Thanks for the memories! by Elizabeth Licata

The four of us in my garden, 2007

The four of us in my garden, 2007

Ah, the early days of garden blogging. I started in 2005. Facebook was about a year old; Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest were yet to be born. The reason I started is that I had been forced to sign up with Blogger in order to participate in a class as a guest lecturer ( it made sense at the time). Then I decided that this was the place where I could start an online diary of my gardening efforts, which I had been wanting to document-in a digital format-for some time. The first year of posting on Gardening While Intoxicated was pretty quiet, with a burst of excitement (at least from me) when Garden Walk Buffalo came along. I realized that year-round posting about whatever I was growing or not growing might get boring, and I found some other, related, topics.

Susan and me in Chicago, 2009

Susan and me in Chicago, 2009

2006 was the year garden bloggers seemed to start really noting each other. There was a Gardenweb section called Garden Voices, which dragged in all the feeds; you could easily scroll through and read what people all over the place were saying about their gardens and-sometimes-gardening in general. It was the latter than interested me more; in fact, I got into trouble by casually commenting that most people were just “showing off their gardens” (and I added “which is cool,” but everybody forgot that part). This is when I started reading the blogs of the Garden Rant founders, who always had interesting things to say-Michele in Sign of the Shovel referring to peonies as “drunks at the rail,” Susan in Tacoma Gardener relating her sod removal efforts, Amy in Dirt talking about chickens, which was kind of a new thing in city gardens then. The three founded Garden Rant in June, 2006, I wrote my first guest post in September, and I was invited to join the group at the end of the year.

A panel we did at the IGC conference, 2010

A panel we did at the IGC conference, 2010

We all got together for the first time in 2007 at Garden Walk Buffalo and continued to meet at a few conferences and Flings (mainly Susan and me); we even gave a panel once.

This Buffalo front garden was the subject of several posts when it came under attack by the city.

This Buffalo front garden was the subject of several posts when it came under attack by the city.

And the funny thing is it’s all still there. Michele hasn’t been blogging for Rant for years now, but you can still read all her Rant posts as well as her Sign of the Shovel posts. Amy’s archives go back to 2003, and you can still find everything from Susan. I’ve been having a blast reading the old Garden Rant posts and reposting them. We ranted plenty about bogus home remedies, big chem, big boxes, gardeners getting harassed by the man, and a lot more; we even helped save a Buffalo friend’s front garden.

It’s true that now there isn’t as much ranting going on, but I still prefer the ranting. And when I find something  worth ranting about, I promise you, you’ll see it here. In the meantime, I have been absorbing the wisdom of our new fellow bloggers Allen Bush, Evelyn Haddon, and Thomas Christopher, who have way more horticultural expertise than I’ll ever have, and look forward to meeting them some day.

Thanks for the memories! originally appeared on Garden Rant on June 21, 2016.

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