Annual Reflections

Reflection4

New Year’s Eve sunshine turned my quiet creek into a mirror this morning.

 

This is my 350th post since I began this blog in 2011. It seemed appropriate to publish this on the final day of 2014. The good folks at WordPress always provide me with a year-end summary of blog statistics, so I thought I’d share a few of them with my readers.

This deciduous holly is a volunteer sowed by birds. Today's sunlight made it glow.

This deciduous holly is a volunteer sowed by birds. Today’s sunlight made it glow.

I added 53 posts this year, averaging out to one per week, proving that I can write/talk about the green world pretty much indefinitely. Most days, I average about 100 visitors, but on April 13th of this year, my visitor total soared to 200. April is always an active month on my blog, as folks begin searching about for gardening information.

My little pond where the salamanders breed is full from recent rains and awaiting amorous amphibians.

My little pond where the salamanders breed is full from recent rains and awaiting amorous amphibians.

In 2014, my five most frequently visited entries were from previous years – 3 from 2011, and 2 from 2012 – all on very specific gardening topics. From this, I conclude that most of my readers want specific information about plants and techniques they can use in their own gardens and yards. Message received. I’ll try to write more of these sorts of posts in the coming year.

The birds have eaten all the berries on my other deciduous hollies. Perhaps this is an emergency back-up supply?

The birds have eaten all the berries on my other deciduous hollies. Perhaps this is an emergency back-up supply?

Facebook users provided the most referrals to my site. I’m hoping that my relatively new Piedmont Gardener Facebook page will help additional Facebook users find this blog more easily.

The only other holly still holding berries is this very prickly evergreen one, a hybrid I received as a tiny rooted cutting years ago. It's now 8 feet tall and equally wide, despite the deer nibbling its new growth every spring.

The only other holly still holding berries is this very prickly evergreen one, a hybrid I received as a tiny rooted cutting years ago. It’s now 8 feet tall and equally wide, despite the deer nibbling its new growth every spring.

Most astonishing to me is where my visitors live. By far, most of my visitors live in the United States, which makes sense, of course, because that’s where I live, and where the gardens I write about are located. Close behind US visitors are those from Canada and the United Kingdom, again, not too terribly surprising.

I know Stewartia monadelpha is grown by discerning European gardeners; perhaps they stop by this blog for a peek at its landscape potential?

I know Stewartia monadelpha is grown by discerning European gardeners; perhaps they stop by this blog for a peek at its landscape potential?

The amazing part, to me, is that visitors from 126 other countries also stopped by at least once in the past year. Just in the last two days, for example, my blog has been visited by folks living in Uzbekistan, Singapore, Brazil, Poland, France, Belgium, India, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, and Australia!

Persian Ironwood glows in the late autumn landscape. It's another favorite of European gardeners, which may explain their visits to this blog.

Persian Ironwood glows in the late autumn landscape. It’s another favorite of European gardeners, which may explain their visits to this blog.

Often, I can tell by the pages being viewed that visitors are looking for information on specific plants. The Australians frequently seek information on how to garden in 100+-degree temperatures. I suspect their prolonged unusually hot and dry recent weather years have them looking for help wherever they can find it. Here’s hoping that 2015 brings Australian gardeners a cooler, wetter climate.

I had intended to include a few gardening- and writing-related New Year’s resolutions, but I’ll save those for another time. Today, I’ll close by asking my readers to use the Comments feature of this blog to submit any gardening topics you’d especially like me to cover in the imminent new year. I’ll do my best to fulfill as many of your requests as possible.

Vegetable gardening topics are always popular. I promise more of these next year.

Vegetable gardening topics are always popular. I promise more of these next year.

And, of course, I want to thank all of you who stop by here in your quest for information about gardening in the piedmont region of the southeastern United States. I am humbled by your friendship and support, and I promise to continue writing this blog as long as you continue to read it.

Happy New Year to all!

Happy New Year to all! 

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  1. #1 by Mary Douglas on January 1, 2015 - 6:50 pm

    Hello, I enjoy your writings on gardening as I also live in Piedmont North Carolina. And find gardening pretty challenging in my yard, what with dry soil under oak trees, invasives in the woods, and the summer heat. Always good to learn what and how other people do with gardening. thanks for writing.

    • #2 by piedmontgardener on January 1, 2015 - 7:44 pm

      Hello, Mary! I’m always delighted to hear from a reader who enjoys my blog. 🙂

      I, too, have some problematic dry-soil areas under oak trees. I’ll make an effort to write about that a few times in the coming year. As you may have noticed, I often write about the invasive non-natives plaguing my woods too, so you can be sure you’ll see more on that subject. And I don’t think one can write about gardening in the Southeast without addressing how to adapt to our summer heat, so I’m sure that will be covered too.

      As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers, so perhaps if we piedmont gardeners keep sharing what we’ve learned, we’ll all become better, less frustrated gardeners.

      Happy New Year, and thanks for stopping by!

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