Friday, September 10, 2010

Milestone: 1,000,000 page views / PATSP De-Lurking Day

UPDATE: At 12:05 AM, CDT, on Saturday, September 11, 2010, someone in Mosman, New South Wales, Australia looked at the Salvia elegans profile (which they'd found via Google) and became hit #1000000. I can prove part of that:


Celebratory Gazania.

Unless something really unusual happens, PATSP is going to get its 1,000,000th page view at some point today. Maybe very early tomorrow, if traffic is slow.

I feel like I should say something about this, but I don't know what one is supposed to say. A million page views wasn't something I considered or anticipated when I started this. (Which is good, because if I'd had that goal to begin with I would have been very depressed. You know how many I got the first day? Seventy-six. And a lot of that was just because it was the first day and people were coming from Garden Web out of curiosity: by the third day, that had dropped to twenty-one.)

But then, none of this has really gone the way I was expecting. The idea when I started was that this would be practice space for book-writing, and a place to share pictures of the stuff I was working with at my then-new garden center job. A little over 660,000 words and 1145 posts later, there's still no book (When would I work on a book, for fuck's sakes? The blog takes 40-45 hours a week.), and there's also no longer a job.

In short, blogging has turned me into an unemployed loser, just like people always said it would.

Or possibly I was an unemployed loser already, deep down, and blogging just unlocked my potential. There's a definite argument to be made there.1

Whatever. This is really more about you guys. I mean, you're the ones who loaded the pages. So:

Some websites have occasional "de-lurking" days, where people who visit a blog but never leave comments are invited to do so. So just for today, if you normally never comment, or even if you do, say hi. I don't care so much what you say -- leave a link to your own blog, tell me what you do for a living or how many grandkids you have, tell me you like my shoes -- whatever.

I will still delete anything resembling spam, though, so please do try to sound like a human being.


1 I would probably be sounding happier about the milestone if I were feeling better physically: I've been having a lot of (literal) headaches this week, and don't know why. The list of possible causes includes: sleep disruption, unusual levels of physical exertion, dehydration, allergies, stress, eyestrain, and changes in the weather/humidity. Or the husband could be poisoning the food. I mean, he says he isn't, but of course that's exactly what he'd have to say if he really were.
And it could be the case that none of these are correct and it's some mysterious and unimaginable ninth thing, though my personal guess is that it's some combination of stress and the change in weather.


Sue Catmint said...

happy one million views, hope you're feeling better. From one unemployed loser to another ... like your gazania pics.

Anonymous said...

Hello mr_subjunctive!

Yes I'm one of those who never comments. I initially started checking out your blog sometime in February when I came across it looking up information about dieffenbachia. Have been hooked on your sense of humor since.

Happy gazanias :)

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Congratulations on this milestone! Your blog is fantastic, so I'm not surprised you've reached this amount of page views. I hope you're around for a long time, Mr. S; I enjoy 'reading' you. And I hope to see you in print one day at my local bookstore. Love the photos of the flowers; they're amazing.

Ginny Burton said...

Congratulations! A most impressive tally, indeed!

I'll bet some of the lurkers are regular posters who got excited and hit "Publish" before they remembered that this blog -- unlike any other I've seen -- doesn't automatically fill in the ID information. So you are inadvertently encouraging anonymity.

Have you had your eyes checked? That may be the cause of your headaches. You spend hours on the computer and that really takes its toll on your eyes.

Lie down with a cloth over your eyes and listen to all the potted plants in this world whispering, "Thank you Mr_Subjunctive!"

paivi said...

Congratulations, Mr S!

This is one of my favourite blogs. I came originally to check out the awesome plant profiles (thanks to you, my house has a lot of plants I would never have bought if not for your profiles - and they're thriving too) and then kept checking back regularly to see what other things you were blogging about. Been a regular ever since, even though I rarely post comments. Thank you!

Diana said...

No I won't leave a comment just because you ask. I won't. I won't. Oh, hey, wait! I just did. Darn it.

You work full time on this blog? Wow! No wonder it's so good. Now I don't feel bad that mine isn't as frequently updated or as popular.

Congrats on the Milestone!

