“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~John Muir
It’s time to bring you another interview with an amazing person I have grown to know in the blogosphere. As you might remember, after receiving and award from Julie@Gardening Jules, I had promised to do several interviews of some amazing bloggers and share them with you.
So for today’s interview, I am talking with Beth@PlantPostings. I met Beth over 5 years ago when I started my garden blog. We seem to connect so easily. We both gardened in Zone 5, and my weather was very similar to Beth’s in Wisconsin. We both enjoyed native plants, and quickly started a shared seasonal meme…really Beth started hers first, Garden Lessons Learned, which inspired me to look at seasons differently. And from there, Garden Lessons Learned spun off Seasonal Celebrations. I love how both these seasonal memes have enriched my life. And both will be starting for the new season around December 1st.
Beth is a wonderful writer, photographer and gardener…and she has other hidden talents too. So let’s meet Beth……..
Hi, I’m Beth. I call Southern Wisconsin home, but I have a bit of wanderlust so I enjoy traveling when the budget and the calendar allow.
I’m a mom (of two wonderful young adults), a wife, and a communications consultant. I’m also a lifelong gardener, a Wisconsin Master Naturalist volunteer, and an amateur photographer.
I’m often distracted by wildflowers, pollinators, and scenic overlooks. My husband and I both enjoy hiking, so we spend many weekends on Wisconsin’s amazing trails.
I like to experiment with plants—pushing zones, playing with microclimates, and practicing companion planting. My garden is organic. For at least the past decade, we’ve found natural ways to keep garden pests, invasive plants, and plant diseases at bay. It’s actually a fun challenge!
1.I really love this picture of you Beth! Let me start by asking, why did you start your blog?
It’s a very long story, but I’ll try to be brief. My career has always included writing and editing as part of my job description, and I’ve been a gardener and plant-lover my entire adult life. When my kids were young, I came across a software package that was an encyclopedia, of sorts, of plant life. So the interest has always been there. But I guess the turning point came when I realized how to merge the writing with the curiosity and love of plants. I started tracking all the plants in my garden and learning the details about them. I inquired about writing for an online gardening publication. The editor accepted some of my work and suggested I start a gardening blog. I haven’t looked back since.
2. Beth I really enjoy my visits to your blog, and have always been intrigued by its name. What is the significance of the title of your blog?
Thanks, Donna. This is the embarrassing part. Starting a gardening blog became a “must do” very quickly for me. I didn’t want to spend months or weeks analyzing it, because I was afraid I wouldn’t do it. So, I started researching names that were already claimed and those that were available. When I found out “PlantPostings.com” was available, I grabbed it (registered the URL web address)! I couldn’t believe no one had used that simple URL for a blog. Since then, I’ve always been a little sheepish about the simplicity of it, but someone at the Garden Bloggers’ Fling said the nicest thing to me—in effect, that she liked it, and that it was easy to remember. I shared plans to potentially change it, and she said she thought it was perfect the way it is. 🙂
3. So what keeps you blogging?
I can’t think of any other thing I’ve done (besides being a mom) that has been more rewarding. The combination of gardening/botany with photography, writing, and making friendships with like-minded people around the world has truly changed my life. I occasionally need a break from it, but I always want to start back up almost as soon as I start taking a break. It’s not something I have to do; I don’t get paid for it. Instead, it’s a hobby … or maybe it’s better described as an avocation. Perhaps that’s what motivates me—I enjoy it, so I do it!
4. I couldn’t agree more with you Beth. I like your description of blogging….it does feel like an avocation. What are some of your creative endeavors that make your heart sing?
I was going to pass on this question, and then I recalled situations—not really creative endeavors—that have happened through grace. These are the moments that fill my soul with joy. I think of them as gifts from God. When I happen to be in the right place at the right time to witness small miracles of light, of natural occurrences, of interactions with other species … those are pure moments of bliss. I get the feeling most gardeners experience these moments from time to time, because we’re so aware and appreciative of the world around us.
5. Beth, I really love how you expanded the question….yes creativity, nature, small miracles and bliss. As you are immersed in the creativity around you, what is your creative process?
