An award no lizard can give

I have a confession. Before I started this garden blog, I had never read another one. The purpose of my blog? Here I am at the end of the road, and no one ever sees my garden, except friends and family and, of course, the mail carrier. I put a lot of work into my yard, and I want others to see it. 

I don't garden for glory. I garden because working the soil refreshes my spirit and tones my body, and there is deep satisfaction in nurturing a plot of land and watching plants grow. A scene like this photo, taken from my patio in the spring, gives me a little jolt of joy, no matter how busy or stressed I am.

 I garden because I like to be out there with the birds and squirrels and butterflies and bees.

I like to create a sanctuary for them, and in the process I make a place that's good for me, too.

I delight in the creatures of the garden, and sometimes I think they appreciate my efforts. I caught this guy sunning himself on a concrete ornament I had placed on my patio table.

But I am human. Occasionally I admire the featured "Yard of the Month" in the Helena news, and I know a lizard isn't going to nominate me for a landscaping award.

I thought there could be a few hundred garden blogs out there, but really I had no idea. I published my first post, Weed War, on October 5, less than two months ago. Nobody read it. I followed up with Weed War: part 2, and nobody read that either. I finally cajoled some relatives and friends to take a peek. I bribed my friend Virginia to leave a comment. Everyone gave glowing praise, except my son Mark, who said I should add more pictures. Good advice.

Then, on November 10, I discovered Blotanical. Wow. Now I had the gardening world available at the click of a mouse. I realized I was a tiny minnow in the ocean of garden blogs, many written by gifted writers and expert landscapers and horticulturists. There are professional photographers and computer whizzes who can put together amazing web sites. I gulped and kept swimming, wondering how long I could survive in in such deep waters.

Then something happened. Other little fishes, and big fishes, too, swam up and welcomed me. And they began to read my blog! I remembered what I have always known: gardeners from all over the planet are naturally warm souls who like to share. So I am very happy at Blotanical. I thank everyone who has visited my site and commented on my posts. I thank all these gifted people who have invited me to visit their own gardens and have offered encouragement and inspiration to me.

And this past week, I was nominated for Yard of the Month!

Well, not exactly. What happened was, Noelle, of azplantlady, (She gardens in another world, in a fascinating place called Arizona) presented me with the Best Blog Award. At first I thought it might be a mistake, and I had better take my award and hide it before someone said, "Oops! Sorry, but that was the wrong Deborah."  Then, a couple days later, Deborah (She spells it the same way I do, and she is a Canadian whose climate is also quite different from mine) of Green Theatre presented me with the same award. So it is really me, and I do get to keep it. Thank you, thank you, Noelle and Deborah!

The award has strings attached. First, I have to display it:


Looks nice, doesn't it? 


And I have to pass it along to somebody else. I have discovered that "Best Blog" doesn't mean THE best blog; it means another blogger thinks your blog has merit and is worthy of recognition. The problem for me is that almost all the other bloggers I know already have this award, well deserved. There is one blogger who is also new to Blotanical. He gardens in south Florida, and his wit has made me a fan. I think he needs encouragement to become more involved with the Blotanical community. So I hereby present the award to sanddune of South Florida Challenges..   Everybody check out his blog. Thanks!


With the Voice of Thanksgiving

May I proclaim with the voice of Thanksgiving and declare all Thy wonders.

This is a view today of the woodland garden. The green Japanese maple has brilliant red foliage. 

I photographed this overview of the woodland garden from our drive.

Red and blue-green colors pop against each other in late November.

"Lady in red" hydrangea foliage complements the out of season blooms of an azalea.The fall colors of a viburnum I once purchased for two dollars. It had no tag, so I don't know its name.

Rosa mutabalis is still blooming in the front garden. The Japanese maple on the left is our "marriage tree".

The sky today was clear blue, after several dreary cold days. I am thankful!I am blessed with many trees. These are behind our house, on the edge of forest land.

Another view of the Japanese maple we have owned for thirty-four years, since our marriage.Hundreds of birds were in the trees today. Their songs filled the air.Rejoice!

May you all be blessed throughout this holiday season, Deborah