ScreamingGreenConure said...

I comment sometimes. This is the first plant blog I came across and still the best, and it's helped turn me into kind of an obsessive.

Deborah said...

Well. For what it's worth, I don't think you're a loser, and I love reading the blog every day. I've actually discovered some very cool plants thanks to you(or should I be blaming you that my living room now resembles a jungle???), plus I enjoy your sarcastic sense of humor.

BTW: All the plants you sent are doing wonderfully- new growth on everything!


SiestaSister said...

♥ your blog. It is the first one I check every day because you have so much good information. I have learned a lot from it.

I knew you must spend a lot of time on the blog. 40-45 hours a week...Holy Cow!

Keep up the good work!

CelticRose said...

Hi! *waves*

Congrats on the milestone, and I hope you're feeling better soon.

Tell the husband to read your posts on poisonous plants before he makes you any more salads. ;)

Kaleb and Stacey said...


I'll De-lurk myself (better than de-lousing I'm told). I'm a technical writer for a company that makes scientific water quality equipment for environmental researchers, regulatory agencies, etc and have enjoyed your blog for about a year now.

I really am into aroids, but have a little bit of everything. Maybe 40ish species total, I'm not really sure. My wife and I are both Christians and spend our "time off" doing relief work in developing countries: Haiti and Honduras this past year. Our long term goals are to help educate the folks full time in these countries in sustainable agriculture. I'd love to see them better their lives through the plants around them!

Thanks so much for your dedication to the blog. It's always a fun read for me. Hope your head heals quickly.

Grace and peace.

Lance said...

Definitely not a loser. Does sound like an overworked blogger though.

Hope your headaches improve. I traced mine to high blood pressure. Low dose bayer at night helped me a lot.

Anonymous said...

What a milestone. This is one site I never miss, not even if the moose have run off with my dicey mile of drooping phone line. I'm the Anonymous Nancy in the little non-electric cabin at the edge of the
Bay of Fundy, whose plant choices are so limited that you provide me with a whole vicarious life come blizzard or high tide. Congratulations and hang in there.

Unknown said...

I love reading your posts every morning over my first cup of coffee.
Keep up the good work!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Hi. Yer shuz i likes so much on this good webpage. Please yer man with theze nick shuz. (look like spam? I tried. Congrats on 1 million.)

danger garden said...

De-Lurking Day, I love the concept and will be copying yo someday. Of course I will give you credit for introducing me.

Congrats on the number with all the zero's...and that comes from another unemployed looser. Keep up the inspiring work, after all what would I do with my day if I didn't have garden blogs to read?

Liza said...

Only a million? You are a loser!

Haha, just kidding. You're the bomb. A gentle, frail, sensitive bomb.

K. Brown said...

Hi. Yet another unemployed loser here. Try putting 'freelance artist and writer' on a rental app.

I'm glad someone else loves Morning Glories as much as I do, and just as unapologetically. And I'm excited about the impending extended Aloe commentary.

cconz said...

Congrats on the one million views, very impressive. I do admit to checking you everyday and sometimes leaving a comment. you have become a habit. How else would i have known that PV had a "Bat flower". I am still doing some research and deciding if i can grow one.
I admire you for a fabulous blog and if your a loser, you have lots of company.

ruth said...

De-lurking to compliment you on this blog. I originally came for all the plant profiles, but stayed for your daily posts. Wouldn't want to miss your writing anymore...
Here's to the second million views (and the book one day)!

Emily said...

I do comment occasionally :)

Tracy said...

I'll join the ranks of those de-lurking for the day! I am a plant pathologist who hears about corn and soybeans all day long...boring! Your plants are way more exciting than mine! Congrats on the millionth view, keep up the good work :)

Thomas said...

Unemployed with humor, purpose, ambition, ideas, talent, intelligence, friends, people who love you (just the highlights) can't be a loser. I found your blog trying to identify a plant (Schefflera 'Nova' - didn't make the cut - made it someone else's sidewalk find). As another indoor gardener with aspirations and no paycheck, I say you gotta take the long view. And btw, Congratulations.

mr_subjunctive said...


No significant headaches yesterday, at least, so there's progress.

