The quirks of the calendar mean that this is the last blog of 2020 and that the blog has now been running for 7 years. Like all 7 year olds it’s still growing, and at a pretty staggering rate. This year there have been about almost 100,000 hits, [as I’m about to publish at 8.46 this morning it’s 98,569, so maybe it will get there by midnight on New Year’s Eve] virtually double last year’s 55,000, with the average number recently being well over 300 a day. There have been about 56,000 visitors, over double last year’s 26,000.
Thanks to the statistics provided by WordPress I’m also able to tell you that this is the 362nd post which in total contain 788,059 words, with this year’s posts averaging about 2500 words each.
As always, thank you for your loyal support and the nice comments. Please keep telling your friends about the blog and get them to join the mailing list. Just go to the very bottom of any post and enter an email address and each new post will appear, as if by magic, early on Saturday morning in good time for breakfast.
And now read on to test your memory with the 6th annual quiz based on this year’s posts.
In terms of popularity this year, I was very surprised to see a post I wrote about visiting Sissinghurst this summer when it re-opened following the first lockdown became an almost overnight success being looked at 2364 times. Another surprise favourite, with 1850 views, was the a post about the life of Archibald McNaughton a Victorian jobbing gardener, which was based on a short letter he had written in Loudon’s Gardeners Magazine. The other most popular pieces were “old favourites” including those about Frank Crisp and Friar Park, Carters Seeds, Nun Appleton and Stumperies.
While 56,000 views have from the UK the blog seems to have kept its international appeal, with about 18,000 visits from the USA, nearly 3,000 each from Australia and France, 2000 from Canada and over 1000 each from Italy, Germany, New Zealand, The Netherlands and India. Like last year the reach was pretty near global, with very few countries where the blog has had no viewers.
Since the blog started at in 2013 there have been a grand total of 343,564 views by over 166,000 visitors. As you can see from the table on the right the most popular thing I’ve ever written remains the piece on Stumperies which has clocked up 5650 viewings.
Ideas are always welcome for future posts especially if they are offbeat, slightly quirky or humorous.
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 ***************
- Who wrote a monograph about Ivy?
- Who Hailed Columbia Square?
- Who moved the Buckland Yew?
- Which garden was said to have a “blaze of colour but a great want of harmony.”
- What stands on the site of the lost gardens of Kensington?
- Do you have an M9 in your garden?
- Which queen is reputed to have first bought hollyhocks to Britain?
- Where, according to the Sun, is “the rudest garden in Britain”?
- Who didn’t just paint roses?
- Who or what were “shillingses”?
- Where would you expect to find penjing?
- What was the point of the Machine at Marly?
- What horticulturally would you find at Pyin Oo Lwin?
- Who grew a four-legged giant?
- How did the Expert Gardener of 1654 suggest you get red apples?
- What would you have originally found at Rauceby, Hellingly and Napsbury ? And what now?
- Who was “Her Highness” and where would you have found her?
- Who claimed “I am my own engineer, and my own carpenter, and my own plumber, and my own gardener, and my own Jack of all Trades,” when showing a visitor round his “castle” and its grounds?
- In which garden could you have seen a parachuting monkey?
- Which tree should be “banished from all curious gardens.” and why?
WHO’S THIS ?
1. Peter Barr, the Daffodil King of Tooting
2 Octavia Hill, campaigner for the opening of London squares
3. Charlotte Wheeler-Cuffe
4 Thomas Mawson
5. Josephine Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon
6. Dale Chihuly
7. John and Elizabeth Tradescant
8. Virginia and Prentice Bloedel
9. Henry Percy, the Wizard Earl of Northumberland
10. Mr & Mrs Andrews
- Dickens home at Gad’s Hill
- The Pagoda at Chanteloupe
- The menagerie in the Jardins des Palntes, Paris
- Surrey Zoological Gardens
- The Delos Garden at Sissinghurst
- The Rose Garden at Hyde Hall
- The Greenhouse at Malmaison
- The RHS gardens at Kensington
- The Ladbroke estate in west London
- The vandalised statue of George I in Leicester Square
- Queen Victoria’s signature on the charter of the Royal Horticultural Society
- The key to Lincoln’s Inn Fields that belonged to Sir John Soane
- The door to the root observation chamber at East malling Research Station
- The banner of the Free Gardeners Society [Adam’s Lodge, St Andrews, Scotland
- The “Heiroglyphical Dragon” or Hydra: “the watchful keepers of Treasures.” on The Tradescant Tomb in the courtyard of the Garden Museum
- A restored iguanodon in the park at Crystal Palace
- The aphid Phylloxera vastatrix, which causes the destruction of grape vines
- The 250 yr old Cubbington Pear Tree in Warwickshire cut down for HS2
- Thomas Fairchild’s plan for planting a London square from The City Gardener.
AND FINALLY – 2o QUESTIONS
- Shirley Hibberd
- Charles Dickens
- William Barron [PLUS a large team of workmen and a tree-transplanting machine]
- The RHS gardens at Kensington
- The Science Museum
- Quite likely if you have a semi-dwarf apple tree
- Edward I’s wife, Eleanor of Castile
- In the village of Cross in Somerset
- Pierre-Joseph Redouté
- The name given to paying visitors to Sissinghurst by Vita Sackville-West
- In a pot in a Chinese garden – [its the precursor of bonsai]
- To raise huge quantities of water from the Seine to feed the waterworks at Versailles
- The National Botanic Gardens of Burma, which were partly planned and designed by Charlotte Wheeler-Cuffe
- Axel Erlander
- Either by grafting an apple scion onto an alder or cherry stock OR by dipping it into pike’s blood
- Orinally now County Asylums with gardens designed by William Goldring. Now housing estates fill the grounds at Napsbury and Hellingly whilst most of Rauceby is a wasteland.
- A giraffe perhaps better known as Zarafa who was a gift from the Khedive of Egypt to Charles X of France. She lived in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris
- Mr Wemmick in Dickens Great Expectations
- Surrey Zoological Gardens at Walworth
- The sycamore, because, according to John Evelyn, “its leaves fall early and… turn into a Mucilage and putrifie with the first moisture of the season..they contaminate and mar our walks.”