Jun 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Blog

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.


Daffodil Planter said...

Congratulations John! "Planting" your blog at the summer solstice must have contributed to its vitality? Wishing you, and your fortunate readers, many more years in the blogosphere.

Laura Livengood Schaub said...

Four years, dang, I'm NEVER going to catch up! Seriously though, yours is one of the few blogs that I read before starting my own (my goal was to be original, just like you!) and even now, with a blogroll the size of my arm, I still look forward to your beautifully written, clever, funny and thoughtful posts. How long has it been since you were ruining the curve in our design class at Foothill College with your beautiful drawings? 6 years? It has been great both to share the spotlight with you, and to be the help you needed when you needed it. Thanks for being a terrific friend and colleague, and for writing this blog. I can only hope to do half as well.

John said...

Thank you, Daffodil and Laura. I'm inspired, challenged and honored by the company I find myself in. What in the world did we spend our time on before this blogging stuff?

Oh, wait a minute, was I supposed to be actually designing?

Holly said...

I just found you a few weeks ago. I love your blog.

Keylogger said...

Wow Congratulation on the first anniversary. Even i like this post very much. Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful information. Keep up the good work.

Andi @ Terminex said...

Great information you have here! Happy anniversary! Looking forward to more of your very useful posts.