It’s now 4 years to the day that I started this blog and this is my 203rd post! Readership has continued to rise: about 46,000 hits this year compared with 37,000 last year, 25,000 in 2015 and about 7000 in 2014. That means readership is now averaging over 120 a day, about 1000 a week and around 4,000 a month. There have been over 27,000 visitors, compared with 21500 last year, 10,200 in 2015 and under 3,000 in 2014. Since the blog started there have been a grand total of 116,000 views from 62,000 visitors.
In terms of popularity, once again somewhat to my surprise Stumperies [May 2015] has topped the list which has attracted 1530 viewings. Next comes Humphry Repton [April 2014] with 1076, presumably because everyone is waking up the forthcoming bicentenary. After him come several other old favourites with Harry Wheatcroft, The colour of Carrots, A Pineapple & Mr Rose, Paulownia, Night Soil, Beatrice Parsons, and Carters Seeds all receiving more than 800 hits. You can see a fuller list below.
However, as I’ve said in previous years some posts have hardly been read at all. Why did the idea of spending Christmas with Shirley Hibberd attract only 38, Peas Perfect Peas only 37 and the series I wrote on Romance and Reason only 28 [the link takes you to the first of 3 and you can then click through to the others]?
So thank you to everyone who has been reading the posts, telling their friends and passing the blog on. Please keep up the enthusiasm and the comments.
And now to fill the seemingly endless days between Christmas and the New Year is just 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. Answers at the end.
Good Luck and Happy New Year!
As usual there are 50 questions…
Phew…. almost there!
- Where was the first Tate Gallery?
- Which garden designer has six of his gardens on the 2017 Heritage at Risk Register?
- Who was inspired by the quarries at Syracuse on Sicily?
- Why wasn’t the Garden of Eden a success?
- Which botanists stuck many of his herbarium specimens onto playing cards?
- Who first put shoes on his pony to cut the grass?
- Who first saw their garden-to-be from a yacht?
- Who was England’s Michelangelo?
- How did Vertumnus win his bride?
- Which father and son were both awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour?
- Who was a Gulliver amongst Lilliputians?
- Who decided to record Britain?
- Where do Maid Marion and the Duke of Northumberland have in common?
- Where is London’s newest park?
- Who left money for a Vegetable Sermon?
- What do most people call the yangtao these days?
- What connects a Countess’s coronet to Natasha Kinski and the Virgin Mary by way of a painting by Hieronymus Bosch?
- Which garden owner has “jurisdiction” over his own long border but “likes interfering a lot” everywhere else?
- Where should you “wander hand in hand with love in summer’s wonderland?”
- Why should we be grateful to Victor Lemoine?
Answers below …
1. Marion Cran 2. Walter Crane 3. Maud [as in Come into the Garden Maud] 4. Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward 5. Batty Langley 6. Thomas Fairchild 7. Sir Peter Smithers 8. Owen Thomas 9. Pomona 10. Ada Salter
1.The Quarry Garden at Belsay 2. Beacon Hill, Essex 3. The Victorian Flower Garden at Wentworth Castle 4. Stoke Edith 5. Eastbury 6. Bois des Moutiers 7. Cardiff Castle 8. Drayton Manor, Tamworth 9. The Gothick House at Goldneys, Bristol 10. The Sky Garden
1. A lilac forcing shed 2. Early 18thc commercial hyacinth forcing frame 3. Celia Fiennes Journal at Broughton Castle 4. Flower of Actinidia deliciosa [kiwi fruit] 5. A Claude glass 6. John Weekes’ mechanical forcing frame 7. Page of Capability Brown’s account book for Alnwick Castle and Hulne Priory 8. Shoe for pony lawn mower 9. The Joy Slide in Bermondsey [see post on Ada Salter] 10. Christmas decorations at Chiswick House
Phew almost there…
1.Park Hill, Streatham 2. Capability Brown 3. Sir Charles Monck of Belsay 4. Because Beverley Nicholls and Marion Cran hadn’t been born 5. George Don 6. James Shanks 7. Rupert and Dorothy D’Oyley Carte who saw the valley at Coleton Fishacre whilst sailing past 8. John Papworth 9. By dressing as an old woman – find the rest of the story on the blog! 10. Owen & Harry Higgott Thomas 11. Sir Charles Isham 12. Kenneth Clarke 13. Hulne Priory 14. The Sky Garden in the Walkie-Talkie 15. Thomas Fairchild 16. Kiwi 17. Strawberries 18. Lord Saye and Sele of Broughton Castle 19. Kew at Lilac Time 20. He was the first serious breeder of Lilac