Friday, 30 December 2011

A Backward Glance

Chive flowers

I started this blog in the middle of May 2011 and have written 192 posts since then.  Out of curiosity I checked out the statistics to see what was the most popular post and The Last Rose of Summer came out on top with 35 pageviews.  I find it intriguing why one post should attract more attention than another, when to my mind, they are of equal interest.  Is it the title that draws a viewer initially or something they can associate with or maybe it's the pictures.  The best month for pageviews was August when they totalled 1,629, a month when I would have thought people would either have been on holiday or too busy in their gardens to sit at a computer reading blogs. 

The other noticeable point is that not many people view the pages - I have to admit I don't do this myself very often - so I have to ask, is it worth adding information  in the form of separate pages, except perhaps for your own use e.g. to make a list of plantings for reference purposes or when you sowed seed etc.

Opium poppies

I am not sure how useful it is to check on the statistics unless you can make use of the information to improve your posts, but I am not sure how I would go about doing that without changing the nature of the blog.

Purple Sensation Allium

I do feel I have improved my blogging technique, or should I say, the way I put a post together, since I started eight months ago - but when I look at the more popular blogs - I feel I still have a long way to go - no matter, I write about my garden because I enjoy doing it, regardless of how many pageviews.

Regal Pelargonium
So, what conclusions have I drawn from the aforementioned statistics - not a lot really. But, as long as I feel that I am sharing the joy I get from gardening with others, then that's alright with me.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day

Indoor Plants - Boxing Day

Outdoor Flowers - Boxing Day
 Boxing Day is so called because it was the custom for tradesmen to collect their Christmas boxes or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year.  But it is thought the tradition stems from Roman times when money to pay for athletic games was collected in boxes.  Later the Romans brought the idea of collecting boxes to Britain and the clergy used similar boxes to collect money for the poor at Christmas.  On the day after Christmas the priests opened the boxes to distribute the contents.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Four Seasons in the Rosebank Garden

As this will be the last post for the year 2011 I decided to show photographs which epitomise my garden through the year.  I like to nurture a wild, overgrown look where possible - letting self-seeders do their thing and encouraging nature to take over but keeping some control.  On the whole I have been successful this year, keeping the borders full of plants is a sure way to keep the weeds down.  I have lots of plans for the flower garden next year - sowing more wild flower seeds and keeping the more blowsier plants confined to patio pots.  The more books I read about natural gardening the more plans I make for the future.  Exciting times to come.  I doubt if I will ever get the garden as I would really wish it to be - but I am going to have a lot of fun trying.




Thank you to everyone who visits this blog and for all your kind comments - I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New year. 

Friday, 16 December 2011

The Christmas Tree

A potted history


In medieval times in Germany the Christmas tree was originally the Paradise tree, a fir tree hung with apples representing the garden of Eden eventually replaced by red baubles.  The German people set up a tree in their homes on 24th December, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve.  Wafers were hung on it (symbolizing the host) which are now replaced by cookies.  Candles were added as a symbol of Christ.

In the same room would have been the Christmas pyramid

 a triangular construction of wood with shelves which held figurines, decorated with evergreens , candles and a star.

By the  16th century the pyramid and paradise tree merged, becoming the Christmas tree we know today, which was introduced to Britain by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, in the 1800's and was popularised by Charles Dickens in his Christmas tales.

All information thanks to Wikipedia

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Story Behind the Name

I have linked up with Garden Faeries Musings where she wonders how different bloggers chose the name for their blog.  There are quite a few weird and wonderful names for blogs out there and I have often pondered about their origins - Bumble Lush for one.

I have only been blogging since May of this year, and being a late-comer to this computer lark, had no idea that there was so much gardening going on in the blogosphere.  I joined UK Veg Gardeners  and found a site of like-minded people who just wanted to talk about veggie gardening, which was my greatest love.  But it wasn't enough, I had got the bug and wanted more.

And so my blog was born, or should I say, sweated over.  My technical computer knowledge was nil, it took me hours to set it up, with lots of swearing and frustration, it nearly didn't happen at all.

But what to call it.  I hit on the 'Rosebank' part as that is the name of my house, the Ramblings came after trying all sorts of combinations  Rantings, Ravings, Ruminating, Rural - anything beginning with the letter 'R'.  And Ramblings from Rosebank it became.

My first post on Sunday, 15th May, 2011 was called Garden Allsorts I don't quite know why I called it that as I didn't actually say anything about gardening in the post at all - but I kinda wish I had actually called my blog by that name.  And here we are, 186 posts later, still rambling on.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Berried Treasure

At this time of year, with little else to look at, foliage and berries come into their own.  Luckily, my garden has an abundance of berries, ivy and euonymous that you wouldn't necessarily notice at other times of the year. 

As Christmas draws nearer I shall be making use of these plants by bringing prunings indoors for  festive displays. 

Ivy and Viburnam
 For me, reds and greens epitomise Christmas and I like to make full use of what is available a couple of days prior.  I won't be bringing the foliage in too early as it tends to dry out fairly quickly in the warm conditions of the house.  A display along the mantlepiece stuck into styrofoam bases of cotoneaster, pyracantha, holly and trailing ivy highlighted with the white flowers of the viburnam is a sight for sore eyes in the gloom of a dark winters' day.




The there is the door wreath to think about, using evergreens such as conifers and leylandii, then adding a different texture with the smooth leaves of laurel or camellia.  I already have a stash of pine cones to add to the mix that I have been picking up on my travels.

So all I have to do now is assemble all my ingredients and start cooking up a decorative Christmas storm.

Yellow-berried Holly
I just thought I would show you a Holly tree grown to full size, at least 30ft., that I spotted in the village - now that's what I call a fine specimen.

Wistow Hall and Lake
Wistow Church
 After all the stormy weather we have had recently I thought I would finish on a calm and peaceful picture that I took this morning on the way to the farm shop.  Alas, when I got there the shop had closed down, deciding not to renew its lease.  A sign of the times I think!