Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

Knowing me, Knowing you..... Aha.....!

Notice Board

Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My First Year at Blotanical

1. On this day today, exactly one year ago, i.e. on 20th June 2009, I was accepted by Blotanical, a worldwide community of garden bloggers. On my first day at Blotanical, I stumbled into my 'Plot' and found that it was filled with welcome messages. Soon each and every one of my new blog posts began to receive some comments. Wow, what an exciting begining and boy, blogging was fun!

It is great to belong to a social network of sincere garden bloggers who looked out for each other and help each other when the need arises. I am really thankful for the assistance given and grateful for friendship extended to me.

2. Via Blotanical, I visited other garden bloggers and learnt a lot from them just by doing Picks. Picks helped me earn the points to move up the ranks at Blotanical. I wanted more faving power so that I can fave as many blotanists as possible. To fave and be faved is such a joyful thing to do.

To all the freshie Blotanist, I shall send you a welcome message whenever time permits. I want you to feel welcomed and ready to break the ice, just like how happy I was to be welcomed by other Blotanists who were Patrons, Fellows, Master and Guru level when I was a newbie 'Freshie'.

While doing Picks, I got to read the latest post of each Blotanist blogger I visited. It all began in June 2009, the season of Spring to early Summer then, and the whole northern hemispere was bursting with flowers blooming everywhere. I have never seen so many beautiful blooms in my whole life. Fake plastic flowers in my living room appeared as real gorgeous blooms from your patios and backyards. And there were beds upon beds and borders of stunning wild flowers everywhere. Even the critters, slimy creatures and creepy crawlies do not look like monsters. They look like nature's masterpiece when photographed in their natural habitats. Soon I discovered that many skilled gardeners are great photographers too.

3. I traveled round the world and visited many many types of gardens, many styles. I learnt to appreciate nature and be kind to the enviroment. Hey, I even saved a family of little birds who came to build a home in my garden! I saw flowers and buds opened everyday in so many colours, shapes and hues. I watched the seasons go by. I witnessed the heat of Summer, the Autumnal blushes, your Winter frost, and I watched Spring came alive.....

I did all these, sitting on my desk, from the flat screen of my desktop computer in a land of neverending summers and heavy rainfalls. I also shared your happiness, joys and sorrows. You showed me your wedding photos, your engagements, birthdays and anniversaries. I felt your sadness and gave words of consolation during your time of grief and loss. I celebrated when you threw a party and it was nice to be invited for a walk in the English woods, then have tea and scones while sitting on a rustic bench, watching the world go by. I toured all over Europe and I journeyed from Alaska to South America. I can identify with fellow gardeners from Malaysia and other countries in Asia but I was surprised to see familiar flora and fauna in Hawaii, Queensland, Florida, the Caribbean islands and even Africa. Next was a hike up the Colorado mountains, a journey to the Everglades and a trip to the desert of Arizona. I was fascinated to know that deers which I only get to see at zoos, just wander into a Washington garden univited and wallop all your gorgeous blooms.....

Blotanical connects garden bloggers around the world!

Red Helen Papilio helenus is a large swallowtail butterfly

4. Then, a shocking reminder came in the form of an email to me:

Subject: Google Verification
Due to congestion in our database system, We have come to realize that your account information on our database system are out of date, as a result of that we require you to verify your Information. Failure to verify your information will result in account suspension. If you are still interested in using our email service, Please click the reply button and fill the below spaces as requested.

Birth date:

Note: This email is only for Gmail users.

Thank you for using Gmail !

I spent many sleepness nights thinking about it and praying that all will be well. Now, I just delete all these junks, spams and scams and laugh my Kookaburra laugh, hahaha...

Hylarana nigrovittata or Dark-sided Frog

5. And another shocking Mail from System Administration

Dear Valued Member,
Due to the congestion in all Webmail account and removal of all unused Accounts, we would be shutting down all unused accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Info below after clicking the reply botton, or your account will be suspended within 48 hours for security reasons.

