That was the year that was – 2013

I thought I would do a similar post to last year showing some of the highlights.  We had a slow start to the year with snow on and off from January to March but finally in April the weather changed and we ended up with a long hot summer which gently merged into Autumn with us hardly noticing the change until the cold winds of winter crept up on us.

This year I really got involved with the local horticultural groups I joined and I have made new friends and found myself learning more than ever before.  The year started with me attending my first HPS Galanthus Day despite knowing nothing about snowdrops.  I was quickly won over and have enjoyed continuing to learn about this fascinating genus.  I also enjoy seeing snowdrops en-masse and visited Painswick Rocco Garden to see them.

April brough the local Alpine Garden Society group’s show and an introduction into the addiction of plant showing.  This led me to enter plants into Open Garden section at the Malvern Spring Show, my local  horticultural show and also the AGS Tewkesbury show.  I even won a first and a few seconds and thirds.  Showing is something I plan to continue with in 2014.

As ever I visited a number of gardens during the year including the Laskett, Veddw and Sezincote; all of which I have wanted to visit for a while.  I also visited the Garden House in Devon again which is a favourite garden of mine and my youngest son especially as it is only 30 minutes from his University house and does very good cake!  In June the boys and I spent a relaxing week in Cornwall visiting gardens and castles and I finally got to visit St Michaels Mount.

The highlight of the year was attending the Garden Bloggers Spring Fling in San Francisco and meeting lots of bloggers I have read for years.  This was a huge  achievement for me as I have never visited the US or travelled on my own before but it has given me the confidence and courage to do more travelling in the future.  I found many of the gardens we visited in and around San Francisco inspiring particularly their exuberant way of using plants and ornamentation together; it was all rather liberating.

I spent the rest of the year concentrating on my garden and trying to finish projects and get to grips with the borders.  The Big Border project is nearly complete and I am pleased at how well my son’s new workshop has fitted into the overall ‘design’.  There are more plans in the pipeline and I want to really concentrate on hardy exotics and woodland plants but also my new passion bulbs – something I can’t see doing anything other than grow.

I  rounded off the horticultural year by attending my first AGS Conference weekend and despite initial reservations I loved immersing myself in the plant world uninterrupted for a weekend.

So what  will 2014 bring?  Who  knows but I hope I continue to learn more, meet more interesting people and see more inspiring gardens.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Chris says:

    Lovely idea Helen and lovely shots – cat is very appealing. Thank you for all your posts; I so enjoy reading them. All the best for the new year.

  2. Alison says:

    You had a busy year! The Fling was a big highlight of my year too. I enjoyed meeting you there. I hope you can make it to Portland in 2014. The bloggers organizing it are great people, and they have some really beautiful gardens there.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Alison
      Won’t be able to make Portland in 2014 unfortunately no doubt I will incredibly jealous when you are all meeting up

  3. Lovely retrospect, Helen, and I enjoyed following some of your links. The visit to St. Michael’s Mount brought back happy memories of many years ago. Wishing you a happy new year! P. x

  4. Cathy says:

    I am sure you found it interesting to look back, just as we do when we read it. I had mixed feelings being reminded of the snow – didn’t we have some beautiful scenes when we were blanketed with it…? I look forward to next year’s posts, Helen.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I hate the snow if I have to get to work, I am really hoping for a mild winter this year

  5. Jean says:

    Helen, Your description of your trip to San Francisco reminded me of my first time traveling outside North America. it was a trip to the UK and my fiftieth birthday present to myself in 1998. It was on that trip that I discovered English gardens and got bitten in a serious way by the gardening bug. Happy New Year!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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