Is it a blog
Web writing, Online journal, yes it would be difficult to find a name for what we do. However, who the heck came up with blog, blogger, blogging. Well maybe its me but I think it is a hellish title, even the word speller hasn’t come to terms with it after what is it, seven, eight years. Sounds more like an activity that a group of ne’er- do- wells may get up to. However I have to say I am not half enjoying this blogging! thing.
It started off when I turned sixty. I decided that I would like to keep a record of every plant which we have in our garden and those which we have grown in the past. This was really for my own satisfaction and hopefully, to perhaps be of some benefit to other novice gardeners who were just starting off. Also we had been entering the Aberdeen in bloom gardening competition for a number of years and I took it into my head to show the garden on line where local people who were interested could have a look. So in a lot of respects it is more of an index, however in more recent times I have shared a bit of my gardening experiences on my posts which is enjoyable if not a little self indulgent.
I have generally always shown pictures of my garden at its best. Well like most, our garden also gets messy in Winter. Edith, b-a-g, take a look at the state of our lawn, I can hardly bear to look myself.
(Link) Snow mould a fungal disease
Writing a post other than a plant profile, well lets say, it doesn’t exactly come naturally to me. For one thing it can take me a helluva time. The words are generally all there, finding them in my head when required is another thing. I usually have a number of drafts prepared, when I decide to use one I go over it and over it and often think, that’s a right load of crap and start all over again.
Many of you guys out there write with such style that I would not even try to emulate. The word speller fairly helps me out at times except for the occasions when a word has two spellings and meanings. For instance when writing about the Yew hedge in our garden I referred to it as the Ewe—baaa. As you can see, I can be very self deprecating.
The pictures above are of two borders which are in the back garden looking like they desperately require a makeover. The chances of me showing anything quite as nasty again are highly unlikely.
Comments and Visitors
After a week, month or year when you have fully accepted that your blog is for your own satisfaction, you get a comment. Well the euphoria, come on admit it, the person who has bestowed you with such an honour has he,she also got a blog, yes!! Right its your turn, what’s the etiquette, yes I should return this compliment, did I do it right, did I make a twat of myself , well no worry there I am still doing that. I have to say, I still thoroughly enjoy receiving comments and equally handing them out. I don’t expect every comment which I receive to be complimentary, the ones I hand out on occasions make me cringe after the event. Don’t get me wrong, I would not even dream of saying anything nasty or uncomplimentary, however at times I think I may be over the top a little. My average comment is appreciative and generally I would say pleasant in its manner, at other times when I am on a high I can get carried away and treat you as if I have known you all my life and possibly say some outrageously amusing things which some may see as, not quite appropriate. I can assure you it is all in complete innocence.
What about replying to comments, there seems to be some mixed feelings about this. Certainly at the moment I reply to every one of them, as I saw it suggested that it was rude not to. I cant really make up my mind where I stand on this one, for one thing the commenter does not receive notification that a reply has been left. This of course means that you have to make a point of going back to the site to check, do you really want to take up time by doing this, I mean its all-right for me ,I have all the time in the world now that I am retired.
Actually, I have just received this information from (Link)–Janet at Plantaliscious. A wordpress plugin (replyme) resolves this problem. I have now activated it on my site. Now, I think it is fantastic, the comment which you made, perhaps you really were hoping for a reply, well with replyme you will be sent an email with the reply attached. If you think that there is anything negative about this, I really would like to hear from you.
Some of the blogs which I read don’t let me know the name gender or even the general area of a country where the writer comes from. In my opinion it really does take away that personal touch when communicating. I do of course realise how concerned people are about security, however lets say at the top right hand of your page, you could have what may be your blogging name and not actually your real name. At least it would feel like talking to a real person, and I really don’t see a problem in saying which country, city, state or region in which a person may live.
Sorry, couldn’t help it, a friends garden this time though.
