And Now, Green Tea with Carol

Carol's favorite beverage

Carol from May Dreams Gardens and I decided to write dual posts. I thought it would be fun to get to know Carol better, so come in out of the heat, put down your grub hoe, grab a green tea, and sit with us for a spell.

Why green tea? It’s Carol’s favorite drink: venti, straight up, shaken not stirred. She drinks it everyday unless her Starbucks is closed, or they run out like they did last week. Can you imagine a Starbucks running out of green tea?

If you’re wondering why the cup on the right is half full, I got thirsty before Carol arrived.

Who is the mysterious Carol?

Although she’s been described as the rock star of blogging, I think of her more as our cruise director. With Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day and Garden Bloggers’ Book Club, she has transformed our little cyber family by uniting all of us who have a passion for growing.

I met Carol in person at the Spring Fling held in Austin last April. A ready smile and twinkly eyes, she was more shy than I expected, but we’ve become very good friends.

She agreed to an interview, and I’ve got to say this is the first time I’ve interviewed a friend about herself. It was surreal.

What did I discover? That Carol is very much like her persona on her blog, and the two of us have much in common. She says she is an introvert, but likes socializing especially one on one. According to the Free Dictionary, “[i]ntroverts . . . are reserved, thoughtful and self-reliant.” I suspect that definition could describe many garden bloggers. I know we all share a similar interest in flora, fauna and the weather, and we all have a desire to write about our favorite subjects.

Carol was surprised yet touched by the enthusiasm which greeted her at the Spring Fling. She found everyone easy to talk to and thinks the Austin bloggers were excellent hosts. I agree. It was one of the highlights of my gardening year. People who knew her at home “got a big kick” out of the rock star reference in the Austin American Statesman article.

“Ha! For the next Spring Fling I’ll bring my list of ‘requirements.’ I must have Starbucks iced green tea at all times, green M&M’s . . . (wait, I’m making demands, I want my favorite dark chocolate covered pomegranates,) home grown tomatoes served on satin pillows, and a nice yellow banana each morning,” she said.

You do know she’s kidding don’t you?

She is the middle child in her family. She has an older brother and sister and two younger sisters.

“We were all fairly close in age, so there was always someone to play or fight with growing up.” Her older brother and younger sister don’t really garden, but her oldest and youngest sisters do.

“They aren’t quite as into gardening as I am.”

Really?

At present, Carol is very interested in her vegetable garden, and she is in the middle of her harvest, although the first ripe, red tomato still eludes her. This photo was taken in her garden. I’m lovin’ the backdrop of nasturtiums.

“I like the ambiance of the entire vegetable garden in mid-summer when everything is growing and producing,” she said, “I like to just walk around in it, sit on the purple bench and marvel at how fast a vegetable garden goes from bare ground to lush growth.”

She started the book club in fall of 2006.

“There were several garden bloggers who indicated they were going to ‘shut down’ their blogs in the fall because without an active garden, what would they have to write about? What? Thinking about gardening is a year-round activity for a gardening geek.”

She thought up Bloom Day on a cold, snowy February day when she was reading an Elizabeth Lawrence book. In it, she saw the quote “. . . we can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” Her garden was bare, but she wondered if others further south had flowers. She thought they could “share and compare.” She never expected it to become the meme it has. The last bloom day post netted 105 comments. Carol visited every blogger who commented and gave them a return comment. Wow.

This is a photo of one of Carol’s two roses. It is a white rose of the Flower Carpet series. I just don’t know what to say. We need to introduce her to some cold hardy, easy care roses for her garden. How can one dream in May and not have roses to dream upon?

On the other hand, Carol owns 22 hoes! Seems a little out of balance to me, but hey, I have too many roses and daylilies and probably not enough hoes so who am I to talk?

As far back as she can remember, Carol was “enamored” with plants. She earned a horticulture degree, but when she graduated with honors, it was in the middle of a recession. (I graduated from OU at nearly the same time with a journalism degree.) She went back to school and majored in Computer Technology and has worked for the same company for 25 years. Carol liked writing, and when she read about weblogs, she decided to try writing one. Although she started her blog in 2004, she really began writing in it daily in 2006. She has written over 900 posts, and her blog profile has been viewed 16,000 times.

Impressive.

“Gardeners have found [on] the web . . . a way to share their gardens and get gardening information that other generations of gardeners could never have imagined,” she said, “I think blogging will evolve as the Internet evolves, and who knows how . . . . Could we have imagined even a year ago microblogging through Twitter or Plurk?”

