We’re 6 Years Old Today!

When my kids were little I used to watch Sesame Street with them. Sesame Street was much better back then, in the early 90s. Not that I’ve been watching it so much lately, but maybe when we have grandchildren.

Anyway, I thought of this Sesame Street short when I realized that our blog turned six years old earlier this month. Usually WordPress makes a point of reminding you about such milestones but I haven’t heard a peep from them.

Garden In A City has been a lot of fun. Though the name is gardeninacity and not Garden In A City because at the time I started this blog I thought all internet names had to be run together as a single word. Now I use both versions of the name when writing about the blog, showing my more sophisticated understanding of the intertubes.

DSC_0525 mexican sunflower
I feel I’ve made a real contribution to popularizing Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower)

Anyway, this blog has been useful as a garden journal, and also as a means for showing off the garden. And its been an outlet for my writing compulsion.

It’s opened the door to a community of friends, and that has been very satisfying. Some I’ve met in person (mainly at the Garden Bloggers Fling and Midwest Meetup). Others I know only through the internet, but those relationships have been rewarding as well.

Without this blog, I wouldn’t have gotten to know the staff at the Lurie Garden, which has been a real treat, or the late garden writer Allen Lacey.

Container tulips
Though I feel bad that my advice on Tulips in containers has not worked for very many.

I am still searching for the right amount of time to devote to Garden In A City. I’ve gone from writing once a week to every other day to every day (an impossible task, don’t understand how people can do it) to three times a week. When a blog demands so much time that it feels like a burden, you are spending too much time on the blog.

The first few years readership grew relatively quickly, but in the past year it has stayed flat. This shouldn’t bother me, but I admit that it does. Are blogs being pushed out by other social media, like Twitter and Instagram? Or is it just that with all the ominous developments in the world, garden blogs seem a bit trivial?

Brown Eyed Susan
Brown Eyed Susan with Anise Hyssop, one of my favorite combinations

Regardless, I intend to stick with it for the foreseeable future. For me the fun of a blog is in the writing. I like words. Sometimes, shockingly, my posts contain 500 or 600 words or more. I am not an Instagram kind of person. Also, I believe that we all need an occasional distraction from the ominous.

Of course, photographs are essential, and I’m lucky to have Judy with her photographic talents as a partner.

For all of you who read and comment on Garden In A City (or gardeninacity), thank you. A blog is not a blog without at least a few readers.

And I’ll close with a question, sincerely posed: is there anything you would like to see more of, or less of, on Garden In A City?

67 Comments on “We’re 6 Years Old Today!

  1. I’ve really enjoyed it these past few years. I’m glad you’re going to keep going, and I can’t think of what I”d like to see different – it’s always a nice escape to check in on your home and garden, and I’ve enjoyed your travels a great deal.

  2. Don’t change a thing! I’ve learned so much from you as a gardener and commentator on the world around us. (Including tithonia). You have a great curiousity and are endlessly entertaining. I have recommended your blog to several friends and I know they read you, although they usually don’t comment.

  3. I came to your blog in the last year, so I haven’t been a reader that long. So far I like the balance you have struck. I freely admit it mirrors my own interests closely (native plants, pollinators and their importance, some garden design, birds (my personal obsession) and problem solving In the garden. Your blog is a welcome distraction from The Ominous. Please keep up the good work!

  4. I want to thank you for your blog – I have learned so much from you! It helps that we are in the same gardening zone and have similar interests in gardening. The only thing I would like to read more about is gardening design for the common gardener. The books I’ve looked to for inspiration are overwhelming.

  5. Congratulations on 6 years! I wish I could tell you how to attract more people but I’m not sure myself. They come and go and then often come back but I don’t know why.
    I don’t think I had ever heard of a Mexican Sunflower before reading this blog and that says a lot considering I used to read plant identification book like they were novels.
    As far as what I’d like to see; I like what I see now-that’s why I keep coming back.

  6. Congratulations on 6 years of blogging! Many thanks for all your humorous, well written posts, Paul and I enjoy reading them, so just keep on doing what you do so well. Not long after I started blogging, I was thrilled to see a comment on my blog from you…all the way from Chicago! So you and Judy have encouraged bloggers from far and wide with your comments I’m sure. There will always be an interest in gardening and good writing in the blogging world.

  7. Happy, happy birthday! Your blog is an absolute pleasure and treasure. I have learned so much from you. Plus, it’s way cool for this Mainer to have a blogging friend from Chicago. No suggestions except may you blog for many more years.

  8. Happy Blog Birthday ! I really enjoy reading a Chicago based garden blog. I’ve visited your beautiful city many many times over the last 30 years and I love getting the gardeners perspective.

  9. Don’t think of your blog as a burden. Write when you feel like it and what you like to write about .I would miss you gize if you stop. I think your readership is not expanding because of other social media. People that really like blogs will find you eventually. I enjoy all you write about and of course Judy’s photos are fantastic. Keep on… and Happy Blogaversary.

