...Yearly Review and Snow!
Like many of you, it's been my intention to review the year here at VP Gardens (just like I did for 2008) and to look forward to 2010. However, a heavy head cold kindly donated by my nephew has held things up a little and today's the first day when I really feel up to the task. It didn't stop me hanging out of our bedroom window though, to capture the snow in our back garden. Spookily, last year's projects post shows it snowed on the same date and we went on to have the coldest winter in 18 years: a proper winter for once. This year's snow is on the back of the coldest December we've had in decades, so who knows where this one will stand in the record books?
Last year I enjoyed trying things out. I took part in the RHS Mange Tout pea trial and tested the new garden version of Air Pots. The pea trial was far more successful than the yield from the Air Pots despite the latter's early promise. I also had a lot of fun finding out about the earthworms in my garden and gave the pair of Felcos I won a thorough trial during my autumn clearing up.
Sadly most of my 2009 projects are incomplete and thus will be carried forward into this year, just like Madame Zelda predicted. However, I did manage an unplanned revamp of one of my terrace beds, which has given me some ideas for what to do elsewhere using some of the plants I have in the nursery area. Luckily, the badgers weren't quite so rampant on my plot last year, so I was able to exhibit some rather nice pears at our allotment show.
I had my first visit to Chelsea and despite nearly everyone else being a bit sniffy about it (it was considered not to be a vintage year mainly due to the effects of the credit crunch), my friend H and I had a thoroughly good time. It's already looking good for this year and I'm very excited about going there during the build. I also managed more garden visiting and met up with lots more of you. Staying with Victoria and Esther, plus the second food bloggers get together were particular highlights. Taking part in Anna's Letters From Gardening Friends project meant I could reach out across the pond to several of you in a new and fun way. I'm looking forward to meeting many more of you at Malvern in May - keep 6-9th free in your diaries and your eyes peeled for more information!
When I decided to write about public planting at the start of 2009, I didn't dream it would resonate with so many of you. Thus OOTS was born and I'm pleased we'll be continuing with it this year. I also had a lot of fun thinking up some one-off memes, such as Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and finding out what you were all doing on the 7th August. I've a few more of these lined up, particularly to help us through the next few months when blogging inspiration tends to flag a little. I also have plenty more Front Gardens, Things in Unusual Places and Adverts to make you smile and any contributions from you are also welcome.
I also hope to do a little more guest blogging, similar to The Guardian Gardening Blog and Encounters With Remarkable Biscuits. I'm planning on blogging a little less here during 2010 - 5 times a week or so - as I feel I need to spend longer out in the real world this year. However, I have such a long list of things buzzing around in my head to tell you (as well as daily photos to show you at Sign of the Times), we'll see whether that actually happens!
2010 is the UN's International Year of Biodiversity, so I'll be looking at ways of getting involved: OPAL are due to announce a freshwater survey shortly and as this is one of my areas of expertise, I'm hoping my services can be used in some way. Plotwise I have potatoes to trial (alongside Threadspider) and I'll be growing Angelica for the first time. I'll also be investigating how tasty the weeds are on my plot as part of my Incredible Edibles strand. It also looks like more seasonal recipes are needed: this was an unplanned regular feature last year, but seeing most of the recipes topped my list of most popular posts for 2009 - the Rhubarb and Ginger Jam one especially - perhaps I should publish a few more.
For me the absolute icing on the cake was being a finalist for Blog of the Year in the Garden Media Guild Awards. This, the amazing final total raised for my Open Garden and the great conversations we've had in the Comments are leaving me puzzling over how I can top 2009's events. However, we have Landscape Man to look forward to on the telly plus a new feature writer lined up for You Ask We Answer; I'm conducting a series of interviews for Veg Plotting and there's a great list of speakers lined up at the University of Bath Gardening Club. I'm also planning to take some personal action as far as public planting is concerned. Am I excited about 2010? You bet :D
For much more in the way of Y, do visit the ABC Wednesday blog.