January 17 is as far as I have gotten with the backlog of articles from blogs that I follow. I am now two and a half weeks behind schedule. Articles are old news by the time I see them. I have been trying to catch up for weeks or maybe months, but have instead been getting farther behind. The video above is from the article I posted back then. There has been no rain since then.

The video also looks like what I feel I am doing to that backlog of article while I skip ahead to current articles beginning with February 5. Flushing them like this seems so negligent. I feel so obligated to read the articles of blogs that I follow. That is why I follow them. However, if I do not flush the backlog, articles that are current now will also be old news by the time I get them.

I have been reading some of these blogs so regularly that those who write them sometimes include notes to me within the contexts of their articles. Sometimes they comment on something that they think I would be particularly interested in. Sometimes they ask questions that they think I might know the answers to, or just ask for a bit of advice. Flushing all that is just wrong.

I have no choice. I have no time for it all. I write my brief gardening articles for more small newspapers than I can keep track of. I still work at a part-time and temporary job that involves maintenance of landscapes and small scale arboriculture because I can not bear to leave! I intend to eventually return to work at nursery production, but have been too overworked to do so.

Meanwhile, former clients and clients of former clients continue to contact me in need of services that I can no longer provide. I can find no one to refer them to for comparable services. All of the best arborists and horticulturists are retired, deceased or too busy (compensating for the lack of those of us who are retired or deceased) to accommodate more work. It is saddening.

On top of all that, I am supposed to be canning cedar trees and plugging sycamore cuttings for street trees in Los Angeles a few years from now . . . and maybe working in the garden?!?!

14 thoughts on “Horridculture – Skipping Ahead

  1. I’m curious to know how you manage them. Does it take a lot of scrolling to get back to the place you are up to?

    You might not like this idea, but start afresh today. Then any time you have time to read a few more more, dip into the 17th Jan to 4th Feb pot of posts and catch up with the ones that most take your eye, or do it in order if that’s your way.

    Otherwise the trajectory isn’t good – I imagine you’re most likely coming to a busy time rather than a quiet one. There are some things it is best to be methodical about but getting up to date on reading posts might need a less linear approach unless your free time is likely to expand. Point in favour of this approach include: most blogs are not written to be read in sequence, even the most seasonal ones; if people ask for gardening advice, it could well be related to the time of the year and you can probably help more people by moving to the current date and working backwards; you are a busy person and reading blogs should add to your stocks of pleasure not of duty.

    It’s easier said than done. I know I feel bad when I have to skip a week or so of posts, because of travelling or something like that. Don’t feel bad about skipping any of mine you come across. I sometimes think of your views as I write (Tony likes white flowers and prefers hybrid teas, or Tony would know about this, etc) but if you happened to miss out on some white flowers, there’ll be more!

    This post alerts us to the situation and if we have recently written a post we particularly mentioned you in, we can always let you know what it is.

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    1. Apparently, I don’t manage them all. I had been doing them chronologically, and had considered using your recommendation of starting fresh today, and going back to those I missed when I have time. However, I know I won’t have time. In fact, I will have less, as I am supposed to take on more work. Actually, I really should be writing less, and for now, just posting my gardening articles that I write for the newspapers anyway. (I really should not be writing them either, but I enjoy it so much.) Like you say, I think it is more important to stay current than to try to catch up when I know I won’t. Hopefully, if anyone posted notes or questions for me within their articles, they might read what I posted, and realize that they will need to send me a message directly if they want me to address it.

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  2. Tony,
    I have no idea how you can keep up with all that. I just know that when I was working in retail gardening and writing and speaking and garden coaching, I always felt as if I too needed to have the best maintained yard on the block, but was like the painter whose house always needed painting! (I still feel that way. I am never happy with my gardens. That’s why it’s good there’s “always next year.”)
    Karla

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    1. Well, I don’t keep up with all that.
      You know, clients and readers are sometimes surprised by how plain my garden is. I try to explain that not all horticulture is pretty and flowery. My primary career is in nursery production, in which I grow horticultural commodities for other people’s gardens. If the crops bloom or fruit, they lingered too long on the farm. They are grown in blocks and as row crops. People do not think of that as horticulture. The priorities in my own garden are fruit trees that are likewise in rows. I have plenty of space to grow things, but keep it minimal because the forest is so perfect without exotics cluttering it up. I enjoy the palms that I meet down south, but they look silly among the redwoods. In more than 140 acres, and even more than that at work, I likely grow less variety of plant species than my colleague down south grows on a 5000 square foot parcel in Los Angeles. Heck, when I grew citrus, it was ten acres of one genus.

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  3. You might add a permanent note in your blog that says something like “If you have a particular question for me, please send an email with the issue noted in the subject line.”

    As for the blog backup, that’s an issue that’s older than blogs. I still remember the sense of relief and release I felt the day I took my three-foot high pile of unread New Yorker magazines to the trash. I loved reading them, but once I fell behind, it seemed impossible to catch up. I’d skim, mark what looked to be good articles, and set them aside, until all I felt was guilt when I looked at the pile. Start fresh — no one will hate you for it!

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    1. Refining my blog is one of the MANY chores that I must catch up on. Wow, I still have not done that yet. I know that most will not notice that I did not read or respond to their articles. In fact only a few, if any will notice, and only because they read this post. I still feel guilty about it though.

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  4. Well, Tony, I struggle reading blog posts because I am constantly writing new plant pages and updating old ones. I have tried setting aside an hour a day to read posts but that didn’t work so well after a week or so. Many of us have A LOT of followers while others do not because they are fairly new. I really try to focus on newer bloggers because I feel they need encouragement to continue. Blogs with a lot of followers and commenters don’t necessarily need my encouragement and may not even notice I didn’t read their posts. Sometimes I don’t know what to say so I will just leave a like to let them know I have read their post.

    I used to start reading posts from where I left off before and go upward to the newer posts. But the less time I had to read I started at the top and went down. When I was tired of reading, I would start writing again. Read what you have time for and be happy.

    Last summer I neglected my own yard and flower beds because I was always busy somewhere else. I don’t want that to happen this year. You can only do so much and we need to commit to ourselves as well. Do what makes YOU happy. Commit to YOU more and be thankful for what you have accomplished without focusing on what you don’t have time for.

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  5. You are making me feel bad. I follow a lot of blogs, but am not a regular reader of any of them – at all. And then, once in a while, I binge read. I’m on a very erratic schedule, and I have made peace with the fact that I will never, ever catch up.

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  6. I think you are making impossible demands on yourself. By all means start fresh today. Then your impossible backlog can start all over again. Or maybe make fewer comments or just skim some of the posts that are less interesting.

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