Monday, 24 May 2010

ONE (from the heart).

ONE whole year of Stilton Ruler of the Universe...

....and tales from Tumbledown Farm.

I cannot believe it has been a whole year since I started the blog, I do not know where the time has gone, it seems to be moving so quickly. 

I was not sure whether to celebrate the passing of this event or not, but I am feeling nostalgic today so I will. I started the blog last year at a very difficult time in my life. I felt somehow that the real me was no longer there, just a person carrying out a daily routine, getting up every morning going to work, doing a monotonous job chasing people up and pestering them for their paperwork and constantly nagging them for it when it never appeared. No one ever saw me, I was just my job and nothing else and had been for years. I could have been a zombie, no one would have noticed.

I used to be such a happy bubbly person, but that girl was lost. When a colleague came back from holiday with a fridge magnet for me with "This IS my happy face..." on it like the one above I smiled and put it on my desk, but inside I cried and cried. Is this what I had really become? It was just not what I had hoped my life would be by the time I turned thirty...

So last year I took the very tough decision to leave my job, and take a break from archaeology: my dear mother had had a bad fall at work and had lost her mobility, she was struggling to cope with the smallholding and I felt I needed time out from my own life that was making me unhappy on so many different levels. A gardening friend (JaneRowena) suggested to me that I should start a blog, to keep a diary of my new life to help me through the move and so that is how Wisteria and Cow Parsley came about. 

I am not from a horticultural background, nor am I trying to seek fame and glory through my blog, I am just a girl who felt a bit lost and wanted to learn to express her creativity, to find a voice, to feel passionate about life and feel the grass under her feet again. 

I have learnt to pick up a camera and explore the world through a lens. It has given me the creative output I had been craving. It has helped me to explore my passion for plants, gardens and design in greater depth. But the thing that has amazed and delighted me the most is that so many people have joined me on my rambles around Tumbledown Farm, tours of gardens and wanderings through the countryside. I never imagined anyone would ever show an interest beyond my friends and family and I feel deeply honoured that you have. 

The Temple, The Courts Garden, Holt, Wiltshire.

Thank you so very much to everyone who has stopped by to read the blog, to those who have left comments and sent messages of support via forums, twitter, Facebook and e-mail. Thank you to all those who have picked posts through Blotannical. You have no idea how much a cheeky comment from someone like James or Esther can lift my day, or when Deborah or Cenya mentions my photography in one of their posts that it really does mean the world to me. Or how happy I am when a garden designer e-mails me to say how much they enjoyed the photos I took of their garden at the the Malvern Show. 

I have never ceased to be amazed by the generosity of the other bloggers, to have my day brightened by the arrival of beautifully designed cards from Karen or that Dan Pearson book I had been hankering after for so long from the Happy Moufftard

All these things make keeping the blog so special, knowing that not only do I get the chance to at last feel more creative but that it is giving pleasure to others too and that I have made so many new friends along the way. So thank you all for stopping by over the past year and supporting me in my follies, it really has meant so very much to me, it really has.

RO xxx 

 The Japanese Garden at Iford Manor.


Lynne said...

What an exceptionally beautiful post visually. And for me (a relative newcomer to your blog) a wonderful introduction to you, the writer.

It made me smile today, another very sad day after losing our beautiful half-Burmese cat 4 days ago after 8 wonderful, loving years. The first picture, of Stilton in silhouette, reminded me of her - they have same shape. So thank you :-)

Rothschild Orchid said...

Dear Lynne,

Those that know me, know that Stilton is my shadow, we are quite inseperable. He is a loyal companion if not a little bossy!

I am so desperately sorry to hear you have lost your cat this week, that just awful, my heart goes out to you.

I am glad my post made you smile, it is so hard to lose them but it does get a little less painful with time,

RO xxx

Mary said...

Hi there, I just found you via Jen at Muddy Boot Dreams. Congratulations on reaching your one year anniversary! Your photos are so very beautiful! I am going to have a great time wandering through your blog... and I look forward to following your posts in the future. :)
~Mary at Little Red House and In a Soft Light

janerowena said...

I feel famous now! :)

It works both ways, you know - it brightens my day to have something pretty and interesting to read.

Valerianna said...

Nice to have some background on your former life... So do you have a magnet with your NEW happy face on it?

Nice that you have Stilton as a shadow, I have my Pasha shadow as well!

And, oooo, Lynne, losing a cat friend is so hard. A year ago March I lost my Sophia and resorted to telling people that there had been a death in the family after not getting too much understanding when telling the truth. And, of course to me, there HAD been a death in the family.

Carrie said...

blogging changed my life too - funny, isn't it how writing (to no one for a long time) calms the soul. Words flow out of my fingertips and the real me is exposed.
Happy anniversary, may it be the 1st of many xx

D said...

RO, congratulations dear lady on your blogiversary! One would think you had done this for many years, as it is apparent that your work comes through the eye of an artist. Thank you taking time to be part of a gardening community.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your anniversary post. It is quite a milestone.

Kudos to you for following your heart and moving home. We never know how long we'll have and it's important to honor our family connections. I moved across the country (USA) to help my sister, brother-in-law and elderly mother, who died 2 1/2 years after I moved. Though I am still feeling a little lost and unsure of what my future will bring, I am fervently glad for that decision. It was one of the best ones I've ever made. Keep growing and enjoying!

Barbara H.

Juliet said...

Congratulations on your blog's anniversary, RO! You have created a thing of beauty here - it's always lovely to come and look at your stunning photos - and from the ones I've seen of your work in the gardens of your parents' smallholding, you are creating a thing of beauty there too.

Emerald Window said...

