So today is the first anniversary of Wellywoman. A kind of birthday, I guess. It was hubby’s idea, knowing the looming prospect of winter and the effect low light levels have on my well-being, he suggested I give writing a blog a go, as a bit of a distraction until spring came. And so Wellywoman and Wellyman were born.
I have to admit, I have always been a bit of a technophobe and a late adopter when it comes to new technology. A year ago I didn’t get any of this social media stuff and now, well there are aspects of it that I still don’t like and you’ll never convince me about Facebook but I can now say I can’t imagine life without blogging. I’m even on Twitter.
For me, sitting at the computer seemed the antithesis of everything I love about gardening; the outdoors, fresh air, birdsong and getting my hands dirty but what has surprised me most is that writing about my plot, my garden and plants, in general, has made me appreciate them all the more. I thought I might struggle to find ideas to write about but actually wanting to write has made me seek out new places, people and plants, whilst looking at what has been around me for years in a new light.
On the face of it, blogging possibly wasn’t going to work for me as diary-keeping has never been a strong point. I was given a diary for my thirteenth birthday. It seems to be quite a rite of passage for a teenage girl to keep a diary. Most of my friends were very good at it, but I was rubbish. I’d write maybe once a month and then, even that dwindled. I’d occasionally have a spurt of writing activity but then I got engrossed in other interests. I think it was the writing about the minutiae of daily life that didn’t really appeal, I did love writing and research though and ended up doing a lot of this in my previous life and I didn’t really realise how much I had missed it until I started writing again. Somehow I’ve managed to write 115,192 words over the last year for my blog, so maybe I can finally say I cracked this diary writing.
Wellywoman has introduced me to people I wouldn’t have ordinarily met and given me opportunities I wouldn’t have thought possible a year ago. But the best bit about blogging has been discovering a whole community out there of passionate people who love the good things in life, plants, wildlife, food and books, as much as I do. Gardening tends to be a solitary pastime or job. For some, this is part of the attraction. I’ve met some gardeners/nursery owners who really seem to dislike the intrusion of other people, even if they are customers, into their space but I think most gardeners are actually very social people. Well, my experience from blogging, and more recently Twitter, certainly seems to back this up. There are some who have formed real friendships through the blogosphere, those who swap seeds and plants and those who share the highs and lows of life, in general.
For me, blogs provide a source of inspiration, hints and tips and personal views that are not possible through any other form of media. I love the honesty I have found in people’s writing. There is an immediacy that is especially appealing about blogging. I’m reading a book at the moment about the plant hunters and collectors of 18th century, when it used to take months for letters to reach their destination. The tensions and disputes that resulted because of misunderstandings and the time lag between explanations is amusing and quite incomprehensible in our modern world of instant communications. That’s not to say blogging and Twitter don’t come with their problems but, so far, the best bits far outweigh any negatives.
So, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who pops along to read my blog. I hope you like what you find. To all those who leave a comment, I really appreciate it, to hear your thoughts and suggestions make the difference between just writing and actually engaging. To those fellow UK gardening bloggers, you have been a source of solace and inspiration, in what has been a particularly difficult growing year.
To those from overseas, thank you for adding a different perspective. I find it fascinating to read about a shared passion from places as diverse as America, Italy, South Africa and Tasmania.
It has been a real pleasure to hear from you all. Here’s to another year of blogging.