Eight Years and More Than Eight Benefits

As of today, I have been rambling in the garden on this blog for eight years – not that it seems anything like eight years of course. To celebrate, I thought I would share eight spring blooms plucked on one of today’s rambles, and a reminder of some of the many benefits of blogging.

Eight years ago I wrote ‘I had not intended to write a blog, but was talking to a friend about how, now I had more time,  I wanted amongst other things to keep a better record of the garden and nurture its spiritual aspects, as well as writing poetry more often. She suggested I did it online as a blog, and ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com was born’. When I created my ‘About’ page, some months after my first post, I finished by saying ‘The blog reflects just one (but multi-faceted) part of me, to fulfil a particular need, but already it has gone beyond that and brought new and unanticipated pleasures’.

Eight years further on and that last statement is even more true, with an endless number of overlapping benefits arising from my blogging experiences. Right from the start I began to get to know my garden better, noticing the everyday changes, the passage of the seasons, beginning an intimate relationship rather than a casual friendship. After eight years that relationship runs very deep, and it is always a wrench to leave the garden or even have a day without spending any time in it: it undoubtedly ‘nurtures my soul’ as the blog’s tagline suggests.

Also from the beginning was the joy of writing, choosing the right words and developing my own style; likewise, satisfying the creative urge to write more poetry was one of the original motives and, although it doesn’t happen as often as I hoped it might, when my muse strikes there is always the thrill of creating with words, the right words in the right order, as one of my teachers used to say.

As I got to know the garden better I was more able to see it as a whole, and the overall rehash of the ‘bottom end’ began to take place at around the same time as the blog began. There have been many changes since then, but for the first time I was able to ‘feel’ how things might fit together. Most sections have still evolved and unfolded on their own, remarkably resulting in a layout that seems to work, but I still don’t feel I could plan a whole garden from scratch. However, my confidence in techniques other than design has grown exponentially as a result of blogging and the experience gained in those eight years, resulting in a comprehensive seed-sowing regime and on-going propagation by cuttings and other methods, as well as pruning and a host of other techniques.

Record keeping has made my gardening life much easier, knowing when I sowed certain seeds, how long they took to germinate (a mystery for novices), and when I pricked out, potted on, planted out and, if I remembered, when things flowered. A 5 year diary gives further insight, but the blog itself contains not only a comprehensive photographic record but also a search facility where I can quickly track down specific plants or tasks, whilst the continual uploading of photographs has seen my photo editing skills improve from non-existent to half-decent.

Not surprisingly, my plant knowledge has expanded perhaps a hundredfold – well no, that’s just a random figure, but you get the picture! Exchanging comments, reading other blogs, following up links, all these have contributed to my now seemingly vast knowledge (which nevertheless pales into insignificance compared to that of some bloggers who know who they are!) of a huge range of plants. I have learned to love roses, tulips, dahlias, certain chrysanthemums and other plants I might previously have shunned – I even found myself admiring a well-pruned forsythia today!

This leads on to the greatest benefit of my blog: the camaraderie of all those who read and comment on it regularly and especially my blogging friends, who have all contributed to the benefits already mentioned in one way or another. Sharing or exchanging information or advice, offering support in many guises, generously sharing and exchanging plants and seeds – the list is long. Not just publicly through our blogs, but by email and exciting little packages in the post, and sometimes in person too. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

From the top, blooms used are: unnamed pulmonaria, Scilla siberica ‘Alba’, Bellis perennis, ex-potted hyacinth, Fritillaria meliagris, Cyclamen coum, Narcissus (probably Bridal Crown), Hellebore ‘Ashwood Single White Picotee Dark Nectaries). The test tubes are inserted in a display stand made for me by the Golfer that usually houses crystal points


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51 Responses to Eight Years and More Than Eight Benefits

  1. tonytomeo says:

    After two decades of writing my garden column, as newspapers declined, I also appreciate the camaraderie of blogging now. It is not quite the same, but is nice in another way.

  2. tidalscribe says:

    Happy anniversary; a lovely selection of delicate spring flowers.

  3. Thepotter says:

    Happy Anniversary Cathy, only been following you for 3 years but loved every post. I’m self isolating and feeling low so your blog will be even more important to me in the weeks to come.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh that’s so kind of you to say so; I am aware that there are people who follow the blog but don’t comment so it is nice to hear that it is appreciated. Take care – there are difficult and surreal times ahead

  4. Jennifer Tetlow Stone Sculpture says:

    Happy eight years! And thankyou for your wonderful blog

  5. mwarren2@bellsouth.net says:


    Thank you so very much for your wonderful blog! Your horticultural information is great and the photos are beautiful. You take so much time with details – it is incredible. Please continue many more years.

    I live in Greenville, SC – however have enjoyed several tours In your country. Many days, your blog makes my day very happy.


