Friday, January 18, 2013

Grow Your Blog and A Giveaway

I'm joining the Grow Your Blog; a meet, greet, and follow party hosted by Vicki at 2 Bags Full.
The blogging world has opened up a whole new dimension for many people, myself included.  We can meet others from all over the world to share about ourselves, family, adventures and of course, lots of pictures.
Welcome to Lavender Cottage, I'm Judith and I live in Ontario, Canada.  I've been married just over 40 years to my high school sweetheart and we have two daughters and six grandchildren.
Here we are with our oldest daughter and family in Mexico recently and that's me sitting between our twin granddaughters.  Hubby is in the back row on the right side.
I am a freelance garden writer/photographer and write a weekly gardening column in our local newspaper.  Our property, which sits in a pocket village in the country has been certified as a wildlife habitat and we enjoy the visits of many birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
As gardening is my main passion, I volunteer at the local, district and provincial levels to share my knowledge and help keep our organizations running.
With an English background, my gardens are cottage-Victorian; some formal areas but mostly cottage style. 
My second passion is afternoon tea and it lead me to becoming friends with a wonderful group of women that gather weekly through our blogs for a virtual tea party where we exhibit our teacups, china and baked sweets, along with the swapping of recipes.
I've found I can count on these ladies for an excellent recipe for most any occasion.  
Two of my favourite magazines are Victoria, and Tea Time.  This is a bench by our pond where I often sit on a summer afternoon with a cup of tea and fresh scones from the oven.
About a year ago I started making cards with a Stampin' Up instructor - ours is the granny group that meets once a month.   It's a fun and relaxing craft and now everyone on my card list receives a home made one.
I had great difficulty in getting my blog the way I envisioned it and hiring a designer was the best thing I did and highly recommend it.  Karen Valentine's link can be found on my sidebar if you decide to go this route, tell her I sent you!  I am word verification free and my email is linked to when I leave a comment so bloggers can reply back to me.  Also all comments on my blog go into my inbox so I can send back a thank you, or note.
To welcome my new followers and thank the ones who already follow my blog, I'm having a giveaway during this party, the winner to be announced on this same post February 1.
I've chosen a few things that say they're from me.  A journal with butterflies, a package of friendship tea, a lavender bag that will come with dried lavender in it, a glycerin rose soap with mango and shea butter, and a tiny bit of bling seen on the bag.
A butterfly toe ring, just like the one I have for summer that sparkles in the sunlight.  
All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment on this post.  I'll mail the parcel anywhere with this giveaway.
Thank you to Vicki for hosting this meet and greet so that we can find kindred bloggers to follow.  Please visit the other participants here.  I thought I should add that this party required pre-registration at 2 Bags Full.
Update!  The winner of my giveaway is Nancy at Two Cottages and Tea.  Please email me with your address so I can send your package to you.


  1. How beautiful your garden is and what a lovely pic of the family.
    This is a lovely give away. If I am lucky enough to win it,I live in Australia and I think that customs would open the parcel if real lavender was in it. Just a thought :)

  2. Hi Judith. I enjoyed learning more about you in this post. What a lovely photo of your family. You all look very tanned. ; ) Another draw for a beautiful gift? Count me in. Have a lovely weekend. Hugs, Pamela

  3. Hi Judith,

    Nice to see you blogging again, maybe you were on your trip. I read about this grow your blog and thought it looked interesting for someday. Sure I'll join your giveaway as I meet your qualifications! Have a nice weekend,

  4. I enjoyed reading this post, and seeing your beautiful family and your photograhy. Stop by my blog where I have a Blogiversary Giveaway!

  5. Hello, Judith

    I hope you had a wonderful time on your trip to Mexico. It must have been a treat to warm your bones and spend time in the sun with your family, as well as check out the local flora!


  6. Hi Judith, What a lovely post for the Grow your Blog link party. Your family pic is beautiful and so nice to read more about your journey blogging. You are such a talented lady and I have so enjoyed meeting you through our blogs. Your gifts for the giveaway are very special. Anyone would be blessed to win.
    Wishing you many more happy years of blogging and wondeful friendships.
    Have a nice weekend.
    Hugs, Celestina Marie

  7. Hi Judith, It was lovely to see part of your family, handsome grandsons and beautiful granddaughters. Everyone looks so tanned from the trip. Please count me in for the giveaway. Take care and have an enjoyable weekend. Jen

  8. please enter me into your giveaway. what fun. thanks!! have a great weekend. what a great way to meet new blog folks. take care. ( :

  9. Hi Judith,
    This was such a lovely post. I loved learning more about you. And a great giveaway too :-)

    Jocelyn @

  10. What a pleasure it was to learn more about a blogger that I've come to think of as a friend. Of course that was you all dressed in Lavender!
    I have never worn a toe ring, but I think I would give it a try if I were to win this giveaway!