Anonymous @ 3:36 AM:

I do often wonder how people happen on PATSP (maybe I should have suggested that, for the delurking), so I appreciate you saying.

Water Roots:

I suppose a book is still possible. I can't quite figure out how one would promote a book and at the same time spend 20 hours a week taking care of plants, though. I really hope it wouldn't involve lots of travel,[1] or joining Facebook.

[1] Not that I wouldn't be interested in meeting you, and everybody else, in person. But I don't like the actual travel part of travel very much, and suspect I'd like it a lot less now, with the invasive security involved in flying.

Ginny Burton:

Anonymity is okay.

Eyestrain is definitely a possibility, and I haven't had an eye exam in over three years, but the headaches started up too suddenly for time in front of the computer to be the only cause. I mean, it's not like I've been spending more time at the computer than usual in the last week. So I don't know. There are sort of plans in place for an eye appointment, though it may not be particularly soon.


Good to know. I worry sometimes that maybe I shouldn't be encouraging people to have certain plants -- maybe I've just been lucky, or something -- so it's nice to get feedback on that.


Yeah, and then another 20 hours a week or so watering the plants, too. Usually this is okay, though there are better days and worse days.


Oh. Is . . . is "obsessive" a good thing, or should I feel shame? 'Cause I can feel shame, if need be.


Good to hear. The Agave you sent has been doing very well in the basement so far; the Aloe is in the plant room and hasn't done much yet, but there is a new leaf developing, so it at least looks like it's adjusted to the move okay.

mr_subjunctive said...


Thank you very much. How do you get the heart symbol to come up in a comment, though? Some sort of special keystroke?


Like I said in the previous comment, I didn't have a headache yesterday (maybe a little bit of one, just before bed, but nothing that amounted to anything -- Wednesday's was really bad, though), so maybe we're done with them for a while.

Also, if the husband were in fact trying to kill me, directing him to the poisonous-plant posts would only give him ideas. . . .


Do you get much chance to look at the plants when you're in Honduras? A lot of good aroids come from there.

Mae said...

Well, I already leave random useless comments, so I'd compliment your shoes, but I've never seen a picture of your shoes. So I'll just say kudos to your blogging success! I've tried to make my blog insightful and intriguing enough to invite viewers back (like yours already is), but really it's just a place to show photos of the nieces and nephews or rant about whatever things is bugging my autistic tendencies that week.

Sigonee said...


I came across your blog while looking up tips for taking care of euphorbias (I've got a lot of them!). Now that I've become an unemployed loser myself, I get to read you every day! Keep it up!

mr_subjunctive said...


*sigh* It's theoretically possible; there's high blood pressure on Dad's side of the family, and Dad himself had it at one point (last I knew, he'd dieted and medicated his way out of it). And I think it's a commonish side effect of Wellbutrin, and I do drink a lot of coffee, as well. (Though I've been making it a lot weaker lately, to try to bring my caffeine intake down to levels more compatible with human life.)

Both of my parents also get sinus headaches a lot, too. I don't know for sure that that's what these are, but they sure feel like it.

Anonymous [Nancy] at 7:30 AM:

The moose thing actually happens?


Thank you.

Benjamin Vogt:

Sorry, no. Their spelling isn't usually that bad, and you didn't even mention Vl1agra.

danger garden:

I'm actually quite shocked that there are so many unemployed people reading this. But then when I think about it, I suppose the surprise actually should be that I have that many employed people reading, right?


I may have to use "A gentle, frail, sensitive bomb" somewhere in the book blurbs, when I manage to produce the book.

Jokke said...

Greetings from Finland! I love aroids and I have been reading about your experiences. Thanks! My blog does not have much about plants though.

mr_subjunctive said...

K. Brown:

So am I. Or I would be, if I had the time to work on it more. I can't tell you when it will be done, but I can tell you that it will include my all-time favorite piece of plant-related trivia to date. (The previous favorite involved bats sleeping in newly-emerging Calathea leaves, which is pretty cool, but this blows that out of the water.)


