2021 on the blog…and the Annual Quiz


Welcome to the 9th year of the blog.  The numbers reading it  have continued to grow apace with about 129,000 hits over the course of the year, an almost 30% rise on last year’s already record number.  The average daily viewing have been about 350 over the whole year and during the height of the pandemic even passed 400.  There were even 530 views on Christmas Day itself.   There have been about  75,000 visitors, up from 56,000 in 2020 and almost 3 times the number for 2019.

Thanks to the statistics provided by WordPress I’m also able to tell you that this is the 414th post which in total contain 927,657 words, and this year I’ve been a bit more verbose than usual with posts averaging about 2660 words.

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  annual quiz based on this year’s posts.

But before we get there a few more facts and figures!

In terms of popularity it helps enormously if a post is  noticed and circulated via social media or other websites. That’s been the case this year with posts about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Hanging Gardens of Nineveh which seem to have found their way onto an American religious network.   An old post on the history of Hosepipe also received hundreds more viewings over a couple of days when it was picked up by fark.com  an aggregated news site where somebody commented:  “so many articles are just three sentences crammed onto four web pages and this guy produces a master’s thesis.” [He’s obviously never written a master’s thesis!]

Most popular posts in 2021

As you can see from the table on the right most of the other more popular pieces were “old favourites” including those about Frank Crisp’s Crackerbox Palace at Friar Park,  and Stumperies. That principle  held true for the all time number of views as well .  Stumperies has continued to prove really popular, as have those on Carters, Harry Wheatcroft and Beatrice Parsons.

All time number of views




Since the blog started at in  2013 there have been a grand total of just over 475,000   views by over over 242,000 visitors.

The  percentage of UK viewers this year has gone up from just over 50% to over 60%  but there’s still a substantial  international appeal, mainly from the USA.  Like last year the reach was pretty near global, with as you can see from the map, very few countries  where the blog has had no viewers.

Viewing figures by country




Only the countries in grey such as Iran, Bolivia and Sudan had no viewers









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. Which Biblical figure collected bonsai?
  2. Who built a canal at the top of a hill?
  3. Where were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?
  4. Which artist has left the best evidence of London’s Tudor palaces?
  5. Where did Amalgamated Estates get their comeuppance?
  6. Which arbiter of taste thought Capability Brown “knew practically nothing of his subject, and … moreover, he prided himself on knowing nothing.”
  7. Where is the country’s only surviving swan pit?
  8. Which famous landscape designer proposed a bypass across Christ Church Meadow in 1960?
  9. By what name is  Carolus Ludovicus better known?
  10. Which Italian traveller thought Basingstoke “wretched…so that the gratification of his curiosity did not compensate for the fatigue of walking even a few paces.”
  11. Which landscape architects hat will you find in the Garden Museum?
  12. What according to Penelope Hobhouse does “everyone want, from the Lady of the Manor to the humblest suburbanite”?
  13. Where did about 1000 men a day work for 4 years to transform waterlogged fields into “the most spectacular Edwardian classical garden in England.”
  14. Who built The Hill by painting cottages?
  15. What have Danesbury, Ascog, Canonteign and Southport have in common?
  16. What did Leonardo da Vinci paint on the ceiling of the Sala delle Asse in Milan
  17. In which Yorkshire village is playing gooseberry taken very seriously?
  18. Whose garden was perpetually electrified?
  19. Who argued that altho9ugh “there are a number of ways of laying out a garden. The best is by taking on a gardener”?
  20. Who invented the O.O.S.A or The Occasional-Oasis Supply Association?




1. Sir Christopher Hatton

2 Ernest Marples, Minister of Transport at the underground car park in Finsbury Square 

3. Lao Chao and the rest of his team of collectors for George Forrest

4. Ann Rushout

5. Frederick Gibberd

6. The King and Queen of Hawaii with their entourage

7. Betty and Christopher Hussey of Scotney Castle

8. Keith and Mavis Batey

9. Alice Liddell, [the original Alice] in old age

10. Semiramis and her attendants, in the Hanging Gardens of Nineveh


  1. The Hanging Gardens of Nineveh
  2. St James’s Square
  3. Richmond Palace
  4. Christ Church College and Meadow, Oxford
  5. Holkham
  6. John Glover’s house, Mills Plain, Tasmania
  7. Chambord
  8. King Herod’s palace, Masada
  9. Hyde Park, before 1700
  10. Audley End



  1. 16thc Swan Marks
  2.  The world champion gooseberry
  3. Model for St George and the Dragon Firework Display
  4.  Ryder Cup for Gardening
  5. Seed pod of a Monkey Puzzle tree
  6. An installation made of brushes at Chaumont
  7. Mr Saul’s Improved Dahlia Spike
  8. Samuel Hoogstraten’s Perspective Box
  9. Snail Mount – from the image of The entertainments at Elvetham
  10. Lego model of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon


  1.  King Herod
  2. Thomas Tresham at Lyveden
  3. Probably at Nineveh
  4. Anthonis van der Wyngaerde
  5. Edwardes Square, Kensington
  6. Charles Holme of The Studio magazine
  7. The Great Hospital, Norwich
  8. SirGeoffrey Jellicoe
  9. Lewis Carroll
  10. Cosimo III, Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1669
  11. Frederick Gibberd
  12. A cottage garden
  13. Hever
  14. Myles Birket Foster
  15. Ferneries
  16. Interlinked treetops forming a treehouse
  17. Egdon Bridge, near Whitby
  18. Benjamin Martin
  19. Karel Capek in The Gardeners Year
  20. Saki

Normal posting will resume again next Saturday!

About The Gardens Trust

Email - education@thegardenstrust.org Website - www.thegardenstrust.org
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4 Responses to 2021 on the blog…and the Annual Quiz

  1. Peter Edwards says:

    A wonderful quiz. Only came across your blog this year as a result of hearing some of your zoom lectures for the GT. Just don’t know how you find the time and energy to both do the research and write it up so fluently. Hope you mange to keep us so well entertained and informed throughout 2022. Thanks.

  2. Susan Pettit says:

    Excellent! Great fun, thanks David

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