Hi RO and congratulations on your anniversary. Thanks also for the link to my blog (which I so desperately need to update).
You are a brave and fearless woman warrior to have taken the road you've showed us. I'm very proud of you.
And one other thing - I am a garden designer of 20 + years and I think your gardening and your photography is fabulous!
Cheer, Cenya

Diana Studer said...

Happy Blogaversary! What enchanting photos. (I miss Stilton in your header, used to enjoy seeing what he was up to now?)

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

(((hugs))) RO and congratulations on having your blog for a year. I've only really got to know you through the blog through the last 3 or 4 months and its been fun reading your posts and its such a wonderful feast for the eyes seeing all your beautiful photos.

Your photography really inspires me to get out there with my own camera.

As your blog has blossomed I think that girl you spoke of has started to blossom again too and I'm sure your mum has valued all the help and company (you and Stilton) on the farm.

Now what about an update on those baby goats!! are you still bottlefeeding?

:) Rosie

Liz said...

Hi RO,

Happy blogiversary!

I'm very glad you decided to keep a blog, your photos are so stunning, not to mention the friendships formed through the blogging community.

Unknown said...

Happy Blogiversary, Dear RO. We're grateful for your presence in the blogging world too! It takes a lot to open up and share from your heart like you do, and we're all honoured that you do so. Your photos are exquisite, as always, but it's the writing that comes straight from your heart that draws me back time and again. And I'm sure your happy face is quite different from the grumpy kitty--more like Stilton's! xx jodi

Anna said...

Congratulations RO on your first blog anniversary and here's to many more :) I have enjoyed your posts over the last year and never cease to be amazed by your exquisite photos.

aspidistra said...

happy blog birthday to you, happy blog birthday to you, happy blog birthday, dear RO, happy bloggy birthday to yooooooo!

Congratulations on keeping it going for a year. Your blog is always so enjoyable, especially when it's from the heart. I particularly love reading about Tumbledown. And especially Stilton.


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Funny how some blogs (like, uh, mine) start from a great sadness, and slowly transform into something else.

The world you share in thus blog seems very joyful.

joey said...

Your post, most touching, is as beautiful as your love for life seen behind the lens in your stunning photos. In awe of your creativity, I am blessed to have connected. Thank you for sharing. You are a gift!

Jim Groble said...

Happy blogoverery. Wonderful post and great pics. If I could only get the boys to pose like Stilton in his royal magestiness. jim

Denise said...

Happy anniversary. It's always a pleasure to read your beautiful blog, and now my appreciation deepens even more to think it was a leap from unhappiness that led to it. Thank goodness for your readers you leapt!

RURAL magazine said...

Oh Happy Blogiversary to you. Yes the years are flying by, we are simply transported by the beauty of your presentation. Awed by your photography, and in love with Stilton.

Here's to many more...


Katy said...

I have been readinhg your blog for a while, but this is my first comment.
Your blog is inspirational RO
I think you are very brave to have taken some hard decisions to find yourself again.
You have so many special qualities, combined with such determination - 'chapeau' or hats off! to you!

Anonymous said...

I seriously think you are an inspiration in so many ways.
Love to pesky Stilton and you

Carol said...

Congratulations on your first year RO! This is such a touching piece... so heartfelt and well written. What a wonderful way to begin your new life ... to start a new blog and connection that reaches across the globe. Your blog is beautiful and a joy to visit. You are an important addition to the garden bloggers community. Lovely Lovely photos!! Many Happy Returns!! ;>)

delia said...

Oh, your photos are very very spectaculars!!!!
I don' speak english, but I'll try to understand all that you write in your blog, ciao!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, RO! How lucky for the rest of us that you chose this vehicle for getting back in touch with your creative, happy self. Your photographs often just blow me away. And I'll admit it, I've got a bit of a crush on Stilton! -Jean

Autumn Belle said...

Hi, RO. Congratulations on your blog anniversary! It has been a beautiful experience getting to know you and your garden. Wishing you all the very best and I look forward to many many more interesting posts from Wisteria and Cow Parsley. Your photography is awe-inspiring. Cheers!

Victoria said...

A truly beautiful heartfelt post..inspiring beauty!! Hugs...glad you came into the blog world..i think you rock..and you are amazing!!

Doug Morrison said...

I just realized I haven't read your blog since April. It is a beautiful expression of your inner being and I do enjoy reading your thought and seeing through your eyes. thanks for sharing!

debsgarden said...

I am glad I did not miss out on reading about your special blogoversary! I have truly enjoyed and been inspired by your posts. I appreciate your sharing the background upon which your blog was started, and I wish you the very best.

Rothschild Orchid said...


I'm so pleased you have just discovered the blog, do stop by again. I shall do my best to visit you too :o)


When I get so many wonderful comments I really do have a happy face. I'm not sure if I'm ready for a fridge magnet just yet though!

Emerald Window,

Thank you so much for your lovely comments xxx


Thank you so much for your first comment and kind words, it is lovely to know you are following the blog.

Anonjan, pesky Stilton sends his love to you too ;o)


So lovely to see you back, I hope you are feeling a little better xxx


Great to see you here too, thank you for stopping by :o)

Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments it is wonderful to hear from you all. Just as soon as it stops raining Stilton and I will start work on a Tumbledown update.

RO xxxxx

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

RO, Just back from holidays and catching up on some posts.
I can't believe that you have only been blogging for a year, we started about the same time, but your blog looks so much more established than mine, it is just gorgeous. Of course, the wonderful photographs you take are just the icing on the cake.
I am glad that you had a 'life change', it seems to have done you a world of good.

Isabella Hutton said...

Love Stilton I have a Siamese called Charlie.

Love the blog

Izzy x