The Year 2013 in Review

What a good idea - sum up the past year at dusk on New Year's Eve, having drunk a glass of Larry's potent home-made wine. Yesh - 2013 was a very good year for the garden. One of the besssht. Oops. Must try not to get too sentimental. Out with the old, in with the new, and all that...

 Flowering cherry trees.
Spring Blossom near the Cottage

2013 was a very good year for garden gnomes. I picked up five new chaps, already beautifully painted, and they've settled in well on the edge of the pond. It was a very good year for the blossom trees and the Camellias - they were amazing in early spring, and I managed to take more notice (and more photographs) of them than usual. Pond Cottage, my quaint green retreat, has been wonderful all year except in the big gales, when I got scared, grabbed Minimus the cottage cat, and escaped into the house.

My Flowery Herb Spiral


My flowering annuals have been brilliant, and I've found some lovely new ones - Orlaya and Limnanthes are two I must mention. I love my new recycled roses - welcome to Whiskey Mac, Elina, Aoteatoa and many others of similar 'retro' vintage. And I love the salvias and yellow daisies which have happily self-sown themselves exactly where I want them. They must be mind-readers...


There are many topsy-turvy things to remember and celebrate in a gardening year. Oops - my beautiful brick Herb Spiral transformed itself into a Flower Spiral.

The destruction of the Stumpy (AKA Willow Tree) Garden by trees brought down in September's gales was a shock. But soon the rhododendrons started resprouting, and there was more sunlight, so I could plant more roses and build some new gardens down the driveway. How exciting - new garden life from a minor misfortune (though it didn't seem so minor at the time, sob, sob).

2013 for the Cats and the Dog

Early in 2013 ginger Percy was diagnosed with Feline Aids. Despite this he had a good cat-year. Big Fluff-Fluff and Fat Tiger the tortoiseshell spent their year close to the fridge, checking out the food bowls. After spending the winter in her cat-lounge in the hay-barn, Lilli-Puss moved back to the Stables for the spring and summer. Histeria the tabby came and went, always cheerful, always friendly - she never changes. Rusty the dog's front paw arthritis ended the year much better than it started. Ha! Three cheers for dog-glucosamine.

 I miss her so much.
Little Mac the Black and White Cat

There's one bad, sad thing - the puzzling disappearance of our black and white catlet, Little Mac, back in February. We still miss her, and we won't forget her. But what a wonderful life she had! We are lucky to have shared our house and garden with her.

My Piano :
Here's big Fluff-Fluff on the piano stool.

I had a funny musical year. My grand piano broke down with a 'death rattle' in late January - I was moneyless, and too scared to call in the repair-man. So I stopped playing it.

In late November the problem (a child's small toy wedged firmly inside) was found and fixed, costing me nothing (Non-Gardening Partner paid). Getting my piano back was my best personal moment of 2013 - so silly to leave it so late!

 Two of my best gardening friends!
Non-Gardening Partner and Percy the Cat

A final toast must go to Non-Gardening Partner, who might think I've gone even sillier, but this doesn't seem to worry him. Where would I be without him? Hmm... And special New Year's greetings to all the other NGPs in the gardening world - well done, and thanks for everything you do behind the gardening scenes. Here's hoping your 2014s will be even busier, hee hee...

 My best dog-friend.
Rusty the Dog

And a quiet word to Rusty, who reckons 2013 was THE most boring gardening year ever for dogs. OK, Rusty. I've heard you barking at the bellbirds. I've seen you madly chasing bumble bees. Boring? Frankly, I don't believe you!