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.