2016 on the Blog

HAPPY NEW YEAR! in my garden this morning

in my garden this morning

It’s now 3 years to the day that I started this blog and after a bit of an erratic start it has been  appearing regularly every Saturday mornings. This is the 152nd post!

Readership  hit 37,700 this year compared with 25,000 in 2015 and just under 7000 in 2014.  That means readership is now averaging just over 100 a day, 700-800 a week and 3000+ a month.   There have been 21500 visitors, compared with 10,200 last year and under 3,000 in 2014.  Since the blog started on 31st Dec 2013 there have been a grand total of 69,800 views from 34,653 visitors.

There have been some unexpectedly popular posts and some which, for some reason hardly got read at all. The most popular this year have been one on  Stumperies   [May 2015]  which has attracted 1805 views this year closely followed by one on  the colour of Carrots [Dec 2015] with 1770, then the Wentworth Feud [June 2106] with 1386.  Bizarre things like a post about  the straightness of cucumbers also scored highly at 1297, and  a piece about the almost forgotten artist Beatrice Parsons [November 2014] continues to find 1302 readers. But can anyone tell me why some of my favourite [ie most enjoyable to research and write post have just not found a wider readership… what is it about Mechanical elephants, Roses and class, or Kensington Roof Gardens that fails to attract?   Click on the links to read them!

 from my kitcen window this morning

from my kitchen window this morning

Anyway enough rambling… and thank you for reading. Please continue to do so, and of course tell all your friends about it!

And now what you’ve all been waiting for – another end of year quiz to test your powers of recall from posts over the course of the year.  Good luck – answers at the end


In my garden this morning

As usual there are 50 questions…

Clarence Birdseye from Britannica.com

Who’s this? No.2

Rt. Hon. Richard Boyle and Lady Dorothy Savile, William Aikman, 1723, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston

Who’s this?  No: 1


who’s this? No.3

detail from the frontispiece of Every Man His Own Gardener, 1800 edition

who’s this? No.4


Who suggested making this? No.5

Queen Charlotte, https://www.flickr.com/photos/greentool2002/6342482534

Who’s this? No.6


Who’s this? No.8

Sir Nathaniel bacon, (c) Gainsborough Old Hall; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Who’s this? No.7

Harry Higgott THomas photo courtesy of Jeremy Thomas

Who is this? No.9

Lady Dorothy, by K Vanity Fair, 6 November 1912.

Who’s this? No.10

 © Copyright Andrew Curtis 2011, and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Where’s this? No.1

The Rose Garden at KNole

Where’s this? No.2

Coade stone factory, Narrow Wall, Lambeth, London, c.1790s Anonymous

Where’s this? No.4

The newly restored Milden warren lodge

Where’s this No.3

Bouttats, John|Chapman, Thomas; View of Temple Newsam House, Leeds; Leeds Museums and Galleries; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/view-of-temple-newsam-house-leeds-38900

Where’s this? No.5

from M.R.Gloag, The Gardens of England

Where this? No.7


Where’s this. No.6


Where’s this? No.8

David Marsh, Nov 2106

Where’s this? No.9

deatil from Upton House from the South by Arthur Devis, Photo credit: National Trust,

Where’s this? No.10

Gauen's machine

What’s this? No 1


What’s this? No.2

Seal from one of Carter'sseed sacks http://www.bagseals.org/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=11847

What’s this? No.3

David Marsh Feb 2016

What’s this? No.4

Repotting the cycad in 1985 http://www.landscapejuice.com/2009/07/cycad-encephalartos-altensteinii-repotted-at-kew-gardens.html

What’s this? No.5

The Blackamoor, now sited in the Victorian conservatory David Marsh April 2016

What’s this? no.7



What’s this? No.6


What’s this? No.8


What’s this? No.10


















































































































































































What’s this? No.9









Phew…. almost there!

