Saturday, April 2, 2011

Changes Are Afoot (and a Prize!)

Do you know what day it is?  It's my one year blogversary!!  One sunny Easter weekend in April 2010 this blog began, the promise of spring in the air.  One year later and spring is nowhere to be seen.  It poked it's nose out last week like a groundhog and then retreated.  We've been under storm watch since yesterday.  April Fools on me.

With this anniversary comes change and many of you have noticed in the last week that things look a little different around here.  When I first started writing I believed I would be talking a lot about our transition from the west coast to the east coast.  I thought there would be major differences in how I gardened and I would write about these changes.  My blog description reflected this idea - 'Gardening from West Coast to East Coast'.  While I have noted some of these differences on occasion I find myself talking more about our new community and what it's like to discover an old garden and breath new life into it by making my own changes.  So we have a new blog description - 'A Prince Edward Island Country Home and Garden'.  I think this is a better reflection of the community we live in, the home we share and the garden I am trying to grow.

Along with the description my header photo seemed slightly out of place.  I love that photo of the sweet woodruff.

However, this photo tells the tale of my Bowen Island garden.  Sweet woodruff is a shade loving plant that grew in sweeps under my dogwood tree.  Canoe Corner is not shaded and although I purchased some woodruff last spring it is simply a reminder of a place that once was.  I wanted a photo that was reflective of where we are now.  It didn't take much to realize the apple orchard has set the tone on this property.  I have been consumed with apples since moving here.  It was the first plant I noticed when we saw this house and has been a backdrop to everything we do.  The trees screen us from neighbours, provide flowers in spring, apples in fall and wood to keep us warm.  They have been a part of this property and community for many years and I hope they continue to live on here for many more years.

Some minor changes have also taken place.  My blogroll has increased as I find more and more blogs that I love.  So much so that I've added a second blog roll exclusively for PEI Blogs.  There are some wonderful writers on this island talking about gardening, photography and farming.  All set to the backdrop of this wonderful island.

Triumphs and Tragedies has returned from hibernation.  I love my Friday evening walks in the garden and it's a great way to keep track of the good and bad so that hopefully I remember my mistakes in the future and don't make them again!

Posts entitled On the Inside were previously used to record my house plants but as the house has started to become more of a home I'm widening my scope and will be showing you a little more of the interior.

I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you who have read our story and continue to show up and comment.  Meeting other bloggers and hearing their insight and stories has made blogging a wonderful experience that I had not anticipated.  I'm always glad to see you and look forward to another year together.

In celebration of surviving one year of blogging I thought I would have a little draw as a way to say thanks.  It'll be a good old fashioned pull a name out of a hat sort of venture.  Up for grabs, this lovely glass ornament edged with copper foil.

How to win?  Just leave me a comment below telling me about your favourite post or topic that I've covered in the last year.  Or, tell me about a topic you'd like to hear more about.  On Friday, April 8, 2011 I'll make the draw.  Good luck.


  1. I like the thought and reflection that have gone into your one year assessment. The new blog layout and the new blog focus are just right, and I'm going to enjoy checking in even more (want to see your house interiors!)

    My favorite? Along with you, my heart is in your apple orchard and in your focus on growing trees.

    I grew up in an old orchard, and when I come to your blog and there is an apple story, or a photo or those pretty blossoms in your header, I love it. I don't live in Canada or on an island, but I do feel right at home in your orchard!

  2. Happy 1st year blogversary!
    Hope you have many more to come in the future.
    I really don't have a favorite post because I find them all interesting.
    I also like to see pictures of your house and all the updates you have done along with all your garden adventures.
    Can't wait to see what you may be planting this coming Spring.

  3. Happy Blogaversary! And I loved reading about the changes in your blog to adapt to the changes in your gardening. That's what life and gardens are about - changes. Nothing remains the same from year to year. Love the apple blossom header.

  4. Happy blogaversary! Count me out for the prize, too fragile to survive the journey across the Atlantic.

    My favourite post was the one about Anne of Green Gables (childhood book which inspired me to call myself Diana of Elephant's Eye)

    I love your new blog description. Took me a long time to realise, that altho the human eye sees ... Prince Edward Island country home ... words in an image are lost to the search engines. So I added a postscript, and sign off every post with ... gardening for wildlife in Porterville. Just a thought as they say.

  5. A favorite? Just one? Hmmmmmmm....can't do it. I am choosing a series instead - the series where you told us about the different gardens in your life and how you got into gardening in the first place. Those were truly wonderful and I could see the similarities in our attitudes to gardens when we were just youngsters.
    Happy Blogversary Marguerite! The new colour combination is very pretty!

