Horticultural highlights & future plans

Perennial Nerd only came into existence some five months ago and I have covered many different topics on a relatively small number of posts in that time. Touching on garden visits (both here & Canada), my own gardening exploits, and a bit of opinion pieces; it has been a process of working out what is worth writing about, what people want to read, and if anything I have to say is of any interest to a wider audience.

I am really happy to say that in 2017 I had a total of 202 visitors from across 14 countries, with a total of 488 views across the nine posts published. Thank you to everyone who has checked out the blog, or shared it on their social media. I intend to keep this going and try to write a lot more in 2018 to really take this blog forward.

What Have I Done?

Looking back on 2017 I can admit the year has had a lot of ups and downs, especially work-wise, but there have been some real horticultural highlights for me.

These include:

  • Cutting the iconic topiary birds at Hidcote – a real privilege to be given the responsibility for cutting some really historic and highly-photographed topiary
  • Designing the Red Border pot display at Hidcote – again it is a prominent display at a famous garden and I got to design the display, grow the plants and plant up the pots to be seen by thousands of visitors
  • The success of my Raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’ plant – I got a good haul of fruit from my dwarf raspberry plant
  • Growing my own hops from seed and getting them thriving – they were more successful than I expected and I have high hopes for them
  • Growing more chillies than I could ever possibly use – got such a haul that it will keep me going a long, long time
  • Experiencing some great gardens in British Columbia, Canada
  • Learning about ikebana at the Japanese Garden Society conference
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The stages of me cutting the Hidcote bird topiary

Where have I been?

During the year I did visit quite a reasonable number of gardens, though it is not as long a list as I hoped. The plan is for 2018 to include a lot more visits, and a lot more write-ups on my visits. I found my stories of garden visits to be quite popular so I need to try to note down about my trips and take a lot more photographs. Those I visited included:

In the UK:

  • Kingston Lacey
  • Ragley Hall
  • Upton House
  • Charlecote Park
  • Kiftsgate
  • Hestercombe
  • Packwood House
  • Baddesley Clinton
  • Croome
  • RHS Malvern Spring Show
  • Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Gardens – Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, New Place, & Birthplace

Canada:

  • Bloedel Conservatory
  • Stanley Park
  • Queen Elizabeth Park
  • VanDusen Botanical Garden
  • Dr Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden
  • Nitobe Memorial Garden
  • UBC Botanical Garden
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Packwood House Garden

What’s the plan for the next 12 months?

Looking forward I want to continue to develop as a gardener and horticulturalist overall. I now find myself specialising as an organic vegetable, fruit and herb grower and am really enthusiastic about immersing myself in this world going forward. It is an exciting time for me career-wise and I intend to combine my daily life with keeping this blog going and also charting my journey as an evolving organic grower. I want to learn more, see more, and share more – so that is my aspiration for 2018. Fingers crossed I can keep that mantra going.

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