Surfacing 500 Times


Yep, backstroking my way to 500 posts, GWGT hits another big one.

If I was getting paid as a columnist, I might be doing three articles per week making some money. At small hometown newspapers, columns are maybe 500 words per feature article, so that limitation keeps me from being a garden writer. (Maybe try for garden photographer? Joking…no time.)


Here at wordy GWGT, 500 words would be ‘Post Lite’.

No editor cutting the fat, squawking on sentence structure, or censoring my copy, so you get the full brewed version. I write in an honest and enthusiastic way, as if you were right in front of me chugging down a flask of my thoughts.


No editor means tackling subjects free of overseer. The best part in posting what you like, is doing it without care of repercussion.


Lots of powerful issues to pursue, but who has the time or energy? Many of us just settle for blah, blah, blah.


After 500 posts of writing on things related to the environment, conservation, sustainability, garden, photography, and design, I realized something important.

It changed my life.


Not in a cheesy life-affirming way, but one to express, question and say out-loud things that matter to me, and hopefully, to others as well. Pretty life changing when you think about it, reaching others.


Each day I see new readers, keeping me enthusiastic about blogging, but…


The reality is there is only one of me, one small voice in a sea of many.


I have no assistant, researcher, or intern lending a hand. Just me, tackling things to satiate a curiosity, taking things I know and building upon them. Seeing the subject at the level the subject presents itself.


Similar to photography, where one gets down to subject level to see more of the essence it possesses. I know… a hokey concept, but it is true.

And issues such as global warming…


You have people who agree with it, work to fix it, ignore it, outright deny it, or sadly, even lie about it. No middle ground and hardly a more polar topic to research.

I try to look at all sides researching such an issue, whether I agree emotionally, intellectually or think the pundits are just plain stuck on stupid.


Earth ending misinformation is everywhere, the aim personal responsibility, the high-road moral aspect tiring. Everyday we are bombarded with earth shattering headlines, nagged into ambivalence, guided by misrepresentation. Nibble around the edge of these problems is what is mostly done.


In blogging, nibbling is all we can do. The rest a soapbox, and after a while, nobody listens. At least not to the unsubstantiated fatalism spewed by some.


How many issues do you yourself feel strongly about? The environmental or conservation issues you might report will always have those that are protecting something you fear as destructive. Can we as a species actually break the planet? It depends on what you believe.


The photos are my little corner of this world, and of course, the blah, blah, blah.


About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
This entry was posted in garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to Surfacing 500 Times

  1. Congrats on 500 posts! 🙂 I love your photography and your words (and appreciate that they are not paired down and limited!).

    • Thank you. Many would say the opposite though, as I have been told of writing long posts. Also, quite a few mention in comments here and other blogs that they don’t prefer so many posts so often. It is funny how some like posts once a day and others don’t. Ironically, this one is only 500 words. I am trying to see if the way that small newspapers write (400-500 words per article) is a way that works good for blogs. Big papers have 1000 to 1200 words on average. That is generally more my post length on researched articles.

  2. Christy says:

    Hi Donna…I love your photos and your words in this post. I’ve never thought your posts were too long. I’ve enjoyed every one! The thing I feel so strongly about is animals. And it’s not just the fact that humans are destroying their habitats, but that some animals are treated so poorly by their owners. I see it everyday…dogs chained or in a little cage with no chance to run and have fun…left out in all kinds of weather. I’ll never understand why someone has a dog if it’s just going to be left outside. Just thinking about it gets me angry. This is why I strongly support two organizations: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Wildlife Federation.

    • I too support both organizations you mentioned along with WWF. I am with you on animal treatment too. I cannot fathom why people treat God’s beings so poorly and so cruel. The laws should be tougher and make it crime of greater magnitude. After all, most serial killers (studied and admitted) started off in animal abuse. Does that not say something for stopping animal cruelty sooner?

  3. Donna-Congratulations on your 500th post! You are a talented writer and photographer and your best posts have been the ones that you are really passionate about, for instance the stories of the birds in winter along with your amazing digital artwork. When I look to read an article I look for the passion behind it, its message, and how it flows, not the number of words.

    • Thank you Lee. Each time I write on blogging, I get those that speak to post length and frequency. What amazes me, and I read on other blogs, is that people say they do not like three or more posts a week from the same blogger, and want to spread their time among more bloggers (and a few say it frequently). Many also say they want short reading posts. If I had to say anything negative on blogging, it is not like readers or those posting look at blogging as they look at magazines or newspaper feature articles. I question why not? Many, like yourself, do post valuable, interesting or useful information. You would think that is what readers should want, not quick reads only once a week.

