Today marks the fourth year of this blog, and it's incredible to look back and note how much has changed since that first post. It appeared almost a full year before the venerable Garden Rant, a month before the venerable Pruned. House & Garden was still in publication. There were still gardening shows on HGTV.
"Social media" really wasn't, yet. There was no public Facebook, no Twitter. (Given how much time the latter sucks from my day, this may be the most incredible change of all.) And while Google was going strong, it didn't yet own Blogspot (my original host) and therefore hadn't morphed it into Blogger (my current host). There also was no SketchUp and no Google Earth—two tools which are indispensable to me now.
Since that first post I've also moved to a new house, started (but not yet completed) new landscaping, turned 40, turned 41, won "Landscapers' Challenge," started (but not yet completed) a landscape architecture program, learned AutoCAD, abandoned AutoCAD in favor of VectorWorks, and migrated almost my entire production process from hand-drafted to digital.
I'm not really a gardener, in the usual sense, and I never intended this blog to be about gardening—no shots of my lavender seedlings, the first snowdrop, the last pepper. Instead, I hoped to interest people in the idea of gardening: making, keeping, enjoying and living in gardens. Yet there it is, over on the right, there: undeniable evidence that I've written about "gardening" 57 times, more than any other topic. I guess I shouldn't be surprised; after all, what's a "garden designer" without the garden?
I also never expected to become quite as environmentally outspoken as I have; but somehow "environment" has become my second most popular tag. Then again, it's sort of difficult to have gardens without an environment. In the past four years, our climate has changed noticeably, our state has gone into drought, and our political and corporate leaders have discovered that "sustainability" can be more than just a buzzword. In my work, too, I've become much more conscious of my opportunity and responsibility to not just make places prettier, but to make them better.
One other thing I couldn't have expected when I launched this blog was my readership. Yes, you. Just when I think I've written dreck that no one cares about, there you are with a comment. And even if you don't comment (though I wish you would), my draconian spy software tells me you're still reading, and that you come back for more. That was my greatest hope four years ago… and it's the best anniversary present a blogger could ask for.
Here's to a four-year germination: a good start.