Monday, 31 December 2012

Second Class Posts

Over the past two years I've visited many wonderful gardens and blogged about them. Some posts have had lots of visits, others not. The following three are among my favourite posts which have not had many visits. The reason I like them is that the gardens were all revelations to me. I usually let my photographs do the talking, and in these three cases I think the photos came out pretty well. So if you missed them first time around, you might like to have a look at them now! They are Switzerland for a day, Arundel Castle Gardens and Vann-tastic!

Thank you to all of you for visiting my blog, I really do appreciate it, whether you leave a comment or not.
Please keep visiting in 2013, and Happy New Year!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Most read posts

It always surprises me when I look at my blog stats to see what posts people read. Over the past couple of years I've been lucky enough to visit some amazing gardens, in Britain (across Cornwall, Devon, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire to name but a few), Italy, and Florida. But it's not necessarily these posts that get the most hits. By far the most popular post I've ever done is Cephalaria gigantea. If anyone can explain this to me I'd love to know as it's a very short, very dull post in my opinion! The only thing I can think of is that it gets google hits. Here's a few of my other posts which have amassed a large number of hits.
In second place, we have Villa Carlotta on Lake Como. This is one of the most amazing gardens I've ever visited so I can understand this. But in third place is Rodmell Open Gardens, a village not far from me that opens some of its gardens annually. The gardens are lovely, but I am puzzled as to why this post has been so popular. In 4th, 5th and 6th are more Italian gardens. 7th is Bosahan, a Cornish garden, but by no means the most well known. Perhaps bloggers click to find out out places they haven't heard of to learn more about them, which is great. In 8th place is a post about my Mum's garden. 9th is a post about square cucumbers and in 10th place is another Italian garden.

Of course, now that I have linked to these more popular posts, there's a good chance they will get more visits. And like me, you may wonder why some people bothered! Perhaps it's the titles that lure people and then they visit the post and are disappointed! Anyhow, next time I'll look back at three posts which I've been pleased with but nobody else seems to have been interested in!!!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Two Years Retrospective

It's two years since I started blogging at ernieandi, and it's whizzed by. The best part of blogging is making new friends and sharing ideas and opinions. It's a funny old world we're blogging in now, we have to be so careful what we say or we may find ourselves with a legal action against us! That's why I tend to keep some of my stronger opinions to myself. I don't mention gardens that I visit but do not think are very good. And believe me there have been many over the years. The worst kind for me are charity village openings where one garden has been allowed in that is clearly not in the same league as the others. I find it embarrassing to walk around gardens such as these when the owner is following you around, waiting for you to say nice things. Such as what? 'Do you tend these weed beds by yourself, or do you have help?' Or 'I do think it's nice to see a garden that's used by all the family.' (ie what a load of junk there is lying around) It's lovely that people want to open their garden for charity but there should be something to see of interest to the public. I wouldn't dance for charity because I'm not a dancer. So why do gardens open for charity when clearly there is no gardener in residence?! I appreciate not all gardens are to everyone's taste, it would be dull if all gardens were the same. And I enjoy visiting gardens different to my own to get new ideas. But a messy or unloved space has no place as part of a village opening. Dare I suggest that sometimes it is because the garden owner is a person of importance in the village or on a certain committee?! Tricky situation I know. On the bright side, however, I've never been to an open gardens event and come away disappointed, and the odd low-point here and there just serves to highlight the success of the other gardens.

I may not be able to visit quite as many open gardens in 2013 as I will be spending more time looking after Harvey the puppy.

However, I'll be posting some news about upcoming open gardens in the UK and USA / Canada (where 50% of my readers are based!) so hopefully you will find my blog a useful source of information. Go visit some gardens in 2013 - but only blog about the good ones!!!

My next retrospective post will look at some of my most-visited posts. Some of these are quite surprising....see you next time!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Leonardslee Re-opening

This is the best news I've heard for a long time. This amazing Sussex grade-1 listed garden closed in 2010, much to my sadness. Now the news is that the gardens are re-opening in 2013. Little is known about the new owner, but to my relief it would appear the gardens have been developed further, and many deer have been purchased for the wider estate. I've also heard whisperings of a new restaurant. For those of you who have not visited, it has the most amazing collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, gathered around a series of lakes. The rock garden is just breathtaking:

When I hear any more news of the re-opening I'll be sure to post it here! Can't wait to visit this iconic garden again.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

My New Undergardener

Yes, Harvey the labrador x giant schnauzer has tumbled into our lives today! He's a cheeky little chappy and I love him to bits already! He is looking forward to helping me in the garden. He has already been for a tour to assess what needs doing.
Here Harvey is mulching a pot (with slobber)

And here he is pruning a Convulvulus
I'm sure he won't always be that helpful! It's going to be hard work I think but hopefully a lot of fun!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

December hasn't arrived

At least not in my garden, which still thinks it's September. We've managed to dodge frosts until this week, and many of my plants are still flowering when they really should be resting or dying off.

I grew these Mesembryanthemums from seed, and they are now at their best.

Apples are still clinging on for dear life, like baubles on a Christmas tree.

This Salvia was late to get going, and is now making up for lost time

Yes, this poppy still has buds on it in December!

Stipa and Sedums are hanging on, just.

This lantana overwintered without protection last winter. I wonder how it will do this year?

Some of the roses are still blooming.

This one, Rosa 'Lucy' still has plenty of buds, which may not get chance to open.
Even though I am not spending much time in the garden at the moment, it is nice to pop out and see some flowers still doing their thing. And the odd bee here and there. And before long new shoots will emerge and the whole thing starts over again. Can't wait!