Update on the Laidback Gardener Blog

Dear Readers,

If you’ve been used to receiving a daily gardening blog from the Laidback Gardener website (and, hopefully, enjoying that service), I may have to disappoint you.

I find myself in the hospital at the moment, and that is obviously going to slow down my output. Also, I have never really gotten into my health issues (I mean, it’s a gardening blog, after all, not the coffee corner at McDonald’s), but I suffer from a degenerative lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis. I was told 6 ½ years ago I had 1 to 2 years left to live.

I’ve beaten the odds so far. But I don’t expect I have much time left. I’m figuring months … but then, I’ve always been an optimist! Time will tell.

Not the End

That doesn’t mean this blog is coming to an end, though. I’m very passionate about it and want to keep it thriving. My son Mathieu has stepped in to help keep the blog going after my death, lining up people to help, finding additional sources of financing, etc. So, those annoying ads that break up the articles do serve a purpose: they keep the blog alive.

And your financial contributions, too, have been most helpful. Every little bit helps!

I’ve been preparing this blog largely on a volunteer basis, getting my income from other sources: writing articles for other publications, giving garden lectures, hosting TV and radio shows and leading garden tours. Most of these I’ve had to abandon bit by bit over the years (I had to resign from my final radio show last week, for example), but until this current health crisis, I was still writing for magazines, newspapers, other blogs, etc. I’ve decided to stop those as well to concentrate on this blog for the time I have left.

Expect a Less Responsive Editor

I’m also going to have to stop answering your gardening questions. I have done so generously over the years, but it’s extremely time-consuming. And, frankly, I just don’t have the energy to do it anymore. Mentally, I feel I’m still all there, but physically, I’m terribly diminished.

Maybe the answer to your question is already available?

I’m so sorry about that, but remember that there is a search button on the Laidback Gardener blog. Click there, add a few terms about your question (for example “slugs marigold”), and click.

There’s a very good chance the answer was already there, just waiting for you. After all, there are over 2,800 articles on the Laidback Gardener website, the result of 8 years of daily blogging.

I’m finding typing with an oximeter on my finger takes quite a bit more time.

So, expect some interruptions while we work through this transition period. Already, writing a blog from a hospital bed with a fingertip oximeter on my ring finger, gumming up my formerly superior typing skills, has slowed me down considerably. I do hope to be back home soon (without that #%&*?% fingertip oximeter) and that will make things much easier.

And maybe if I stick religiously to just writing the blog, I’ll actually have some time off for myself!

The Blog Will Go On!

So, there might not be a daily blog as in the past, but we (as I now include my son and a new helper, Julie Boudreau, who’ll begin contributing articles over the coming weeks, to be part of the editorial team) do want to see several blogs a week. Just how many, only time will tell.

Long live the Laidback Gardener blog!

Larry Hodgson
Laidback Gardener

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

35 comments on “Update on the Laidback Gardener Blog

  1. Nancy weikart

    God bless you! Praying for comfort and strength to heal.

  2. Christopher Voss

    I discovered this blog and your online videos last year Larry, and they have become my favourite gardening go-to resource. I saw in recent videos that you had some medical equipment that you were using but it’s a shock to me that it is a serious illness. Sending you prayers for recovery. Thanks for all your contributions to the world of gardening. No need to reply.

  3. Thank you for all the great info you’ve shared. I have especially enjoyed the element of surprise — what off the wall yet useful tidbit will pop up on the laidback gardener feed next? God bless.

  4. Teresa P.

    Wishing you all the best, Larry, from down here on the north coast in Ohio. I discovered your blog a few years back and have learned and enjoyed your style. I’m sure your optimism and staying involved didn’t factor in to the doctor’s diagnosis. What a wonderful son to keep your legacy going.

  5. Cindy Marks

    Your solid, down to earth wisdom has been like a quiet library amongst the Amazons of gardening advice. Sending you so much appreciation for the giving and sharing! May you enjoy peace, love, and relaxation as you move forward.

  6. Dency Kane

    Hoping you go home soon, get that oximeter off your finger, and settle back into more comfortable surroundings.
    Thinking of you and your family.

  7. Ben Vincent

    I have been a long time reader and lurker. I just wanted to say this blog has meant a lot to me and I can’t thank you enough for starting it. You have touched my life in the best way possible! Thank you so much

  8. When I was a novice gardener I learned a lot from your Canadian Gardening articles, and I’ve researched your blog many times for answers. You’ve inspired and illuminated — and piqued the curiosity of countless gardeners with your work. A great legacy! Paix et bonne chance.

  9. Isabel Belanger

    All the best Larry! I’ve learned a lot from your blog and am glad to hear it’ll continue.

  10. Glen Spurrell

    Dear Larry
    Sending you and yours warmest thoughts and wishing you strength, courage and serenity. How I have enjoyed and profited from you blog over the years! Thank you so very, very much.

