First Impressions

I have several hobbies, two of which are gardening and fiddling with Web pages. Over the years I have maintained a multitude of Web sites, for personal interests and for various clubs and schools that I have supported. I make no claim to be a professional Web designer, but I love to play in the medium.

In 2005 I began a Website on gardening in Central Florida. I was building a house near Tampa and the Web site was intended as a means of tracking the development of the landscaping for the house. The site took on a life of its own as I came to realize that there few resources to help gardeners in that peculiar growing region. I filled up the pages with plant lists and tracked the planting and blooming of my garden. I then detoured into research on Hardiness Zone maps and was able to develop several topics on this theme, including unearthing pictures of some of the first Hardiness Zone maps that were published before 1970.

Then there is my third hobby – photography. The Central Florida Gardening Web site gave me the excuse to take picture, after picture, after picture of gorgeous flowers.

Things change and in 2009 I sold the house in Tampa and moved back to the San Francisco Bay area, which I consider my home. I’ve kept the Central Florida Garden site alive, but missed the enjoyment of documenting my gardening experiences, especially since Tampa and Richmond are in the same Hardiness Zone (Zone 9), but present very different challenges. More specifically, gardening in Richmond is a sheer joy compared to coping with the withering heat and destructive frosts of Tampa. In Tampa you do battle with the elements and occasionally win. In Richmond the effort is less and the rewards greater. So, this blog is my chance to revel in my return to gardening in Northern California.

Below is a picture of my garden as I first saw it when I rented my town home in Marina Bay, Richmond. I just needed a place to stay for a few months, but I fell in love with the place and eventually bought the home. And it was the garden that made me want to stay.