  1. Who ordered Merlin’s Cave?
  2. Who demolished it?
  3. Who built “a temple of the druids” with “pyramidal greens”
  4. Where might you find Syon House, Maid of Kent, Webbs Invincible, & Cheltenham Surprise?
  5. What held a “Royal Botanical Lottery” to save his temple?
  6. Who said, rather surprisingly perhaps, “I ought to know I am quite an old woman. But I can still –  when no one is looking –  climb over a five-barred gate or jump a ditch.”
  7. Who found the world’s oldest pot plant?
  8. Where in a garden might you find  kegel, quilles and cheeses ?
  9. Who had “an aerial orchestra”?
  10. Who danced with a kangaroo and kept a parrot in his trousers?
  11. What’s in the Monkey Room on Monkey Island?
  12. Why Hastings peas?
  13. Why might Lady Elizabeth Dallingridge be more significant than her husband?
  14.  Who first used the word gazebo?
  15. What did Robert Gauen invent?
  16. Who took gnomes to Chelsea and got away with it?
  17. Whose face inspired a sphinx?
  18. Who first put gardens on the wall?
  19. Who aimed to create variety without confusion?
  20. Which garden writer “lived in a great degree upon Tea” and “smoked without interruption”



Who’s this?

  1. The Earl & Countess of Burlington
  2. Clarence Birdseye
  3. Kitty Lloyd Jones
  4. John Abercrombie
  5.  Gertrude Jekyll
  6. Queen Anne
  7. Sir Nathaniel Bacon
  8. Frederick Vernon Wentworth
  9. Harry Higgott Thomas
  10. Lady Dorothy Nevill

Where’s this?

  1. Hardwick Hall, Co.Durham
  2. Penshurst Place
  3. The Warren House, Mildenhall
  4. Eleanor Coade’s Factory on South Bank, Lambeth
  5. Temple Newsam
  6. The Birdcage, Melbourne
  7. The China House,
  8. The Italian Garden,Westonbirt
  9. Blenheim
  10. Upton House

What’s this?

  1.  Gauen’s machine to put the bloom back onto cucumbers and grapes
  2. A manure heap in the garden of Sir Nathaniel Bacon at Culham Hall, Suffolk
  3. A sack seal from Carters Seeds
  4. A Welwitschia
  5. Repotting the world’s oldest pot plant at Kew
  6. A cucumber straightening glass
  7. The blackamoor statue in the conservatory at Wentworth Castle
  8. The duck decoy in Hardwick Park
  9. A page from Robert Furber’s catalogue
  10. A canna rhizome

The other questions…

  1. Queen Caroline, from William Kent
  2. Capability Brown
  3. William Stukely
  4. They are varieties of cucumber so probably in the kitchen garden
  5. Robert Thornton
  6. Gertrude Jekyll
  7. Francis Masson
  8. A skittle alley or nine-pin court
  9. Lady Dorothy Neville
  10. Evan Morgan, Viscount Tredegar
  11. Murals of  monkeys fishing
  12. They’re very early  – from the French hatif – not the place
  13. Because she probably designed the gardens/landscape at Bodiam
  14. William Halfpenny
  15. The cucumber bloom replacing machine and the solar powered fruit ripening machine
  16. Carters Seeds
  17. Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough
  18. John Baptist Jackson
  19. William Sawrey Gilpin
  20. John Abercrombie


About The Gardens Trust

Email - education@thegardenstrust.org Website - www.thegardenstrust.org
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2 Responses to 2016 on the Blog

  1. Sue Wilson says:

    Congratulations on the success of your garden history blog!
    Saturday’s posts come at the right time on the right day of the week for me. In the tsunami of posts from blogs I follow that arrive in the week (especially on a Friday afternoon) generally don’t get read or hang in the Inbox for days or weeks before being deleted unread, yours arrive quietly on a rest day and I read at least each opening paragraph. The depth of your research offers a plethora of interesting topics and all free! Thank you. You are much appreciated.
    Happy New Year…and keeeeeep posting!

  2. sophie Piebenga says:

    Can I, on behalf of lots of readers I am sure, thank you very much for the most interesting blog in the field – much enjoyed and hugely appreciated! Happy New Year!

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