Saturday, October 2, 2010

Who Knew?!

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?!”


Elephant's Eye said...

If you tell Stuart - you will earn your red star at Blotanical ;>)

Marguerite said...

Auntie K - I'm amazed that people you know have found you without you saying anything!! It's such a small world in many ways. I too have found Blotanical to be a wonderful place, meeting new people and enjoying their gardens. I have learned so much from others in such a short period of time. How lucky we are.

Auntie K said...

Diana; What's a red star at Blotanical?! (Maybe I'll have to search around and find out!) Sounds interesting.

Marguerite; It is bizarre, isn't it?! It is a testament to the friend network, I think. I did recently post the blog URL on my Facebook page and a couple of neighbors found the blog that way. (Who knew that people actually looked at that info?!) I sort of like the random, grassroots way people find the blog. I do feel lucky to have found so many like minded people around the world. Such a great connection.

Mary S. said...

What amazes me is that you have been able to post every day. Congratulations!

Auntie K said...

Thanks, Mary! Ideas hit me at the oddest times, so I jot them down in my notebook. I'm wondering, though, what I'll do after the garden goes to bed. I don't know if I can do every day through the winter. Maybe once or twice a week. I'll have to see what happens!

Kate (daisygil_io) said...

Great post. I feel the exact same way as you. I've learned so much from others and are always fascinated when people pop into my blog and comment. Keep up the great work!

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