(click on the pic for a (slightly) larger version)
Since it’s horrible weather, I’ve cancelled all gardening and I have time on my hands, I thought I’d throw all conventional blog posts out of the window between now and Christmas and launch a little competition.
As you will see I got busy with my Paintbox and have created an advent calendar. I will be “opening” a new window for you each day to reveal the picture behind it.
Each of the pictures is taken from a blog (3) somewhere in the gardening blogosphere (almost all of them already listed on my favourite blogs list).
Each will give you a clue to a letter: usually the title of the blog, but not always (1). I’ve also thrown in a few memorable events from this year, plus a few clues refer to authors of blogs not the blogs themselves (I don’t want to make it too easy, for goodness’ sake).
The 24 letters, when unjumbled, will give you a two-part answer:
– what the first prize is: something every gardener will want at the top of their Christmas present list this year (4)
– and the genus name of a group of plants which you should be able to see in flower now.
The first person to email me both parts of the answer after the window of no. 24 is revealed on 24th December will get the prize 😀
1: A few clues:
– When it’s a blog beginning with the word “the” I’ve usually left out the definite article – so “The Manic Gardener” would be “M” (for Manic). Note the ‘Usually’: there is one exception.
– where pets are pictured, the letter is always the name of the pet (with one exception, though that particular ‘pet’ is more of a visitor and hasn’t got a name anyway)
– in two clues the name of the blogger is required, not the blog: in these cases it’s always the first name (so James as in Alexander Sinclair). And they’re not at all obscure, so you should be able to find out easily from the blog itself.
– I’ll be around to answer any queries and duck any brickbats throughout via the comments section and will also give you a final clue as to the answers on the final day just in case you’re stuck.
2: Rules and regulations:
– if you recognise a picture from your own blog, please could I ask you to refrain from posting the answer and giving the game away
– you may post your guesses below for each day but please don’t post guesses for the final answer – if you do I’m afraid you’ll make yourself ineligible for the prize
– I will be giving clues to the more tricky ones: keep an eye on the comments section
– answers and prizewinner announced as soon as I’ve recovered from my Christmas hangover (hopefully before the end of December)
3: Apologies, excuses and abject grovelling:
If you really, really object to my using material in this way just get in touch with me (post or you can find my email via my profile) and I will change the clue and grovel even more abjectly.
4. Well, quite near to the top if you don’t count Matthew ‘Darcy’ Wilson. And Cleve West’s thighs.
I don’t care what you call it – I love Christmas, and have been spending lots of happy days in the last few weeks… well…. spending.
I’ve even bought two plants, which I always swore I’d never do, on the principle that I hate it when other people buy plants for me. They’re invariably the wrong sort or wrong colour, grow too rampantly or not rampantly enough, or would have gone in the last garden but not this one. Those who know me well only ever acquire horticultural gifts from an approved list, drawn up by me and revised no more than one week before said Christmas/birthday/anniversary. Draconian? Moi?
I absolve myself on this occasion though as both plants are Daphne odorata ‘Aureomarginata’ (one for each set of parents) and I’m seriously thinking about filching both of them and pretending I forgot to buy presents this year.
Anyway – I’m off to enjoy myself – hope you are too! May this Christmas/Winterval/Perisolstice be everything you wish for, and may the New Year bring you wonders of the horticultural kind galore.
I’ll look forward to seeing you all again in 2009!