Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Friday, October 7, 2016

Southern Meadows Blogversary

It is the anniversary of Southern Meadows. I've been writing and photographing my garden for 7 years, today. Three hundred seventy eight posts have been published, which averages to just over 1 post a week since its inception in 2009. The post on A Masked Faced Fox Squirrel remains the most visited post to date.


This amazing journey of growth, not only of our garden but for me as a gardener, writer, photographer, speaker and educator has been a rousing ride. One thing has remained constant over the years, my passion for supporting nature and being a good steward of this land. Blogging has opened doors, fostered friendships and cultivated personal growth that was unimaginable when I wrote my inaugural post.


Blogging is forever with its ups and downs. Writers block is very real. Trying to keep a healthy balance between family, gardening, homeschooling, photography, community, exercise, rest and blogging is a constant challenge. There is never lack of inspiration to be found in our garden, finding the time to put the experience into comprehensive words is the struggle.


There are moments, putting myself out there, that are frightening. I feel extremely vulnerable sharing my creative side and admit, I was not as prepared as I should have been for some of the scrutiny over the years. Humbly learning from criticism has been a life changing lesson and knowing when to disregard negative comments has also been vital. Blogging has made me more of a risk taker in that regard and a stronger person overall.



Blogging is a built in source of accountability. I write and share knowledge about how I feel in my heart. Being answerable to those loves keeps things real and honest.


Blogging has opened up a community of amazing people from fellow gardeners, nature lovers and native plant advocates to artists, writers and photographers, who have all been such a rock on this marvelous ride.


Probably my weakest skill, technology, has been slowest evolving. It is the area I find most frustrating. Steering through the ins and outs of my blog platform has been perplexing and keeping up with all the social media trends has been beyond exasperating. But finding the time to figure it all out has been most taxing (time seems to be a recurring theme).


Blogging has been transformative, allowing me to explore and develop skills, friendships and passions I may not have otherwise uncovered. It has been the most wonderful journey and yet I still have much to learn and discover. Growth is my mantra and there is always room for more. I raise my trowel to you, my treasured friends and followers, to another year of discoveries digging in the dirt!

PHOTOS: All photos in this post taken by Penny Stowe (my biggest cheerleader and crusader) on a recent educational tour of Southern Meadows with members of the Georgia Native Plant Society-Redbud Chapter and participants of the Native Plant Certificate program with the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

16 comments:

  1. You GO, Karin!!! Congrats on 7 amazing years...and, best wishes for at least 70 more!! I'm definitely in your "cheerleader corner".

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    1. Thanks LaVonne for all your encouragement! You are a true inspiration and I aspire to create photographs of your caliber.

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  2. "Prost!" with a trowel in hand! What LaVonne said. ;-) It has been a joy during the past several years getting to know you, Karen, both through our blogs and in person at the Flings. Best wishes always on your various journeys. You are special. :)

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    1. Thank you Beth! One of the best benefits of blogging has been meeting fellow bloggers from around the globe and nurturing those on-line friendships and meeting in person. I have very much enjoyed our time together at Flings. Looking forward to many more years.

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  3. Congratulations Karen - 7 years is quite the milestone! It has been a true pleasure getting to know you over the past couple of years - I still giggle when I think back to the Niagara bus ride when we were talking about your dogs and why you had two of them...I laughed so hard my face hurt :)

    I completely agree with you on the struggle to achieve balance - there never seems to be enough time in the day to do everything we want. It also doesn't help that I, more often then not, underestimate how much time it will take to do a particular task. And technology - yup, pretty much feel the same way on that one too.

    Congrats once again...and did I mention you do an amazing job on your blog? I've learned so much!! I'm really looking forward to continuing to learn through your posts and sharing a LOT more "oh, my face hurts" laughs with you in the future :) XO XO

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    1. I remember...we were giggling like school girls. What a great time we had. I love all the sharing of knowledge and skill with bloggers. It really opens up ones repertoire globally without leaving ones garden. I am constantly amazed at everything you grow so lushly in Canada. I've learned much from you. I enjoy our friendship! xo

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  4. A wonderful seven years. It has been nice getting to know you through those years since we have been blogging almost the same amount of time. Also at the Fling it was nice meeting you. Blogging does have its ups and downs. I could not have continued if only writing about my garden even though like you having it open to the public some years. I have 1000 posts on GWGT now, and they would have never been possible without travels, opinions, photography, nature, birding and the like. It is great you have mostly concentrated on your garden and its expansion. I have enjoyed your garden and your photography.

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    1. I love that bloggers all have their own brand and that the level of gardeners, birders, plantaholics is so diverse. GWGT has been a staple on my reading list for years, always learning something new from you and your passions. I very much enjoyed meeting you in Toronto and hope to see you again at one of the upcoming Flings.

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  5. Congratulations! I'm looking forward to more years. Also, I've really enjyed your blog's focus on native plants and habitat gardening.

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    1. Thanks Jason & Judy! Cheers to many more years for all of us. I am hopeful that blogging will be around for many more years. Social media is constantly evolving and its not easy to know what falls out of favor. Us gardeners have to stick together!

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  6. Congratulations. I feel much like you in your experiences and, as a "weekly" blogger, I agree with the struggle to keep going. But I post a comment here because feedback is what keeps us going. You make a difference in your blogging, helping to reach new people all the time with information about why native plants and helping our native wildlife matters. Keep going!

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    1. Thanks Ellen, your support and encouragement is much appreciated. Sometimes it is hard to know the impact one has, but then there is that moment when you meet someone who has made a change in their gardening approach because of something I've written or shared and my heart is full.

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  7. Congratulations!! I too struggle with finding the time to do so many things. It's hard to fit it all in! The blogging community can be so great and encouraging though, and there is so much to learn from it, including your blog! I've enjoyed reading it over the years.

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    1. Thanks Indie! I too have enjoyed following your journey. I only wish we had the chance to meet in person before you moved North.

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  8. Congratulations! Oct 5 was my own 7th anniversary in the blogosphere, and I identify with many of your comments. I never expected to continue for 7 years, but I have received so many rewards and encouraging comments, I just keep going. I have enjoyed following you through the years, though it seems like it was just yesterday when we were starting out with Blotannical!

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  9. Sorry to have missed your blogging anniversary my friend...wanted to pop in and touch base. wishing you a wonderful Christmas and hope to return to blogging in the New Year!

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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