  4. newvoice says:

    Oh my word! 500 posts! It is a mile stone and when you can express your life’s journey for friends to share, it feels like it went by in an instant. Keep writing and taking stunning photos!! Thank you for sharing!!

  5. “I write in an honest and enthusiastic way, as if you were right in front of me chugging down a flask of my thoughts.”

    I love it!

    The Internet offers amazing opportunities for someone who has something to say, has the courage to say it, and has the stamina to keep at it.

    • It is such a great place the internet. You wonder when it will finally fill to capacity? It gives everyone with access a say. I think my favorite part of blogging is the conversations in comments. Also, it can be the most frustrating when there is no time due to work or obligation. People have such great things to add, that many times, comments themselves can be the springboard to a thoughtful post. Unfortunately this week, I am so busy that it will be hard to keep up with replies, but I value each and every comment left.

  6. 500 posts is such an accomplishment, and I actually think this is one of the best posts you have ever written. I am in awe that you have been able to produce so much without actually ever sinking to the blah, blah, blah. I have written professionally and believe me it is no fun, not because they edit you, but because they make a lot of mistakes which appear in your name. You are better off with your excellent blog.

    • Thanks Carolyn. I am glad you think I don’t do blah. It is a balancing act to what makes a post interesting and how much that is personal to share. I recall your story about the article that you did. It really is ashamed that even professional publishers and editors make such grave errors.

  7. Joe Owens says:

    Your photographs are gorgeous. I guess I just do not have the eye when i carry my camera. As far as your words, I could not find any within this post I could not whole-heartedly agree with. You obviously have a way that attracts readers. I hope I can generate the audience you have.

  8. Anita says:

    Hi this is my fist comment on a blog….any blog! What first attracted me to you is the excellent photography, but soon the articles themselves became important. You have a good blend of both, and I love it!!!

  9. Congratulations on 500 posts. I also find myself exceeding 500 words fairly often, especially if I have something substantial to say. I suspect this is because I don’t invest the time in editing myself. As to whether we can break the planet, I feel pretty strongly that we certainly can make it far less habitable, with catastrophic results for billions of people. You only have to look at societies that destroyed themselves through environmental degradation in the past. Yet as individuals we can only do what we can do, which includes writing our blogs. I hope you keep writing yours, I can honestly say it is one of my favorites!

    • It is a chore to edit a post down, but I did it to this one. Sure I took out some things I thought were good, but once it was shortened, I felt fine with it. I am going to try the editing. I edit in art and photography, so why not writing!

      Did you read that paper on the state of the planet – the link in my post? Here is the actual link.
      The full paper in not accessible for me to give that link ( you have to be a paid member which I am on Science), but the long article by Senior Writer, Tom Zeller Jr. really shows what is causing such a stir. The latest scientific paper on the state of the plant has so many scientists in disagreement. I especially like what the climatologists have said. Pretty much that the paper has no authority by not looking at all branches of science on the subject. The paper left out findings by some climate scientists.

  10. amatterofinstinct says:

    Wow, I want to hit the “love” button for your giant flowering onion photo.

  11. HolleyGarden says:

    Congrats on 500 posts! You once asked if blogging was dead, and I still think about that question. I now whole-heartedly believe that blogging is the future. Newsprint is dying. The internet informs us, gets us thinking, presents different viewpoints, and is so widely available. Your blog is a part of that chain. I am constantly amazed at the quality of posts you present. Your posts are well researched, beautifully illustrated, and often thought provoking. Congratulations again.

    • Print is consolidating. The big papers are still in business (because certain generations read them), but the industry as a whole has taken a major blow. There is too much saturation of immediate info on the net, and papers need time to write then go to print. By then, the news has already broken. The need for speed now has much misinformation being dispensed. But, even TV reporting has changed drastically. It is really hard to find unbiased reporting anymore. Even photos have come into question by being altered and photographers lost careers. Writers too. Magazines have been dropping like flies. Honestly, I trust the papers and magazines more than I do the articles on the net, but it depends where one goes for reliable information. That was why I said what I did in the post. It really means one has to look at all sides of a subject, then make judgements on what ‘seems’ correct. It is why I joined Science too. I go to the source of the work I research. There you can read the scientific papers by the scientist or groups of scientists responsible for the information.

  12. gardeningshoe says:

    500 posts? Congratulations! Donna – you must be exhausted! I thoroughly enjoyed this post – excellent photography as always and I was interested to learn about the impact that blogging has had on you. Did you expect that when you published the first of these 500 posts?

    Here’s to the next 500!

    • Blogging really can be an eye opening activity. I find there are some really reputable bloggers out there. Also, many in prestigious fields are blogging now and sharing their work. It makes the work I do in my profession less boring when I learn what others are doing.