  11. What a beautiful posting and lovely to learn about you. Thanks for your giveaway. I'd love to join in.
    From fellow blogger,

  12. Judith you have a beautiful blog. I can smell the lavender everytime I visit. We're friends already but I still would like to join in on your giveaway! I missed the pre-registration for this party, otherwise I would have surely joined in!

  13. Oh Judith
    this is such a lovely post and I'm thrilled to get to know you some more!
    Love the beautiful photo of your family, so nice of you to share it with us.

    I would love to sit on your garden bench with you one day - sipping tea and discussion plants and garden design - what could be nicer than a meeting of like minded souls!
    Your garden looks so pretty - love the crazy paving and that lavender hedge - WOW!!!

    Enjoy the party
    Shane ♥

  14. Enjoyed the post - So glad you joined the party !!!

  15. Love your garden, no better place to be. Glad to follow.
    grandmawillcox (at) zoominternet (dot) net

  16. How nice to get to know you through this Linky party. I enjoy gardening too and love the pictures you shared of your garden. It looks so beautiful.

  17. Hello Judith, even though I have been enjoying visiting your blog for ages now, I was still thrilled to read your post about yourself, your family and your passions! I didn't even know you were a garden writer/photographer! Wow, that is amazing. Your gardens are gorgeous as always! I love your borders, they do look English to me. I am not a studied gardener, but I have enjoyed visiting gardens in England.
    Have a great weekend,

  18. Good Afternoon Judith, It was lovely to meet your family. Mexico sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I should imagine with the hot climate there were some interesting plants for you to discover.
    One of the things I love about your blog is your wonderful gardens, they are inspirational.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Best Wishes

  19. Your blog is so lovely. I will return here many times in the future. Thank you for sharing and for joining in on the party. ~Elizabeth

  20. Wonderful pictures and a wonderful garden! Hopefully spring is near. Sending hugs from Germany - Erika

  21. Hi Judith

    So happy i stopped by your beautiful blog. I am a former Canadian and have a sister and a SIL both living in Barrie. My inlaws had a cottage at Alcona Beach which we came to for years.

    Your garden is spectacular and a lovely blog. I think I need karen Valentine and will contact her soon.



  22. What a beautiful blog. Your gardens are lovely and peaceful looking. Your give away is very nice.

  23. Beautiful photography. And I can almost smell your cake. Yummy. Come visit my blog too and enter for the giveaway, it's a very vintage lace book. See you soon!

  24. A butterfly toe ring? I would love that! (if I do not win I will have to find where I can buy it)

    You have a lovely blog, thank you for sharing. I am a new follower and 'Grow Your Blog' participant. Have fun at the party!

    Evalina, This and that...

  25. Hi Judith, Your post is beautifully written. I like how you described the friendships formed with our online tea parties. Liked seeing your garden pics, especially the path. You have a lovely family and I'm glad you got to share your vacation! Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.
    Blessings, Beth

  26. Hi Judith, it is so nice to meet you! Your blog is absolutely lovely... Karen does such fabulous work in design our blogs. I haven't gotten her to re-do my blog yet but I'm working on it... LOL! Your photographs are fabulous and I am very much looking forward to getting to know you better. I am your newest follower and will be back for sure! :D
    Hugs and thanks for inviting us visit your blog...
    Beth P

  27. Hi Judith,
    I enjoyed seeing your beautiful family and gardens! Wishing you a lovely evening.

  28. Judith, happy to meet you. Your garden is lovely. I am also partial to lavender. I also am a blogging buddy of Beth's and enjoy her flowers and plants in her beautiful yard. Do you host a weekly tea party linky? xo

  29. Though I'm not participating in the Grow Your Blog event (and therefore shouldn't be included in the drawing), I had to comment how nice it is to know more about you and to see your family. You are one of those gals who never changes...a timeless beauty!

    I also didn't know that your home had been designated a wildlife habitat. How cool!

  30. Oh hi Judith, so nice to meet you as well, and I'm following you back. Love the butterfly shots, but I was drawn in by one of your posts on the side about spiders! I'm very allergic and have to carry an epi-pen, but I love to photograph them - they are so fascinating. I had a green lynx, well 2 of them, with egg sacs 2 summers ago and loved watching them. Unfortunately I also have a lot of little green lizards and haven't seen any adults since.

  31. You have a wonderful blog and I love your pictures.

    Thank you for visiting my blog!

    Take care and have a great weekend!!