UserName: ..........................................
Date Of Birth: .....................................
Country Or Territory:...............................

After Following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.Thanks for your attention to this request.

We apologize for any inconvinience.

This too was dipped in batter and fried!!!

6. Surprise also came in the form of emails announcing my windfalls :

Lottery winnings, secret business transactions, urgent assistance request, earn money just by clicking my mouse, partnership proposals, $$$$ gazeleons of inheritance money waiting to be transferred to my bank account !!!!!

I firmly believe that there is no such thing as FREE money dropping from the sky, so I won't take what is not mine.

7. Copyright, intellectual property thefts, misuse and abuse of my post titles - Well, I still have not solved this problem 100%. Some thieves are difficult to trace and how do you take action when you don't know the source? But never mind, I will blog on.

Update: I am happy to share with you Rosie of Leaves n Blooms recommended links. I have adopted many of the measures taught. You can also visit, another wonderful community of garden bloggers.

a) Feed Scrappers III
b) Feed Scrappers II
c) Feed Scrappers - Guest Post by Dave Townsend

Meanwhile, please be assured that I have (and will not hessitate to) reported to Google Adsense and Google 'report abuse' platform regarding those blogs/websites that I know of who have violated my rights.

Whenever I have a problem, Blotanists and other Bloggers rallied to help and offered solutions.
Thank you very much for being my friend!

Yay! From a 'Freshman' I am now a 'Sophomore' at Blotanical.



  1. Autumn Belle
    Warm wishes and CONGRATULATIONS!
    A great post. It seems like we've been' virtual' friends for longer than one year.
    (I hope the theft issue will at last be over and done with. It's so unfair.)
    To my 'sophomore' cohort,
    Happy Blogging!
    aka Alice's Garden Travel Buzz

  2. congratulations, your photos and blog are one of the very best out there ! Be sure never, ever to click on attachments or anything saying you won the lottery or any type of account verification which is NEVER done on line, unless you are just signing up for a site. Delete, move on as legitimate businesses never ask for passwords with random emails . Congrats again ! Gina

  3. Congrats! to you. I adore your blog with all of it's glorious photos and have learned much myself from you so Thank You!

  4. Congratulations!!! - from one of your fellow class members.

    I have learnt to automatically delete any Anonymous comments on older posts. At first I got excited that old posts were being read, then I got wise to viagra ads etc.

    I REALLY hope you too can find a way to sort the theft problems. Could Galloping Gardner help you?

  5. Congratulations Autumn Belle - its been wonderful getting to know you and seeing all your exotic photographs and learning alittle more about where you live.

    Thanks for the mention on your last blog post - thats what blogging friends are for - to look out for each other and help as best we can across the many miles of ocean that divide us. :) Rosie

  6. Yay.. Congratulations!! i am happy to have meet you on Blot. You are awesome! What a beautiful post...and your blog is wonderful! So mnay strange emails yes..and it is too bad people steal..happens to me too! Have a happy day.!!!

  7. Autumn Belle: Congratulations on your "blotaniversary"! The feeling being a newbie is still so fresh being a six month old blotanist! You were one of them who sent me the welcome message when I just joined. Thanks!!! I always enjoyed your beautiful blog and the pictures. Good luck with your sorting those issues! As wonderful as this internet world could be, we have to be careful out there. Take care.

    ~~ Ami from Frolida

  8. Dearest Autumn Belle,

    it is such a pleasure meeting you. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and admire your dedication. By the way I will be having a birthday tea on Saturday the 10th of July and I will be having name cards with blog addresses of all my cyber friends who plan on attending. I will introduce you all to my local guests and ask them to visit your blog when they get home. Please go to

    for your invitation. Congrats and see you soon.