  13. A.M.B. says:

    Wow, congratulations on publishing 500 thoughtful and beautiful posts! Your blog never disappoints.

    • Thank you. You also blog very frequently. I have no idea how you write such well done posts so often. You tackle many subjects that have alternative beliefs, yet do it so people with varying views feel comfortable leaving comments. I always enjoy the comments as much as your posts.

      • A.M.B. says:

        That’s very nice of you to say! Thank you. I enjoy blogging, and I most especially love the discussions that come from each post.

  14. What a overwhelming set of shots my dear….
    I just got my daily beauty fix!
    Thank you!

  15. Congratulations on your milestone!! I enjoy your reading and photography enough that I would read newspaper article you wrote as well,but don’t be bound by the constraints of one particular format as you would in a newspaper. Life and write free, let the events and photos of the day take you where you want to go, and your blog goes to some magnificent places.

    I have a few “causes” I believe in strongly, and echo the sentiments of a previous commenter regarding animals. I like what the ASPCA and HSUS do, but I truly believe that my donation dollars will do more at the community level if I donate to local Humane Societies and rescue organizations. Since I have three deaf dogs (one of which is a pit bull), I’m particular towards rescue organizations that focus on deaf dogs or pitties.

    • Thank you. I do let my posts travel! One never has a clue what to expect I think, heck, I don’t even know half the time what will catch my fancy. I have posts that sit for months waiting a turn to be published. That happens because something else comes along that I shoot that makes a whole new avenue to explore.

      I did support our local SPCA but then they got caught on tape euthanizing animals in an inhumane way. It was like a factory line and made me sick to see.

  16. janechese says:

    As a recent subscriber to your blog, I like this post , wonderful photos and snippets of thought. I agree about having no one to answer to and using one’s own voice. Keep on, and congrats.

    • It also allows one to be creative, like you are doing with your photos. That would not be allowed in a magazine or paper. Blogging really does have latitude compared to other forms of media.

  17. 500 posts is monumental Donna…I haven’t even gotten to 200…and 500 words…neither you or I. Your posts are fabulous and all the accolades are well deserved.

  18. Greg says:

    Less is more.

  19. I am new to your blog and look forward to 500 more. Diane

  20. sharon says:

    love the mist Im afraid i will give before 500

  21. Marguerite says:

    Congratulations on hitting 500. Blog post length to me depends on the topic. Many of your posts are about very specific topics with detailed information, they demand more words and thankfully, as a blogger, you are at liberty to make it as long as you wish. Too often newspapers and magazines offer too little detailed information because they are limited in length. One reason I think that many have turned away from them as a source of information.

    • Usually magazine articles go on for pages. But you are right, many offer little real indepth info. I do remember when newspapers were a good source of information. Many now have online presence and that is where I read them. I have not gotten a delivered paper in over ten years, and even when I did, it was just to help out the paperboy. The newspaper better never go out of business though as I use it at the bottom of my cockatoo’s cage. I get the papers from my mother-in-law.

  22. Brian Comeau says:

    Glad to have met you and sorry it wasn’t sooner into your 500. I can honesty say that I do my best to read them all… eventually (1 of only a few blogs that religiously follow) and I have really enjoyed them so far. Happy to have been introduced to another like minded photographer…except you know way more about gardening…. LOL. Keep up the great work.

    • Thank you Brian. I am glad to have met you as well. I follow your blog and always look forward to your posts (very thoughtful and inspiring writing) and wonderful photographs. You also live in a place I would love to visit someday. I had you visit Galen’s blog and since I am going out to San Fran this summer, he invited to show me around his area of natural sites. Unfortunately, I am with a group and would not be able to take him up on that offer, but seriously, since he also photographs like you, I would have loved to see his kayaking spots. Probably even more than the gardens I would be visiting.

      • Brian Comeau says:

        Thanks Donna. I appreciate that. It’s too bad you can’t spend more time with Galen. I watched one of his videos recently and it looks like a beautiful spot. If you ever get out east you must let us know. My wife and I would love to have you and show you around the area. You would really enjoy this… and of course The Bay of Fundy. 🙂

        • I watched the video, what a great garden in all seasons. The alpacas were really cute. You are right, I would love the Kingsbrae Garden. I hope if I get to Maine this year, my friend and I could maybe visit. I am not sure if her boat is big enough to make that trip though.

  23. EcoGrrl says:

    Yet I can totally imagine your photos in Mother Earth Living or similar magazines where they have a gorgeous picture on the last page and a beautiful quote 🙂 I thought of you during my recent trip to Australia, wishing I could have you along to photograph the gorgeous birds I could hear all around me…

    • What a really nice thing to say. You went somewhere that I have been dying to visit. It has been on my bucket list since I was a kid. They have cockatoos everywhere, and I would take mine back to Australia if I could. He needs a girlfriend.