  32. A really lovely introduction and great pics. Your family look nice and tanned in your Mexican photo. Valerie

  33. Judith I love the look of your blog especially since I adore lavender, tea and gardens. Your family is lovely and the virtual tea is a wonderful idea. Your giveaway is perfect and I look forward to following along. Is there a way to sign up for your blog through email?

  34. Judith, your blog is just lovely! I am also a nature garden lover and try to attract butterflies and hummingbirds throughout the seasons. I am so happy to meet you and will be following!


  35. Your blog is gorgeous! I`d love the chance to enter your giveaway.
    I`m a new follower, from frigid NW Ontario!
    pippirose59 at gmail dot com

  36. Your blog is lovely! I adore pretty china, Victoria magazine, and the idea of tea time!

  37. I love your blog. I attempt cottage style flowerbeds around my property, can't wait to surf through here and pick up some tips. As a cardmaker as well, I am looking forward to reading more on here!

  38. Hi Judith, thanks for visiting my blog! What a good looking family you have, you are truly blessed!
    Looking forward to many many more visits!
    Have a great weekend!

  39. I love Vicki's party idea. It's such a nice way for people to get their blog out there.
    Your garden photos are just lovely. And I'm a Victoria lover, too.
    Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

  40. Great picture of your family. It is wonderful that you could all go. Looking forward to reading your blog.

  41. What a wonderful post, Judith! I'm glad you had time away with your family and what a lovely looking group you all make.
    Your garden is just beautiful and I enjoyed reading more about you. My son would absolutely love your property as he is such a nature lover; like his mom! ;)
    Wonderful Giveaway too. Thanks for sharing and see you for tea tomorrow.


  42. I love seeing a photo of your family and learning more about you. But a butterfly toe ring? I sure would love to have that! I wear sandals year round here in Florida! Sweet hugs!

  43. Hi there, I guess I was already a follower. But it is so nice to visit cause of the GYB party. I love your garden, just beautiful

  44. What a great post! It was so nice learning so many more things about you! I'll have to go check out 2 Bags Full.

  45. I love your garden.. You have a great family too :D
    I am your newest follower :D
    I love your lovely giveaway...

  46. Love your blog... Lavender is such a beautiful color. Thank you for visiting This Grandmother's Garden. We do have some things in common... isn't being a grandmother the best?!

  47. Judith beautiful photos !! and what a lovely family you have. Hugs and blessings, HHL

  48. Would love to be entered in this wonderful giveaway! And Judith, you will appreciate this more than any other tea friend: I was looking at the website about the upcoming Southeastern Flower Show (in Atlanta, in March) and one of the floral display divisions is titled High Tea in which the floral arrangements are in a teacup. I can't wait! Wish you were a bit closer, as I'd love to see you there!

  49. Hi Judith,

    I love your Gardens and I just might see you at those tea parties...because I love them!!

    Your blog is beautiful...I'll be back. I'm your newest Follower. Hope you'll visit my Blog!

    Jan ♥

  50. Hi Judith.
    Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I have had lots of company and not a lot of time to make visits like I want. Hubby is on call at the hospital this weekend so I think I will be able to catch up with the party!!
    We have a lot more in common than Karen designing our blog! We have 7 grandchildren--6 girls and one boy----and DH and I will be married 42 years in July. I Love lavendar and roses and gardening.
    Count me as a new follower.

  51. Judith muy lindo tu blog , sería magnífico incorporar un traductor para más facilidad de leer.Besos.Olga.

  52. What a lovely blog!I am crazy about lavender and grow some at home myself!Always adding more!!
    Please come visit my blog! Look forward as a new follower!

  53. I love all the lavender! So pretty! Nice to meet you from Vicki's party!

  54. I'd love to come join you for tea sometime and sample some of your scrumptious looking treats and beautifully set tables! I also love lavender--divine fragrance! Thanks for a chance to win your sweet giveaway!

  55. Hi Judith,

    I'm so happy that we've already been blogging friends for several years now.

    That photo of your vacation is fantastic – your family is beautiful and the girls with their corn rows look charming. And you are all tan! So glad you had a great vacation.


  56. what a wonderful, full life you lead!
    Lavender - i tie a little bit onto the wrap
    of a purchase. I love the scent.
    And i love your blog design.

    entering your giveaway - i hope i win!!


  57. Judith,
    Beautiful beautiful. I know I will enjoy spending more time enjoying your blog. Thanks to GYB party! You have a new follower.

  58. Wow, a blog after my own heart! Hope you'll visit me back and take a look at my lavender gardens.


  59. What a beautiful blog! So glad to have found you via Vicki's party. I have always wanted to know what lavender smells like; so many ladies use it, and I never know where I can get some! I shall have to check it out. I shall add myself to your Followers list so I can come back to read more!


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