I started Auntie K’s Garden earlier this year after almost a year of pondering. I talked with bloggers whose blogs I read (and liked) and made notes about what I liked (and hated) about other blogs I read. I read list after list about what makes a good blog. And, I began to brainstorm topics – both broad categories and specific garden related events/issues/passions. My goal was to write between 200 and 300 words about something garden related every day for the entire growing season. By the time the first plant sale of the year arrived, I was ready. Or so I thought.
It turns out the one thing I hadn’t considered was how my life would change as a result of being a blogger. Because I saw my blog mostly as an exercise in discipline and writing, I told very few people – fearing I’d run out of ideas after I covered my brainstorming list and die from embarrassment. So, I wasn’t really expecting people would read it!
I found Blotanical – an online community of garden blogs and bloggers – almost a year ago when I was reading My Northern Garden – the blog by the editor of Northern Gardener magazine I’ve been reading regularly for a couple of years. I joined Blotanical only after I had a few months of posts under my belt. (No sense inviting people to read 5 posts, I thought.) And, then a crazy thing happened. People from all over the world were finding and reading my blog. I’ll never forget the first day someone from Malaysia commented on a post. I almost fell off my chair!
Then, friends I hadn’t told about my blog started mentioning it. Twice, recently, I started to tell friends about progress in the gardens. They said, “I know all that already, I read your blog.” “You DO?” came my astonished reply. “Yeah,” they said, “I’ve been reading it for a while now.” “Who knew,?!” I thought.
I like that people have found my blog (and seem to like it). But, cooler, for me, is “meeting” other garden bloggers. I found some really lovely and interesting blogs and bloggers through Blotanical. I look forward to reading their posts and sharing comments and experiences. I love seeing gardens in other parts of the world and reading stories from other home gardeners like myself. It’s amazing some days how many of us are on the same wavelength. And, the photographs are extraordinary! My goodness! I’m trying to include photos in my posts now, but I think it’s a skill that will develop slowly.
I think maybe the best way to sum it up is to say that 1) because I saw Auntie K’s Garden as a writing practice, and 2) I told very few people about the blog that I wasn’t prepared for the wonderful interaction I’ve experienced. And, it just seemed like the right time to say it out loud. I hope I continue to have experiences that make me say, “who knew?!”