Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Joys of Blogging

Garden blogging has been such a great pastime for me since .....December 7th, 2008!  Time sure flies. Thought I would get my post done for this yesterday...but I had no idea what the 'date' was...or rather hadn't paid too much attention to it.  Oops.  So happy belated Blogiversary to me!  Five years have gone by quickly.  I have been enjoying being a part of the garden blogging community.

Some of the garden blogging community got together this past Friday to celebrate South Carolina's Arbor Day.  This was the third year I have gone to USC Upstate to listen to the speaker, the first time was Dr. Michael Dirr, second year Traci DiSaboto-Aust, and this year was Dr. Alan Armitage.

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The treat was meeting fellow bloggers at the speaker program.  Last year I met with Julie Thompson-Adolf - Growing Days and this year not only Julie but Daricia McKnight - A Charlotte Garden and Karin Hicks - Southern Meadows came to the Arbor Day presentation.   Julie, Daricia and I have met before at the past two Flings but we hadn't met Karin in person before this past Friday.   It was a lot of fun, such nice ladies!  We talked about past and future Flings...Portland is next... can't wait; about blogging and the technical side of the blogs...like adding alt text to our photos; and of course we talked about plants.   We also made plans to meet again soon.

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Our Garden Blogger Flings have been a lot of fun, seeing gardening- large and small, hearing representatives talk about new plants and of course getting to know bloggers from near and far.  After the Asheville Fling many of us received some plants from Southern Living to trial in our gardens.  You might remember my Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress' and it getting eaten by deer.  Sad -- I really like the yellow blooms during the winter.   Southern Living sent more plants this year.  I received two more Mahonia eurybracteata 'Soft Caress', a Loropetalum 'Purple Pixie' and a Carex oshimensis 'Everillo'.
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All packaged -- arriving in great condition.  Now where to plant my new goodies?   Before planting, I kept them in my holding area.   Loving that bold yellow foliage on the Carex.  The yellow blooms on the Mahonia and the yellow foliage are super... quite the complement to the purple leaves of the Loropetalum.

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Before planting  I sprayed my newbies with some Bobbex, a deer repellent.  This one is supposed to be 'rainproof'.  I will spray them again once the rain quits for a few days.  

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 Here is what those poor babies look like from last year--- still might come back, still crossing my fingers.  They have been sprayed, marked with sticks, protected with some leaves or a log to keep dogs and people from walking on them.
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This one is a lot smaller...but I have faith that it will come back...as long as I have deer-proof spray on it.
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In a location up the hillside from the other Mahonia, the new ones are planted.  
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The Carex is planted along the edge of the pathway through the garden.  A nice bright bit of foliage in the shady garden.
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The Loropetalum needs more sunlight, so it is planted in the front garden...next to two other 'Purple Pixie' plants.  
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Since planting these new plants we have had some cold weather, not as harsh as some parts of the country, but cold nonetheless.   Checking on the M. 'Soft Caress'  I see they have experienced some cold damage

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The frost-bitten leaves have fallen off and those leaves/branches that were covered with leaves are fine.  I have heaped more leaves over the remaining plants to continue protecting them from further cold weather.  The Carex and Loropetalum survived the 20 degree temperatures just fine.  Will check on the plants all through the winter and give updates.

Earlier this fall I had the pleasure of participating in a podcast with John Markowski from An Obsessive Neurotic Gardener who interviewed me, Julie, and Mia - Modern Mia Gardening.  If you have about 45 minutes, give it a listen.  John has five podcasts done now and you can find them in the sidebar on his blog.  He is a fun interviewer.  If you like the podcasts, offer yourself as the next interviewee.  

As I said, garden blogging is a lot of fun and you meet some nice people.  

©Copyright 2013 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

47 comments:

  1. Love that Soft Caress. Sorry to miss Spartanburg again, but I was having a fine time in NYC.

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    1. I saw you were in NYC, looked like a good time. Our next gathering will be at the GGMG Symposium...have signed up for your lecture.

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    1. Thanks Tina! Hard to believe it has been 5 years.

