress
April 6, 2009 – switched to Thesis theme
I started this blog because I love to write, and that hasn’t changed. I always have less time to write when gardening season is in full swing, and creating gardens at my new home has been especially time consuming. I really don’t know what’s next. What topics or types of posts would you like more of?