Now that it's cooled down, Sheba and I are taking walks again, and we saw what looked like a Macleaya cordata (plume poppy) in your front yard. Was it? Where did you find one? (I can't remember seeing them at PV.) Are they problematic in some non-obvious way? I only just heard about them (from Dirt Therapy), and then we go for a walk and boom, there's one there in your yard.

As for the Tacca, you should try talking to WCW about them; she's tried (and failed) more than once and probably has ideas about where she went wrong, plus I know she bought one of this latest batch, so she may have something to say about this particular plant. If you don't remember her name, send an e-mail.


Much appreciated.

Projections have the 2,000,000 mark happening on or around 11 November 2011, so mark your calendar.

(Yes, I really did calculate when this would happen, based on the numbers to date and the overall trends. Back in February or March, the numbers predicted we'd hit one million on 8 September, so we're only two days late, which is pretty good for a forecast that far ahead.)


I know. And it's appreciated.


Corn is interesting, though. As an Iowan, I feel I probably don't know as much as I ought to about corn.

(Soybeans might be interesting too. I don't know. We've only just met.)


Well thank you. (Though you left out devastating good looks.) But: you turned down a Schefflera actinophylla 'Nova?' Why? I've never even seen one in person. What was wrong with it?

mr_subjunctive said...


Occasionally bits of the shoes sneak into the photos, though I usually try to crop them out because I'm slightly paranoid. Or maybe it's neurotic. (Can you be both at the same time?) There's not much to compliment, though. They're just tennis shoes.


Lots of Euphorbias, huh? I like you already.

Also, nice pictures at Flickr. That's a lot of rattlesnakes, though. I'm accustomed to the idea that there are probably some poisonous snakes around here somewhere, but as far as I can recall I've never actually seen one. A water moccasin, maybe, once. I don't know if they count.

I'm also jealous of your mad Photoshop skillz.

mr_subjunctive said...


Well, that's okay. Google Translate has trouble with some of the words on your site, but those first few pictures of the kindergarten in Granada are amazing.

I was a little disturbed by the rows of hands on clothes lines (or whatever they were, if not clothes lines), though. Google Translate couldn't explain them to me, and I'm not sure I want to know. . . .

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

Mr._S: Wow, 1 million views--fantastic! I have been following your blog every day (it's the ONLY one I read every single day) for so long I can't remember how I got to it in the first place. I'm so happy I did find it though. I wish you could parlay your blog into income because you deserve it. Thanks for being there for all of us plant fanatics!

Thomas said...

Your welcome (was afraid mentioning your whiplash-inducing good looks might sound too fawning.)

My Schefflera actinophylla 'Nova' (sigh) was an interesting plant w/ cool leaves at a can't pass up price, from a store closing sale ~7+ years ago. I tried it in my work cube but the light wasn't enough, so I brought it home about 4 years ago. It had a prime growing spot, received great care, no pest problems. It was just a sprawling, awkward plant that took up a lot of space, and generally always looked shabby. I think it needs better light than the species, and maybe cooler night temps; sadly my space is limited. I practice Darwinian indoor gardening (deep breath, just do it, don't look back...)

When I was trying to identify it I couldn't help noticing that all the plants were in greenhouses, outdoors, or obvious decorator layouts. I hope it's new owner has better luck, at least they'll know what it's called.

Pat said...

Not a lurker, it is difficult to shut me up. I am unemployed but it is our potential employers who are the losers. Thanks for all the work you are doing for your well-deserved megaview.

I only have a tiny windowsill but I have a 4ft blood orange, a Tabernaemontana, too many huge species of Plectranthus, Vitex agnus castus, Spilanthes, hamburg parsley (not happy), a cactus and a ridiculously huge Aloe vera.

Use the advance for the book to buy an irrigation system? I hate travelling so I can understand your reluctance to go on a book tour. If I ever produce a book I will be going for the reclusive, grumpy, eccentric hermit angle. My friends will back me up on that.

Give up your ♠s, go indoors and join the ♣ and ♥ mr_subjunctive, he's a ♦.

I copied those from Character Map which comes with Windows and so few people know about. If it didn't work it will look like gibberish. Very useful when you need to type in Ancient Greek.

mr_subjunctive said...

