I just found out this morning that Garden Musings is nominated for eCollege's Top Garden Blogs Award. As an amateur gardener and blogger, jousting away at the Garden Gods out here in a "flyover" state, it is warming to know that somewhere, sometime, one of my readers considers this effort entertaining, if not actually worthwhile.
eCollege asked me to provide my number one tip for the aspiring gardener and here it is:
Photograph your garden often, and then write about it.
It's one thing to garden. It's another entirely different thing to photograph your garden, because that helps you see your garden, or your garden composition, or that honeybee, through the eyes of another gardener. And then it is a completely new level of gardening to write about your garden, in a personal diary, a webblog or a book, because writing about it (preferably for consumption by others), forces you to THINK about your garden. I would encourage all of you to try a blog of your own because you are free to do anything you want with your own blog. Writing, I found again by blogging, is just a whole lot of fun if you start out without a specific endpoint in mind.
As I wrote in the first post, of July 28, 2010, I'm a veterinary surgeon and university professor who turned back to writing for some respite from my normal daily grind. I wrote my first book of gardening essays, pictured below, just for me but it was enjoyed immensely by the other three people who found and read it. I blog now so that another three or four people out there can enjoy the blog in the same way. The majority of my blogs are about garden philosophy, garden writing, or simply surviving the brutal gardening universe of the Kansas Flint Hills. I spend a lot of time writing about roses because I'm an avid amateur rosarian, and I often feature my wife, Mrs. ProfessorRoush, in bone-dry humor pieces because she's a convenient non-gardening muse. I write for release, and I write to provoke my readers to think, and I write for love of gardening and writing itself. If I happen to write about a garden topic from which you accidentally learn something useful, then that's just gravy on the mashed potatoes.
For the students who participate in eCollege, I'd appreciate your support for Garden Musings and I hope you find it both informative and fun.