How this blog got its name

Robin (Bumblebee) asked this and I was going to just email her the answer, but what the heck, she’s not the only one who's asked. So here it is.

No, I do not drink and garden at the same time, unless the beverage is coffee, diet soda, or water. However, we (me, my husband, friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and often people who are just about complete strangers) often gather in the garden during the warm months to drink and eat. I often have meetings with writers in the garden, and I’ve held late afternoon board/committee meetings with various volunteer groups in the garden. Generally speaking, most of us are drinking wine, cocktails or beer during these times. The garden, for us, really is an outdoor room, though we’ve never thought of it that way, didn’t buy anything where that phrase was mentioned, and we didn’t read any magazine articles on how to create such a place.

After we moved in, as soon as I could, I set up a table and chairs, and the garden kind of took place, always revolving around us, in it. So there I am one evening sitting with my two friends Cheryl and Nancy (shown above in a oldish, faded Polaroid, all I could find). We’re drinking wine and having some kind of snack, probably. I see something in a nearby bed (now the pond), something that should be deadheaded, or pulled out, or shifted in some way. I get up and head purposefully toward the plant in question and—I think—Nancy called out “GWI! GWI!”

That was some years before I started this blog and the phrase seemed like a natural title. Over the years, the garden has provided a wonderful setting for all kinds of socializing, for boys as well as girls—hubby (center) and friend Scott below:

I love the garden for its own sake, but if I couldn’t hang out in it with my friends, I’d be much less interested. I suppose, too, in the same sense that M.F.K. Fisher felt that food and drink and love were intertwined, I feel that the garden and its flowers have a lot to do with why I love my life and hence want to see my friends and loved ones in the garden.

Long answer to an easy question!


Ah! GWI - good story. I suppose I'm guilty of that, although hardly any garden cop is ever around to catch me since we are in a rural county.

Alas, one of the pleasures and problems here at Bumblebee is that we're so isolated. Private but lonely. And meeting like souls has not bee easy.


I'll go have a glass of wine now, I suppose.

Robin at Bumblebee
Gail said…
I agree Robin, it is a good story. Laughter, friends and a good time.

clay and limestone
Carol Michel said…
I agree, a garden filled with friends, food, and fine drink is a generally happy place. And if you have a garden that everyone is drawn to, then you've got a good garden going.
Ahhhh yes. It is wonderful to be in the garden with a good drink in hand and friends gathered.
Anonymous said…
It's good to hear the whole story. Your friend came up with a great title, and you were smart to recognize it.
Anonymous said…
I've always liked that title but really thought you were 'intoxicated' by plants and fragrance. We all have our addictions and mine run right along with food, friends, wine and plants as do yours. I can hear the laughter in the garden!
Anonymous said…
I totally agree. We have a friend who comes over every Tuesday night for dinner and American Idol and tonight was the first time this year that it was nice enough to eat dinner in the garden. I look forward to many more gatherings there over the next 6 months. And a lot of beer and wine will be imbibed!
Lori said…
Good story. I suppose if I follow your lead, my blog should be called, "creating the kind of place you want to put a hammock in." It's a kinda unwieldy title. I suppose the perfect runner-up would be "gardening while getting caffeinated," since I always sit out there while drinking my morning coffee. ;)
Anonymous said…
If that's true, then can you explain why your other blogs are called, "Writing While Intoxicated," "Editing While Intoxicated," "Sitting on Boards While Intoxicated," and "Curating While Intoxicated?"
EAL said…
Good one, Jim.
What a great way to get a blog title. (Definitely much better than chasing rabbits.)
joey said…
I hear your voice. Please visit me with a glass of 'May Wine' in hand, a garden tour and, trust me, good food! This is my life ... teaching all to enjoy the riches of life!
Anonymous said…
Jim, REALLY good one!
Seriously, it's a wonderful place to hang out and I envy you your garden and your artsy - but not fartsy - friends. I felt incredibly comfortable there with you all. S
allaboutafya said…
I love how you came up with this title and am inspired to work on my garden. Great post!
Anonymous said…
This blog really makes me miss my house back up north. Florida really isn't the best place to have an "outdoor room" like a garden, mostly due to the humidity which causes one to be soaked with sweat from simply checking the mail.

Sitting outside in the south is akin to sitting in a giant oven on the equator - terrible!

Very fun blog; I really enjoy reading your posts. Keep it up!
Jane M. said…
Why, I believe that is Mr. Scott Kunst! Aren't you, like, kinda dissing him in your July 14 post?

; )
Jana Braswell said…
Im so glad you shared that! Too funny... GWI! I was telling my husband when I stumbled across your blog how wonderful I thought it was and he asked, 'Gardening While Intoxicated?' wonder if it's literal or figuratively speaking (in that gardening itself can be thoroughly inebriating).

I love that your garden is an extension of your home. That's how I feel about our deck, doing a lot of bird watching these days, too. Beauty is beauty!
April Lirpa said…
Im a bit late to the party but I love your blog.
I am often guilty of GWI myself-great title!

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