Here’s to You, the Woman Gardener

woman gardenerHere’s to you, the woman gardener, but only if you do it ALL on your own.  It doesn’t count if you have a hubby who builds the raised beds for you, or lugs the soil to refurbish the beds.  It doesn’t count if he lifts the heavy stuff or does the weeding.  This post is for the women like me, who do everything, from the planning,  buying and planting, to bug control, watering, picking, cooking and preserving on their own.

I wonder how many of us there are out there.  I’ve read, and followed, plenty of blogs written about gardening.  Men and women both like to write and share photos of their gardening endeavors, but I can’t remember ever reading a blog by a single woman who does it all.  Maybe that is because single women don’t ordinarily like to advertise their aloneness on the internet.  And I am not alone, just when it comes to gardening! Continue reading “Here’s to You, the Woman Gardener”

Changing the Site Theme For Better Viewing

Hydrangea and lily bouquetI was happy with my old theme here on the hydrangea gardening blog, but I noticed that it was not compatible with hand-held devices.     Finding a new theme for this blog wasn’t difficult because I had recently update two of my other WordPress blogs with a theme I liked.  It’s called Twenty Thirteen.

I need simple. I once purchased a $79 theme with high hopes of creating a beautiful site. It looked easy enough, but I had trouble. WordPress offers a refund if you are not happy, so I got my money back and found a free theme instead. I’m sure there was nothing wrong with the theme I bought, but my knowledge of computer technology is next to nothing. I can figure some things out myself, but I have no desire to get into the coding and css stuff needed to configure a nice site. Free themes are also nice. And this free theme can be updated with custom fonts if I so desire.

After test driving a number of free themes, I decided to use Twenty Thirteen for many reasons. It has a nice clean look that is easy to read. I like that it offers rotating header pictures too. I am all about the pictures! (Haven’t loaded any to this site yet, but you can see them on my Seashells Blog. The header changes with each page / post click.)

If you’ve been using the same theme to blog for a long time now, it may not be compatible with iPhones and such. That means your readers won’t see the whole page when viewing your blog on a mobile device. They will bounce off your site and go someplace else. You can find out if your site is good for hand-held devices in your appearance section, under customize, or in the preview of a blog post.

My hope is that with this new theme for my gardening blog, I can find more readers. Of course I also have to have some gardens to write about, and that may not be as easy to fix.

I Will Never Get The Tech

It’s tough trying to fit into this world so full of technology.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 4.21.37 PMI saw a t-shirt once that said, “I repel technology” and I need to have it and wear it every single day.

The only reason I know anything at all, like making links, organizing blogs, uploading images, and all that EASY stuff, is because life forced me into working online.   Everyone seems to have born with technology knowledge that I just can’t seem to grasp.  And when I do understand it, it feels alien to me.  Unnatural.  Like I am trying to live in a world where I do not belong.

This morning I posted a blog on my SeashellsbyMillhill blog, and then I began thinking about upgrading.  From there, I viewed the themes, including premium themes.  After a while I decided on one called Gridiculous Pro.  It looked so nice, something I could personalize with my photos and stories.  BUT… I bought it and began to try to customize and had trouble.  The changes didn’t show while I was making them, the colors gave me trouble, and all in all I just didn’t think it was worth the trouble AND money.  Fortunately WordPress lets you cancel a purchase within a certain amount of time.

The real problem is that I know so little and have to rely on the easy customization.  I can’t do CSS – don’t even ask me what that is.  Some sort of code, that would probably make my site look marvelous.

So I wasted time figuring out which theme I wanted, then wasted time fiddling around trying to make it look nice.   Once I cancelled my upgrade order, my site reverted to the old theme… except it wasn’t the same old theme.  So I had to re-do my “old” theme to make it viewable.  Now the whole thing looks completely different, but I guess it’s okay.  And change is good now and then.

Time to Say Good-Bye to My Hydrangeas

hydrangea last summer
Blue Hydrangea Summer 2015

Before they even flower this year, I will have to say good-bye to my hydrangeas. I may be lucky enough to see the buds form, but I will be gone by July when the flowers open.

As is so predictable with my nomadic lifestyle, I am moving on after living in my house for five years. It’s a record really. Since I moved north in 2005, it’s the longest I’ve lived in of any of the places I’ve tentatively called “home”.

I’ve added a number of hydrangea plants to the small yard over the years, and they are all doing pretty well. Little green shoots are just beginning to appear, but once the weather warms up the plants will grow quickly. Not quickly enough for me to enjoy the big white-to-green flowers of the Limelight variety, or to see the Pinky Winky’s white blooms change to pink. And I wonder if the Endless Summer blue variety will have more flowers this year than last.

After the winter months of 2015, my perennials seemed to suffer. Some plants never came back, and the ones that did, seemed to be less wonderful than usual. But this winter was so mild, I am thinking that the hydrangeas will have lots of blooms. I especially hope that the blue flowers will be prolific.   Last year I had a few small flowers at the base of the bush (see the photo).  Of course, I will never know. I’ll be far away in the deep south, beginning a new garden in a new place.

I feel like Johnny Appleseed, except my name would be something else related to planting and moving on. I can’t think of a good name. Pam the traveling gardener, or maybe Root-less, is more appropriate.

dsc07551So the yard I’ve worked to make into a beautiful place will now be passed on to new home-owners.  I have no idea if they are gardeners, or if they will walk around enjoying the flowers that bloom in their new yard.  I hope so.

I doubt they will realize the work it took to create the beauty they will see, but I do hope they will enjoy it.  The peace and quiet I knew of sitting in the shade of the big oak out front, watching the clouds drift past the rooftop, while my cats explore in the grass nearby, is something I will miss greatly.

I’ve known some of the most peaceful times of my life just sitting alone in this yard, drinking a glass of wine, and appreciating what I have.  I always knew it wouldn’t last, because that is how it is.  Because I know that, I appreciate it all the more.

Soon this blog will be filled with the gardening adventures of my southern life.  I never grew many vegetables when I lived in Florida before, but this time I plan to figure it out.  And I am familiar with growing many tropical plants.  I can’t wait to have camellias, hibiscus, crepe myrtle and jasmine growing in my new place.  I may even try to grow hydrangeas!

So stay tuned.  Once the move is done…… I’ll be back.