Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy 2nd anniversary...

The golden, silky petals of a double Icelandic poppy, Papaver nudicaule, almost ready to be carried away by the wind.
After a couple of hectic weeks of driving my girls to their summer camps and then having our house full of friends, I almost missed the second anniversary of my blog. I was trying to remember the reason for starting it, but could not come up with nothing more exotic than a pinch of loneliness caused by moving into a new country, and maybe a dash of curiosity about getting something out there... It felt a bit like I was sending my own tiny messenger satellite out to the boundless space of connected gardeners and other like-minded souls and waiting if there would be any signals back.
The name of my blog, The Intercontinental Gardener, was something of a joke from the beginning, referring to the relatively nomadic gardening life I've led so far (both Nomad and Nomadic Gardener were in use those days, even if they both now have disappeared from the blogging universe). At times, I've felt tempted to change it to something more relaxed... I mean, some days I've definitely felt more like "Garden Punk" or "Heavy Petal" than the proper "Intercontinental Gardener". But somehow the name stuck, and now it would feel strange to see anything else on the top of the page.
Looks like this guy is sticking its tongue out...
During these two years, I've connected with many talented, writing garden people. Karen (Greenwalks) was one of my earliest commenting visitors. Being a natural connector, she organized Seattle area bloggers to meet at irregular intervals, which is how I came to know Daniel (Daniel Mount Gardens), Jean (Jean Bradbury) and many others here. In the early days, Tina (the Garden Design Chronicle) from New Zealand was living in Melbourne, and her beautiful blog felt like a wonderful greeting from the town where I had spent four wonderful years. Nilla (then the Reluctant Gardener, now Utanpunkt), won my heart with her insightful writing and exquisite photos, and not surprisingly, she is now working on a collection of novels. I can't wait to get to read them in print. Alice Joyce's amazingly energetic travel blog Bay Area Tendrils gave ideas for gardens to be visited on my trips to California. Ruben (Rubens Rabatter) always manages to make me glad with his sympathetic posts, and James Golden's (View from Federal Twist) quite philosophic posts about his wonderfully sensitive, naturalistic garden are a constant inspiration, that I will keep in mind when I start working with my own garden in Sweden again.
*A dark maroon, speckled and nameless lily from Marian's garden.
Of many visitors I will never know more than the country and city address they leave on the tracker of my blog. Many of them land on my blog by searching for "Fergus Garret", "Villa Mairea" or "Daniel Hinkley, Windcliff" (all three top key words for finding this blog - amazingly, the word "stumpery" also get many hits...). Some come from faraway, exotic places that I sometimes search myself to see where they are. Some come from places that I have a personal connection to. For example, I would love to know who visited from Iittala, a small town in Finland where both my mother and the famous Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto come from. Or, who visited from the tiny, dusty village of Birregurra in the rainless countryside of Victoria. It felt like a distant, eucalyptus-scented greeting from an unknown friend. While living in Australia, we often stopped at this sleepy village on our way from Melbourne to Apollo Bay, bought a cup of coffee from the old ladies at the local coffee shop and let the girls have romp at the playground before entering the last, winding miles that lead to the beaches of the Great Ocean Road. The improbable name of Birregurra brought vivid memories back, and I would dearly have wanted to ask how things were back there, and if the drought had loosened its grip.
So what now, after two years and 126 posts? I'm not sure. I sometimes ask myself if I should be blogging at all, as it can be extremely time consuming. But at the same time, it feels like keeping a living log about my thoughts of all things related to gardens and gardening. I love the spontaneity and directness of posting my little writings; it is so completely different from the long and laborious process of getting something out in print. So I guess I will just keep writing, one post at a time, and see where this blogging life is going to take me.


Tankar från Trädgårdsmästarn; Hillevi said...

självklart vill vi att du ska fortsätta ditt bloggande!
Jag började blogga i januari, och hittade dig någon gång då genom Ruben eller Nilla. I början hade jag ingen aning att du va svensktalande, vilket kom som e överraskning:-)
Dina inlägg är alltid lika intressanta, (och min irritation är just nu stor att de kommer till mig med två dagars fördröjning...)
Mitt favoritinlägg har varit många, men kanske ändå historien om Pearl grep mig mest... Hur hade jag annars fått denna historia om inte genom dig.
Så tack!! för alla fina inlägg, hoppas på fler!
Stoort grattis till tvåårsdagen!

Ha det gott, Hillevi.

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Tack, Hillevi, de var snälla ord. Visst är det härligt att man kan mötas så här, och känna nästan som man träffat varandra... Vi trädgårdsmänniskor är ett speciellt släkte, tycker jag, och Pearl var verkligen ett utmärkt exemplar, vilken livskunskap och visdom han utstrålade. Kanske kommer vi alla dit, efter några årtionden till? Även om jag egentligen tycker om naturliga trädgård, med bara några få tuktade accenter, så är hans trädgård som ett egendomligt konstverk. Ha en härlig helg!

Matron said...

I just love those Icelandic poppies, and that double is amazing. I was a guest at one of the first SAGBUTT meetings last year! I was visiting from London. If you see Karen and the rest of the group say Hi!

Lavender and Vanilla Friends of the Gardens said...

congratulations...two years and counting...how time flies. Love the poppies, such beautiful flowers. I think only the Californian poppies are available here now. All the others are banned. Happy gardening.

Unknown said...

Hej, nu vet jag inte vad som är bäst, jag är tysk och bor i Sverige sedan Juni 2006...jag tror att jag ska hålla mig till svenska då, även om risken är större att det dyker upp mera gramatiska fel än på engelska,men.. so be it. Vet du vad, du har en helt underbar blogg och jag tycker som Hillevi att det är inte bara obligatoriskt att du fortsätter skriver.
Ha det så bra, I read you !

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Titania, wonderful to hear from you again. I have to check what you are up to for the moment! I just read about the problems with desalination of seawater in Australia, and felt quite disappointed; I had thought it sounded like a wonderful thing for the driest continent, surrounded with nothing but seawater..