A Commitment

Around the end of January I passed the four year anniversary for this blog.  There wasn’t a big celebration to mark the date, nor a small one, and to be honest I wasn’t really sure where to go from there but I guess I finally have.  Just to state the obvious, this blog doesn’t have any rigorously defined purpose or goals so I can’t say weather it’s been a success or not, but one day it started and it’s been going ever since.  At the time I just wanted a spot to go on a little too much about favorite plants and plantings and a space to ramble on a little too long about things I find interesting and looking back I think I’ve been staying exactly on message.  Pretty impressive if you ask me, but it brings me around to the title of this post.  In case you’re wondering the commitment mentioned is that I finally signed up for the bona fide paid version of WordPress.  The free version I’d been using was nearly out of storage space and it was either that, delete old posts, or start a new blog.  For about $3 a month I decided to keep plodding on.

self seeded phlox

Last August’s view of my least favorite garden bed. 

I suppose now is as good a time as any for a quick look back on how the blog is going, and the painful truth is it hasn’t turned into the moneymaker I was hoping for.  There have been few if any lucrative endorsements, I haven’t developed any ‘SortalikeSuburbia’ product lines, and the movie deal my friend was so sure of has yet to materialize.  I feel bad about the last one especially since he was so determined to play himself in the big screen version.  I hope he’s not too disappointed when I break the news to him.

messy flower bed

This spring it’s as far as I got with the cleanup.  There just wasn’t enough vim or vigor left to tidy up a bed when you just don’t care about it. 

So my blog is officially worth $3 a month to me, even if it does sometimes remind me that parts of my garden looked better off before than after.  For $3 a month I do enjoy scrolling back during the winter and reliving past seasons and flowers, but the more valuable part is I get to enjoy all the blogging friendships I’ve made along the way.  Friendships are always good, and plant friends are the best, even when they’re the kind of friends who have nicer things and you keep trying to duplicate them… which of course I can’t blame them for since there’s a 99% chance I would have kept adding more plants even without them 🙂

planting grass seed

Anything which didn’t thrill me was composted.  It’s been a rough spring for the underperformers and this bed was no exception.  I even tossed a fothergilla and some Siberian iris in order to plant grass, so if anything this bed will at least look neater than before… although it’s only the second time ever that beds have been turned back to lawn!

So four more years of questionable content, mediocre writing, and aimless ramblings, and hopefully somewhere along the way a few good things come out of it.  You never know about those movie deals!

grassy slope

Another area which might need more commitment…  I’m kind of curious to see how this rock hard, sterile fill behind my MIL’s yard develops.  It was a pleasantly weedy meadow before, but after the fill was dumped I needed a pickaxe to level and grade.  Once life gets a toehold here I think it will be a great spot again, you’ll have to trust me on that one.

It’s been rainy and cool here this weekend, but with a pile of mulch to spread the cool part doesn’t sound too bad.  Unfortunately the mulch is for next door, so no excitement here but maybe a few new plants will be snuck in to break up the monotony of fresh mulch beds.  It will be my community service for the week 🙂

26 comments on “A Commitment

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Congrats on four years plus and joining the ‘big kids’ on WP. 😉 No more ads!
    Looks like you have your work cut out for you…good luck!

  2. johnvic8 says:

    Your blog is fun and pertinent. Four years…hooray! Keep it going. Am glad we are blogofriends.

  3. Cathy says:

    Congratulations on four years Frank! I just renewed my ‘commitment’ after running out of space for photos this time last year… I deleted a couple of old photos and chewed it over for a few days, but decided all hobbies cost something!
    I can’t quite believe you made that flower bed smaller Frank… I do hope you will compensate for the lost space by reclaiming it somewhere else in the garden! 😉

    • bittster says:

      I went through the same process. I suppose paying for something which had been free is always a big step but here’s how I worked through it. Each week I am eliminating one unhealthy snack from the work vending machine. I’m actually saving money on the new plan! 😉
      You make a good point on compensating for the lost space. If I can keep the other beds under control through June I think I have earned the right to dig up a new bed! -of course I already have two spots in mind 🙂

  4. Christina says:

    Congratulations on the four years and a couple of months. I love how you write so please don’t think about giving up, commitment at $3 per month is not bad value is it. Just think of all the blogging friends you’ve made.

