Sunday, June 28, 2009 A week puttering in Helen’s Haven

Daylily photo taken at Smithfield Gardens, Suffolk, VA

Daylily photo taken at Smithfield Gardens, Suffolk, VA

This thing called blogging is catching on.  New blogs are starting faster than fallen seeds sprouting from my feeders.

As a garden writer, blogging is a welcome relief – no deadlines, no word limit, no pitching.  I can write 999 words or 99.  I choose to write what I want and when. It’s a welcome change from the day-to-day.  This post in particular, my weekly journal, is my favorite to write.  Yesterday, I wrote a Dear Cleome letter about cooling my relationship with said plant.  No doubt, no editor of mine would be interested in that letter, but I enjoyed writing it…the entire 3 minutes it took to write.

Gardening with Confidence and A Tidewater Gardener

Gardening with Confidence and A Tidewater Gardener

With blogging came a network of new friends – other bloggers.  Many are professionals, like me, others are retirees who find pleasure in posting about their garden’s goings on.  There are as many reasons to blog as there are bloggers.    What we all have in common is sharing information about plants, events, places to visit and yes, ourselves and our families.

Often, code words are used to name our children, husbands or significant other.  I refer to my husband, David, as my good looking husband or on twitter (I can be followed at @HelenYoest), as MGLH.

I visit some blogs just to see the photographs.  That’s how I got to know Les @ A Tidewater Gardener.  Then as small worlds would have it, we have a mutual friend in Mark Weathington, Assistant Director at the JC Raulston Arboretum.  I have no idea how I learned this, but the subject came up, none-the-less.  While the photos lured me in, the content kept me coming back for more.  He has a gentle style that I enjoy.

I saw that Janet @ The Queen of Seaford and Racquel @ Perennial Garden Lover would visit Les’ blog and leave comments.  Soon, I was clicking on their names and this would take me to their blogs and I liked what I saw.  And so it goes.   I learned to love their styles, preferences, purchases, day to day life.  Just like the old days, when I would call a friend on the phone to see what was going on, I check friend’s recent blog posts to catch up.    By the way Racquel, I hope your grandfather is doing better!

As all my blogging friends know, I am not the best friend.  I don’t write comments often enough…for that I am so sorry.  I’m distracted easily; my only defense, which we all know is no good reason at all.

Perennial Gardener, Gardening With Confidence, Queen of Seaford

Perennial Gardener, Gardening With Confidence, Queen of Seaford

When I needed to be in Virginia, I emailed Les to see if could see his garden and the Smithfield Gardens, a garden center in Suffolk, VA, where he works.  Then the idea of a tiny blogger’s hook up was born.   Racquel and Janet met Les and I  at the garden center (sorry for being late guys, we were beguiled in another garden.)  Before I forget Les, what is name of the plant in the photo below – again?  I need me some of that!

Smithfileld 236

If all goes well, I will be visiting Janet and Racquel’s respective gardens in July.  I’m excited about that.  They will be seeing Les’ garden soon.

I found now that I’ve actually met these new friends, I’m more committed to the relationship than before.  I’ve now taken to putting a astrisk next to blog sites of blogger I’ve met as shown in Helen’s Blog Roll.

Thanks for taking the time to get together Les, Janet, and Racquel.  It was an enjoyable experience and I’m already looking forward to the next time…

And for the rest of the week…

Tis the season, and I have been slammed scouting great gardens for publication.  This week has been set aside for me to send them in – I promise, y’all they’re coming.

Between the travel, tweets, and tris, I did manage to have fun in the garden.

  • While at the beach, I got some Spanish moss from a friend.  I want to see if I can grow it here.  Yes, I really do.
  • Pulled Cleome.
  • Mowed.
  • Trimed dead out of Curly willow ‘Scarlet Curls’.
  • Filled birdbaths and feeders.
  • Had my garden open for the JC Raulston Arboretum volunteers.  It was fun to show folks around (when I was home.)
  • Planted plant Les gave me – too long to remember how to spell name and too tired to look up.

Also went to a Seasonal Celebration Party for the JC Raulston Arboretum.  Now that was fun.  Well done, Jayme and Phil.

Granting Father’s Day wishes, we packed up and spent an afternoon at the pool followed by burgers on the grill.  A great Father’s Day 2009.

Fathers day 002cc

Helen Yoest
Gardening With



  1. Joy said

    It is an amazing virtual world of gardening isn’t it ?
    …. and yes it is exploding like those dandelion fluff heads we blew away as kids .. now we hate to see those seeds flying in the air ! haha
    It is wonderful to be able to meet the bloggers in person .. nice to see the pictures too : ) Thanks !

  2. Janet said

    Good morning Helen! Great write up (no matter how long it took to write 2 seconds or 20 mintues) It was a great treat meeting and I really hope that we are able to get together in July- which is here this week! Where has the summer gone?
    Like the pictures of us….that Agave next to you and Les is amazing. Looks like a happy brood on Father’s Day!
    Hope to see you soon.

  3. tina said

    Well said Helen! I am thrilled to see the bloggers behind the blogs and to hear you had a good time. Say hi to the kiddos and hubby for us. P.S. I think being a good blogging friend is a bit more than just commenting, it is also establishing a relationship and really talking. You do this well regardless of how many comments you leave. So don’t even give this another thought. Take care.

  4. […] View original here: Sunday, June 28, 2009 A week puttering in Helen's Haven … […]

  5. […] As a garden writer, blogging is a welcome relief – no deadlines, no word limit, no pitching. I can write 999 words or 99. See more here: Sunday, June 28, 2009 A week puttering in Helen's Haven … […]

  6. patientgardener said

    I have found the same here in the Uk. I have met VegPlotting, JAS, Garden Tapestry and in Sepgtember will be going to see Artists Garden

  7. That’s pretty cool, Patient Gardener. Next time I’m “across the pond” I will look you up! H.

  8. Les said

    Why is it that pictures of ourselves never come out like we want. Maybe everyone will be looking at the Agave and not me. The red flower is a hardy Alstroemeria, probably too hardy.

  9. Ha Les, such is life. At least you are in good company! H.

  10. Racquel said

    It was great getting to meet you & Les as well as some shopping while we were waiting. 🙂 Thanks Helen, my Grandfather is still in the process of getting better.

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