Beginnings

Years ago a dear friend suggested we write a blog for the nursery. It took some convincing. Actually, it took some needling and eventually she had to trap me in the backseat of their pick-up truck on the long drive home from a mountain hike and force me to come up with some words. That was the very first post. It was 2012. We had just spent a beautiful day hiking up at Gulf Hagas, our other dear friend, Moe, was with us as well. I love thinking of that day. I love my dear friend who had strategically tucked her i-pad-y thingamajig into her knapsack in order to hold me hostage in the backseat on the way home. She is a very clever friend. I remember feeling tired and a little hungry and being squished in the middle between Moe and Rick. Then without hardly a notice, I remember my friend turning around in her seat so that her face was close to mine and saying “start talking, this is your first blog post”.I was trapped, and besides, deep down I was pretty sure my friend was trying to do me a great favor. She was and she did, I see that now. (Also, let me just mention that I am fairly sure both Rick and Moe had dozed off at this point…a lot of help they were, those boys! ha!) That was seven years ago.
Initially, the blog was meant to feature the nursery and the plants we grow and if you scan back over the years you’ll find that, yes, there are many entries that talk about specific cultivars or about propagation or the running of the nursery. It’s true that much of our life centers around the nursery, propagating and tending to the plants we grow, raising vegetables and critters. However, I think the blog would have been a very different space if I had stuck to being a purist and only wrote about plants and gardening. There’s so much more that goes on in this life I live, certainly so much more that goes on in my head. Through the years, I’ve shared some stories and thoughts, some recipes and poems, and, hopefully, an insight into our life here at Fernwood. My friend was spot on when she suggested we write a blog. It does help our business. It does give us a ‘presence’ in the world of social media. A place people can go to find us, to check our hours, to get a sense of what we’re doing here. That’s all really good and helpful. The thing it has also become ( My friend knew this would happen…I know she did, remember I told you she is really clever) is a place for sharing and connecting. It has opened up a world of other blogs that I so look forward to reading, it has opened up a network of friends I feel I could pick out of a crowd even though I have never actually met them, it has created a place to share and connect and express. Sitting at the computer is never a seat I easily gravitate to, digging holes and tending plants wins the stronger tug. But, this blog means a lot to me. So, thank you…first and foremost, Kari, for your nudging. I really do believe it had to happen just the way it did… between two snoring men in the backseat of a pick-up truck after a long day of woods, and waterfalls, and friends. You’re so smart! And, thank you to anyone who has wandered over to this here blog of ours, I hope it has been at least a little interesting and entertaining. I’ve enjoyed each and every visit and connection and will try and keep the words rolling (very hard sometimes, I must admit).
Well, now, let’s add a poem to this rambling post. Sent to me by another friend, a new friend, who, like my friend, Kari, also possesses a dear and generous heart. Lucky gal, I am.
P.S. Do you see how I placed a link in the word Gulf Hagus? It goes back to that very first post. Yep, my friend taught me to do that too. To add links. She’s so clever. Enjoy!

The Things That Count
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Now, dear, it isn’t the bold things,
Great deeds of valour and might,
That count the most in the summing up of life at the end of the day.
But it is the doing of old things,
Small acts that are just and right;
And doing them over and over again, no matter what others say;
In smiling at fate, when you want to cry, and in keeping at work when you want to play—
Dear, those are the things that count.

And, dear, it isn’t the new ways
Where the wonder-seekers crowd
That lead us into the land of content, or help us to find our own.
But it is keeping to true ways,
Though the music is not so loud,
And there may be many a shadowed spot where we journey along alone;
In flinging a prayer at the face of fear, and in changing into a song a groan—
Dear, these are the things that count.

My dear, it isn’t the loud part
Of creeds that are pleasing to God,
Not the chant of a prayer, or the hum of a hymn, or a jubilant shout or song.
But it is the beautiful proud part
Of walking with feet faith-shod;
And in loving, loving, loving through all, no matter how things go wrong;
In trusting ever, though dark the day, and in keeping your hope when the way seems long—
Dear, these are the things that count.

15 comments on “Beginnings

  1. I have been following your blog for a long time. I’m captivated by your words, the poetry you include, the stories you share about your life, garden, and nursery in Maine. I visited your home and nursery the last time we were in Maine. It was even better than I expected, an some ways exactly as I expected. So different from my garden in Georgia, but the love of nature and native plants the same. Thank you for the warm greeting and ignoring my awe-struck self. You are a rock star to me.

  2. “Keeping to true ways.” Wonderful line, and different for different people. So glad I found your blog and have become part of the community. I so cherish all my blogging friends.A very bright spot in my life. May you keep writing for years and years.

  3. Denise, I always smile when I see a post from you in my email feed. I know my day is going to be enhanced hearing about what is going on in your part of New England. I know you have a very busy life, but I do hope you’ll keep dropping us notes so we can stay in touch.

  4. When I’m scrolling through my emails and see one from Fernwood Nursery I look forward to reading it and to reading the comments. I always do feel a sense of connection because I relate to you and the people who follow your blog 🙂 Keep up the good work and I hope to talk to you soon.

  5. I love your blog!! We don’t live so far away from you, but your posts help me appreciate all that is special about this wondrous place, as well as the joy to be found in gardening and fiber arts.

  6. Your blog has been a continuing source of great gardening information (even though I’m several zones south), but more importantly it has been a window into the lives of some obviously sweet folks. Thank you for your blog…and for your encouragement of mine.

  7. You are a gifted writer and story teller in the tradition of Wendell Berry. Fascinating characters are drawn to you and you to them. What better location than Montville Maine to find inspiration in ordinary yet unique people. Your depth of knowledge of the natural environment that you so happily share is seemingly unbounded. Keep writing about everything and anything.

  8. I’m here to thank Kari, too, for nudging you into our lives! And I’m awfully glad you branched out and cover so many aspects of your life in your posts–you give us the whole person, not only the gardener. And the poems–I always say I don’t like/understand poetry much . . . but you show me I’m wrong. I always find myself drawn into the poems you share. This one, by Wilcox, is amazing. Here’s to many more blog posts from Fernwood Nursery!

  9. Yea, Kari! Glad she pushed, because I love hearing about the nursery and your life! And I had driven by your sign a thousand times, but reading this blog made me really want to stop on the way by. i am so glad I did!

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