    • These days if I feel too tired or distracted to write a post I give it a rest. That doesn’t happen very often with my current 3x per week schedule.

  10. I enjoy reading your blog. I too have noticed fewer readers and often debate continuing my blog. Please keep on writing and sharing.

  11. I always enjoy reading and sharing your blog, smile at your jokes. Thanks for dong this! The Japanese Gardens are some of my favorite. Ever been to Bloedel Reserve in Seattle?

  12. Congratulations on the milestone! Keep up the good work, always enjoy reading.

  13. Happy Anniversary, and don’t go anywhere because I need to see your tulips bloom in the spring. 🙂 I love seeing your garden and hearing your explanation behind your choices. I also don’t know how anyone blogs daily, and I have to admit if someone I really care about starts blogging every day, I just can’t read them all. And, yes, when it feels like a job it’s not blogging anymore.

  14. Congratulations on reaching the 6-year milestone! I’m so glad that you’re going to keep blogging. I like both Instagram and blogging. You are so lucky to have such a talented partner in Judy. I actually had a previous career as a journalist, and writing my blog has kept my hand in, so to speak. But I’ve never been tempted to blog every day, I’ve been afraid that would be too much of a burden. I want it to be satisfying to me personally, not a job. I’m pleased I’m one of the bloggers who has met you and Judy in person. You’re both nice people!

    • Instagram may be great, but I feel like all my social media time gets eaten by the blog. We’re both very glad we’ve gotten a chance to know you, Alison!

  15. Congratulations and keep up the great work! I will never tire of your posts. Your writing style, your plant knowledge, your whimsical approach, and Judy’s (and your) photos are fresh and fun. Good luck on determining the best frequency for your posts: We all have to find that happy place for our blogs. 🙂

  16. How do you feel about posting some pictures of you in your garden planting some things, bulbs in pots, whatever, and/or showing you maintaining your garden. You could talk a bit about what you’re doing, soil medium you use, etc. I enjoy your blog just the way it is, very informative, but you asked, and I’m just saying.

    • I’ll think about your suggestion. To be honest, I feel a little shy about putting my picture in the blog, though I’ve done it on rare occasions.

  17. More, More, More. Congratulations, Jason. Your blog is so very enjoyable and interesting. Keep it up…and don’t lose your photographer.

  18. Congratulations, Jason & Judy! I did the opposite of most – I met you first, then followed your blog – and I’m so glad that I did. As a relative newbie on the ornamental scene, I’ve learned so much from you (huge fan of Tithonia 🙂 ). And it’s always a pleasure to meet up during the fling, of course.

  19. Congratulations! I tried to find the average lifespan of a blog, but I couldn’t find anything that sounded reliable–but six years seems impressive!

  20. Oh gosh! I have enjoyed your blog so much, I sure would miss it. I have about 12 clients that I garden for (I take up where the landscapers leave off) and I admit I have used some of your ideas and combinations in their gardens. The topics you choose to write about hit home; I even have a folder on my computer that I save your entries in. I love your sense of humor and your observations. Please, keep it up!

  21. I’ll consider your question & get back to you. But for now I want to offer congratulations on your six years!! That’s quite an achievement for you & Judy.

    I also want to thank you for your blog. I always enjoy it and have learned a lot too. I don’t think it is trivial at all. It has been both a welcome diversion and such a lovely, wonderful dose of normal during the tumultuous times we are in.

    Thank you kindly.

  22. I’m a relative newcomer to your blog, but have so enjoyed connecting with a kindred spirit — in person last summer, and then realizing how your and Judy’s planting styles mirrored ours. I started blogging in the summer of 2007, with almost daily posts – it was my end of the day grounding reflection. Now I”m probably doing 2 posts a week, but I’m totally about the writing and reflection, I’ve realized, not about the gardening or photos, which are nice, but extra.

    Thanks for your blog!

  23. I really enjoy reading your blog. Unfortunately my own blog is not updated very often. You have lots of interesting posts, and I also like your bird posts. Your humor is great and also your jokes. Keep posting 🙂

  24. congrats + just keep going. Everythings just fine the way you do it. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be hangin’ out here, would we? 🙂

  25. Congratulations Jason, six years is a good age!?! I’m still getting new followers but by far the majority aren’t gardeners but what I would probably describe as weirdos just wanting me to look at their blog because they’ve followed me, most don’t ever comment and I wonder if they ever look at the blog again. Have you noticed the same thing. I find I’m in quite a small community of ‘real’ gardeners and I’m happy with that; we comment on each others blogs, sometimes have extended ‘conversations’; I learn, am inspired, envious sometimes. Sometimes we do need a break from our blog I find but sharing with a community is great. Thanks for being there Jason and I for one love seeing your tulips.

