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Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful," and sitting in the shade. - Rudyard Kipling

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A year in a flash

Just today, this blog has turned a year old. A journey, that started off with a very little knowledge about the domain has continued all these months to complete a whole year. It's been a journey with some highs and lows, I tried maintaining the quality of the contents that I share with my readers, the frequency at which I share the content, and more importantly, add value to my readers.
I started this blog, with an intention to create a journal of my gardening journey, and in the process help out people who crave to try and get their hands dirty with gardening to reap the benefits it brings with it.
            As a quote rightly goes:

It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season. -Kate Morton

I too went on to experience the pleasure as described in the saying. It's a feeling worth experiencing, when you sow a seed, care for it, then see it germinate, grow and bloom and at times bear fruits too. As stated above, there have been highs and there have been lows. I started off my gardening adventures with some flowering plants, and as I travelled farther in this journey, I kept adding in more and more, some plants lived on, some died out. Beyond flowers, that I am fond of, I tried experimenting with vegetable gardening, in quite a less space on a relatively small rooftop of my home. The journey saw me bring home a grape vine, a small plant, that grew into a big vine, and did give me some bunches of grapes too last year.
The blog, I hope, has come a long way, adding a few readers that liked coming again and again, I believe, feeling motivated by the successes I got in my gardening adventures, sharing some of their adventures with others on their blogs, which at times motivated me to try something new in my gardening space. I started off this blog as a medium to share my experiences, and I believe that I'm being a bit successful in doing what I wanted, through this blog, though a bit slow as one would have expected, but, as the popular saying goes in - Slow and steady wins the race, so, here I am, being slow and trying to be steady to win the race, though, there is actually no one I'm competing with.
Here are a few screenshots of how the blog evolved as the time passed. I hope to revisit the times again:


Initially, I selected a template, and started off the blog. Having quite a little knowledge of the platform - blogging, I dived in to learn through trials and errors, and, I believe, I did quite well with managing my blog, maintaining a decent quality of contents (do let me know if you didn't like the contents), adding tonnes of pictures (considering myself an amateur photography enthusiast, I do like capturing photos of the plants I grow in my small rooftop garden), maintaining a posting schedule, and trying to stick to it strictly (though, at times, due to my professional responsibilities, I failed to keep up, and I still regret, if anyone felt disappointed by that). As the time passed, I made additions and subtractions to the features/widgets I used on this blog, adding an animated slider using a free to use header slider utility (Camera CSS) and some of the shots of the plants and blooms, I captured in my rooftop garden using my cellphone. Next to come was a menu, that became home to some features I included in the blog, to facilitate an easy visit to my blog, even making available some links for easy navigation. As my photo repository grew (On an average I click 30-40 images of my plants and flowers on a daily basis, and usually, there is some or the other plant blooming at one or the other time to enable me take these photos), I decided to make some available for my visitors to download, if they liked to, thus making the same available on an easy to use download gallery integrated into the blog itself. Enabled with features including a one click download (as available with a new feature implementation in HTML5, available in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox as of now), with a slideshow player, this download gallery too is based on a free to use plugin called Galleriffic.

Screenshot of the download gallery that has been implemented on the blog, to enable visitors to download images, if they like.
Over the time, as I joined different blogging groups and forums for information/help on blogging, I stumbled upon, an online community of bloggers of Indian origin, and I hung upon with them. The people there did help me out at times when I needed help. More often, visiting blogs of people there helped me out with inspiration for improvement and content ideas/presentation on my blog. I would like to thank the people there, and also the owners of the community for their thought to make a community/forum like this.
A year in a flash: Snapshots from some of the things that I did and shared with you all all through the year.

This journey, has reached just a single milestone, with many more to go. I very heartly feel that it'll still go a long time, and would try my best to add more value to the visitors with the content that I share here. Lastly, I'd like to wholeheartedly thank the visitors (even if they were bots of search engines :P), who kept on coming, which served as a motivating factor.
Leaving you guys with some shots from the past one year, and with promises for future. I'll be back with some spring time blooms as we are now at the end of the winters, here in this part of the world, and the spring blooms have already taken their place in beautifying the landscape. Till then, keep visiting and HAPPY GARDENING!

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