Nope, and I couldn’t have imagined how far blogging would take me or how many wonderful friends I would meet. Carol, thanks for being one of them, and to those of you who come by, thank you too. I’m glad we’ve had this time together. I look forward to it each day.

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22 comments on “And Now, Green Tea with Carol

  1. Silvia / Salix Tree

    Lovely post! And I would have never thought of Carol as being shy, but it really doesn’t surprise me. It’s always the quiet ones, hm? Her blog is one of my favorites, she has such a great community spirit.

    Silvia / Salix Trees last blog post..Peas and the wind

    Sylvia, it helps to have this screen between us and the world. She does have great community spirit.~~Dee

  2. Mary Ann Newcomer

    oohhhhhh, I am so not an introvert. But you knew that right? Loved the interview. Someone better get a big ass box of chocolate covered poms for the next hoe down.

    No, I never dreamed you were an introvert. That’s why we hang so well together Sistah Friend.~~Dee

  3. Carol, May Dreams Gardens

    Everyone, those dark chocolate covered pomegranates are really, really good. If you ever have a chance to try them, they are delicious!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardenss last blog post..The Secret of the Hoe

    I’m sure sales will go up exponentially.~~Dee

  4. Sherry from the zoo

    Very nice interview. I’m the baby sister and I didn’t even know about the dark chocolate-covered-poms. You learn something new everyday.

    My dream is to win the lottery and hire Carol to be our full-time gardener on our large estate! If that ever happens, you are all invited to come visit and drink iced green tea on the veranda…

    Sherry from the zoos last blog post..Happy Birthday Seth

    Ooh, Sherry, I bet she’d love that if she had the gardener’s cottage for her own space. Glad you liked the interview.~~Dee

  5. JenX67

    I’m really enjoying your blog and tweets and try to visit often. I enjoy gardening, but don’t do nearly as much as I want to do. I’ve been planning a nice fall garden, and follow Coming Up For Air on blogspot. She grows her own food.

    I’ll have to read Coming Up For Air. Thanks, Jen. I’ve enjoyed your tweets and your blog too, and we both live here.~~Dee

  6. CurtissAnn

    Honey-bunny- I never would have imagined I’d be blogging as I am. Thanks to you for getting me going, and introducing me to community. Love the shot of the teas.
    Hugs,

    CurtissAnns last blog post..Monday Meditation

    CA, we are all the richer for your voice in the blogosphere. Perhaps, I’ll interview you next.~~Dee

  7. Curtis

    I think sometime Carol keeps her local starbucks in Business. Next time I happen to be near a SB Ill have to try a green tea.

    Curtiss last blog post..Google Webmaster tools for Bloggers

    I think she does too. We need her here to revamp a few of ours.~~Dee

  8. Annie in Austin

    You’re a genius at description, Dee – you pegged it – Carol is our Julie McCoy, making sure we don’t hide in our cabins but meet the other passengers. It was a great joy to meet both of you at Spring Fling and spend some time together.

    The green tea I knew about, but at first I thought the reference to chocolate-covered pomegranates was a joke. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear….it might be dangerous to know they not only exist but come in dark chocolate, too.

    http://www.amazon.com/Brookside-Dark-Chocolate-Covered-Pomegranates/dp/B001716KHS

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    Annie in Austins last blog post..I Get Whimsical With a Little Help from my Friends

    Yes, they’re real, and I bet they’re good. Thanks for coming by, Annie. I loved meeting you too at the Fling.~~Dee

  9. Mr. McGregor's Daughter

    Fun post, Dee. I enjoyed learning a bit more about Carol. I’m surprised you didn’t also mention that her answer, on her Blotanical page about “Gardens You’d Like to Visit Before You Die,” of Austin’s garden bloggers’, was the inspiration for Spring Fling. (Maybe you didn’t because it results in seriously tortured syntax.) So now I just have to find chocolate covered pomegranate.

    Mr. McGregor’s Daughters last blog post.."Holy Jalapeno!"*

    MMD, I didn’t mention it because I totally forgot. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I’m not afraid of seriously tortured syntax. I embrace it in every post.~~Dee

  10. Brenda Kula

    Dee, I truly enjoyed this amusing, thought-filled, evocative interview. I didn’t know all this, so it came as a great surprise! It is amazing what has evolved from “internet gardening.” I just started blogging last December, and I’ve made many friends, lasting friendships. Met so many people I hold in high regard. And you’re certainly at the top of that list! Thanks for sharing!
    Brenda

    Brenda Kulas last blog post..Grandbaby News!

    Brenda, I didn’t know it either, so it was fun. I’m glad you and I are friends too.~~Dee

  11. Victoria

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I find the whole phenomenon of cyberfriends and blogger soulmates so intriguing: I love hearing all about real people, with whom I might have something real in common (as opposed to celebrity gossip) and this was a lovely interview. Barbara Walters better watch her back, Dee!

