doodle by andre: happy anniversary to us!


WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DOODLE MAKES. Sixteen months ago I asked a stranger across an ocean if I could run an illustration of his (above) on my just-born blog, because I’d adopted its words as a motto for my new rural life adventure. Then exactly one year ago tomorrow, that stranger—by then a friend, and living in America—officially became a weekly columnist, part of the haphazard happy A Way to Garden family that also includes Jack the Demon Cat, the garden itself, and you. Won’t you wish me and Andre Jordan a happy anniversary? A somewhat-deranged new doodle, and Andre’s take on Year 1 together await if you do:
“My friendship with Margaret began with a doodle,” says Andre. “Just a simple doodle that no one but me would understand. Fours seasons, 52 doodles, 12 months later we talk of spring visits and endless walks through her extraordinary garden.

“I am still amazed by what these simple doodles bring.”


So are we, Andre. Like some visitors who only come here on Thursdays; like dreams of a bigger collaboration someday (hint, hint); like two whole new lives forged with each one of us in the other’s cheering section, screaming louder than loud. I thank you, as I know our readers do. Oh, and also like some really odd doodles that make me fall off my ladder over here at the thought of you, an Englishman in America, coping with us: with our incessant our lawn mowing, our yes, even our butt rubs (I know, Branston pickle is more your condiment style).
You can see all Andre’s garden doodles here; you can see his entire body of work at A Beautiful Revolution, which I’d call my upcoming book or at least tattoo on my arm if someone hadn’t already taken it. We are same but different, with more moments both tender and only semi-innocently naughty to come. Cheers!

  1. Brenda Dumont says:

    Happy Anniversary!! Loved the “butt rub” doodle and as always, look forward to everything on “A Way to Garden!”

  2. andre says:

    this ‘butt rub’ doodle really did happen and my neighbor laughed, ‘You’re going to use this as a doodle on the garden site, aren’t you?’.

    Margaret – tis an honor to know you and to have you as our friend. And yes! bigger collaboration someday (wink).

  3. chigal says:

    Congratulations! Many, many manymany happy returns.

    I feel very fortunate to have come across this site in its first year. Wow.

  4. CovingtonKat says:

    Andre & Margaret – Happy, happy 1st anniversary! And many more returns!

    You both brighten up my days – especially Thursdays…I always look forward to visiting this site and enjoy all the commenters too.

    Thanks for all that you draw, photograph & post!

  5. Allison Meinhold says:

    Congratulations!! A truly inspired collaboration! Thank you BOTH for all of the smiles this past year. Here’s to further flowering! (and shrubbing and fruiting)

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, ConeFlower, and thank you for your kind wishes. Andre has been one of the great joys of making this garden blog, which has opened me up to so many people and experiences – more all the time. Hope to see you soon again.

  6. MJ says:

    What could be better than gardening and laughing? I found this site through looking up something or other about gardening and then saw the doodles…immediately hooked!

    Congratulations on a fine looking one year old!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, MJ, and thank you for the good wishes. Yes, gardening and laughing make a good combination. Today=no laugh here as it was snowing and we were putting non-hardy things away and soaked and freezing. : ( See you soon again I hope.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Christy, and thanks for seconding that emotion. :)

      Welcome also to Zephyr (love that name; a gentle wind). I hope that both of you will please come see us again soon, and often.

  7. Laura says:

    Adding my congratulations and thanks for the fun and sharing that you both bring our way. Here’s to a short, sweet winter and early spring, since fall seems to have skipped on by.

  8. Glenco Kate says:

    Dear Margaret
    Happy Anniversary to you and Andre.
    I always go to your website when I feel blue for a dose of sunshine and a big hug from your spectacular garden. Thank you for sharing your wonderful energy with us!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Glenco Kate. You are very kind to say the part about the sunshine, and I promise to keep trying to generate it (even when it snows in mid-October, which it has been here, yikes). Do stop in soon again.

  9. Kathy says:

    I just have to add another comment. Not only is the site one of my favorite stops each day but the comments are fantastic and so well written. If I can’t be in my garden I love being at yours.

  10. Nancy says:

    Happy, happy Anniversary to you both…the woods beckon to all of us at one time or another–staying with the flowers is sometimes a challenge, but well worth it!

  11. Chris in So Calif says:

    Happy, Happy Anniversary! Thank you for such a wonderful blog. I look forward to it every evening after a long day at work. It’s my stress relief and inspiration. It is fun to connect with everyone. Love your photos, love the doodles, love your kitchen, love your frog boys, love the education, love it all!!! Have a good night’s sleep and a wonderful day tomorrow. Keep warm!

  12. Wendy says:

    Hearty congrats to you both; and thanks all around for the great advice, stories, pictures and insightful comic moments!

    PS: snow here on Lake Erie, too, last week. This week: Indian Summer, sunshine and 50’s ’til the weekend.

  13. kathy says:

    congratulations and thank you for the terrific advice and the great humour … my grandfather taught me to never work soaking wet soil….when i moved to london, i kept on waiting for my garden to dry out before i turned it….it was autumn before i caught on that i’d never have a garden unless i broke a couple rules, so i’m enjoying andre’s comic attempts as the tables are turned on him! ….oh and thanks for a stateside source for bourbon cremes….ummmm

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Kathy. Love the wet soil anecdote; this year here I swear it never dried out, either, so we broke a few rules here and there. :) Hope to see you again (and watch out for those bourbon cremes).

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