Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Three years, Three things blogging has taught me and Three gifts…

Today danger garden turns three!

I hadn’t planned to post about this occasion, but then I realized not doing so went against my strongly held belief that all birthdays are special and need to be celebrated. So after stopping to give myself a little pat on the back for posting at least 5 days a week for 3 years running (no vacation or sick days!), I stopped to consider what I’ve learned in my 3 years…

#1 Every gardener suffers from zone envy…or maybe more accurately plant envy. And I live in a pretty damn fine place to be a gardener. Californians yearn to grow Hostas and Spring blooming bulbs, Arizonians want to grow Gunneras, Texans desire Japanese Forest Grass, and Canadians lust after Agaves. Here in Portland I can grow all of these, plus I have a riches of fantastic nurseries to shop at and our weather is relatively good to gardeners (no drought, no single digit winter temperatures or regular triple digits in the summer). Of course you will still hear me complain about the weather here in Oregon on occasion, but blogging has helped me realize how good I’ve got it.

#2 You never know who’s reading your blog and where those “introductions” might take you. Because of blogging I met my plant lust business partners Megan and Patricia, my friend JJ whom I’m going to San Francisco with, and Pam from Austin, TX who came to Portland last summer for a visit. Through our blogs I met Ryan, Derek and Scott with whom I’ve gone on two fun-filled horticultural adventures (and we’re planning our third). I’ve met local plant and nursery celebrities and gotten to visit amazing private gardens. Blogging can open doors, I've had fun stepping through them to see what’s on the other side.

#3 Always have your camera with you. You can never anticipate how your readers will react to a post. Blog for fun, if you’re not enjoying it what’s the point? Okay I cheated a little with three points for #3…oh well.

Now it’s time for the best part of birthdays, the presents! (everyone loves presents right?) First one for me…I went back to Garden Fever and bought the ‘Frosty Blue’ Agave ovatifolia…after all I couldn’t disappoint you guys!


And now presents for you…I’ve been the lucky recipient of more than one “swag bag” in recent months. While all of the contents are appreciated some just haven’t been a great fit for me. Since I imagine are plenty of people out there who could be enjoying them I’m giving away one copy each of:

the naturescaping workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide for Bringing Nature to Your Backyard, by Beth O'Donnell Young and Karen Bussolini

My Garden, the City and Me: Rooftop Adventures in the Wilds of London, by Helen Babbs

Fruit Trees in Small Spaces: Abundant Harvests from Your Own Backyard, by Colby Eierman

Click on the title to be taken to the Timber Press website where you can read more about each book. To be entered in the drawing you must live in the continental United States (sorry!) and comment on this post with the name (or names) of the titles you would like to win. You can name one, two or all three…just let me know which drawing(s) you want to be a part of. If I draw a name that has already won one book in this contest I will discard that name and draw another, that way three different people will win. Drawing will be held on Friday the 16th, winners announced on Saturday the 17th.


Good luck and please keep coming back for more dangerous gardening adventures as year #4 kicks off tomorrow. I wouldn't still be blogging if not for you all!

56 comments:

  1. Zone envy... that puts it perfectly! In my case, it might be a little worse because for most of my life I actually gardened just south of Portland. So happy blog-birthday. From your blog, it's clear you're making the most of your versatile zone :)

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    1. I recently met a gardener who moved here from central California, she was so excited about all the things show could grow here now...made me think about all the times I've yearned for a California garden. It's good to be happy with what you've got.

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  2. Yeah!!! Happy Danger Garden Birthday to you!!!

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  3. I don't actually want any of the books you listed. I just wanted to say Happy Blog Birthday! I've met great people through blogging too. You've introduced me to some interesting plants that I never would have considered growing in my garden otherwise.

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    1. That is a wonderful thing to hear (that you've discovered interesting plants through my blog), thanks Allison!

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  4. Happy three years!

    Without your blog I'd not be ordering a bunch of Agaves this spring. Just documenting in case I become addicted to them. The Internet will always remember who got me hooked. :-)

    (I'd be interested in the fruit tree book, but since I've already won a book from you it doesn't seem fair to include me in the drawing.)

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    1. Nonsense! You're entered in the fruit tree book drawing. And I have no problem being the cause of an Agave addiction, in fact it makes me down right proud...

