ABC Wednesday 5: Y is for...

...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.


  1. Crikey - I've just read that little lot again and I feel like I need to go and have a lie down.

    Apologies if it's left you feeling a little exhausted too ;)

    Note to self: be briefer in postings and a little less heavy handed with the links in the future :)

  2. A busy year. No need to apologize. The reader will read what he/she will.

  3. Sounds like you have alot planned for the year. My list of outings is growing and I am hoping to get some free tickets to Chelsea as well. Hopefully see you in Feb

  4. Busy & full of ideas is wonderful. I look forward to your insights into Chelsea this year.

  5. What a run through. I am feeling like a little lie down now. one of my hopes for 2010 is to meet more gardening friends, having loved meeting up with Karen at An Artist's Garden earlier this year. Perhaps I should have Malvern in my sights!
    And thank you, I have much enjoyed reading your blog.

  6. Great year in review. I think I should have done that too. It helps in looking forward. Nice original choice for Y.

  7. What an excellent subject for Y VP. It is great to take stock and look forward. Thanks for sharing last year with us. I already have Malvern in May penned in my diary - just hope it warms up by then :)

  8. I hear the birds chirping...and so loving it. Thanks for sharing!


  9. You have such an excellent blog - it'll be hard to top this year in that respect but somehow I suspect you will.

  10. you have been busy! love the shot of the snow coming down - did you notice the birds cheeping?

  11. The snow seems to be falling everywhere these days, including some very unlikely places. You have had a busy year, VP, but then you always seem a bundle of energy to me. I've enjoyed participating in some of your memes and look forward to any that you might come up with for these long winter months.

    I hope 2010 is just as successful a year for you!

  12. Congratulations on your 2009 achievements! You have fascinating interests and a great writing style. Hope your cold has taken flight and your 2010 is here to honor your goals!

  13. I too feel like I need to have a nap after reading all that. You had lots going on, for sure. Glad you were amused by my HHGTTG reference. Some give me a blank look when I say '42!" with great glee.

  14. And you my VP are one of my most favorite people. I love you are part of the Gardening by Letter Project. Kathleen just got her project for November and is posting about it. Peggy in Ireland should get hers soon and that wraps it up.

    I continue to check on you and see so many around the gardening world link back to you with things like --how their towns are decorating this or that. I love it!

    So proud to know you and let's continue to be buds for many years to come.

  15. Phew, I'm shattered after reading that lot!

    I've really enjoyed meeting you and following your blog this year ...I've learnt an awful lot along the way and really appreciate the work you put into your posts (and the nice comments you leave on mine!)

    Thanks for a great year and I look forward to 2010 with gusto!

  16. A most wonderful, if cold year, VP, well done my friend. I do hope this cold subsides and you can get out and about to enjoy the snow. The OOTS was such a big hit. Every single time I drive around town, there are visions of possible postings jumping into the car. Congrats on all your success, and a clink of the glass to many more in 2010. Cheers!

  17. You have been busy - and productive! I didn't know 2010 was the Year of Biodiversity, but I'm pleased to hear it. We've been getting offered less and less in the way of variety in the supermarkets and green grocers and for those of us who can't grow our own veg, this is very bad news. I'm hopeful that 2010 will show some improvement on that front!

  18. Roger, Photowanabe - thanks :)

    PG - My list of outing's growing as well. We'll get to meet up for some of them hopefully :D

    MMD - I'm looking forward to it already - I hear Diarmuid Gavin's back as are the people from Oz whose property burnt down in the wildfires last year so they had to pull out. The Eden Project are doing another garden and Mark Gregory will be seeing how he can stretch a small garden budget to make a large show garden. Patiebt Gardeners' employers are also sponsoring a garden, so I'm hoping we can meet up sometime.

    Elizabethm - it would be great if you could make Malvern! Karen's also invited me visit again, which I'm aiming to do because we failed to meet up last year.

    Anna - so do I. Thankfully my annual diary clash won't be happening this year as the Festival of the Voice at Stourhead has moved to June :)

    Manag Kim and Leslie - well spotted! That's the reason why I chose that particular clip :)

    Mark - flatterer, but thank you very much :)

    Rose - thank you and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful 2010 also! Watch out for those memes!

    Tumblewords - thanks. Your feedback on writing style as a writer is much appreciated :)

    Jodi - 42's one of mine and NAH's running jokes!

    Anna - I'm really touched by your remarks and I don't know how you've managed to stop yourself from opening your letter(s) yet. Of course we'll be buds for ages yet - I'll e-mail you shortly too :)

    Nutty Gnome - thank you. Sometimes I think all the info gets hidden, but I'm glad you've found some here. See you over at yours soon. I've also taken out a few sidebar images today - I'm hoping that might help with the problems you've had in accessing my blog. It should speed load times up for everyone too :)

    Frances - you and so many others are full of lovely comments today! I've been amazed at how well OOTS has taken off and your posts on the subject have been lots of fun :)
    *clinks glass of celebratory and friendly cheer*

    Jay - hear hear!


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you and welcome thoughtful conversations :)

Comments aiming to link back and give credence to commercial websites will be composted!

Your essential reads

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: 'Just Add Cream'

Salad Days: Mastering Lettuce

Jack Go To Bed At Noon

Weekend Wandering: A new sculpture trail

Wildflower Wednesday: A New Year Plant Hunt

VP's VIPs: Charles Dowding

Please read if you follow this blog by email

Seasonal Recipe: Nasturtium 'Capers'

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: The Fibonacci effect