OK, so I´ve missed another deadline. 2008 was supposed to end with a review of the year posted on December 31st. And here we are, twelve hours into 2009 and I´m only just getting around to it. And one of my New Year resolutions is to try and manage my time better ...
The year started as it finished, with us here in Germany. While we were here last year, I noticed two large crassula ovata in flower, and the post I wrote on them turned out to be my most popular post ever - goodness knows why. But the search engines seem to like it and it still tops my list of most visited pages. This year they´re still there, but there´s no sign of flowers. Could it be a plant which only flowers occasionally, I wonder. Back home my own still shows no sign of blooms at all.
My own favourite January post though was the one I wrote On the naming of plants ... - something that sems to get less logical the more they try and clean it up.
In February my primula were in full flower and I was itching to get on with seed sowing. While I waited though, I asked What Kind of a Garden Blogger are you? - bifurcated, a butterfly, a scribbler or ...??
March was a good month both for gardening and blogging. The tulips were out, and the primula continued to surprise - as I wrote in The Curious Incident of the Primrose that Wanted to be a Polyanthus. I also posted, a bit late, on Where in the world is the Balcony Garden? for Jodi at Bloomingwriter´s Garden Blogger´s Geography Project describing living and gardening in Milan.
Milan was featured again in April in the GBD post where I talked about how every balcony in the city seems to turn yellow when the sedum blooms. Even people who have no other plants on their balconies seem to have sedum - and I can´t claim to be an exception. I also talked about how many plants which are usually sold as annuals in fact are far hardier than they seem, and do well as perennials - something I´ve picked up on again recently.
In May the balcony was at its best. It was also the month when I had a weekend in Barcelona, where I admired the way Gaudi´s architecture blended so well with the naturalfeatures of the Park Guell. It was also the month I wrote about the Wollemi Pine, one of the Earth´s oldest living plants. It´s been around for 200 million years, but the living version was only recently discovered in Australia.
June saw me spending quite a lot of time in a local park, where I not only saw the lavender in bloom but also came across some dinosaur eggs. But perhaps the most interesting post was An Interview with Stuart of Blotanical, where he talked about setting up the site and his plans for the future.
July saw the end of the great Bill and Ben experiment, with the sad demise of Bill. And we were looking at Milan again with the post Guerilla Gardening in Milan.
In August we were on holiday at the sea. But apart from a few posts from there, I also wrote about Ten Reasons Why I Wouldn´t Be Without My Scissors And for the umpteenth time I wrote about the plants I´d lost to red spider mite. They hit late this year due to the cold, rainy spring, but made up for it with a vengeance when they did finally arrive.
September saw another interview - this time with Carol of May Dreams Gardens.
And I also inadvertently stirred up a hornet´s nest with the post Balcony Gardening - or Just Exterior Decorating. It gave me a chance though to write a follow up post which I´d been thinking about for a while : Form and Colour, Colour and Form
October had the Virginia Creeper on the canal showing off its glorious colours ...
But apart from that the autumn was a bit miserable, leaving me overworked, burnt out and in November with a bad back that had me writing about how not to shift containers around on the balcony.
And there goes 2008. What will 2009 bring? Who knows. But I do have plans. I never make New Year resolutions, but this year I have set some goals - some of them to do with the blog. So watch this space. I´ll be back soon.
May 2009 see your seeds germinate, the flowers bloom copiously and your vegetable garden make you self sufficient. May the butterflies come to sip the nectar but lay their eggs elsewhere, and may the red spider mite just go away. A long, long way away.
Happy New Year !