A Year Of Blogging

The Anxious Gardener is one year old!  Hardly seems possible – but it is.  During the dark and cold days of January 2011, I began to think idly about starting a blog.  Didn’t know why particularly … still don’t.  But I did think that it might help my brain from atrophying (jury’s still out on that one) and also, I wanted to share the beauty of the Priory with others.  And so, after scratching my head and reading a handful of gardening blogs, I played around a little with blogger, scratched my head a little more and before I really knew what I was doing, I published my first post on 4th February 2011.

And what an amazing and (at times infuriating and maddening but generally) hugely enjoyable process it has been.  It didn’t even occur to me, when I started, that it would be so hugely time-consuming  or that I would ‘virtual-meet’ such a wealth of lovely people – from all over the globe.  Indeed, if I take only one experience away with me from this whole blogging malarkey, it would be this; that there is such a surprising number of very nice people about.  Read the newspapers, watch the news, commute, make obscene gestures at a crowd of football supporters  … and well, you’d never guess how damn decent the vast majority of people are.

To celebrate my twelve months of blogging, I thought I would re-visit some of my photos;  a few of my favourites, showing a range of subjects from the Spring, Summer and Autumn of 2011.  (Winter is a little too recent to re-visit just yet)!  Most have appeared on the AG before; but not all:

Perennial Sweet Pea - Lathyrus latifolius, June 2011

Ladybird on Alchemilla mollis, May 2011

View of the Long Borders from the west pond, April 2011

Red Admiral Butterfly - Vanessa atalanta, July 2011

Poppy with puppy Dora, August 2011

A different poppy; Opium poppy - Papaver somniferum, June 2011

Honeysuckle, May 2011

Arum lily - Zantedeschia, June 2011

Mandarin duck (very annoyingly) using the tawny owl box, April 2011

Hosta leaves and Forget-me-nots, May 2011

Grass Snake, September 2011

Daffodils and Snowflakes, April 2011

Echinops and visitor, July 2011

View of the Priory Gardens, September 2011

The Vegetable Beds, May 2011

Above The Old Forge, June 2011

Helenium, June 2011

Mixed hedging - The Priory/Margaret's Field Boundaries, April 2011

Hummingbird Hawk Moth, June 2011

Blackthorn in flower, April 2011

The Priory Drive running through Margaret's Wood, April 2011

Dragonfly, September 2011

Auricula, February 2011

One of the Kidney Beds, July 2011

Grass vetchling - Lathyrus nissolia, June 2011

(Vampire?) Hedgehog at The Old Forge, July 2011

The Priory Meadow, May 2011

California Poppy - Eschscholzia californica, September 2011

Who knows how long The Anxious Gardener might last (I certainly don’t) but, while it does, I would like to thank you and everyone else who visits and reads and, by doing so, encourages me to carry on.  Thank you.  Very much.

43 thoughts on “A Year Of Blogging

  1. My goodness, so many wonderful pictures. You seem to both have the gift of technical part of photography and the eye that sees the perfect motive and the ability to capture it all. A rare gift I think. Most people, me included can only do one of those to things. I am the the one that sees the perfect picture, i have the camera but cannot sees to get my thick head to understand aperture, exposure, shutter speed and all the other confusing concepts of photography.

    What I can see how ever is that you must have a good macro lens. Could you share what camera you use and what lens you use for your macro pictures?


    • Hi Bonnie, first of all, thanks. Kind words indeed. I think you just need to practice; and read the camera manual – which I didn’t do for my Nikon D60 for ages. When I first got my camera the thickness of the manual was a real deterrent to reading it but if you concentrate on one aspect at a time, say ISO settings or depth of field, you’ll quickly master the concepts. And realise the limitations (and strengths) of your camera. I now want a better, much more expensive camera! My macro lens is a Sigma 105mm – though I don’t use it that much.



  2. Congratulations! I really enjoy your pictures, mischievous humour and tales from the priory. Some of your showcased pictures make me want to be running through parks and gardens in a summer overflowing with colour, such a contrast from the shades of grey outside the window at the minute!


  3. Happy blogging birthday, and what a great selection of photos to celebrate with. Hope you also gave yourself a cake – to share with the people you have released from the pollarded cages, of course…

    Look forward to another year of your humour and photographs, for those of us unlikely to ever be able to visit the Prioty in person or have the experience of gardening in such a place, it is great to share some of the ups and downs and the beauty. You are clearly quite mad, but my kind of mad, so keep blogging!!


    • Don’t tend to release people from the cages, Janet. Once I’ve got ’em locked up, well …..

      Quite mad? Gosh, break it to me gently. (Explains a lot, mind). Despite your forthrightness, I shall keep on blogging for the time being (if you do)!



