Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Posts tagged ‘blogging’

Blotanical…ing

I’ve not been around for long when it comes to blogging or ‘Blotanicaling’. I don’t take the best pictures, write the most inspired words or, to be frank, have anything like the best garden. In fact, I don’t know all that much about plants. So why do I have a garden blog and love hanging out with other garden bloggers at Blotanical? Let’s cut a long story…long (sorry!)

I started my blog referring to myself as a lazy and ignorant gardener. I don’t mind admitting either of those things, as they are quite true, but there is a little bit more to it than that.

Part of the garden in January 2010, one each of live lemon and lime trees. Lots of weeds. And one departed lime.

Last year was a year from hell for me, I won’t go into the gory details too much, but basically I took on a job that was beyond my skills, or more accurately, my emotional endurance. After months of living in a totally stressed out state which was horrific for both me and my long suffering little family I finally realised I was drowning and didn’t have to be. I finished up. I was utterly exhausted and an emotional train wreck, but I was free!

A fairy contemplating what to do about the oxalis

I’m happy to say from a point several months down the track (now working part time in a job I love) that no permanent damage was done. But it would also be fair to say that my garden reflected my emotional state at the time. It wasn’t a pretty picture. My roses were buried in weeds. My fig tree was dying. One of the limes was dead. Couch grass was an arresting feature of the garden and the blackberry was making itself very much at home.

By Christmas time 2009 I was starting to return to my old self and looked around at the state of things. It was pretty overwhelming. It was very hard to know where to start. But I did finally start and wondered how to keep myself motivated with the hard work to come.

I should take some photos of my progress I thought. Hmmm. But they’ll all end up in a random jumble on the computer I thought. Hmmm. Ah, I know, a blog – that can be like a visual diary to keep me motivated and my record a little ordered.

So I was quite content to talk to myself on my little blog and in some ways, I still am. There is something about blogging that makes me think about trying to represent one aspect of myself truly and not worry too much if it is not terribly fascinating for anyone else. Which is possibly not the point of blogging, but there you go!

Anyway, it wasn’t long before I started to look around and discovered that there was a world of very interesting gardening blogs out there, but I was a bit intimidated by them. Luckily, I soon stumbled upon Blotanical.

Gratuitous clematis shot from 2007

Most of the bloggers I have ‘met’ have been directly through Blotanical. I didn’t really think of it as a gardener’s social network site at first, but more as a library. It has turned out to be both. It is certainly a wonderful reference point where I can find answers to my gardening questions and learn about things I’d never imagined. But it is also a place to meet incredibly generous and kind gardeners from all over the world.

And the generosity of other Blotanical Members is truly amazing. From the moment I appeared as a ‘Blotanist’ on Blotanical I had people popping in to my Plot (home page if you like) saying hello and/or inviting me to have a look at their blog and make a comment (this was surprisingly important to me in a way, as I was hesitant as a novice to comment on the blog of an experienced blogger/gardener in case they thought I was some upstart!)

Work in progress

It wasn’t long before I was collecting ‘favourite blogs’ like a magpie and trying to stash them all on my Blotanical list (my blogroll doesn’t let me keep up to date with the blogs I like). Ah, but there I discovered that there was a trick to it all!  To keep collecting sparkly new jewels I needed more points. So I learnt about ‘picking’…and that is a whole other hot topic I will leave to others in the Blotanical community for now.

Viola

A little viola peeking

Anyway, some Blotanical bloggers also took the time to pop in and leave comments on my blog, which I just loved and still do. I am still surprised that some experienced gardeners not only visit my blog, but make lovely comments. I am truly delighted when another gardener offers helpful advice or warm words of encouragement. It keeps me motivated.

Our resident male model 'helping' with some pruning

Even though I haven’t been around long I feel part of the Blotancial gardening community. There is little I would change* and will roll with whatever eventuates. If I can find and keep in touch with other gardening bloggers I’m happy; it’s all I really need.  So thank you Stuart for building this wonderful community. And thank you to all the lovely Blotanists that have made me feel part of the community.

Anyway, getting back to the point for a moment, the garden is still a mess, but it is getting there and there is nothing I love more than immersing myself in it!

(* if there is one thing I would like at Blotanical it would be a library cataloguing system to track down those posts I’d like to read on blogs I haven’t discovered yet!)

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