  11. Bryanna Keseloff

    I want to thank you for imbuing passion in a young and budding horticulturist. Back when I was first learning (2014, 2015, i think?), your blog was the one that I would come to the most, and the wisdom and education you provided was, still is, invaluable. It helped to inspire in me a deep love of plants and ecology, and I am now in the process of pursuing a career in horticulture, and possibly later even landscape design. I have learned so much from you, and even down here in Florida, your lessons ring true. I still have so much to learn, but I hope that one day I can inspire a love of horticulture in people the way you’ve done for me. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you.

    A Forever Student,

  12. I have learned countless things from you and your posts. For the daily learning experience you have provided, I send you a sincere thank you. I also send best wishes on your current health issues and hope you continue to beat those odds. Take care and know you made a difference in the gardening community that so many of us enjoy being a part of.

  13. Bonnie Sproat

    I’ve enjoyed your blog immensely over the short time I’ve been receiving your posts and have gained much knowledge from them. Thank you for your gardening passion and determination in face of your health concerns. I shall send good thoughts to the universe for you and your family.

  14. Thanks for all you time and knowledge. I do hope you continue to beat the odds. Thanks and good luck to your new team – they can give you time to rest and relax! Take Care!

  15. John H.W. Cole

    I too am a recent reader. I live in Vermont. You are an international someone special and have added to the lives of many. Please do what you can at your own pace, and rest with the realization that yours is a life well lived.

  16. Nora Cullen

    You enrich my life every day Larry.

  17. I really enjoy your insight & information, hope & pray you will do better soon.

  18. Bill Russell

    Hugs, Larry, to you and all yours.

  19. Gardens tend to beat the odds. Gardeners too. Rock on Larry!

  20. Thank you Larry for working so hard for us for so many years, and for using your limited energy in the midst of this personal crisis to make sure the blog will continue with or without you. That’s dedication, above and beyond the pale. Huge admiration from this quite recent reader!
    I wish you joy and fulfillment in your next great adventure, on whichever side of the veil it occurs. God bless.

  21. aliceest65

    I’m so sorry to hear about your illness. Your definitely a very knowledgeable man on gardening and plants. You and your family are in my prayers ?. Don’t overdo it take time to relax and rest up. I’ve gained knowledge and plants from your great blog. May God ease your pain and comfort you and your family.

  22. Sheila Campbell

    I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering a setback. I too know what it is to have to give up and let go and face the reality that I can no longer do what I used to be able to do. It is hard. But it comes with the privilege of living long enough to fall apart slowly. I have very much enjoyed your Blog. Keep on beating the odds!

    • Cathleen Mahome

      Thanks for all you do! Long may you continue to beat the odds! I’ve started to collect your books as they also hold a wealth of knowledge. You have truly helped me in my personal quest to become a “laid back gardener”!

  23. Bon courage, Larry. You have already shown great courage, and beaten the odds; you may have a lot more time, but I hope, not much suffering. Thank you for your wonderful blogs.

  24. Dorothy Found

    Thank you so much for all your gardening info over the years. I have 3 of your books and have read them cover to cover many times. I have a green thumb because of you!! Your legacy will live on, and for me that will be your humanity, passion, and helpfulness.

  25. I’m so sorry to hear about your health! I pray you return home to your family soon. Thank you so much for your books and your blog — you have been a truly irreplaceable resource. Your books on Annuals and Perennials have been the most used books on my shelf because you provide real life information about each plant, and because I’m in Vermont, I know your experience with the climate is very similar to mine. The book on Annuals, especially, is great, because so many of those flowers are not discussed anywhere else. This blog, too, should definitely be turned into a book or two, and I know you have a few books in French I’d love to read if they ever get translated….God bless you!

  26. Mary Lou Dalaire

    Larry…I am so very sorry about your health conditions. I know YOU are a VERY STRONG person who loves his family and his fans and will do everything to KEEP STRONG!!! ?HUGS. Mary Lou. PS we still have a visit in the cards next time I get to QC…

  27. Larry, your knowledge, generosity, and sense of humour are deeply appreciated.

  28. Debra Knapke

    Sending love, energy, and friendship. ?

  29. Best info I have seen in my 50 years of gardening and reading about it. Thank you for all you do for so many!

  30. marianwhit

    I have never met you in person, but sending you love and wishes for a return to all the people and things you love doing.

  31. I only recently discovered your blog but realized pretty quickly that you’ve created an amazing resource for gardeners, and a very enjoyable one, too. Thank you and best wishes for continuing to defy the odds.

  32. So Sorry that you are going thru this..wishing you and your family peace and may you get need to reply to this. Best wishes to you.

  33. Ric Barta

    I love this blog ! Thanks and Godspeed! No need to respond.

  34. Adrienne Torrance

    I’m so sorry you and your family are having to go through this. I hope you continue to beat the odds for a very long time.

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