    • Blimey Karen. Two more years? Sounds very zorsting. Two more months sounds a lot at the moment. I’m about to have a break for a couple of weeks which I’m so looking forward to. Hopefully I’ll come back all refereshed and full of vim!



  4. Congrats on your year of blogging! Always enjoy dropping in to see whats happening at the Priory and the potting shed, the little bits of gardening wisdom, miss stinky(and the rest of the gang) and the stunning photos.


  5. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful clearly the impact of having a big sis helped you to develop into such a genius!Who would have thought my little bro would be so talented – so not the shy, retiring, little chap who used to hand onto my hnad – love you!! x


  6. Happy Birthday and congratulations on keeping up with your blog for a whole year. What lovely photos to celebrate. I remember a few of them, especially the duck in the bird box.


  7. Love your photos – wish I could get mine to come out as well. I have enjoyed reading your posts this year and seeing around the Priory and hearing about the ghosts etc

    You are right the blogging community is generally a jolly nice group but then so are gardeners so I suppose it goes hand in hand


    • Of course I’m setting myself up for a bad experience now, Helen having said how jolly lovely everyone in blogging land is. Pleased you like the photos – it is odd how sometimes they just seem to work when you upload them onto the PC and at other times not at all!



  8. Congrats on a year of excellent writing. For some reason I had always thought you’d been doing this longer, you make it look easy. Between the photos and satirical commentary I thoroughly enjoy stopping by. The priory needs to be shared with the world and you’ve done just that. Blogging is the strangest thing, who’d of thought I’d be exchanging growing tips with a guy overseas. Lets continue on in 2012!


    • Thanks Nat – I’m so pleased that you, seemingly, enjoy my blog as much as I do yours (sorry, this is all a bit mutual backslapping, isn’t it?). I too am surprised at meeting like-minded people in the States and Australia and Canada (of course) – makes the whole darn thing all the more enjoyable and meaningful. Let’s continue on into 2012 indeed!



  9. Dave, congratulations on your one year blogging anniversary. Your post has some of my favorite photos of this past year (the hostas) and some that I don’t recall seeing, the kidney bed photo. The photo of the drive through Margaret’s wood looks so serene. I look forward to seeing more of the Priory. Cheers!


  10. Dave, I’m so glad you decided to start blogging–getting “acquainted” with you and the Priory has been a huge pleasure. Sometimes at work I click on your photos and open them up full screen and leave them there for the sheer visual refreshment–the sky at the Old Forge and that amazing swath of red tulips come to mind… (Doing that probably really skews your stats. Sorry…) Congratulations on finishing out your first year, and may there be more to come.

    Sometimes people sneer at blogging as something narcissistic, but at least in the gardening community it doesn’t seem like that at all. If anything it’s a more generous impulse–beauty and wonder are even better when they’re shared, not kept all to ourselves. Thanks for sharing the Priory so enthusiastically.


    • I forgive you any skewing of my stats, Stacy (seeing as it’s you) and am only too pleased that you enjoy the Priory as much as I. In some ways these twelve months have been a breeze (when the posts have come together easily and the photos seem to take themselves) and in others it’s been a bit of a slog – to be honest. Either way though I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. And thank you so much for your kind support this last year. Shall we continue? For the time-being at least?



  11. Congratulations on your first anniversary of your blog. The photos are beautiful and just the thing to cheer me up on a cold, snowy day in Wales. The tree lined drive makes me think of the paintings in the new David Hockney exhibition. You’ve really captured the beauty of the Priory gardens and I love the photo of the hummingbird hawk moth. I had 2 visit my garden this year but didn’t manage to capture them. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Best wishes, Wellywoman.


    • Thanks WW. When I saw the HBH moth last summer, I thought Yay! I’m going to see loads of them this year. But it was the only one sadly. Luckily I had my camera close by and he/she was happy to carry on with me snapping at it!



  12. Happy anniversary Dave! It’s been a pleasure following your blog and ‘meeting’ you and your photography never fails to impress; you must have supreme patience to get some of those shots. Looking forward to the next year of Priory adventures! Oh yes, and i’m very jealous that you’ve seen a hedgehog, haven’t seen one for years.


  13. I want to take that photo of the flower with the dewdrop and the fly! Your photos look brilliant on WordPress.
    Keep on blogging, David. I would really miss your blog (humour in particular) if you stopped.
    It’s my blogging birthday next week. I’m a bit taken aback at how much I enjoy it too…


    • Hi Janet, my contemporary! I noticed recently that you say somewhere that your blogging is about one year in your garden. Hope you’re not intending to stop? Thanks for all your kind words over the past few months.



  14. They are the most amazing photos David you certainly have a good eye for a perfect shot. I have really enjoyed visiting the Priory with you over the past few months – if you are thinking of taking on an assistant, look no further. Long may you keep on blogging.


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