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  5. Happy Anniversary! Also I will have you know that I have ZERO desire to grow Hostas and am insulted that you implied otherwise. =P

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    1. Hehehe, but you aren't TRULY a Californian are you? (transplant). As I've said before I love that you are so fully embracing your climate. Anyone who can be growing the plants you can should be!

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  6. Congratulations!!! You mentioned the positive impact blogging has had on your own life. However, we--your readers--have benefited even more from your posts. Your blog has been a neverending source of inspiration for me--and yes, I do occasionally feel a twinge of envy at the things you can grow. But I've got it pretty good myself, so I'm not complaining.

    Keep up the excellent work! My life would be poorer if danger garden disappeared :-).

    As for the drawing, I'd loved to be entered for "My Garden, the City and Me."

    Gerhard (1 1/2 years to go until my blog turns 3)
    :: Bamboo and More ::

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    1. Thank you Gerhard! Coming someone who has such a varied and enviable plant collection, and the knowledge to back it up, the idea that I could at all inspire you is fabulous.

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  7. Wooot!! Happy blog birthday Danger Garden, congrats on 3 amazing years! Looking forward to seeing what wonderful adventures await you this year! Cheers Julia xx

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  8. Congratulations on your third year anniversary of blogging! I always enjoy reading your posts and seeing all of the gardens and plants you feature, which are all fab!. Even better is that our climate and the types of plants you like are generally similar to ours so there is mutuality in that respect.

    Your blog is inspirational to say the least, and looking forward to what's ahead as you enter year four :) Keep up the good work!!

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    1. Oh yes reading your blog I do feel that "hey if they can grow that so can I" connection. Of course then there are all of the amazing Schefflera that make me drool....

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  9. Happy Birthday Danger Garden!! I always learn something about a unique plant when I visit here, not to mention all the gardens you have visited and shared with us. I do believe some of my favorite ones are the ones you photograph from the sidewalk....I would love to read the Rooftop Adventures book.

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  10. Hi Loree,
    Congratulations on your fine blog and fun style! Three years...does it seem like it's been that long? To me, time is a funny thing. I can't remember NOT blogging. About that new gift: A.o.'Frosty Blue' is also on my short list of 'MOST WANTED' agaves. Looks awesome and you deserve it.
    Yes, you do live in a wonderful place to garden.
    Your friend,
    David/:0) Tropical Texana/Houston

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    1. Time is funny, I agree. In some ways it seems like I've always had this blogging outlet and sometimes I am amazed at the fact I haven't run out of things to say. Hope you find your 'frosty blue' soon!

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  11. Congratulations! What happens when the blog turns 20? You'll have to think of 20 things.

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    1. Uhm...seeds! Agave seeds for my first twenty commenters! (one each of course)

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  12. Congratulations on three blog years, Loree! As one who was lucky enough to discover your blog in its first year, I've enjoyed tagging along on a lot of your journey so far. You open my eyes to wonderful new plants, nurseries and gardens every year and your enthusiasm is totally contagious!

    I would love to win My Garden, The City and Me.

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    1. I started this post thinking I'd thank the folks who have been here with me, commenting since the beginning, like you! Just to test my memory I went back and started reading some of the old comments. Then I started to get sad (okay not really sad...) that there were so many people who used to comment who don't anymore and I wondered what happened to them. You and Pam have been here since the early days...and although I didn't keep searching to find her first comment I know Ricki's been around for most of the trip too. Thank you Jane!

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  13. I've only recently discovered your blog, but I'm quite enjoying your photos of plants too spiny for me (or my rambunctious dog). We may have almost opposite plant collection obsessions, which makes it all the more fun for me to see yours.

    For the giveaway, I'd love to enter for the Fruit Trees in Small Spaces- I have a copy out from the library and I'm sad that I'll have to give it back soon.

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    1. I'm glad you can appreciate the opposites! Aren't library books the best, that is until you have to give them back.

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  14. Happy 3rd Blogaversary Danger Garden! I am thrilled to see that you returned and spoiled yourself with a beautiful Agave 'Frosty Blue,' it deserves no better home! I willfully admit that few blogs that I read instill in me a severe case of zonal jealousy than yours, which in recent years has helped me to appreciate the great diversity that exists! Here's hoping we get another 30 years worth of posts!

