February 6, 2018

Happy 10th Anniversary, VW Garden

This month marks ten years since I began this blog, and this post makes four hundred posts in total.  It's a joy to look back over the growth of our garden.  We bought this home in 2007 and I didn't start blogging until 2008, but we didn't do much to the yard that first year.  So this blog tracks nearly all the changes to our landscape, from nothing-but-lawn to almost-all-garden-beds.  I'm especially glad to have documented our front yard landscaping project in 2010 (porch makeoverin progress, newly finished), the huge backyard project in 2013 (planningaspen root barrier, lawn removal, flagstone pathnewly finishedfour years old), and our dining room addition/kitchen remodel/new patio in 2017 (in progress, newly finished).

My most viewed post is about the 'Otto Luyken' laurel shrub (plant it in a protected spot in cold zones).  A distant second is my post about peony bouquets at Pike Place Market (with my yucky old camera - my photos would be so much better now).  Third place is a post about 'Royal Raindrops' crabapple trees (I like these trees but they require a lot of pruning).  I appreciate other gardener's perspectives on plants, so I'm glad to have been useful to others in selecting plants for their gardens.

I'm grateful for how blogging and photography have taught me that you can find beauty if you choose to focus on it, even though there are a lot of ugly parts, too.  I'm grateful that writing this blog helped keep my brain from turning into oatmeal while I spent my days and nights caring for our three and then four little children.  Now they're getting older and can speak in complete sentences, so my brain feels like it's working again.  It feels like heaven to open a window so I can hear them practicing the piano while I work in the garden.

Nurturing children and a garden have helped me throw off at least some of my unhealthy perfectionism.  I now embrace 'good enough for now,' so I'm not so concerned with the imperfections in this blog or in life.  Someday I'll get really disciplined about writing plant names in the same format every time.  Someday I'll go through and find all the little grammar and spelling mistakes - or maybe not.  I would still like to improve my photography some more.  But mostly I'm enjoying the journey, the fruits of my labors and the anticipation of good things to come.

The photo above was taken by my good friend Amber McArthur, and I ask that you do not copy or use it elsewhere.  I felt ridiculous posing for pictures, but I'm grateful for how she captured the joy my garden gives me.


  1. Congrats on 10 years. Your flower photos are always bright spots in my day.

  2. Happy Anniversary! I’ve enjoyed following your blog and garden adventures for several of those 10 years. Oh and that’s a great photo, you look at home, as you should.

  3. Congratulations VW .. I remember when you started out with such a bare bones garden and you have turned it into such a stunning one.
    You have done a wonderful job growing with your garden, your photography, and your blog.
    Well done YOU ! ENJOY !

  4. I love your paragraph about unhealthy perfectionism and finding the beauty despite the ugly parts. Gardening does make us appreciate life on a whole different level. Keep up the great work - it is too good not to share with us!

  5. Congrats! 10 years blogging is quite and accomplishment. I’ve been blogging for 5 but I’m never consistent with posting!


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