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ:

There are ways now; I could put Google ads on the site. I've thought about it off and on, but I'm not sure how much money it would be, whether I'd have any control over the content or placement of the ads, or whether I'd be comfortable turning PATSP into ad space, so I haven't yet. In some ways, it seems like there's nothing to lose (and presumably I could cancel at any time), but nevertheless, I hesitate.


Well now I really want one. I have enough artificially-lit shelf space that I think the light would be okay. The temperature might be an issue -- we keep more or less a steady temperature here 24/7/365, because if it gets too low, the plants have issues, and if it's too high then I do -- but I'd be willing to risk it. Maybe I should tell my people (former employer/co-workers) to watch the availability lists for me.

Anonymous said...

love love love the blog. I am a tropical horticulturist at our local zoo and check in daily for a break and some learning too. I am a rare poster but an avid reader good luck on the next million views.

Tom said...

I love your pictures of Gazania. Congrats on the millionth viwer

MrBrownThumb said...

Congrats on crossing the 1,000,000 page views.

Anonymous said...

Hurray for PATSP!
I bought myself 3 Gerbera flowers yesterday. Of course, I was planning for your million page views..
I also comment less than I would like to. So I find myself commenting mostly on Nina's pictures, which I can't resist.
But I religiously read all of your other posts.
I wish you many more fun times at blogging. I admire your devotion.

Anonymous said...

Hi from a fellow unemployed loser who lurks here!

mr_subjunctive said...


I suppose I could buy an irrigation system, or put everything on water meters or something, but I really don't trust anything else to know when to water, so it'd be tough.

There's no simpler way to do the heart symbol? I was hoping for a keystroke. The only one I actually know is for the hard space (Alt+0160), which I use to indent on sites that don't permit text formatting.

Anonymous at 3:17 PM:

I didn't know zoo tropical horticulturist was even a job. Though I suppose it makes sense that someone would have to do it. Now I'm all jealous.


Thank you.


Probably not that big of a deal to you, I know, but I only have the one blog, instead of a whole blogging empire like some people.


I wish I'd thought to buy myself plants for the occasion.

Though now it's looking like I won't pass a million until after I go to bed tonight. So I suppose I could use that as an excuse to buy plants tomorrow. And we are planning a road trip, so. . . .

Anonymous at 6:37:

Thank you. But, goodness -- don't any of us have jobs? Except for the anonymous tropical horticulturalist, I mean?

deb said...

Okay Okay, I'm sorry, I love to look and don't always comment, well almost never. But you know I heart you. Hope you feel better soon.


Unknown said...

Bravo to one of my favourite bloggers. You write beautifully, pithy and snarky and so informative, and I personally think there is a future in writing for you if you want one. Sure, it can be hard work and a headache and hassle to work as a writer, but it can also be highly rewarding.
Anyway. I'm very honoured to 'know' you by blog and by occasional correspondence, and very proud of your accomplishments. Every time I read a post--and I don't read them all, and I don't always comment either--I learn something new and marvelous about plants. Which really are the strangest people.
Onward to 2,000,000!

Laura said...

I love the blog and its gorgeous photos.
And your shoes are magnificent.

mr_subjunctive said...


Well it's not a guilt thing, the de-lurking. I know y'all are out there even if you don't comment, and I don't get mad at people if they don't. I just thought it would be interesting to hear from everybody today, given the special occasion and all.

The special occasion that we still haven't reached yet, alas. (Soon. 999,979.)

jodi (bloomingwriter):

Well, the actual writing part of it would be okay, probably. It's the stuff you're supposed to do after that would be the problem. But thanks for the support and compliments.


Thank you. I'd been worried that maybe I was overdoing it with the heels and rhinestones.

Megan said...

Congratulations!!!! Love your blog! When I started taking care of interior plants for a staging company your blog really helped me out. Thanks for the awesome posts!

Anonymous said...

Ok, delurking it is. I found the blog while trying to identify a plant I had had for years and never had a name for (Ledebouria socialis), so I came for the plant info and stayed for the foot notes. Congrats on a million views.


Ivynettle said...

