What? Me? An award…?


Oh my – what a COMPLETE, out-of-the-blue surprise! I don’t think I even knew there were such things as blogger awards, so imagine my astonishment! And here I thought I was just babbling into the ether… The award in question is called a Liebster Award, and is essentially a nod of approval from a fellow blogger. (“Liebster” is a German term of endearment, that means something like “dearest”, “lovely”, “nicest”, etc.) It works a little bit like a chain letter in that, if you choose to accept it, you also agree to pass it forward to five other bloggers. The rules are that the bloggers you choose need to have less than 1,000 followers. Per Lorraine from WordingWell.com: “It is said that the Liebster award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere.” Whether that is true or not, I’ll leave unsaid, but it sounds nice, so I’ll buy it! I suppose “new” is a relative term. I have been blogging since the end of 2010, but this is my first bit of recognition, besides all the wonderful comments that have come my way since I started.

I’m thrilled to know that someone out there is actually listening – and that one person even enjoyed it to the point of thinking me worthy of an award. Matt from Railway Parade tagged Flutter & Hum as one of his five blogs. I’m honored and gratefully accept the nomination. But, I’m not off the hook yet. First I have to answer 11 questions that Matt posted in his awards post, then I have to come up with 11 questions I would like MY nominees to answer. Lastly, I have to nominate 5 bloggers that I think should be awarded. This is by far the hardest part, as there are so many excellent blogs out there.



1. What is the best thing about blogging? I love the community it creates, and all the new friends I have met. On a more cerebral level, I like how research and the subsequent writing helps me think through questions I have. It is also very rewarding emotionally to post information that will help others. My first blog – The Creative Flux – began as an attempt to promote sustainability, and let people know about cool building materials. Before long, it had become this catch-all for all kinds of topics – many of the posts were garden-related. Flutter & Hum emerged as a sport, if you wish, of The Creative Flux, and marks the point where my gardening mania went off the deep end. 🙂

2. How did you come up with your blog name? I want my garden to be full of life. Few things are more wonderful than spending time out there, with butterflies flitting between flowers, bees buzzing busily, and hummingbirds humming. Flutter & Hum seemed to reflect that desire – a kind of “live and let live” philosophy.

3. What is your favourite tree? Oh, tough one – about as tough as choosing the five blogs – there are so many… My latest acquisition is an Ulmus parvifolia ‘Seiju’ – a dwarf Chinese Elm with marvelous corky bark, and leaves the size of mouse ears that turn a beautiful, golden yellow in fall.

A wintery view of the little Chinese elm. I love its corky bark!

A wintery view of the little Chinese elm. I love its corky bark and its decorative twigginess!

I also love the massive (about 40-50′ tall) Magnolia grandiflora that adorns our front yard. It is a great climbing tree. As late as this afternoon, one of my kids spent awhile up there among its hefty branches. They sometimes go up there to read, as the branching structure creates perfect little seating areas here and there. 

My youngest son in his favorite reading spot, high up in the Magnolia where the branches create both seating, backrest and footstool. Such a great tree!

My youngest son in his favorite reading spot, high up in the Magnolia where the branches convene to create both seating, backrest and footstool. Such a great tree!

4. Favourite shrub? Fatsia japonica is definitely up there, as it is evergreen and has huge, tropical-looking palmate leaves. It does well in shade (which I have a lot of) and is amazingly drought tolerant for looking so lush. In fall, it produces these orbital, white flowers that provide a food source for the hummingbirds when not much else is blooming. 

The awesome seed heads post-freeze.

The awesome seed heads post-freeze.

The fuzzy blossoms earlier in fall, visited by a resident hummer!

The fuzzy blossoms earlier in fall, visited by a resident hummer!

5. What would be your ideal sized garden? Right now, I have a tiny, jam-packed garden – about 1/10 of an acre, or a standard 50′ x 100′ Portland city lot. In its current state, it is a great example of cramscaping – any new additions need to be shoe-horned in – or stationed in a pot.  I dream of having somewhere between 1-2 acres, so I could really stretch out and experiment with different gardens! 

6. Besides gardening, what is your favourite hobby? I always enjoy working with metal, I love to read, and I have a feeling photography is going to become more and more important in my life. (Got a new camera for Christmas! )

7. What is your favourite type of music? It all depends on my mood, but I listen to anything that moves me – from opera to jazz, to punk rock – as long as it has melody and isn’t sappy. One relatively recent discovery is Jessica Hernandez, and this past week I got to see Esperanza Spalding. She was marvelous! My default is often rock’n’roll – it goes well with my attitude!

8. What book(s) are you currently reading? ‘Education of a Gardener’ by famed landscape designer Russell Page. I’m also in the process of reading Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, in my quest to learn more about the effect of grains I eat. And, after seeing the movie adaptation this past weekend, I swore to re-read ‘The Hobbit’, as I barely recognized any of the movie as compared to my recollection. Could I be so wrong…?

9. Where is your ideal holiday destination? I want to visit some place tropical, like Sri Lanka, Bali, Costa Rica, the Philippines, or similar. I have a thing for tropical foliage, and would love to experience a real jungle-type environment.

10. Do you prefer sweet or savoury foods? Love them both, but if I’m hungry, definitely savory.

11. Name five famous people (alive or dead) that you would love to have a dinner party with? Joseph Campbell, Elizabeth Warren, Bill Moyers, Ron Finley, and Robin Williams. Crazy mix, huh? 


So how does one choose only five??? I follow so many, and they are all good. For better, for worse – here they are, in no particular order…









1) Why do you blog?

2) What makes you happy?

3) If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

4) If you had to lose one of your senses – which one would it be? Hearing, vision, touch, smell or taste?

5) What does your perfect day look like?

6) If you had to pick only one cuisine to eat for the rest of your life, which one would you choose, and why?

7) What book are you reading right now?

8) Which is your favorite movie?

9) Do you have a favorite color, and if so – which?

10) Which is your favorite place to visit?

11) Name five famous people (dead or alive) that you would love to invite to a dinner party at your house.


So, dear nominees – if you choose to accept, simply link back to this blog in a new post, answer my questions, and nominate five of your favorite blogs with less than 1,000 followers. Thanks again Matt, for the honor. I’m thrilled to accept!




About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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10 Responses to What? Me? An award…?

  1. mattb325 says:

    It’s my pleasure to have nominated you! Thanks for answering the questions, it was a great read. I love the choice of tree, I wasn’t familiar with that cultivar, but it looks like a real beauty

  2. annamadeit says:

    It’s a lovely little tree! Hope to write a post on it eventually, when I have had an opportunity to photograph its year-round progression. 🙂

    I have to tell you how I agonized over the nomination process. Good heavens – did you ever read Sophie’s Choice? Okay, maybe not that bad, but certainly like a kid being told he can only invite 5 friends to his party. Agonizing indeed…

  3. rickii says:

    The fun thing about these awards (well deserved, by the way) is the way they tease out all sorts of personal details. The more I learn about you the better I like you.

  4. annamadeit says:

    Thanks Ricki – and likewise! 🙂

  5. Kris P says:

    Thank you Anna! Your message surprised me yesterday but I found my tongue and responded with my acceptance this morning. You’ll find my answers to your questions and my own nominees here: http://krispgarden.blogspot.com/2015/01/liebster-award.html

    For the record, I love your blog too!

  6. Elvis says:

    Anna, I’m honored to be nominated for the award! I loved your answers to Matt’s questions, and will do my best to answer yours in kind. Like rickii, I love finding out more about people I already like so much!

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