    Victorias last blog post..Bad news and good news

    Hi Victoria, I’m so glad you came on over and visited with us today. The thing about blogging is that we can let the world in a little and get to know each other. Thank you for kind comments.~~Dee

  12. Lisa at Greenbow

    I enjoyed this interview with Carol. She is a good organizer and always has such a fresh look at the garden. Just imagine what
    all she would write about if she lived on a large estate.

    I so enjoy your writing Dee. You are so talented. I am glad you share this talent via your blog. My days would be quite a bore without reading your tales of your garden so often.

    Gosh, Lisa, thanks. That means so much to me.~~Dee

  13. Tina

    What a nice bit of insight into the blogger! I did not go to spring fling but it sounds so exciting and hats off to those Austin Bloggers!

    Tina, the bloggers in Chicago are supposed to be planning one for next year. You should come to it. It will be so much fun.~~Dee

  14. Meems

    Dee,
    I like this whole idea of interviewing each other … it helps the interviewee and the readers with an extra special peek into a devoted gardeners life. Carol is definitely the rock star of blogging AND gardening. Truly a gifted writer and humorist. This was a nice tribute to her … and her hoes. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Meems @Hoe&Shovel

    Meemss last blog post..Caladiums Are My Day Lilies

    Hi Meems, I think it would be fun to do this once a month. Getting to know each other better is a good thing.~~Dee

  15. Colleen

    This was so much fun to read, Dee! It was fun to learn more about Carol. I agree that the best thing about blogging has been the friends I’ve made. It’s something I never would have expected, but I look forward to the time we spend on each other’s blogs, as well as on Twitter and Plurk. Now I just need to actually meet you all in real life, and we’ll be all set!

    Hi Colleen, I’m so glad you liked it. It’s lovely to have so many friends isn’t it? I’ve liked getting to know you too.~~Dee

  16. Yolanda Elizabet

    Green tea as Carol’s favourite tipple and chocolate covered pomegranates to munch, who knew? ;-) Fun interview Dee, it’s always nice to get to know one’s fellow garden bloggers a bit better. I’m partial to green tea as well but I make it myself as there is no Starbucks over here. As for the hoe thingy; Bliss is still a hoe-free zone. ;-)

    Yolanda Elizabets last blog post..My Trug Runneth Over

    Thank you. When you come to the states, we’ll treat you to a Starbucks iced green tea. They are good especially in summer.~~Dee

  17. Pam/Digging

    This is a fun idea, Dee. I enjoyed your profile of Carol. It was a great pleasure to host both of you at the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling last April, and Carol’s rock star “demands” for the next Fling are hilarious. No, she wasn’t diva-like at all when she was here, but maybe it’s going to her head. (Just kidding, Carol!)

    Pam/Diggings last blog post..Mini-Me plants

    The dual post was actually Carol’s idea. I can’t tell you how much the Spring Fling changed my life. It was so worth it. You were a kind and gracious hostess.~~Dee

  18. Carol, May Dreams Gardens

    Um, how to comment, except to say thank you for the honor of being interviewed and for letting me see your hoe collection. It’s a good start, and I do want to grow more roses, maybe in the spring.

    You’re welcome. I will help you with the rose thing. It will be fun to think of new ones. I’m out of room, I think.~~Dee

  19. Leslie

    What a nice interview! And who knew dark chocolate covered pomegranates existed? Now I need to find some…

    Leslie’s last blog post..Arboretum Beats Out Gym

    I sure didn’t, Leslie. Thanks.~~Dee

  20. Anna

    This is a grand interview and I’ve always wanted to know more about Carol and how she started the Bloom Day and the Book Club. I love her basket for the veges. I am impressed that she does make it around to so many blogs and has been with the same company for this many years. It doesn’t surprise me that she has worked so hard to accomplish many things cause it shows in her comments as sincere and steadfast.

    Now let me go read about Dee!

    Annas last blog post..Shirley Bovshow went to Maui and I made eggplant sandwiches for supper.

    Hi Anna, I’m so glad you enjoyed it.~~Dee

  21. perennialgardenlover

    What a wonderful post about friendship and a great tribute to Carol. As someone that is new to blogging, I’ve been very touched by her generous comments when she has visited my blog (and not just on Bloom Day). I can’t imagine answering 105 comments. That is beyond belief. Thanks for inspiring all of us Dee & Carol.

    If I ever get to 105, I am going to do a happy, but exhausted happy dance.~~Dee