I am one of those gardeners for whom the new year is like a starting gate catapulting open in a horse race. Waking up on January 1st is the point at which the door is released and the prize-winning filly hurtles towards the finishing line, only in my case I'm a mare running like the clappers towards the seed catalogues, and there is nothing prize-winning about me (my track record with raffle tickets speaks for itself).
I had planned to focus solely on ornamental seeds during early January, but my head has already been turned by edibles. Pipiche is an attractive Mexican herb, so it might be considered ornamental, but Carosello looks like a hairy cucumber. Had I resolved to exercise more self-control, I would have failed in my resolution on day one. Thankfully, the older I get, the more resolved I become to never make a resolution, which is a resolution in itself. It only goes to show how unsuccessful resolutions can be.
When I started blogging I had no clear idea of what I was trying to achieve. I knew that I wanted to share the joy of gardening with nature in mind. All of the photos in this post were taken over the festive period. Had I cut back and tidied the plants in autumn instead of leaving them to provide food and shelter for our wilder friends, imagine how flat and dull my garden would have been. I might not win any raffles, but the wildlife and the sight of the plants on a frosty morn makes me feel like a winner.
It took a few months for me to pluck up the courage to publish my first post. I chose the easiest platform I could find and didn’t commit myself to a domain name. I had read blogs for some time and I really loved the blogosphere. I still do. Being part of this global community has taught me to be a better gardener. Now I want to learn to be a better blogger, so I am starting the year by asking for your advice.
If I were to change the blogging platform, are there pitfalls I should watch out for? Would adding a culinary section to the mix be a good idea? What about historical posts and comments - do they travel well? Have you ever changed the name of your blog? If so, was that an issue? What works and what doesn't about this blog? You may quite rightly be concluding that I have as much of a clue about what I’m doing as I have about growing that hairy cucumber lookalike, Carosello. Of course, if you have any advice on growing Carosello, it will be more than gratefully received.
Perhaps I should leave The Gardening Shoe well alone and go and focus on something more predictable, like selecting veggies to grow in 2017. The most predictable aspect of which will be the addition of a couple of ornamentals to the edible list. After all, there is bound to be something I forgot to order while I was getting sidetracked by Carosello and Pipiche. Such is the nature of seed catalogues and good intentions.
Thank you for all your encouragement and support over the years. Wishing you health and happiness in 2017. I look forward to reading your blogs and salivating over your beautiful photos this year. Here's to you!