  24. Saxon says:

    Love it that you respond to every comment 😉 Keep up the great work. See ya in SF

  25. Pat says:

    Congratulations on this milestone!

  26. joserasan66 says:

    Uffffff… Muy Buena Serie De Fotografías. La Primera Es Impresionante, Me Gusta Mucho,… Un Saludo.

  27. Jennifer says:

    Hi Donna, Congratulations on reaching this milestone! 500 post represents hours of thought and hard work. Someone unfamiliar with you and your blog might well imagine that there is a whole team behind your efforts. Your posts are never fluffy.
    A blog is a great educator. I always find I am learning new things.
    Fantastic images as always!

    • Thanks Jen. Blogs are work in the way some of us doing them by providing expertise or information. You are very thorough in your posts and really show the projects you do in a complete fashion. Interviews too. I have a friend that does an online magazine that works similar to you. She is a professional writer and being thorough must come naturally.

  28. Sue Gaviller says:

    Hi Donna,

    I hear you girl – what I love about blogging is that no-one edits my work.

    As a wannabe writer, with a couple of articles published (no major publications, just small), I’ve had editors edit my work. I know, that’s what the word ‘editor’ means and it’s what they’re paid to do, but the changes made aren’t grammar or spelling corrections, they’re just sentence rewrites – rewording in someone else’s style and often changing the gist of what I was actually saying.

    As a designer I’ve had install teams edit my work – nothing makes me crazier than someone who doesn’t know my thought process, changing what I’ve designed because they don’t understand it. Luckily most of my clients now have me on-site to ensure the integrity of my design is maintained, and I now only work with installers who will consult me if changes do in fact need to be made.

    Wow – I sound like such a prima donna don’t I? So enough ranting – Donna, this is such a well written piece and your (as always) stunning photography speaks volumes.

    500 posts? Congrats, that’s quite a milestone.
    500 words? Nice to know one can say so much in so few words, but I still like the blah, blah, blah.


    • Thank you Sue. I work with one installer generally and as an architect, do not have the problem of them changing a design. The drawings are legal contracts and what is drawn is what is installed. And like you, I am Project Architect or Project Manager often, which keeps me on site as the one overseeing the project to completion. But I often do more than the landscape design and work up building design also. I have never had to work with an editor either which is a good thing. Pre-architecture, I was an illustrator in advertising, and was responsible for drawing the ads. All I was given was the copy, so it was up to me how to handle the ad. I never really had a job where my work was ‘changed’. When an intern, I was a designer, so what I did in Preliminary Design and Design Development usually was carried through. Modifications were usually coming from the client. I think I would have difficulty if I did have an editor rewriting the sentences. I like to say what I mean and like you mentioned, that changes when someone else takes over an article.

  29. Wowser-500! Awesome job! Keep it up!

  30. Oh My ! I’m blown away with this post. Between the volume of work that you so lovingly have produced with a penny to claim, to reaching throughout the far corners to the world. As well as fabulous and beautiful nature captures that you’ve shared here. Congratulations on being such a fantastic blogger. Now to get your own column in a magazine or newspaper.

  31. Happy 500 Donna, each and every post has been informative and colorful, a great read. Your tutorials on photography have helped many of us better our photos. Blogging brought us to get to know each other. I treasure the friends I have made through blogging. I am glad you are here.

  32. Carolyn says:

    As always, your “blah blah blah” is delightful, Donna. Kudos to you for 500 posts!

  33. Wow! Beautiful, beautiful photos. It’s magic once again. Like this changed your life, your posts changes my daily living—makes it more beautiful when I see your photos. I love the ones with the whit roses. Wish I had a post card of that! =>Congratulations!

  34. b-a-g says:

    Donna – I have never thought about the length of your posts which suggests that they are just right. Congratulations on reaching 500. It’s difficult to pick my favourite, but your White Fence post was a surprise and delight.

  35. That is an impressive milestone! I enjoy the detail and thought you put into each post and of course your impressive photos! I don’t know how you do it all! Congratulations~

    • Thank you Karin. I have quite a few posts that I have in wait, but what is strange, after first writing them, the interest wanes for me. Then when a post is needed, I have to get myself interested again to complete it. Weird too, because a few of them were the most popular too.

  36. alesiablogs says:

    Congrats on such a wonderful accomplishment. Alesia : )

  37. Conratulations on hitting 500, Donna! It IS an achievement and a MAJOR labor of love. Your photo-accompanied “blah, blah, blahs” are so interesting that I NEVER get the blahs when I read your posts. Today’s post was pensive Donna at her photographic BEST! –John

Comments are closed.