  26. I’m glad you explained that ‘gardeninactiy’ was exactly as I understood it. It was quite some time before I realized that it was also ‘garden in a city’–well, *duh* on my part. I’ve thouroughly enjoyed your blog–photos and text, all. While many of the plants that you profile I could never grow in toasty Texas, I still love to learn about them and I’ve been inspired by your humor, your successes and even your garden failures–gardeners share similarities, no matter where we garden. Wishing you and Judy many more years of posts, photos, and gardening fun!

  27. Congratulations in six well-written, beautiful years! I read quite a few garden blogs and yours is at the very top of the list. PLEASE keep it up!
    Ed

  28. You’ve kept up with blogging over the years much better than I have! As far as the blog growing – unfortunately gardening is such a niche interest in the US.

    Something that distracts us from the ridiculous political situation, provides joy and helps wildlife is not trivial. IMO it’s necessary.

  29. Happy birthday to your blog, Jason!
    I love reading your posts ans to learn your experience in growing plants and in color combination.
    Thanks for sharing with us!

  30. Happy 6th anniversary Jason and Judy! You’re both doing a great job and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all your posts over the past few years and admiring the lovely photos too. And if I haven’t already said it, a big THANKS for introducing me to Tithonia! 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  31. Happy Blog Birthday! I too have noticed a leveling off of readership and the fact those that read are less likely to comment (or do so on Facebook). It’s a sign of the times, and a reduced attention span (IMHO). I do however love Instagram!

  32. At six, birthdays are a big deal…so Happy Happy Birthday! Your love of writing shows and keeps me coming back. You have a good sized, loyal readership so that should be gratifying.

  33. Congratulations to you both on six excellent years! Here’s to many, many more! I wouldn’t change a thing, just carry on posting about whatever you want to post about!xxx

  34. Congratulations on your sixth blog-birthday! I am so glad I found you and I thank the Varied Thrush as well… I echo your sentiments about how much time to devote to blogging and the various social network platforms and it just gets to be too much sometimes, but it’s still good to participate… I can’t remember where I heard or read recently that “your life is time” but it rings true for everything. Thanks for being here!

  35. Another work that celebrates the occasion is A.A. Mine’s ‘Now We Are Six’:
    “… But now I am Six,
    I’m as clever as clever,
    So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.”

    Don’t, though! Seven’s where all the good stuff is… ;>

    Greatly enjoy all your posts, at home and abroad; thanks!

  36. I always enjoy reading your blog. As I am also in the Chicago area your plant experience is very helpful, even though I lean more toward trees and shrubs than flowering perennials. Keep up the good work!

  37. Six years is quite an accomplishment. Your blog is a wonderful, entertaining mix and one of my favorites. You can count me as a Tithonia convert. Here’s to many more happy blogging years.

  38. Congrats on the blogiversary! I’ve enjoyed meeting you and Judy at Garden Bloggers Fling, and I’m glad to hear you’re committed to blogging as a creative outlet (me too). I do think faster social media like IG and FB have lured readers away from garden blogs — and many bloggers away from their blogs — but c’est la vie. If you love the form, whether as a reader or a writer or both, it’s not going away any time soon.

  39. Oh well done, six years of blogging is quite achievement. I am glad you enjoy it and want to carry on. I always enjoy Judy’s photos and your informative and interesting writing and you make me laugh. My favourite bloggers feel like friends and I love seeing everyones’ gardens develop through the seasons and years. Keep up the good work!

  40. Congrats! Six years in a long time in the blogging world. I’ve really enjoyed your work and photos, and love seeing your your garden is doing through the seasons. Thanks for all the ideas!

  41. Congratulations, Jason, six years is an age in Internet Years. You are a very prolific writer and in terms of what I’d like to see more of, well, I think the formula have at the moment is very successful, it’s just more of “you being you” (I’m not sure what that means either). I like reading/seeing about family gatherings and holidays as that puts a face and family behind the writing.

  42. Happy Sixth to you and Judy. You make a great team. I enjoy your topics, images and sense of humor. Blogging is a satisfying medium for reading and writing–hope you’ll continue to amuse and challenge us.

  43. Congrats on the anniversary, and hopefully there’s at least another six on their way!
    I love reading about the ins and outs of your own garden and all the little things that go right (and also wrong!). It’s like a visit to a friend’s garden and that’s what I like best of all.
    I’m lucky if I can get a once a week post, and as far as keeping up with bloggers who are doing daily posts… I just can’t even if it is really interesting stuff. It’s probably a laziness issue, FB is so easy where you can just click like on a bunch of pictures, blogs require reading and thought.
    My views drop each year. I try not to take it personally 😉

  44. Congratulations on 6 years! I only post once a month, as that is all I can do. My readership is small, but all is relative. It is hard for me to catch up with other people even at that.

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