Ha! Well, I have about 10 blog post ideas rolling around in my head at any one time. Some of them come to me in those moments of grace mentioned in the previous answer. Others relate to other aspects of my life that seem to spill over into the blog. Finally, when I’ve tried a gardening technique or had experience with a particular plant, I like to share it just as I enjoy reading about other gardeners’ experiences. Some of the ideas stay in my head a very long time until I have the courage to share them. I may never muster the guts to post some of them, but then maybe that’s a good thing. 😉
6. Let’s stick with the creativity theme a bit longer, and explore what new form of arts or crafts you would like to learn?
Good question! I always like to try new things. But one thing I’ve always wanted to do is play the harp. I’ll probably never do it (too expensive), but I have this romantic notion of being a harpist in hotel lobbies, at weddings, and for other events. I like the idea of sort of being in the mix of activity—setting the tone and being on stage, while at the same time sort of being in the background.
7. Oh I love the idea of you playing the harp, Beth. You never know, you might find someone willing to give you a few lessons.
Let’s shift direction a bit. I know you have traveled to many wonderful places, so where would you like to travel next?
My next trips will revolve mostly around family events in California and Arizona—both wonderful destinations and I’m thrilled to be able to attend. But, there’s also a very special trip on the radar for 2017! I hope it will materialize. I’ll keep you posted on the blog!
8. I also have family in CA and AZ….beautiful spots to visit. And I look forward to hearing about the special trip!! OK, here’s a fun question….Tell me what famous person or not so famous person you would like to meet?
Another great question, and there are so many people! The current Pope is pretty awesome. I would have loved to have had a discussion with John Muir. I also find people like climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe fascinating. She’s brave enough to share her strong religious faith and at the same time her understanding of science and the impacts human activities have on our shared planet.
You brought back John Muir to me through your blog. And I wanted to celebrate your appreciation for him, so I did include one of your favorite quotes at the top of the post.
9. Beth, what is or would have been your dream career or job?
I’m living the dream now. Making a living as a communications consultant and having a gardening blog on the side is pretty nifty. Maybe I can combine the two someday in a plant-related book. 😉
Now that would be wonderful!
10. As gardening is a great passion of yours, what is your creative process when gardening? Do you have a special type of gardening or garden style you love?
I’ve been blessed with some wonderful garden mentors who’ve practiced various styles of gardening. Regarding my own style and process: I try to start with the big picture. What ecosystem am I dealing with? What plants are here? Which plants will grow best in this location? How can I make it aesthetically pleasing with “curb appeal” and still keep it wildlife-friendly? My gardening projects vary with the seasons, my budget, and my curiosity.
11. I really like your thought process Beth…we have a similar style. I know you love native plants and wildlife. Can you tell us how you came to learn about native plants and what about them inspires you?
I’ve always been fascinated by native plants and wildflowers. I love to hike and photograph the plants I see along the way. Also, a large section of our property is woodland. We’ve chosen not to develop it. As far as I know, it’s never been developed. It’s always exciting to see what plants pop up naturally every year. We do try to remove invasive species, but that job continues every season. We want to try to support the native plants that are naturally here because they best support the native pollinators, birds, and other wildlife. With that said, some sections of my garden include non-native plants, but they’re mostly located near the house.
How special to have a woodland on your property. I have always wanted to own woodland to preserve it.
12. Is there anything else you want to share with us?
The garden blogger community is such an inspiring group of people. I feel blessed to be part of a global community of individuals who, like me, love plants, and share a mission to make the world a better place.
Didn’t I tell you Beth is an amazing person….I hope you enjoyed her fabulous vision of life and creativity. And yes, these are her incredible photos of her garden and surrounds.
Isn’t her love of wildlife, and passion for gardening contagious? And she is just an all around really nice person; generous, caring and so helpful. I count myself lucky to know her through this virtual world. I hope one day we will meet up, and share some time in a garden setting maybe with a bit of harp music!
I leave you with another one of Beth’s favorite John Muir quotes:
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”
Here is where you can find Beth….please make a point of visiting her.
All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015. Photos are the sole property of Beth@PlantPostings, and their use in this post is by permission of the photographer.