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.”
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.
“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.