Thirty years ago I never imagined I would be able to sit in my favorite comfy chair next to the fireplace while watching the snow fall and write a letter (blog) on a lap top that the entire world could possibly view. The entire world and a laptop? Who would have thought?  It wasn’t all that long ago that the ability to communicate with a world wide audience was solely reserved for presidents and important world leaders.

I must have been one of the last college graduates that had no idea what a personal computer was.  In the early 1980‘s the latest and greatest computers at school were the size of an entire room and there were these heavy paper punch cards that were needed. Does anyone remember this now?

Yes, back then I also used a real typewriter that is probably now found in retro or antique stores.  I often made so many typing errors that there were dabs of liquid whiteout scattered across the entire page.  By junior year I gave up my precious extra money for pizza or beer and actually paid someone to type my college papers. It was the responsible thing to do. At least one professor noticed the improvement by mentioning it was helpful that my pages weren’t stuck together anymore.

Today, I’m pondering that writing a blog is a huge responsibility to take on. I am reluctant, as I do not want to just contribute to the “say anything – do anything” virtual reality world we live in. It seems anyone with a camera and computer access can be seen and heard. Not all should. Some are in desperate need of my mother‘s guidance. She once told me early on that “anything you write may end up viewed by the public, so if you don’t have anything nice to say you probably should refrain from saying it.”  Does it mean I have become my mother as I too have mentioned that to my kids?

So, now I will try to write responsibly as I sit in comfort with my trusty macbook knowing  the entire world could be reading. There’s a plethora of gardening topics to cover, garden shows and tours to visit, gardens to be dreamed of, planned, planted, maintained and divided. I am so excited thinking about the spring gardening season and all the infinite possibilities.

The one project with amazing possibilities I have been working on for over a year with my friend and business partner Susan is now available online. It is our new website called generousgardeners.com. This is a website dedicated just for gardeners, giving them the ability to have easy access to list or find local plants for sale, swap or donation and potentially expand their local gardening network of friends.

It’s such a simple idea and certainly nothing new to gardeners but something that desperately needed to be organized online. Susan and I have always been sharing, trading and giving extra plants and produce away to friends and family. We find all gardeners are generous and share their knowledge and abundance of extra tomatoes, herbs, vegetables, perennials and even seeds. We want this site to benefit all backyard gardeners and help reduce carbon footprints by keeping it local.

Registration is free and there is no charge for listing a swap or a donation.You don’t even need to use your personal e-mail within the site: just use an assigned Generous Gardener number and communicate internally.

If you want to swap plants with someone, it’s free and easy to organize online by listing in the swap section. If you just want to stop tossing perfectly good extra plants on the compost heap then list them for free on the donation listing.  Maybe someone will pick them up or a non profit will sell them at their local plant sale and you could get a tax deduction for the amount they sold for.

I personally was very happy after all the years of giving away extra perennials to get my first tax deduction from a nonprofit organization for donating plants to their local plant sale. One hundred percent of the proceeds went to benefit the town’s schools. What a “win – win” for everyone.

OK, by far the best feature about the website is that it’s now possible to make a little extra money selling your abundance of plants by listing them for sale on a site viewed entirely by gardeners. There is a minimal .25 cent charge per month to list your plant for sale. You choose the number of months. No percentages or extra costs are taken such as on the super size sites. You might even find that special new plant you’ve had your eye on by scrolling through the listed plants for sale. The more people that list plants; the more choices there will be. Give it a try. Register for free and start listing your plants.

Spring is right around the corner and I am already starting to plan my sale, swap and donation listings by what needs to be divided in my garden. I’ve ordered seeds and will soon begin the annual process of gardening hopes and dreams.

Now, if I can only find somebody to list one of those darn good looking double hellebores I admire for sale or swap. I know you are out there.

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