Cold Climate Gardening is ten years old today

– Posted in: About this site

birthday cake

Not every blog lasts for ten years.

On this day in 2002, I wrote my first blog post. I had a half-baked idea that I wanted to share what I had learned about gardening in a cold climate online, and my original plan was to create a website. I realized that a blog was far easier to set up, thanks to help from my brother Rob, and fit in with my inclination to write gardening-filled emails to friends.

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.

Technological Milestones

August 2002 – started on Blogger
February 2003 – moved to Movable Type
April 5, 2005 – switched to WordPress
April 6, 2009 – switched to Thesis theme

What’s Next?

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?

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 its own way, frost may be one of the most beautiful things to happen in your garden all year . . . Don’t miss it. Like all true beauty, it is fleeting. It will grace your garden for but a short while this morning. . . . For this moment, embrace frost as the beautiful gift that it is.

~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.

Ilona September 24, 2012, 9:41 am

So much has changed in blogging over the years, but you have consistently made great garden posts. I’ve always enjoyed your excellent writing and your photos are inspirational.

Congratulations (late) on your ten year mark.

Annie in Austin September 13, 2012, 1:10 am

My comment is so late the cake is probably all gone but I’d like to add my wishes for a Happy Anniversary, Kathy – age 10 in blog years is quite a feat.

You were one of the first garden blogs I found- I’m so glad we got to meet in person, too!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

joene at joene's garden September 10, 2012, 7:30 am

Ok, going for my third try to leave my congratulations here.

Keep up the good work, Kathy. Congratulations on your decade of blogging.

joene at joene's garden September 10, 2012, 7:28 am

Congratulations, Kathy, on your milestone.
I thought I left my congratulations a few days ago but see that my previous comment is not listed. Trying again.

Keep sharing your great info!

Diane C September 4, 2012, 3:06 pm

congrats on that milestone

Trevor @ Financial Nut September 4, 2012, 2:38 pm

Amazing to see what you have accomplished over such a long period of time. And — I love to see how blogs change. Even in my own work, I have looked back over the years and my writing style and content have changed significantly.

Keep it up! 😀

Pam/Digging August 31, 2012, 2:18 am

You’ve definitely got staying power, Kathy. Congrats on a decade of blogging! You’ve led the way for so many of us.

DJ August 29, 2012, 11:49 am

Kathy, it was a pleasure meeting you at the bloggers’ fling in Asheville. You were so modest about your talents as a gardener and blogger and so kind to those of us who had been blogging just a year or so. Congratulations to you — for being the calm, persistent, knowledgeable person you are — and for achieving a mile mark you can definitely be proud of.

joene at joene's garden August 28, 2012, 8:13 am

Wow! Ten years. Congratulations. Here’s to ten more.

Donna@Gardens Eye View August 28, 2012, 6:10 am

Kathy this is indeed a milestone… congratulations and I hope we are treated to many more years!

Janet, The Queen of Seaford August 27, 2012, 9:17 pm

Great to meet you at this year’s Fling, ten years in this game is a wonderful achievement. I can’t imagine how many blogs have come and gone in that span of time. Congratulations to you.

Carol - May Dreams Gardens August 27, 2012, 8:45 pm

Congrats on 10 years. I can’t recall when I first started to read your blog, but I’ve enjoyed it since at least 2006. And it is amazing that ten years later, you are still writing and blogging. Here’s to another ten years!

Les August 27, 2012, 8:45 pm

A 10 year-old blog? What’s that in human years, maybe 210?

Congratulations, and thank you!

Cindy, MCOK August 27, 2012, 7:54 pm

Kathy, congratulations on ten years of blogging! To keep the blog going along with all your other responsibilities is quite an achievement. Here’s to the next ten years!

Yvonne August 27, 2012, 4:59 pm

Wow, Kathy, you’re an inspiration and you have been so helpful and supportive of so many garden bloggers. All the best for your next 10 years of blogging.

Blake Schreck August 27, 2012, 4:33 pm

Whoo-Hoo! Congratulations and looking forward to many more.

Dee/reddirtramblings August 27, 2012, 3:12 pm

Kathy, congratulations on your wonderful blog, and thank you for helping me learn to blog in the beginning. It’s made my life much more fruitful in so many ways. May your blog live long and prosper.~~Dee

Helen at Toronto Gardens August 27, 2012, 1:20 pm

Happy anniversary, Kathy,
One of my favourite Cold Climate Gardening moments is the time you demonstrated how to prune an overgrown shrub using a reciprocating saw!

Jim/ August 27, 2012, 1:19 pm

Congrats on ten years Kathy! I’ve learned a lot from reading your blog since 2007 myself. I was thrilled to not only find info on gardening in my zone, but that you were only minutes away from my mom’s place. We’ll be there this weekend. Maybe we’ll find you in a garden!

Kathy Purdy August 27, 2012, 2:27 pm

If it’s not raining, you will probably find me in my garden!

Kathryn/ August 27, 2012, 1:06 pm

Congratulations, Kathy! Early starter and still going very very strong! That is commitment! Thank you for offering your garden learnings to the world. I’m certain you’ve had far more impact in your readers’ lives than you will ever know. 🙂

joene at joene's garden August 27, 2012, 12:44 pm

What a wonderful milestone, Kathy. Here’s to ten more.

Alison August 27, 2012, 12:21 pm

Congrats on your inspiring longevity!

Gail August 27, 2012, 11:22 am

Kathy, I went looking for garden info about my garden area and found garden blogs~Yours included! I thank my lucky stars for finding such good reads, helpful garden information and some very good friends! Congratulations on ten marvelous years. xogail

Julie August 27, 2012, 11:18 am

My goodness, do all of the inspirational writing teachers reside in 4th grade? Mrs. Kambiss was a wonderful teacher who encouraged my love of writing–and then asked me to read my first “novel” to the class. (It was 147 handwritten pages…and I think it might have included my fascination with the Hardy Boys and Shaun Cassidy.) Cheers to inspirational teachers! And cheers to YOU, Kathy! Ten years is quite a feat–and quite an inspiration. I look forward to reading your next decade of gardening writing!

Layanee August 27, 2012, 10:56 am

What a great history. You were on the forefront of blogging and you are still leading the way. Congratulations.

Frances August 27, 2012, 10:30 am

Dear Kathy, what a wonderful day it was when you decided to enter the blogdom, or should I say start the gardening blogdom! I was reading blogs early on, and remember your list of gardening blogs to explore. We couldn’t get enough of garden blog posts, and they were difficult to find. Thank goodness for blogrolls! Congratulations on ten wonderful years of giving, we do so appreciate your efforts!


Carolyn August 27, 2012, 8:28 am

How rewarding to pause, then look back at where you’ve come from. You have accomplished much and used your talents to bless the lives of many. Your 4th grade teacher would be delighted. BTW, I also had a 4th grade teacher who inspired me to write and to enjoy the written word. I’ve enjoyed your post!

Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand August 27, 2012, 8:22 am

Congratulations *<|;-)