Well, first of all, a belated welcome to all the folks who've stopped over to say hello from the recent Globe article about the Rock Meadow Community Gardens. ( I think it may tell you to register but it will let you view the article for free. ) I was puzzled that the Globe folks didn't wait a few weeks until some of the plants would start leafing out - here in zone 6a we're only in the planting stage this month! It must look so brown! Nevertheless, it was fun to find out that people are so interested in gardening that it might merit a little mainstream attention. That said, please don't be discouraged by the sparseness of the plants - it's early days yet.
So, whether you're just curious about the people you read about in the article, or about gardening in general, welcome. As you'll see if you poke around on my site, I'm much more casual about blogging than many others; Kathy over at Skippy's Vegetable Garden is very scientific and has photos that are far better than mine. Also, she has a really great dog (the aforementioned Skippy) - I have no dog. Sorry. :) But I would point out that if you are curious about a lot of the science behind gardening, you really cannot go wrong by perusing her blog; it really is a wonderful and informative resource. I garden because I love growing herbs, vegetables, berries, and flowers, and it gives me an excuse to hang around outside and watch birds and enjoy the sunset. I blog because it's fun, and through the blog I get to know others around the country and around the world who garden. In turn, we drop by one another's blogs to check in on eachother, and admire everyone's plants as the seasons change. We compare notes, what worked, what didn't, speculate as to reasons and solutions for future attempts... and laugh. A lot.
Speaking solely for myself, I've found it fascinating to learn that people garden everywhere, including the arctic and antarctic zones, where they have to go to some extraordinary lengths to cultivate plants in containers. (Check out the blogroll that lists some of the many many garden bloggers around the world - my blogroll is located in the right-hand column and down a ways.)
What I've learned over the years of blogging about my own experiences and reading about others' is that everyone's climate presents unique challenges (providing or excluding light during the extreme portions of the year in the arctic; water and drought periods in the tropics, etc.), but everyone approaches gardening with the same dedication, anticipation and curiousity -- even though many of us are not relying on our gardens as a strict food source. It provides exercise (and a few injuries - brambles, thorns, blisters and pulled muscles come to mind), sunshine, fresh air, plenty of quiet time (and social time), as well as wildlife observation (for good and ill...suffice to say that we gardeners find the sub-plot in Caddyshack involving Bill Murray and the gopher much more humorous than do most of the rest of the population).
I also appreciate that everyone gardens in their own way, and for their own reasons, just as everyone who blogs does so for different reasons. Some bloggers want a forum for writing essays and engaging in discussions; some hope to build it slowly into a writing career; others (like myself) prefer to keep it a strictly social venue. Likewise, some gardeners prefer strictly organized English-style gardens; others will carefully arrange "square-foot" gardens or rows of various crops; some prefer flower or herb gardens; and some happily improvise from season to season. No doubt you can guess which category I fall into (remember - nature works pretty well without us, and all those seeds get carried and scattered by the wind, by birds, by animals...no rows there! so don't laugh at the rough edges in my garden). It works for me.
As with so many other things, there is no "wrong way" to garden - nor, I contend, is there a wrong way to blog. I am happy to sit here at my keyboard and correspond with people when they feel like dropping by. I like to visit their gardens too - via their blogs. Think of the friendships I'd miss out on if I hadn't "met" so many of these people, and the things I might not have learned about (vermiculture, pickling, beekeeping, the locavore movement, raw milk and cheese, urban farming with chickens and ducks, to name only a few) - not to mention the fact that a surprising number of the people I've "met" online are often people that I either have already met or later went on to connect with through other, offline interests (several branches of science, technology, knitting, several art disciplines, documentary filmmaking, teaching and education, just to name a few).
I could natter on for a while about it, but I'm really just trying to encourage the newcomers to say hello, don't be shy, and introduce yourselves. I certainly never expected any of us would make it into the local paper, but I hope that it encourages people to start a little garden, or a container garden, or take a walk through the conservation land and say hello if you see one of us working in our plot.