On February 10, 2007, I announced via a blog post that I would be starting a new practice of surveying my garden on the 15th of every month to see what was blooming. I invited other bloggers to join me and called it Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day.
This was before Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the overall rise of social media. All we had back then were blog feed readers and the practice of occasionally checking in on our favorite blogs to see if there were any new posts.
Those were the days!
I was inspired then, as I am still now, by the words of the southern garden writer, Elizabeth Lawrence. “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.”
I asked bloggers to join me so we could compare our gardens to those across the pond. So we northern gardeners could see what was blooming south of us and what we might look forward to, or in the case of camellias and crinums to name a few less hardy plants, be envious of. So you southern gardeners could have your envies too, of peonies and lilacs.
So we could all see what we have in common.
After completing twelve years of those posts, and never missing a single post (but coming close once or twice), I realize what we have in common is not so much flowers, but a shared love of gardening and a willingness to let people come through our garden gates to exclaim over those blooms at least once each month.
In my inaugural bloom day post, my garden was covered with snow and I didn’t have any flowers to show. I just listed a few indoor blooms but didn’t think to show pictures of them. Of course, that was also before we all had smartphones which gave us nearly instant access to our photos. We did have digital cameras, which required us to take the pictures and then upload the photos to our computers. Oh the effort!
For those who have followed along for most of the twelve years, perhaps the nicest result, other than meeting so many other passionate gardeners, is that you now have a twelve-year record of when flowers bloom in your garden and whatever other information you decided to share on those posts.
I sometimes ask myself why we still do this. How has Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day survived as an Internet meme for twelve years when others have come and gone or hang on by a thread?
I think bloom day has survived as an Internet meme all these years for several reasons. It’s a nice writing/posting prompt for bloggers who don’t know what to post about. It’s also a good way to introduce yourself as a new garden blogger (and yes, in 2019, there are still new garden bloggers!) or re-introduce yourself as a returning blogger if you’ve fallen off the garden blogging wagon and decide to jump back on.
I’ve also tried to make it easy to join in with no rules per se. Just post on your blog and leave a comment/link on my bloom day post.
I have no thought of ending Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. Fewer bloggers participate now, of course, especially in the winter time, but there are always enough, and mostly, I want to keep going with tracking what blooms in my garden every 15th of the month.
So tomorrow, on the 15th of February, I’ll be starting the 13th year of Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day. I hope you’ll join me!
Dorothy Borders says
Thank you, Carol, for those twelve years of sharing and for the opportunity to meet gardeners from around the world and to learn that we really are very much alike under the skin of our dirt-encrusted hands. I look forward to the next twelve years.
Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening says
Garden Bloggers Bloom Day has had a special meaning to me over the past eight years that I’ve been participating and I am thankful that you started this wonderful meme. I think you’re right in saying that it’s more about posting pictures of your garden. The meme has created a way for many of us who share a common passion to communicate and form friendships no matter how far away we may be. I do also enjoy being able to look back at a diary of the garden for every month of the year and reminisce of years gone by. You have touched many lives with your meme Carol and it is very much appreciated.
Thank you for it! When I started reading your post I was scared you were stopping! I love looking at all the gardens around the world each month. You'll find me posting tomorrow, when there are finally some flowers to mention (other than rosemary!).
Thank you, Carol, for this wonderful meme. It's really made me appreciate my garden in a new way and helped me to keep a journal of sorts. So glad you'll continue hosting!
danger garden says
I joined in for the very first time on March 15th 2009, that means this coming March I will have been at it for 10 years! I was a little worried when I saw the subject of this post that you were announcing this would be the last Bloomday, I’m so thankful that’s not the case.
Lady of LaMancha says
Carol, thank you so much for your hard work and dedication! Of course, you are a gardener, so hard work and dedication are par for the course.
Although I have not been the most active of participants over the years, GBBD is my favorite meme because I usually have something blooming, and with a pretty flower and a decent camera, it's hard to go wrong, even if the rest of the garden is unkempt. And, of course, all the ugly parts can be easily cropped out!
I am so sorry that I have absolutely nothing to post this month. The almond trees are running a bit late this year. I had even brought in some branches to force more than a week ago, but even those have not bloomed yet.
Enjoy your success! Karen