What’s in the garden today
Hamamelis Arnolds Promise
The environmentalists, I suppose for me the story starts in my childhood in the 1950s. First of all may I say I have nothing but admiration for those who behave in a sensible manner regarding the environment. I like the majority of you play a sensible part in recycling, I hate to be wasteful, and my gardening habits have changed to a degree which would morally be rather more acceptable than it once may have been.
In the early to mid 50s in the UK living standards, I think it would be accurate for me to say were rather Spartan. However before I talk of how life was for me, consider how it was for my 90 year old mother as a child back in the 20s and early 30s. For the underprivileged, optimistically referred to as the working class, life for many was nothing less than tragic. My mother the eldest of six children tells me of times when there was no money for food or clothing. Without shoes they were forced to get boots from a charity organisation, and on Winter days went to school in a thin Summer dress. Those who were lucky enough to have fathers in work would laugh at the unfortunate waifs. When my mother was fourteen years old her own mother died, she would only ever tell us that it was of a broken heart. Mother was old enough to get work in the fish houses, her siblings were taken in to care. Mother strived for the rest of her life not to be beaten by the challenges which may befall her.
As for myself, in the 50s we were well enough cared for, there was very little money, but we got by. In the late 50s our living room flooring of linoleum was lifted and a carpet was laid. Soon after we had our first television set, wow things were looking up.
Now the environmentalists of today, well I am talking now of those who take every possible opportunity to ram it down your throat. They were probably born between 1970 and 1985. They have never known what hardship is, everything was handed to them on a plate, and possibly were spoiled little brats. Don’t they just love telling you how good they are and if you do not share their inflated enthusiasm you must be some shallow cretin who does not have the understanding which has been placed on their wonderful shoulders.
So yes, I have grown up with a materialistic attitude which I am not ashamed of and still love stuff.
Some serious gardening to do tomorrow, but first I really do have to go to the recycling depot.
Along with my wife Myra, I have been absolutely mad about gardening since 1970. In the early 90s, in fact I think it was 1993 we were to take it a stage further when the Aberdeen council limo pulled up at the door whilst judging the entries for the Aberdeen in bloom competition. We were persuaded to enter our front garden in the competition for that year. I don’t have photos from then but here is a few below from 2005 until the present.
In that year we were placed third for our area Aberdeen south, that was the start, we were to enter every year from then up till 2008. More often than not it would be the front garden, on a few occasions we did enter the back garden instead.
With the exception of one year (when for whatever reason we didn’t enter,) we were placed first for our Aberdeen South area. On two occasions we were given overall best for the front garden, and on another two we got best overall for the back.
This is when the pursuit of perfection stepped in. Now if there was a problem we were unaware of it in the earlier years. After all we were gardeners and not just annual bedders. Our back garden always had annuals at the front of the borders, but was very much smothered with perennials, shrubs and trees. Even the front garden which may look a mass of colour has a surprising permanent set up when the annuals are removed.
People pass by when I am in the front garden and may say, the garden is looking beautiful. At times I would say, thank you very much, that’s very kind of you. On Other occasions I would find myself replying, yes it is looking really good this year, I think a gardener would understand this response, but some may think, huh, he sounds full of himself.. Well I have decided it is ok, lets face it I am the gardener, the labourer and the planter of plants, the real beauty comes from elsewhere.
We now no longer enter the competition, not for any snobbish reason, in fact I still have a fondness for the in your face look. Its more a case of, it was becoming just too obsessive. A fallen leaf or petal in the wrong place could not be left, the lawns had to be just right and dead heading was an endless task. Over the last three years the garden has been given more structure, resulting in a better all year round effect. Less and less annuals are being used, although I wont completely give them the cold shoulder.
I now realise it is time to enjoy the garden as well as tend it. Don’t get me wrong it will be mentally impossible for me not to keep the garden looking good, however looking for perfection in gardening is a frustrating and impossible task. Also in Spring and Summer, I am going to appreciate how good the garden is looking and not just wait until Winter to look at the photos.
My new years resolution —- Take things easier.