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Commonweeder – Eleventh Blogaversary – Hooray!

Roses at the End of the Road

Roses at the End of the Road by Pat Leuchtman, Illustrations by Henry Leuchtman

The Commonweeder blog debuted On December 6, 2007, on the Feast of Saint Nicholas. I barely knew what a blog was at the time, but after after 27 years of writing my weekly garden column, Between the Rows, in the Greenfield Recorder, I decided to write a book. My friend B.J., an expert on all things literary, said I needed to have a blog. Thus was The Commonweeder launched.

The book came first, of course. Many of the chapters were revised columns written over the years. The chapters are varied from Bonnie Kate’s Wedding on our lawn, Lightning Strikes when midnight lightning hit our barn and set the house to smoking, and Saint Fiacre Stayed here. My co-workers at Greenfield Community College often sighed and asked if the tale I was telling was ‘another Heath story.’  Surely they would fascinate a larger audience. My husband helped with the book by providing wonderful illustrations, and my skilled son did all the set up for the printer.

Selling a book was actually harder than writing the book, but they continue to sell. To celebrate the eleventh year of the Commonweeder blog I would like to send everyone who leaves a comment and an email address a copy of The Roses at the End of the Road, postage paid! Please do leave a comment.

My husband set up the blog, and has reset it up over the years. It is  wonderful to live in a house that comes equipped with tech support. His supports have made writing the blog a joy, and writing the blog has brought me many new friends  in the garden blog world who I have been blessed to meet at the Garden Bloggers Fling which was  founded at the same time as my blog. I got to meet the great gardeners and bloggers like Carol Michel of the famous May Dreams Gardens, Mary Shier who taught me the trick of using the NYTimes to get eyeballs, Elizabeth Licata who organized my first Fling in Buffalo (FABULOUS!), Kylee Baumle who is now a great Monarch expert, Dee Nash who has inspired me, Layanee Merchant who honored my garden with a visit, Gail Eichelburger who taught me about the importance of native plants, Cindy Tournier who is practically a neighbor of my Texas daughter, Beth Stetenfeld who gave us a tour of the  Olbrich Botanical Garden when we were in Wisconsin,, Pam Penick, who was one of the 2018 Fling in Austin, Texas and many others who have become inspiring friends.

The view of the landscape in Heath May 2015, just before we bought our new house.

The Commonweeder Blog has also given me a great record, including photos, of the weather, of the changes in my garden, of a move to a new garden. When we moved to Greenfield my garden looked like this. Just bare space.

A bare beginning May 2015

This past summer, after three years of planting water loving shrubs and native plant, building a little stone wall for the Hugel and trying many experiments, our garden looks like this.

August 2017 – I realize I have no good photos of the growth of plants because the garden was flooded a good part of 2018 – but doing pretty well.

Early November flood. Most of the summer and fall there would be flooding, it would dry up, and then it would flood again. LOTS of rain.

In  the summer, anyway. These are the views from my upstairs window.

I plan to keep the blog going. It is always an incentive to learn more, to share more and to have pleasure. I hope you will celebrate with me and leave a comment with your email so I can send you a copy of the Roses at the End of the Road.

December 6, 2018