Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Looking back and forward . . .

Hammock City & the reading respite awaits your visit this summer.
Benchmark data suggests "Blog early, blog often." Marketing gurus suggest that businesses that publish blogs 11+ times per month receive twice, sometimes 3.5x the traffic. Funny thing though — I couldn't find any data that suggests giving your readers a break for, oh... say... 14 months — is good for traffic.

I haven't officially blogged since November of 2015 — you are welcome. I've been writing, studying, gardening, speaking and doing life. Somehow in the midst of not-blogging, I also received the opportunity to help plan the American Hosta Society National Convention in Indianapolis June 7 - 11, 2017 and our gardens will be one of the "What to do Wednesday" open gardens to tour. The Indianapolis Hosta Society had a pre-convention tour last June as a "warm-up" for the big league tours and a few weeks later, we headed to Missouri where we thoroughly enjoyed private St. Louis gardens at the 2016 Convention. (I'll share gorgeous photos of those later.) I also have the blessing of heading to India with a team of student change-makers in March. (More on that later — but hoping to see my two gardening buddies at the Red Fort again!)

Meanwhile, I just wanted to let you know I am Simply Cultivating in all areas of life.

cultivating: to prepare and/or loosen up the soil 
12a:  to foster the growth of b:  to improve by labor, care, or study :  refinecultivate the mind3c:  further,  encourage — cultivate the arts4d:  to seek the society of: make friends with 
Here's a few photos from 'the yard' — 
Without a wooden bench to ponder, is a garden truly a garden?

That 15-foot fountain, made from smooth river rock . . . we fell in love with it and somehow
dragged it home from the Indiana Home & Patio Show in March 2016.
We have instituted a new garden rule to ask one question when purchasing anything:
"How will we get it home?"

It's simple — the art of arranging words on paper to create something
new and original is quite similar to the art of arranging plants in a garden. 

A well-used wheelbarrow makes a great rock garden for succulents.

Love the texture.
[Insert favorite summer-time song here]

My 4-year old nieces and nephew's favorite path through the Hostas.
Hosta 'So Sweet', H. Guacamole, H. Great Expectations, et. al. 

A well-used garden — so many memories of graduation parties, Easter Egg hunts, 'after the Indy 500'- dips in the pool, Labor Day parties, Birthday celebrations, . . . lots of little footprints in the grass growing larger. 

This summer I said to know one in particular:
"Why did I never straighten this Dogwood when it was growing?"
My daughter Chloe reminded me:
"Ma, that's one of the Indiana trees we received for Arbor Day in third grade and planted."
I love its' crookedness. 

Let me know if you enjoyed these -- if not, I promise I won't bother you for another 14 months.  And if you want to find out more about the American Hostas Society Convention here in Indianapolis click here: Indy Hosta 2017Leaning in, Janet Hommel Mangas