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  3. Congratulations on five years Janet! It's been a delight knowing you on line and getting to see you and visit at Flings! Love the plants SL sent you. I am hoping the Loropetalum survives the serious cold we got after I planted mine! xogail

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    1. Gail, I enjoyed meeting you as well, hope to see your garden sometime....maybe soon. I will cross my figners for your Loropetalum.

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  4. I'm so glad we all could get together! It's always such a pleasure to spend time with you--I wish we were neighbors, we'd have so much fun in the garden together. Thanks for driving to Spartanburg for Arbor Day. Love your trial plants, especially envious of the 'Soft Caress.' Hope those deer stay away! Looking forward to seeing you soon.

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    1. Julie, it was fun getting together. It would be fun to be closer...we could get in all sorts of gardening trouble. See you soon!

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  5. Congratulations on your 5 years! That is an impressive milestone. It was such a thrill to hang out with you for the day. I am looking forward to doing it again soon and to participating in the fling in Portland! xx

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    1. Karin, thanks so much! It is a great milestone. It was wonderful meeting you and spending the day with you. Here's to future adventures!

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  6. Happy Blogaversary, Janet! It's such fun meeting other bloggers. I hope to see you again in Portland.

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    1. Alison, thanks, yes it has been fun. I plan on coming to Portland...it is my birthday present. :-)

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  7. Happy blogging anniversary! Five years is a big one!

    As I read your post, I had a thought about your baby Soft Caress Mahonias - I've started collected cheap, old, almost falling apart egg baskets (the sort that are about basketball net size) and putting them over plants that need protection from rabbits. It's rather a "shabby chic" sort of garden look (or junktique, if you prefer), which may not be your idea of beauty (!), but it does a great job of protecting plants that are small enough to fit inside. On the plus side, I don't have to fuss with the traditional chicken wire cages and, seriously, it looks a whole lot better than THAT esthetic. Obviously the Mahonia will, hopefully, rapidly outgrow its protection, but at least it would allow the plants to get established roots in place which would hopefully make them more resistant to deer damage.

    When is the Portland fling - and do they allow newbies to join in, or do you have to have a special invitation?

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    1. Cynthia, thanks! Your idea of baskets over the small plants is a good one. Will remember that when I am out and about if I see some old baskets.
      The Fling is open to all garden bloggers. YES newbies are welcome!!!! I will send you the link to the Garden Bloggers Fling blog site....all updates will be shared there. Would love for you to come.

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    2. Thanks so much, Janet! It's probably a pipe dream for me, but I'd love to join the fun.

      FYI, the egg baskets I'm referring to are very open, metal containers - basically heavy-duty metal wire "buckets" about 18" in diameter and 12-14" deep.

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  8. So...you will be coming to Portland and I will get to meet you in the flesh...hooray! Until then, your blog (Happy Anniversary!) lets me feel that I already know you and your garden pretty well.

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    1. Ricki, yes, planning on Portland, looking forward to meeting you too! Such fun.

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  9. Congratulations on five years of blogging. Love the replacements. Here's hoping they all do well in this crazy weather.

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    1. Carolyn, thanks so much. I am glad to have received the replacements....hoping they are happy and don't get eaten! Crazy weather is such an understatement!

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  10. Oh, hasn't garden blogging been fun? And I've totally enjoyed getting to know other garden bloggers through the Fling, too. And for those of us in the Carolinas, how great to join a group for Arbor Day!

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    1. Lisa, is has been fun. The Flings have been great, but local 'field trips' have been great too. We are hoping to see you at the GGMG Gardening Symposium in February.

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  11. Congratulations on your Blogaversary! How fun to meet up with fellow bloggers at the conference; I agree, meeting with other bloggers is such a treat. I'm looking forward to Portland, too! Love your mahonia; I hope the deer stay away from them this year. The two azaleas I received from Southern Living this year have gotten some extra care, too--not from the deer, but from the cold. They're snuggled in burlap "cages" that I hope keep them warm during these frigid temps.

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    1. Rose, thanks so much. We had a good time and really looking forward to Portland. Glad to see you are going. Hope your azaleas survive this winter's blast. Good for you to snuggle them in burlap cages.