    Marguerite P. Warren

    • Cathy says:

      Aw,thanks. I try to write as I think, more like a diary I suppose, so it is good to hear that you find it useful. Replying to comments is important to me, as people have made the effort to read and respond in the first pace

  6. bcparkison says:

    Time flies doesn’t it. At least you know the ‘real’ names of your flowers..Me? I just say..You know that pretty yellow one over there.? lol

    • Cathy says:

      It amazes me sometimes how many plant names I do know, but I am definitely not infallable! But I do like to have my plants labelled – and to buy plants that are named – so that must contribute and help the names stick in my mind

  7. johnvic8 says:

    Happy Anniversary. I always look forward to your posts. Please continue to take good care of your/my golfing buddy.

  8. Cathy says:

    You’ve certainly found the right words at the right time here, Cathy. And interesting, as always. Happy blogging anniversary!

  9. It is a lovely community

  10. Anna says:

    Oh is it really eight years Cathy! Tempus fugit and all that. Many congratulations on your blog anniversary and do say a special thanks to that friend who set you on that blogging journey. It’s always a pleasure to come here xxx

  11. Kris Peterson says:

    Congratulations Cathy! I’m glad you jumped in – and ever happier that I followed you when you started the IAVOM meme.

  12. Eliza Waters says:

    Happy Blogiversary, Cathy! So glad to have come across your blog and its very popular IAVOM. Here’s to many more years of blogging!

  13. restlessjo says:

    8 years in common, yet I don’t think we’ve ever ‘met’, Cathy? Pleased to meet you 🙂 🙂 I wandered here from Jude’s blog and stopped to admire the fritillaries. Have a safe Spring!

  14. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Happy Blogiversary. I only found your blog a year or so ago. I have been thoroughly entertained and I enjoy seeing what is going on in your garden. I have even learned things from your posts. I admire you willingness to change, do and redo your garden. You writing is easy to read and welcoming. Here is to another 8 years…Cheers

  15. Sam says:

    Here’s to at least 8 more years of blogging, Cathy. I love visiting here, reading your words and seeing what you’re up to in your garden. I don’t mind telling you that IAVOM has got me through some dark times. Thank you x

    • Cathy says:

      You are so welcome, Sam. And isn’t it strange how a simple thing like IAVOM can touch people the way it often does?

  16. alison41 says:

    Happy Anniversary and I hope you keep on blogging for the next 8 years. You have given pleasure to many people.

  17. Chloris says:

    Happy Anniversary dear Cathy and congratulations on 8 years blogging. It is indeed a wonderful way to keep a record of the garden. And lovely to write and read about gardens and meet like minded friends around the globe. Even more important now in these dangerous times, we can chat and look at each others’ gardens in safety. And what pleasure you have given to people with your inspired idea of IAVOM. Keep up the good work.

  18. Cathy says:

    This is such a lovely post Cathy. Happy anniversary! Your rambles and vases on Monday have brought me so much pleasure over the past years and I have met so many other blogging friends via your blog! 😃 Thank you! xx

  19. Heyjude says:

    Happy blogoversary Cathy! I am so happy to be one of your blogging friends. We learn so much from each other without judgement. A safe place for us all to share ideas, photos, successes and tribulations and enjoy each other’s gardens. I’ll never be one of the IAVOM gang as I loathe cutting my flowers in the garden, but I am more than happy to join in with the chatter and admire the blooms. Hoping we all get through what is turning out to be one of the most insane moments of our lifetime with the support of everyone we have made friends with over the years. Congratulations!! 🎈💐🌷🎉 and here’s to another 8 years 😁

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Jude – and your honesty about IAVOM!! Several others thought the same about cutting their blooms too, but ended up taking the plunge…

  20. Congratulations Cathy for your eight years of blog !!!! Make it another 8 more! Cathy has been following your blog for three years now and I have learned a lot from it, apart from how well I spend reading it and seeing its wonderful photos. From the blog IAVOM knew another magnificent work of yours. I love the flowers on the blog. Congratulations Cathy. Take care. Greetings from Margarita x

  21. ldr13 says:

    Beautiful blooms. Gardening is also my happy place – I can’t wait for Spring so I can get back out there. Congrats on 8 years! 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you – and we have space and fresh air in gardens too, which we will apreciate even more in the coming months

  22. Noelle says:

    Happy Anniversary Cathy. Gardening, writing, and other activities documented in an ‘open diary’ is one of the pleasures of sharing and blogging, as you have so eloquently put. For me one of the great pleasuring in my blogging has been your IAVOM meme and the ability of joining in with some lovely IAVOM friends.

    • Cathy says:

      This comment and your one on my Monday vase were languishing in my spam folder, so apologies for my late replies! I am so pleased that you too get pleasure from IAVOM and blogging generally and it was good to have been able to have met up before you moved a little further away!

  23. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Cathy Lovely to read your anniversary post! I’ve missed posting recently as just too busy with work which the current situation makes feel rather silly! I’m currently holed up in Richmond with the ‘children’ with the OH on the IOW with the dogs and all my unplanted seeds!
    Stay safe x

    • Cathy says:

      Good to hear from you Jenny – it must seem even more surreal for you being separated from everything at your IOW home. Will your seeds get sown in your absence, I wonder? Any Winter Sunshine sweet peas this year – and mason bees?

  24. shankar019 says:

    Congratulations. That’s some achievement.

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