Sunday, January 2, 2011

And So It Began - Four Years Ago

This evening, I realized I began blogging four years ago today, making January 2nd my blogaversary. Who knew I had so much to say about gardening? Here is a reprint of my very first blog post:

And So It Begins...

When does a garden start? And where? When we moved to this house in 1977, I remember the five large old oak trees and a shagbark hickory. I recall some potentilla bushes being somewhere (they were always loaded with bees) and a mugo pine by the light pole out front. There were ditch lilies, which we still have, although they aren't in their original location, and I can't remember now where that was. There was a patio, and a lot of bare dirt sprinkled around the yard.

But a garden? Huh-uh. And it didn't matter much. We were newly married just two years before, and both working full-time. Not much energy to think about planting flowers or vegetables, even if I'd had the desire to do so, which I didn't. You not only had to plant the flowers, but there was weeding and watering and fertilizing and deadheading and... I didn't want any part of that.

My mother has always been a gardener, and while I mostly remember her beautiful roses, we always had extensive gardens, but I had no desire to follow in her footsteps. I had a few houseplants, and after a time, I had even less of those. I did not have a green thumb by any means. I would still buy a houseplant now and then, but the watering duties were eventually turned over to my husband, because he killed them less frequently than I did.

One houseplant managed to survive both of us and now, nearly 32 years later, it still lives with us. When we married, our florist for the wedding gave us a beautiful philodendron in a basket that sat on the floor and it wound its way up a tall piece of bark. Somehow, we kept that thing alive, though like our marriage, it had its ups and downs. Over the years, my brown thumb turned green and the philodendron then enjoyed happier days. This past year, our 26-year-old daughter Kara received a start from this plant that is older than she is. It was a gift from me for her wedding shower.

I can't really remember when we first had a vegetable garden, but I remember Kara eating strawberries from it when she was just one. We always grew sweet corn, and sometimes green beans and tomatoes. Now and then, we'd try broccoli or carrots, or peas. But always sweet corn. Every August I gain about five pounds because I love nothing better than to make a meal of hot sweet corn with lots of butter and salt.

Once in awhile, I would get ambitious and plant some annuals. Petunias, impatiens, and geraniums were about as adventuresome as I'd get. And they had better thrive on neglect, because they were going to get plenty of that.

Then I quit work. Something happens to you when your life doesn't revolve around a regular job. Things slow down and you realize you have time to do things you didn't want to take the time to do before. That makes some things look more appealing than they used to. Yes, I actually took time to smell the flowers and I realized I didn't have nearly enough of them.

As any true gardener knows, you can't leave a nursery without buying something and usually it's a lot of somethings. I was addicted the first time I set foot in a nursery and saw possibilities for nearly everything I saw there. I was like a little kid in a candy store! But not having gardened much before, I didn't have room for all that I saw, so I chose a few things to start with. I asked advice from my mom. The first thing she said to me was, "You don't put a ten-dollar plant in a five-dollar hole." She explained 'amending the soil' to me. Oh yes, it wasn't dirt anymore, but soil.

So, I went home and announced to my husband that we needed more garden space and we needed to bring in good soil for it. Now, our real garden started to take on a life of its own. And much of ours would be spent with it.


Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Congratulations Kylee! Happy gardening and happy blogging to you in 2011 and beyond! I like your very first post!

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

What a major milestone! Congratulations!!!! Until now, I didn't realize that your blog is only a few months older than mine. All this time I thought that you had been blogging for years before me because when I found your blog I had just entered the world of blogs and yours was so seasoned and put together. How much of a difference only a few months can make. :-) HUGS!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Happy Blogaversary! Today is my second, seems like a lot of us started during the winter. I've always really enjoyed your blog and love seeing what you are planting or building there. Lots of inspiration!

Peg Wiggins said...

I for one am grateful that you have continued posting to your blog over these years.
I am a lazy gardener; but fully appreciate all of the effort that goes into yours and others.
Wild flowers work for someone who's gotten lazy over the years.
I hope you continue to post to your blog, Kylee, as it provides much good reading and inspiration.
Congrats on your blogaversary!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Happy 4th blogaversary Kylee. I am so glad you started this blog. I enjoy reading your garden thoughts and watching your garden grow.

Commonweeder said...

Congratulations! On to the next 4 years! Or more. I have learned so much and be inspired by you - and other bloggers.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Happy Anniversary Kylee. I love the idea of having a plant that you have had since you were married. What a sweet tradition to have, sharing with your daughter on her wedding. Very touching.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Congratulations Kylee on four great years!

Jan said...

Happy Blogoversary and Happy New Year Kylee. Just celebrated my third blogging year on Dec. 28th, which was also my 33rd wedding anniversary! I didn't get involved with the 'garden'-blogging world until almost a year later, I've really only been 'gardenblogging' for about 2 yrs. You were one of my first blogging friends and I'm very happy we've met. We don't visit each others' blogs often enough now...but that's ok; we're in touch through FB & just being connected is what it's all about! I love how much of an influence your mom was--and still is--to you and especially how she has become so well-thought-of in the garden-blogging world, too;-)

Kylee Baumle said...

Tatyana ~ Thank you! And happy gardening and blogging to you as well! :-)

Cindy ~ Yes, we've "known" each other for several years now! Kindred spirits in many ways - hugs back at you!

Catherine ~ Thank you! Happy blogaversary to you, too!

Peg ~ Thank you! I always love your comments here and on Facebook. Lazy gardener is just fine and wildflowers are more than fine! You don't have to actually garden to appreciate the beauty of flowers and plants.

Lisa ~ Thank you for being my most faithful reader and commenter. That means a lot to me!

Commonweeder ~ Thanks, Pat! Isn't that the greatest thing about blogging? I love the interaction and all I've learned from others, including you! I never knew what sastrugi was before you taught me. :-)

Janet ~ Our younger daughter, Jenna, got a start of the plant, too. Funny thing is, mine is struggling while theirs are both thriving. I may need to get starts from their plants! I'm not sure what the problem is with mine. :-(

Dave ~ Thanks, Dave!

Jan ~ Happy Blogaversary and Happy Anniversary (a little belated) to YOU! Though I don't comment much on your blog, I do read it regularly, because it arrives by e-mail - my favorite way to follow blogs. I always love to read your uplifting posts!

Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

You beat me by a month, Kylee. Congrats on four years. So glad you caught the gardening bug - we are all richer for it.

Victoria Williams said...

Glad you're still here.....

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Kylee,
Happy blog anniversary! I enjoyed reading your first post. It's cool how your interest in gardening evolved. I knew when I was a girl, that I wanted to have gardens like our neighbors'. My parents let me have a few flowers, that I didn't always take care of the whole season, but I do remember planting iris around our patio.

My husband is not a gardener, and I've had to do lots of convincing for my him to give up the lawn. Things have gotten tense at times.

He said something this evening that shocked me. He said he was thinking of "doing up" the yard, turning the whole front into a flower bed with paths wide enough to walk in and places to sit. He then made some comment about the plants I have, but I don't remember what it was.

Whenever there is a job of some kind, or a place to go, Larry and I naturally choose a different method or route. I love the first part of his idea, but have the feeling he'd want to be more formal than I am. I don't think our yard is big enough for two gardeners. We'll see if it gets brought up again.

I have been thinking I need more space, even though I told him I wouldn't ask for more.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I forgot to say I think it's cool you have the plant an you shared a start of it with your daughter.

Donna said...

what a great memoir and adventure...happy's to many more

Town Mouse said...

Happy blogaversary! Isn't it fun sometimes to look back? I'm always amazed how much I've learned from doing research for my blog, from reading other blogs... time flies.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Four more years! Well, more than that, I hope. I love seeing "first posts" and this one drew me right in. Happy blogaversary. Would be a chillier blogland without you.

Benjamin Vogt said...

You know, it was 4 years ago today I proposed to my wife. And 4 years ago today my wife's best friend had twin girls. What a week.

Kylee Baumle said...

Carolyn Gail ~ You're so kind! Gardening and blogging has led me to some wonderful places and people - like YOU! *hugs*

Kim and Victoria ~ Awww...thank you!

Sue ~ Thank you! Sue, before I became interested in gardening, I couldn't figure out why people were so gaga over it. Now I know!
Romie and I will disagree at times over how to do things, but we work it out pretty painlessly. He is a big help to me with the bigger jobs. He too protests when I want to dig up more of "his lawn." I tell him not to worry, because he's got more lawn than I have garden and it just means there's less to mow if I do dig it up.
Good luck with Larry! LOL!

Donna ~ Thanks! :-)

Town Mouse ~ EXACTLY! That's what makes it so fun!

DP ~ Thanks! You're so sweet to say that! I've no plans to stop writing here!

Ben ~ On the 4th, no less! Whew!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Congratulations! 4 years is quite impressive. Isn't it fun to look back and see how your blog & your garden have grown?

Cindy said...

Hi Kylee,
I love your blog! Congratulations on your 4 year blogaversary! I just started blogging in the spring of 2010 because I love to write, love to take photos and love gardening. I also started my garden design business last spring and I'm having so much fun trying to figure out marketing, designing for clients and friends and most of all, writing! I'd love for you to read my blog, and if you could, include it in your list of garden blogs -- the address is - I'm also on twitter at gardenbythsound. Thank you for inviting me into your world and I look so forward to more posts. You are an inspiration, Cindy Juliano
Fairfield, Connecticut

Darla said...

Well just let me add to your addiction, I posted seeds for trade today. Congrats on your 4 years! Oh and I can't remember ever not gardening or at least watching my mom...

Rose said...

Congratulations on your blogaversary, Kylee! It's amazing how quickly time goes by. I haven't quite reached my third anniversary, so I never read this post. I'm so glad you reprinted it; such interesting reading, and again I'm reminded that we have much in common--I, too, had no interest in gardening until much later in my life...there just wasn't time before. But once you start, you wonder how you ever lived without it before.

May 2011 be a great year in the garden for you!

Shayna said...

Happy blogaversary Kylee! Thank you for sharing your first post. I think blogs are great for reflecting on the past and seeing how far we've come. Over four years I'm sure you've had many blogging adventures and experiences you could have never imagined!

And your houseplant, how cool is that? It's great that you've been able to keep it alive and pass it on. What a great symbol of your marriage!

Wishing you a fabulous 2011 and continued success with your blog!

dee said...

:) That's a pretty real story!
I love plants and flowers since i can remember, but when i moved to this house, even if we don't have a huge garden, i still buy a lot of house plants :)
make everything happier and beautiful, remember us that life is simple and joy is even on the tiny flower you can find.

I'll keep following your blog, maybe i think can lern a few things :)

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