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  12. Happy anniversary! I'll have to listen to the podcast.

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    1. Great Sweetbay! Hope you like it. And thanks.

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  13. Happy blogiversary to you! Are giving away the gorgeous golden Carex in honor 5 years? I have several places it might look good, just let me know.

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    1. Les, nope, this one is going in my garden. Hoping it does well.

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  14. Janet, that's a great picture of the four of you at the conference. Would love to meet up with the you guys sometime since I'm not faraway, especially if visiting my mom. Congratulations on your five years of blogging! I have a similar looking mahonia that I got from Dr. Gentling. It is unnamed, but similarly thin-leaved. Have always disliked mahonias for their sharp leaves and the way their seedings invade surrounding areas, but these soft-leaved varieties are much nicer. Happy holidays to you!

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    1. DJ, we will have to remind ourselves next year when Arbor Day rolls around. That would be great. I am not surprised that Dr. Gentling had one of these Mahonias.

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  15. I enjoyed so much getting together with you and Julie and Karin! Looking forward to the next time already. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I had no idea I started before you did??? You were already well known on Blotanical when I got there! You've got charisma! :) Good photo of Dr. Armitage, btw. Mine are too terrible to use. Thanks again for letting me know about the Arbor Day event. I'm so glad I was able to go!

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    1. Daricia, I enjoyed it a lot too. Charisma? haha ok. Hope we can do Arbor Day again.

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  16. How lovely to be able to meet up in person. I do hope your deer spray works, so disheartening to lose plants to the wretched deer. Though they do taste good... Soft caress is on my wishlist, though I seem to have filled the space I had earmarked for it! I'm sure I will find a spot somewhere.

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    1. Janet, it is great meeting fellow bloggers. Maybe one day we will meet! Yes, the deer are nasty critters.

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  17. Happy Anniversary Janet...boy am I late catching up. I think meeting bloggers virtually has been such fun...it keeps me blogging!! Maybe someday I will get to an event.

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    1. Donna @GEV, I am even later in responding! Hoping you make a blogger event sometime soon.

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  18. I would so love to meet other bloggers! I'm still hoping I can make it Portland this year but don't think ti's going to happen. :( Merry Christmas from VA!! :o)

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    1. Tammy, you should check out some of the bloggers in your neck of the woods. There are a few. Portland is in July....come!!

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  19. Merry Christmas Janet and happy blogiversary! Five years- that's a nice milestone. It must have been great fun to meet up with other bloggers. Hope the spray works deer don't nibble on the new plants. All the best for 2014!

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    1. Jennifer, thanks and Happy Valentine's Day! The spray has worked so far. All the best to you as well.

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  20. Merry Christmas and congrats on 5 years! Sounds like you had a blast at the arbor day festivities. Some really great speakers you've listed. I was surprised to read that the deer had gone after mahonia. When I lived on the west coast it was a native plant and deer wouldn't go near the stuff - too prickly I think. Wonder if your cultivar isn't as spiny? Best of luck with the sprays and hopefully your plants will recover.

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    1. Marguerite, thanks so much. Yes, we did have a good time at the Arbor Day event, speaker was great and friends were super! So far so good with the spray. Crossing my fingers for it to continue.

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  21. Ooops, I am late! Janet, happy 5th Blogiversary! Your blog is a well of information about plants, especially trees! I learned a lot from it! Thank you Janet and have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
    P.S. I've never heard about Bobbex. Need to try!

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    1. Tatyana, I am late too! thanks! You are most kind. The Bobbex has worked so far.

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  22. Happy Blogiversary — just a little late (ha). I took off for the holidays and am trying to catch back up - with my blog and reading blogs. I received those plants as well, and luckily, the deer left my mahonia alone. Interesting — but then every single deer or herd is different! Happy New Year.

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    1. Diana, it appears I have taken off more than just the holidays! Still needing to read a lot of posts! That poor Mahonia hasn't done well with this winter's single digit weather. I have lot of plant freeze burn. Hoping the plants will pull through.

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  23. I'm going to the Bloggers Fling! I hope to meet you there. :o)

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    1. Oh Tammy I am so glad you are going!!!!! See you there!

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