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    1. 30 years!? God can you even imagine what the internet and our computers will be like in 30 years? I'll probably just have to think a blog post and it will appear! Oh and of course I'll just take photos with my eyes and magically upload them. Haha.

      Part of me is sorry to have caused zonal jealousy, part of me understands it's not an entirely bad thing...

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  15. Blogaversary..I love that! Yes, so happy you are holding strong as your blog is a breath of fresh yet dangerous air! I love your generousity with sharing photos and not being afraid to sneak around neighborhood gardens. You inspire me.
    I'd love to be entered into the drawing for 'Fruit Trees in Small Spaces'.

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    1. I really didn't expect so many people to say that my blog inspires them. I so appreciate that!!!

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  16. Five days a week for three years -- never mind the pat on the back, it's time for champagne! I so look forward to a daily dose of DG. No books, just congratulations!

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    1. Champagne, why didn't I think of that! It would have gone so well with my raspberry, toast and veggie-sausage patty breakfast. Maybe next year...

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  17. Happy Blogaversary to you and your great blog.

    Talk about being happy with the plants you can grow! Thank you for helping to open my eyes to the world of spiky plants that literally grow wild around here.

    Please put me in for 'My Garden, The City, and Me'.

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    1. Thanks Shirley, I'm so glad you've joined the blogging ranks!

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  18. Happy Birthday Danger Garden! I think zonal envy is a lot like the "5 stages of grief", which are denial, anger, bargaining (e.g. building a heated miniature greenhouse over that ungrowable zone 10 plant), depression, and acceptance. I think I've gone through every stage, except for the last one!

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    1. Oh so true! And I'm with you on not yet making it to the acceptance stage.

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  19. Wow! Happy Blogaversary and big Congrats on your dedication and creativity. I had no idea Danger Garden was about to be 3! You have definitely changed my mind on Yuccas and brought me into the world of possibility with Agaves. I definitely have 'Portland gardening envy' since that is where I started. But, I'm learning to make the most of every environment. Thank you!

    I'd love to read My Garden, The City, and Me or Fruit Trees in Small Spaces.

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    1. I hope you find the right Yucca (or three) for your garden Andrea!

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  20. Congratulations and fantastic achievement - I've only been blogging for a couple of months and know what a challenge it can be to find a topic sometimes! Love the new Agave! Having just come back from the deserts of southern California to a damp grey UK I am definitely missing the 'spikies'!

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    1. I bet you are! I look forward to following you around the UK for the next few months...

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  21. Hi there. As an agave maniac I discovered your blog a while ago and have been reading it ever since. Keep up the good work and Happy BB day.

    Please enter me in the fruit tree book drawing.

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    1. Hi Ellen...thank you for reading! Us agave maniac's need to stick together...

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  22. congrats on three years Loree! Your dedication and the quality of your posts is amazing! Blogging well is HARD! My wife and I would love the Naturescaping Workbook!

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    1. Uhmmm...looks like it's going to be yours then! And thank you!

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  23. I'll pass on the prizes, but must congratulate you on years well spent worming your way into all of our little green hearts.

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  24. Congrats! I will take this opportunity to say that you TOTALLY ROCK and I look forward to reading many more years of Danger Garden wonderfulness.

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    1. I look forward to reading your book! (so there!)...and thank you!

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  25. Happy blogoversary! Your site is a gift.

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    1. Like one of those white elephant gag gifts? Or like a gift certificate to your favorite nursery?

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  26. Congrats on turning 3!!!! I think zone and plant envy is strong!!!! But it for sure keeps things interesting. Ive got some serious envy going on here in Hawaii!

    I'm sooo happy you got frosty blue. He suits your garden

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    1. I hope you are taking A LOT of pictures!

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  27. First of all congratulations. Though I don't comment on all your posts, I do read all of them. Despite Yorktown, we Virginians are genetically disposed to anglophilia, so put my name in the hat for My Garden the City and Me.

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    1. Thank you Les, I too read all of your gorgeous posts but don't always comment.

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  28. I'm woefully behind on blog reading these days, but I do get 'round to my favorites eventually, so here I am! Happy belated blogiversary! I agree wholeheartedly with all three of your points (and you do have it really good up in the Pacific NW), and I'm especially glad to have met you through your blog and then in person. Still waiting on an Austin visit from the Danger Gardener though. You're missing an incredible spring this year (tempt, tempt).

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