Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Review of 2009

The past year has been one of many firsts and writing a blog was no exception.  

It all started with a bang, quite literally, when I crashed my car.  This meant that I could no longer get out in to the garden and as a result of utter boredom and a desperate need to escape intolerable pain Ryan's Garden Blog was born.  You can read the full post here.  It was my first attempt at blogging and although the start was unconventional, and slightly rough, it's development has been organic and extremely enjoyable.

Following on from the initial post 2009 has heralded discoveries of garden treasure, when I successfully grew several species of terrestrial Orchids, and  it also saw the start of my first orchid experiment.  I have attempted to grow on laboratory grown seedlings of Cypripedium calceolus, which is extremely rare in the UK and can only be found on one remaining wild site.

I conducted my first interview, launched my first competition and wrote my first blog series about my visit to Sydney, Australia.

The year has also revealed that on the odd occasion I can be quite creative.  I've made Welsh cakes and compost bins.  I've planted the office, and most recently I've had a go at wreath making.

I have found inspiration from far off lands including the fashion world, in particular the house of Vivienne Westwood, I have found objects at car boot sales which I have later used in the garden and I have utilised the great properties of herbs with the invention of my Bath Bouquet.

All in all the year has been a pretty good one with a wide and varied selection of articles written, much exciting news aired and many more projects agreed and in development.  Now all that is left to do is prepare for the new year, archive the old years posts and wish all my readers a prosperous and happy 2010.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow,
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Taken from 'Ring Out, Wild Bells' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

The main picture is of my faithful weed eating tortoise Trevor who I rescued on Christmas Eve last year from a market.  You will be pleased to know that they no longer sell tropical animals.  He is now a picture of health and is looking forward to a more comfortable year after a touch and go start.  The picture was taken with my new D-SLR.


  1. I wondered what the turtle (tortoise, excuse me, Trevor) was about. Very cute!

    Happy New Year!

  2. I've been reading and enjoying your blog since summer and had missed earlier news. Hope you and yours have a very Happy New Year! Looking forward to reading more of your entries in 2010.

    Jan Pickel

  3. Brilliant blog Ryan - we all love it and look forward to many more escapades in 2010 - hope that you'll join me on some garden visits too.
    Happy New Year, Charlotte AKA GG

  4. Happy New Year!

    Trevor looks fab! Hope you are enjoying the new camera? (*being nosey* What camera did you get in the end?)

  5. Thanks for all the nice comments. It's amazing how much I've written in under a year.

    Santa brought me a Nikon D5000 and I'm just getting to grips with it now. I have booked a day course to explore it further and gaina bit more knowledge about photography.

  6. Ryan, I think you have achieved a lot in suah a short span of time. In fact, you have done great. Now, I'd like to wish you a Very Happy New Year 2010!

  7. Very nice! Photography courses are great fun too, I did a very enjoyable one at Harlow Carr earlier this year :o)

  8. Happy New Year to you and yours. It's wonderful to read how much fun blogging has brought into your life so long may you blog Ryan!

    Trevor is one lucky tortoise.

  9. Happy New Year Ryan and here's to a fab 2010!

  10. Ryan,

    Just discovered your site while 'fishing' for information on 'Nomocharis aperta'. I think these are quite beautiful, but nowhere can I find information on their hardiness. I wonder if you have such data? Thanks..I am mainly a daylily hybridizer, but love anything unusual or beautiful...sincerely..Bob Faulkner

  11. Hi Bob,

    It's actually very difficult to find any detailed information about Nomocharis. I would imagine they will do just fine in our climate as they originate in China. I believe that they are hardy and do well with a good mulch of organic matter in Spring and Autumn. Best to grow them in acid soil that is moist but not wet. Typical woodlander really.

    If you do grow them or manage to find more information please let me know.



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