I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by Amy Crumbs, who blogs at Crumbs.

The Liebster Award is a fun thing, but it has a serious side and is worth supporting. Blogging is about community, and this is a good way to get to know more bloggers and make more cyberfriends.

The first step is to answer 11 questions...

1. Why do I blog? I started blogging in 2008 as a way of keeping a record of my passionate, longterm garden project, that is a source of joy (often) and frustration (often). I periodically ask myself the same question: Why do I blog? I sometimes think about stopping, but it has become a way of life now, and I'd miss the chance to express myself and I'd miss my cyberfriends if I stopped.

Yarra Bend Park - the largest area of bushland near Melbourne

2. Do I have any pets? Well, I suppose you'd call Potter a pet. She is my fur child, she is a Poodle - Bichon cross, she is 13, and has never forgiven me for getting rid of all the soft grass and replacing it with greenery and scratchy mulch.

3. How did I come up with the name for my blog? Initially I called it Slow Gardener in opposition to the craze for instant gardens. But after a while I realized it wasn't right, because people thought it was about growing food. And my aim was different. It was to establish a habitat for wildlife and a sustainable garden that didn't need to use water. So I changed it. I chose the name Diary of a Suburban Gardener because it describes my blog accurately and simply.

4. What's the average amount of time it takes me to create a post? It varies wildly, depending on my mood and the topic. Sometimes I just go into the garden, take a few photos, upload them, write a bit and the post is ready to go in an hour or two. Other times I might spend days or even weeks thinking and researching. The writing generally flows. It takes time to edit the photos. When the post's finished, I generally sleep on it and look at it again before I release it into cyberspace.

5. What is my drink of choice? Depends on the context. At a party I would say wine, champagne or sparkling water, but when I take a gardening or blogging break the answer is a cuppa tea.

White-tailed spider - Lampona cylindrata

6. What's the best advice I ever received? Don't try to be perfect. Leonard Cohen sings about this in Anthem. This relates to the garden as well as every aspect of life. My garden doesn't look great most of the time, it's just in a state of becoming. Beauty is fleeting.

7. What is my favourite season? Summer is my least favourite season because I always worry about how the garden will cope with intense heat and drought. With the other seasons, it's hard to choose. They all have their beauty, and I love that the weather here is changeable and unpredictable.

Leaf Curling spider - Phonognatha graeffei
8. What accomplishments are you most proud of? Tricky question, this.  I'm proud that I've got a wonderful family, but I don't know if that is due to any accomplishment of mine. I'm proud that I have managed to persist with the garden, the blog and photography, in spite of periodic self doubt.

9. What is your most prized possession?  This little gold rabbit, given to me by my mother in law many years ago. I don't usually care about stuff, but there is something about this rabbit that I really love. I would be sad to lose it.

10. What is your favourite plant?  My aim in the garden is to create garden pictures, not a collection of plants. So even if I love a plant, say Peony, I wouldn't have it in the garden because it wouldn't fit in. I love grey plants, and I love grasses. I don't go for a lot of colour, I love the restfulness of greys and greens, and different shaped foliage.

Blue Fescue - Fesctuca glauca
Smoke Bush - Cotinus 'Grace'

11. What is your least favourite task in the garden? That's easy to answer. It's jobs that require a ladder, tough jobs that I can only do with fear and difficulty. I would like to be self sufficient and do everything in the garden by myself. I struggle to accept that I do need help at times.

The next step is to nominate five blogs for the Liebster Award. They are ... drumroll ...

1. Vicki Thornton's two blogs are Monkey Adventures, featuring the entertaining activities of a toy monkey, and Storytime, a beautiful blog that Vicki uses to help motivate her to write.

2. Gardener in the Distance. Faisal is a poet and gardener, with a keen appreciation of beauty, and his blog is a joy to read and look at.

3. Croydon Food Swap. Karen runs this blog, from Croydon, an outer suburb of Melbourne. Sharing produce is a great thing in a non virtual gardening community. The blog gives info about a range of things, and has some great recipes.

4. Denise NoNiwa. Denise blogs from the Netherlands and has a Japanese garden. 

5. Flora Friday in Oz. Bill lives in Sydney and shares his passion for, and impressive knowledge of the plants and wildlife he observes.

Finally, the questions for the bloggers to answer:

1. Who or what inspires you?
     2. Why did you start your blog?
     3. What makes you angry?
     4. What is one of your talents?
     5. How did you decide the name of your blog?
     6. If you have spare time, what do you do?
     7. What's your favourite movie?
     8. What's your favourite book?
     9. What is your least favourite task in the garden?
    10. What is your favourite plant?
    11. What's the average time it takes to create a post?


  1. Thank you, Sue. I'm flattered. I don't know if and when I will have time for the requirements. But I will make time to visit the other blogs you nominated.

    1. I quite understand, Denise, it took a while to do this post, but it was an interesting, enjoyable experience.

  2. Great answers! Much like you, our dogs are completely a part of our family and not really considered 'pets', but I coudn't ask for a show and tell of everyone's family members, haha! I would love to remove more lawn and increase the size of the garden beds, but the reason I don't is the dogs. It crosses my mind often though. I don't think they'd mind TOO much... :) Summer is also my least favourite. I'm seeing some plants struggling at the moment and I'm hoping they'll all pull through. I'm going to go and check out the blogs you nominated!

    1. thanks again, Amy. I hope your plants pull through - but whatever happens, it's blog material!

  3. I enjoyed getting to know a little about you through your answers. I also would say summer is my least favorite season because of the heat and sometimes drought, and I love the restfulness of greens and grays, as well as the fact that they give a cool note the the garden. Your little gold rabbit is adorable.

    1. I'm so pleased you love my rabbit. It's very tiny, looks larger and more dramatic in the photo.

  4. How fun to learn more things about you. Very thought-provoking. I enjoyed what you said about blogging being a part of who you are now--I feel the same way. Cute photos of the little ones. :)

  5. We are having our first experience of a new 'difficult' summer. Here it's not so hot, but it IS windy. And yet my potted plants are really flourishing!

  6. Congrats...I agree that these awards are great to help pass the cyber love and get to know bloggers. I enjoyed your answers and I especially love your little gold rabbit...such a sweet gift.


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