  6. happy first blogaversary Marguerite, I was drawn to your blog when I read you had a large garden on an island and there are cats, I've enjoyed all your posts though I haven't commented on every one, blogs like gardening are organic in the sense of growth development and change, love reading your changes and now I've found you look forward to following your journey in your second blog year, after skipping back to some of your last summers posts recently I am looking forward to your garden in summer as I found your blog last autumn, Frances

  7. Wow, Marguerite, that year just flew by. Love the changes you have made, I have been debating about changing mine, you have given me some food for thought.
    My fav posts were about your move and your new life in PEI, always love to hear the human story behind the garden.

  8. marguerite .. i'm feeling so excited for you .. the new blog caught me by surprise .. it is beautifull .. i so enjoy what i've already read that i look forward to hearing more .. and seeing the changes .. the west coast is wonderfull .. the east coast is wonderfull, i'm sure, and i'm delighted to share it through your writing and photos .. press on!

    by the way, we have a new resident on our little island, who just moved here from bowen ..

  9. Happy, happy anniversary!! I'm so glad to have found your blog and enjoy watching the evolution of your gardens. I really like your new blog design and the thought you put into this post. My favorite post was the post about forcing branches in the winter...beautiful idea!

  10. Happy anniversary! I love the apple blossom header - appropriate and lovely. My grandparent's farm in NB had an apple orchard and I loved it as a child.

    I really liked your series on the gardens that have inspired you - particularly your mom's garden.

    Best wishes for the coming year in your garden. I look forward to it. :)

  11. Happy anniversary! Its an accomplishment to blog for an entire year. I have to take breaks.

    Not sure of my favorite, but I too just like the general idea of you out there on that island gardening away.

  12. Happy Anniversary. I have no suggestions other than to keep telling us what joys and surprises you find in your new garden. It isn't easy to leave a beloved garden for a new experience, but your enthusiasm shows.

  13. A big thank you for all your responses. It's really great to see what catches people's interest. Some of you have a real soft spot for those apples it seems and some are interested in our personal story. I'm hearing too that lots of you want to see what will happen this spring. I hope to have some posts on that in the near future if I can make up my mind what it is I'm planning!

    Diana - I want to thank you for your advice. A postscript is a smart way of adding those search terms. I hadn't thought of that. As well, thank you for your advice to other bloggers in general. You've written a number of excellent posts that have been beneficial to me and I'm sure many others.

    Deborah - Now that Blogger has made changing the details of our blogs so much easier I couldn't resist playing. Not only can you pick the colour you want but the exact shade! It's hard though seeing a new blog when I open up my screen, who knew I would miss that old format?

    (Protection) Jane - aren't islanders funny? returning to the mainland just doesn't make sense to us so we go from one island to another. If I ever had to move again I would love to live on Galiano.

    Jess - I admire your ability to walk away and take a break. I'm like a dog worrying a bone, I just can't put something down once I've started. Sometimes I think a break would be a good thing.

  14. A bit belated, Marguerite, but Happy Blogaversary! I can't possibly choose a favorite post; I always love visiting your blog. BTW, my apple blossom amaryllis is now blooming in just the colors of your header photo. I love the spring feel of those colors. -Jean

  15. Happy anniversary! I love the new header pic, it feels as if you have truly moved in to PEI somehow, with the changes - no longer in transition, but home. Fav post? So hard! Having to dig out your mailbox? Going snowshoing? Sleight ride? All great, but what I loved most was the series you did on your evolution as a gardener. I love posts that help give more context to you and your garden. Can't wait to see your apple blossom this year!

  16. Hi Marguerite,
    Congratulations on your anniversary!! I have enjoyed getting to know you over the last year. Hmm... I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite post. I always enjoy the triumphs and tragedies. I also liked your series of your evolution as a gardener. Your revised layout looks wonderful and is a perfect backdrop to take you into year 2.

  17. Marguerite, Happy Blogiversary! I've really enjoyed reading your blog and getting to know you and your garden, and PEI, over the past year. I love that you're reflecting on your blog and noting the changes that have naturally occurred. Like other readers, I'm hard pressed to name a favorite post. I'm looking forward to another year of learning more.

  18. Marguerite has it really been that long ?! Happy blogversary girl : )
    I really like the changes on your blog too! .. I've liked all of your posts even though I am not a seed or veg grower (does a pot of tomatoes count ? LOL)
    To see what is happening on the east coast, in your garden and surrounding areas, is a happy thing for me .. we are originally from the east coast .. I miss that cold crisp ocean and the landscape .. your blog is a little thread back there for me .. thank you : )

  19. Joy - a pot of tomatoes definitely counts! Right now I'm focussed on starting seeds because I can't get outside but hopefully in the next month we'll get back out and start work on the flower beds. I kinda failed at getting them going last year but this year I have a plan. fingers crossed.