Thank you. But, goodness -- don't any of us have jobs? Except for the anonymous tropical horticulturalist, I mean?
I do. :) Not for much longer, though - there's nothing for me to do during the winter, so I only have a couple of weeks left.
Which is pretty mean - then I'd have plenty of time to blog, but not much to blog about.

Crazy Garden Lady said...

Now if only you had a dollar for each of those page views......


Pat said...

I saw a market garden I was working on ruined when a new guy forgot to switch off the irrigation.

Character Map claims to give you the shortcuts but when I tried it for ♥ I get "i". It seems to be in hexadecimal and when I try to put in any letters I get a pinging sound from my offended computer.

mr_subjunctive said...


I'm glad. I feel bad sometimes that I can't produce the plant profiles as fast as I used to, so it's a relief to hear that no, there's already useful stuff here.

Anonymous (Nate):

Thanks. How's the Ledebouria doing now? I divided mine maybe a year and a half ago, and it's been hating me ever since.


Take lots of pictures now. Take pictures of everything. You won't use most of them later, but it's better to have a bunch of unused pictures than it is to be writing a great post that requires a picture of a Stromanthe and realizing that you don't have a picture of a Stromanthe.


Honestly, I'd be crazy thrilled to have a dime for each. Or a penny.

A tenth of a penny, even.


See, that would pretty much be a nightmare. Some of my plants would probably still survive (there's quite a bit of redundancy, and a lot of them are only here in the first place because they're tough plants that are hard to kill), but quite a few wouldn't. I can't think of much worse than coming home after a couple weeks on the road to find two-thirds of my plants dead.

And I'm really skeptical about whether water meters work, so wiring up all eight hundred and whatever plants to meters and having the husband water stuff without me would be pretty dicey, too, not to mention inconvenient for the husband.

Maybe virtual book tours? I wonder if that's easier.

CelticRose said...

I first found your blog when trying to find out what kind of Dracaena I had (D. demerensis 'Compacta', R.I.P.), and stayed around for your sense of humor.

I was giving the husband the benefit of the doubt and assuming accidental poisoning. :P

Re the heart symbol, here you go: ☻

Re the book tour: You should go for the mysterious author who is only known by his nom de plume. ;)

mr_subjunctive said...


The problem with being reclusive is that I still would want to sell the books. I don't know if touring really helps that much, but apparently people think it does, because otherwise nobody would do it.

Nobody but the extroverts, anyway.

And as far as only being known by pseudonym, well, it's arguable that I actually am known to more people as "Mr. Subjunctive," by this point, than I am as my actual name. It might make more business sense to stick with it.

Kaleb and Stacey said...

About Honduras: I've only been once thus far, but spent a lot of time in the rural parts. Spent a few hours one day hiking up a hyper-moist river/canyon/valley in the mtns one day and saw more aroids than I could handle. Multiple Monstera species, seemingly endless Anthuriums varieties, large Philos, a couple of dracontiums/amorphophallus species (my ids are shaky on those), Alocasias; several species were in bloom. They were pretty much never-ending. Wish that I'd taken a camera, but it might not have survived the river.

Gretchen said...

Yup, I'm one of the lurkers. I'm fairly new to your blog, but so far I love it! I'm a professional interiorscaper up here in Alaska, and occasionally share insights from your blog with the rest of our crew. It's great to have a blog dedicated almost exclusively to indoor plants.

Congrats on the 1 million views! I'll probably still be lurking when you hit 2 million :-)


mr_subjunctive said...


Wow. That sounds pretty cool. (Especially the Anthuriums.) Too bad about the lack of pictures.

My dad made a trip to Honduras for missions-related stuff in the late 80s, I think. Church-building, maybe? I don't know where all they went besides Roatan Island, and I don't think Roatan was the point of the trip. His descriptions of it center more on the marine life, because 1) it was the first (only?) time he'd snorkeled, and 2) he doesn't know plants.


Thanks for commenting. Interiorscaping in Alaska seems like it might be more . . . crucial, I guess, than interiorscaping other places. Conifers can only do so much, after all.

grumblebunny said...

I am a week late in de-lurking, but on average I am a week late in everything.

So. Congratulations on joining the ranks of unemployed losers! We've been needing someone to tend our Garden of Collective Disenchantment.