    • bittster says:

      Thanks Christine. You’re right, the $3 I give to WordPress is probably the best financial decision I make each month and the friendships are worth so much more. -I just need more time to visit! Lately I just don’t seem to be able to get around to other blogs like I used to…

  5. I had to do the same thing two years ago because I ran out of storage space! Must be something about that 4 year mark! July will mark my 6th year of blogging! Hard to believe it’s been that long since I first showed the world my rock garden! It is great fun to look back and see the progress and changes you’ve made, and it’s a great resource when you can’t remember the name of that particular daffodil or coreopsis! I’d like a supporting role in that movie, by the way! You can list me in the credits as “Woman Scared of Snake”!

    • bittster says:

      Isn’t it scary how fast the time flies? I still remember my first post…. and then the panic when I saw that other people were viewing it! Slowly I’ve been coming out of the cloud of anonymity and admitting I’m a little obsessed with gardening. Isn’t that one of the twelve steps of recovery?
      I got a good laugh later in the day thinking back to the snake incident. Didn’t see that coming 🙂
      Doesn’t everyone just pick up stray snakes and toss them aside while digging plants?

  6. Lisa Rest says:

    Thanks for making the commitment, Frank. I’m so glad you’re here and staying with it. I love your blog and who knows, now without the advertising in the way maybe your movie deal will happen. Then we can all say we knew you when. 🙂

    • bittster says:

      Haha, I’ll have a bird scene in the movie and we can work you into a role 😉
      Deep down inside I’m a closet birder, I just don’t like getting up early. Maybe I should consider owls, but fortunately I can enjoy it second hand through your blog!

      • Lisa Rest says:

        I hate getting up early too. But even though it renders me hopeless for the rest of the day it’s often worth it. So I’ll try to keep getting up early enough so you can see the closet birds. 🙂

  7. Phew! When I saw the title of that post, I was afraid it was gonna be about “too many other commitments, something’s got to give” and I was quite relieved to hear your blog is still one of your commitments, because it’s one of my must reads. Keep up with the rambling, the plant buying, and the eternal optimism.

    • bittster says:

      Thanks Kathy, that means a lot since I suspect my pointless rambling is not always to everyone’s taste. When things get bad around here it’s usually all the other things which get sidelined not the garden… although sometimes I do cut out a nursery visit.
      Keep up the plant buying”? No problem!

  8. Lisa says:

    Ditto. I was afraid this was a Dear Plant-Friends letter. Phew! I depend on the daffodil pictures and commentary mid-Winter. 😀

    • bittster says:

      🙂 Thanks Lisa, that means a lot!
      I just received a bulb list from Oakwood daffodils this week, I’m sure I’ll be ordering a few new ones this year even after muttering for weeks about having too many… no surprise in that I’m sure.
      I suspect you already have a few daffodils. Have you ever ordered from Oakwood?

      • Lisa says:

        No, but thank you for alerting me to them. I ordered “Orangery”, “Flower Drift”, “Manly”, “Irene Copeland” and “Mary Copeland” this year. Manly and Irene were my favourite. Love! But, will check out this Oakwood, too!

  9. Chloris says:

    Well done on 4 years. I am glad you are committed to carrying on, it is a bit addictive isn’ t it? Anyway who would you talk snowdrops to if you didn’t’ t have a blog?

    • bittster says:

      Blogging is addicting. Once I get started I enjoy the writing, but back in my school days I would have never thought. Another thing I really enjoy is spending those cold winter days going back through all the old posts on my own and other blogs. The winter goes so much faster, but the mind gets onto bad ideas and falls under bad influences.
      Blogging has been the worst thing for my snowdrop thing. I go on way too much when I think I have an audience and it only encourages me to go on more. You will be disappointed next spring when you see how much further I’ve sunk. It has not been a good buying season now that I’ve discovered new sources, and even one or two here and there adds up.

  10. Congrats on making it to four years and glad to hear you will be continuing. I always look forward to seeing what you’re growing and what you have to say.

  11. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Most people think that gardeners should be committed for their strange interest in things like snowdrops and the like but that’s a different thing altogether. Congratulations on over four years of sharing your green passion. Garden blogging friends are pretty darned cool and one of the best parts of this whole blogging thing. Love reading your posts!

    • bittster says:

      Thanks Peter. Blogging has really let me know that I’m not alone in this garden obsession thing. I really enjoy your posts as well and love hearing about all the fun you have visiting, shopping, and gardening. I also love how you just pull over and start snapping pictures of a wisteria covered tree or bamboo grove… and then peek over the fence for a better look. I need more friends like that in my life!

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