Today marks the fifth anniversary of My Northern Garden. I started the blog in September 2007 at a time when garden blogs were sprouting up like dandelions in May, five years after Kathy Purdy started Cold Climate Gardening, which is probably the oldest garden blog for northern gardeners.
While I’ve often written about trends, plants and tips from experts, most of the previous 617 posts stemmed from what was happening in my own garden, whether that involved an unexpected pest, a plant I loved or a disaster in the garden.
Some garden bloggers have suggested recently that garden blogs don’t matter much in the days of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I don’t agree. Social media is essentially a directory of links with commentary attached. You’ve got to link to something, and “content,” as reporting and writing is now called, has to come from somewhere. So, I plan to continue to blog, to reflect on my gardening experiences and those of others around me.
Things certainly have changed over five years in my garden and in my life. I’ve gone from having two active teenagers at home to an empty nest. I’ve lost one beloved dog and embraced a second, very different canine. I’ve expanded every garden bed I have and added one completely new one since 2007.”Less grass to mow,” is my mantra, and my husband agreeably goes along with that. I’m moving toward more native plants and have given up on the idea that I will have anything like a cottage garden in this house. We’re on a prairie that become a cornfield that became a neighborhood, so I’m moving my yard slowly back toward its roots.
I’m always intrigued by which posts most interest blog readers. Unfortunately, I switched blog formats in December 2009, so I do not have complete statistics for the blog, but my estimate is about 50,000 people have been here at one time or another. I appreciate every one of those visitors. Very popular stories over the years have included those about red-twig dogwood and those about how to design a holiday container. Posts with recipes are always popularity, especially this one. In the past year, my most popular topics have been the changing climate zones, garden trends and the straw-bale gardens I put in this year.
I’m not sure where blogging will be in another five years — or me or my garden, for that matter. But I’m excited to find out!