  9. Autumn Belle, This is such a charming account of your experience at Blotanical. Your description of the wonder of being able to visit gardens all over the world struck a chord with me. Best wishes. -Jean

  10. congratulations to you and happy father's day to all dads out there too!

    the flowers are so pretty

  11. Congratulations Autumn Belle on your one year anniversary on Blotanical. I hope you have no more trouble with people stealing your blog posts and your wonderful photos. It is a shame that some people are so dishonest.

  12. happy birthday and thank you for being you!

  13. Dear Autumn Belle, I join with so many others in sending my very good wishes and congratulations on one year of weblogging.

  14. Congrats! I too found a treasure trove of information from my friends on Blotanical. I am a better gardener today because of the knowledge share.

  15. Congrats Autumn on your one year. Blotanical is such a great place to find gardeners. I have enjoyed your blog so much and your wonderful pictures. Looking forward to sharing many more of your postings.

  16. Congratulations!!! I am glad you joined Blotanical Autumn Belle! You educate me about a colorful, lush flora in your corner of the world.All the best to you!

  17. Dear Autumn Belle, that is a very lovely essay,very nicely worded with sincere emotions. Even if i am not a member of Blotanical, you considered me a friend not only virtually. We made a friendship which is different and really serendipitous. I will forever thank you for the help you painstakingly put one by one on emails, and despite your hectic schedules didn't fail to sincerely give. We attained the 2nd level of friendship where we are almost like sisters, triggered by our nearness in space and same climatic conditions. You are like also a helping buddy accross all weather and i salute your status gained from blogging. CONGRATULATIONS!

  18. Congrates Sophomore! I love your photos and your dedication to Botanical.

  19. Hello Autumn Belle and congratulations on your Blotaversary! I am surprised to discover you have only been a member of Blotanical for a year! You are such a wonderfully supportive member who was very helpful to me in getting started :)

  20. I have switched you over. Looking forward to more of your wonderful photos.

  21. Yes, there sure is a lot of spam out there! You're right - it's so wonderful to feel like you've just travelled around the world to the best gardens just by clicking around! I know that I am so happy to have made your acquaintance!

  22. Congratulations Belle!
    Nice to see all the lovely orchids in between of your treasured memories and story.

    I think I slowly getting to your area of experience. My blog now is 80% occupied.

    I noticed that you have switched from a blog to a website. I guess you are paying for that service?

  23. Hi, everyone. Thank you very much for the encouraging words and warm wishes. I enjoyed reading your comments very much.

    Diana, yes, Charlotte (Galloping Gardener) is also helping me via email.

    James, I pay Google USD 10.00 per annum for the domain name from Go Daddy. I only own the domain name but the blog still belongs to Google. I did this to shorten my blog url, I mean I wanted to do away with the blogspot. You can also say that it is for sentimental reasons too.

    Meanwhile, I'll be visiting all of you soon, i.e. after I finish my dateline jobs :)

  24. It all sounds so complicated! I miss those naive days of not knowing about those scammers and spammers.
    Hope you are doin fine!

  25. Really nice photos of plants & wildlife. I will definitely follow your blog as you live in the tropics.

    Congrats on one year of blogging. I also found lots of friends on Blotanical.

    As for easy money , well scams are all over the place & a fool & his money are easily seperated :)

    All the best
    Ajman UAE (zone 11)

  26. aloha autumn belle,

    congratulations, i'm glad i caught this post coming back from the mainland and want to thank you for all you've done through blotanical and the wonderful aloha and friendship you have given through the cyber world, what a beautiful post!

  27. A belated congrats on your blotanical anniversary and what a wonderful year of your posts and awesome pics.

    Sorry to hear about all the spam problems - the fly in the ointment, as they say.

    See you have changed your blogspot - must update you on my blogroll

    all good wishes

    Laura x


Words are like the voice of the heart... Confucius

Note: If you are unable to comment on my latest post, click on the post title to reopen the post and try writing your comments again. Comments under "Anonymous" will be automatically treated as spam if no name is included.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin