I was once a solitary gardener

I sat down last night to write out a blog post based on a presentation I gave as a participant in a panel discussion on garden blogging at the recent Garden Writers Association symposium in Indianapolis.   Dee of Red Dirt Ramblings and Mary Ann of Gardens of the Wild West were on the panel with me and we titled our discussion "Down the Garden Blogging Path".

We wanted to tell others how garden blogging led to other opportunities in garden writing.

And so I began...

I was once a solitary gardener...

I quickly decided that the entire story, which took about 20 minutes to tell, was too long for a blog post so I'll provide the ending.

I was once a solitary gardener.

In between the beginning and the ending, I told my story.  To sum it up, garden blogging was and is like opening up the gate to your private garden, your private world, and letting others come in. Once inside, they are encouraging and supportive and will prod you right along.  They'll even pull you out of your private garden world into a bigger, broader world of other gardeners who share the same passion and interest you share in gardening and plants, and writing about them.

My list of who to thank is long and grows longer every week, but includes Dee and Mary Ann, and Jo Ellen, the Hoosier Gardener, plus Pam of Digging and Jean of Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog. And I can't forget Robin Chotzinoff who once wrote that I was a garden blogging rock star.  They all gave me the courage to open the gate to my garden and see what was on the other side of it, even as I shared what was on my side of it.

I finished my portion of our presentation with this quote from one of my favorite garden writers, Elizabeth Lawrence. She was known for corresponding with many gardeners from all areas of the country and all walks of life. Many of us believe Elizabeth would have jumped right into garden blogging had she been alive now.

 In The Little Bulbs:  A Tale of Two Gardens, published in 1957, she wrote.

“It is not enough to grow plants; really to know them one must get to know how they grow elsewhere. To learn this it is necessary to create a correspondence with other gardeners, and to cultivate it as diligently as the garden itself.  From putting together the experience of gardeners in different places, a conception of plants begins to form. Gardening, reading about gardening, and writing about gardening are all one; no one can gardens alone.”

So that’s my story… I was once a solitary gardener who wanted to write and share about her garden and now thanks to starting a garden blog, I’m in a supportive community of garden writers. Since I started my garden blog, I've had the opportunity to write articles for magazines and I write a weekly newspaper column on gardening. Plus, as of this past week, I've participated in a panel discussion at the Garden Writers Association symposium with two of my favorite friends and fellow garden writers.

I wonder what will happen next?


  1. I'm so glad you did open that gate and let all of us in! I've loved getting to know you both on the web and now in real life! You are the best!

  2. Carol, wherever the garden path takes you next, you'll have friends and readers along for the adventure!

  3. You just never know my friend what will happen. I got to know you for example, and for that I am a better person and gardener. Solitary no more.~~Dee

  4. I am so grateful for the opportunity to walk through the gate of others' gardens and talk plants and everything else. I've learned so much & met such wonderful people. Your little world is such a delight, thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. Dear Carol.... I'm so glad you have moved from solitary to social!
    thanks for everything - you made Indy such a memorable experience!

    until next time,

  6. A lot of people I know just can't get their heads around virtual communities. The way people get to "know" each other without having ever met.

    But hey; such is the power of words and shared interests!

  7. I am so glad you are no longer solitary. I so enjoy your writing and your encouragement. Maybe a book will come your way. What ever I hope to be in the gallery shouting "go Carol go, you can do it."

  8. I was once a solitary gardener, too, and blogging pulled me into a larger world as well. I'm glad we've been able to make the journey together.

  9. Oh, Carol, I just read this line a day or two ago and I thought of all the garden blogger friends I have made, you included. Wonderful quote and quite appropos!

  10. Wow! Yes yes yes. Absolutely. Perfect. It is so weird how we begin...how we evolve into something more....and how we keep learning....and we support. You've summed up y/our passionate addictions to gardening, blogging, and education. There is so much to love about it. When things are negative, I find that this place calms and centers me. Great post.

  11. Gardens are for people. Thomas Church.

  12. Love your blog. Writers are writers, it seems to me, whether on the world wide web, or writing for the New York Times. The good ones (and the ambitious ones) rise to the top--the others fade away. For every gardener with a blog, there are a hundred without one, all good folks, worth knowing, and solitary is a fine thing. :)

  13. So wonderuly put! You are a true soul of gardening--speaking in your own style of what makes gardeners tick. You've discovered the true, readable, interesting, emulatable (if that truly is a word...) method of capturing the elusive and thoughtful side of what it means to be a gardener.

  14. I just love that Elizabeth Lawrence quote. It is so true. I suppose none of us knew where blogging about our garden would take us when we first started. I'm so thankful to have met and spent time with you and other bloggers out there. We really don't garden alone. What WILL happen next??

    Thanks for the mention too (I heard from another writer about the mention at GWA). :-)

  15. Carol, words on a blog can sure take us places we never imagined. You were one of the first non-Austin bloggers I ever met (Kathy Purdy was the first), and your rock star status was cemented at the first Garden Bloggers Fling. Blogging has opened new worlds for me too. I am grateful to know you! Thanks for the mention!

  16. You struck a chord with every reader of this post! I would have loved to hear you speak. Congratulations on sharing your thoughts in such a great open forum AND your 'rock star' status!


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