2019 on the blog

I’m amazed to think that the blog has now been running for 6 years,  and like all 6 year olds it’s still growing. This year there have been about 55,000 hits, made by about 26,000 visitors.   I’m also amazed that this is the 310th post which means I’ve probably written well over six hundred thousand words of wisdom.  Be warned that there almost as many more in the pipeline – some just a  title, others a series of notes or images, while a few are nearing completion.  Ideas are always welcome for other possibilities, especially if they are offbeat, slightly quirky or humorous.

As always, thank you  for the nice comments & for telling your friends about the blog. Remind them it’s easy to sign up just by going to the very bottom of any post and  adding their email address and it will appear, as if by magic, every Saturday morning in time for breakfast.

I couldn’t resist including this stereograph of the statue of “Auld Lang Syne,” Central Park New York

In terms of popularity this year, I was very surprised to see the post on Nun Appleton, written way back in May 2017, come out top with 1020 views. It was  closely  followed by those on Carter’s Seeds [Oct 2016] and Sir Frank Crisp [April this year] while other favourites have included  Harry Wheatcroft,[July 2015]   A Pineapple & Mr Rose,[Oct 2015]  What is an English Garden [July 2016] ,  Gardening in Miniature, [May 2108] and the Catalogues of Robert Furber,[January 2016]  all of which had over 600 viewings this year. It’s nice to know that older posts still attract attention, and that the blog isn’t ephemeral – or as one new subscriber wrote to me “a self-indulgent and transient  bit of navel-gazing.”

The most popular posts over the last 6 years.



About half the views [27,000]  have come from Britain, and  nearly 12,000 from the USA. After that there were 1600 views from Australia and well over 1000 each from France, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands. There are very few countries where the blog has had no viewers, amongst them Venezuela, Iran, Malagasy Republic and a group of countries in western and central Africa.

Over the whole 6 year period there have been nearly a quarter of a million views by over 110,000 visitors.  As you can see from the table on the right the most popular thing I’ve ever written has been the piece on Stumperies [May 2015] which has clocked up nearly 5000 viewings.

And now just what you’ve all been waiting for – the annual quiz to test your powers of recall from posts over the course of the year.  If in doubt just clink on the link to be taken to the right page,  or cheat and head straight to the end where you’ll find all the answers.

As usual there are 50 questions…

************* WHO IS THIS?****************



































**************WHERE’S THIS ?************































*************WHAT IS THIS?***************




































*********AND FINALLY … 20 QUESTIONS ***************

  1. Who first put gardens through the letterbox?
  2. How did orchids become a librarian’s nightmare?
  3. Whose “civility was strained to a degree” by a Duke?
  4. Where have the Bannerman’s recreated Inigo for another Duke?
  5. Who opened the Colonial Training School for Ladies?
  6. Where can you find Barbie at the Botanics?
  7. We all know where the Bucks stopped… but where did they start?
  8. How do you play the Morning Caller Competition?
  9. Who “unwillingly appeared in a television  programme called Tonight”?
  10. Which painter decided “not to stay in Worthing and be bombed”?
  11. What are lawnmowers on legs?
  12. Who stood outside Tart Hall for Mr Hollar?
  13. How did Lord and Lady Penzance show their breeding?
  14. Where in England can you find the Matterhorn?
  15. What requires “a number of pieces of ribbon, each many yards in length”?
  16. Where was a desert beautified?
  17. Who thought the Villa Albani “over-formal and too much like a tea-garden”?
  18. Why should we be grateful to Thomas Hancock?
  19. What did Sybella Holding, Emma Peachey and Mrs Mintorn all teach?
  20. Who believed  people could become  millionaires by growing pine trees?

English nurserymen undercut again!






1. Huttleston Broughton, Lord Fairhaven of Anglesey Abbey

2. Aletheia Talbot, Countess of Arundel

3. Barbie  in Malaga Botanic Garden

4 Mr & Mrs Matisse in Room 35, Grand Hotel Villa de France, Tangier

5. William Burchell on the beach at Cape Town

6. Anna Pavlova in the garden at Ivy Lodge, Hampstead.

7. Eadwine, a monk from Canterbury

8. Prince Louis-Albert de Broglie in the garden at La Bordaisiere

9. Your humble author at the Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire

10. Rev William Keble Martin


  1. Beaudesert in Staffordshire from Repton’ Red Book

2.   The Collector Earl’s Garden at Arundel Castle

3.  Tring Park, with Walter de Rothschild’s herd of kangaroos

4.   Tangier. The view from Room 35

5.   The bridge in the China garden, Biddulph Grange

6    The gardens of the Makapura Palace, Baroda

7    The Amazon Spheres in Seattle

8     Friar Park, Henley

9    The Hortus Palatinus, Heidelberg

10.  Richmond Palace, the plan of the proposed gardens for Henry Prince of Wales


  1. The ornamental fishpond from Prior Wibert’s drainage plan for Christchurch Priory, Canterbury 
  2. The name of Pharaoh Sneferu in a cartouche from his tomb

3.   A peep show made by Maria Graham of the landscape in Chile

4    A Victorian wax flower making kit

5.   A design for a Mount Parnassus by Salomon de Caus

6.   A Poppy Doll – an idea for an Edwardian Garden Party Game

7.    Gainsborough’s Show Box

8.   A fossil about to be put back as part of the restoration of James Bateman’s Geological            Gallery at Biddulph Grange

9.  An Amorphophallus – or Titan Arum,  sometimes known as the corpse flower.

10. The mechanical grotto garden by Jacquet-Droz, seen in London in 1776


  1.  Raphael Tuck and Company, post-card publisher [19 Jan]

2.  James Bateman’s Book on orchids weighed 38lbs making it one of the heaviest books ever produced, and requiring etra-strong shelving  [16 Feb ]

3. John Byng on his visit to Grimsthorpe Castle [9 Feb]

4.  In the Collector Earl’s garden at Arundel Castle [2 Feb]

5.   Miss J.S. Turner & Mrs Evelyn Cecil, better known as Alicia Amherst  [16 March]

6.  Malaga [2 March]

7. Yorkshire [18 May]

8. No short answer, go and look at the rules here! [22 June]

9. Rev William Keble Martin [23Nov]

10. Winifred Walker [5 Oct]

11. Kangaroos and wallabies [25 May]

12. His wife who was Lady Arundel’s maid [15 June]

13. Penzance Briar Roses [8 June]

14. Frair Park, Henley [4 May]

15.  an Edwardian Garden Party game  designed to break the ice a good starter designed to break the ice & “for keeping a large number of people entertained, though it should be borne in mind that a fairly large garden is necessary for the successful carrying out the plan.”  [22 June]

16  Beaudesert in Staffordshire [27 July]

17. Henry James [16 Nov]

18.  The invention of rubber garden hosepipe [13 July]

19. How to make wax flowers [24 Aug]

20. Louis-Gervais Delamarre [7 Sept]


About The Gardens Trust

Email - education@thegardenstrust.org Website - www.thegardenstrust.org
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