It was a year ago that this blog saw the light of day, so I am allowing myself a little self-indulgent contemplation of its first twelve months.
As a parent, I believe that every stranger encountered on the internet is a potential axe murderer. Yet one of the great joys for me in this year of blogging has been the chance to step through the screen, as it were, and get to know people in the flesh whom I have first met in cyberspace: a day in Philadelphia with Carolyn from Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, attending her hellebore seminar and visiting Chanticleer; an April Saturday with Adam of Invisible Paris, on a guided tour of a curious local landscape; a morning in Paris with Jan of Salutations, who had managed – from 3,000 miles away in Massachusetts – to arrange for the two of us to visit the Peace Garden at UNESCO headquarters, when all my local efforts to obtain entry had failed.
Over its first year, this blog has flourished in ways I could not have imagined. It started simply as a way of recording personal reactions to places I had visited, an opportunity to write short pieces without footnotes or peer review or the other trappings that accompany my more academic work on landscapes. I expected perhaps a few friends to read it, and the occasional student or Paris visitor to stumble over something via Google. But 12 months later, Landscape Lover has thousands of visitors every month, a wealth of informed and lively comments, lots of subscribers, and links to and from scores of related sites. I have welcomed my first guest blogger, and have been invited to write for other sites.
It’s been surprising to see what has interested visitors. Easily my most popular post is this one: more than a thousand visitors, and yet for some reason not one single comment. The post that was much more popular than expected was this one, and the one that I’m disappointed so few people have found (especially given the wonderful photographs) is here. Most comments appeared for this post, about a photograph of a little walnut. The most popular search term that brings people here is Dan Kiley, which pleases me, given my great love for the work of this American designer. And, for no obvious reason, the links most frequently clicked (after the one to my website) were these two: a plan of parc André Citroën, and a photograph I took last May of a French rose garden.
With my imminent departure for a very different adventure in India, I am delighted to have found time during my last year in Paris to create this blog, and send a warm anniversary thank you to all my visitors over the last twelve months, and a hope that you will continue to call by.