Thursday, 1 October 2009

Thanks Stuart, thanks Blotanists!

“It's all over folks! The 2009 Blotanical Awards have finally come to an incredible end.”

This is has been the 2nd Blotanical Awards and I’d like to congratulate all the winners and nominees! What fun this has been following the competition and meeting new bloggers… there’s been a wonderful buzz around our growing garden blog community.

Stuart, the founder of Blotanical, has done a magnificent job this year and always looks to make improvements with both the awards and the site. On the results page he thanks the Blotanists for making this year such a success. However, it is you Stuart and the team at Blotanical that has made this a success and we thank you!

The success of Blotanical, without a doubt, is due to Stuart’s continual requests for feedback from the Blotanists over the way it works. He then responds to this. He is working on changes now… soon to hit our screens! He is also thinking about next year’s awards:

“As for the 2010 Blotanical Awards, we shall endeavour to make these bigger and more exciting than ever. If you have feedback or suggestions then you can email me at stuart[at]blotanical[dot]com.” All the best Stuart… we all really appreciate the work you do!

This year, I was thrilled to see the category for ‘Best Gardening For Wildlife Blog’. I do believe Stuart responded to feedback on this one… thanks again Stuart! Thanks again to all who nominated shirls gardenwatch in this category taking it into the final five. I was well chuffed!


Feedback, and in this case votes, from other Bloggers means a great deal. I am absolutely chuffed to bits that other bloggers saw shirls gardenwatch worthy enough to win this category. This really does mean a lot and I thank you all :-D


New bloggers have already popped by via the awards so I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you and any new visitors who've strolled by via links and searches too. Perhaps this is an ideal time to introduce my newest garden project for wildlife. I wonder if you have guessed by the photos?

This is something I had hoped to do earlier on in the year but time just didn’t permit it. From a little online research this time of year seems a better time anyway. I already have a small pond with wonderful mossy rocks sited in a shady position. It is tiny with many rocks around and in the water. I see it more as a rock pool really. So let’s just say for my new project I am stepping into some deeper water with…

…a wildlife pond. This is something I have considered for over a year but not been brave enough to start. As you can see above… it begins! I have absolutely no doubt it will be a challenge and as yet I don’t have a master plan. At the moment I am clearing the site and relocating the larger plants. I cannot imagine what this area could be like next year at this time…



Back to today, reality and another big job… our Leylandii hedge awaits further trimming. We have made a start but the weather doesn’t always coincide with free time to do garden jobs. I moved plants the other day in the rain (mega muddy it was too) but a wet hedge and an electrical trimmer just don’t work!

It’s a lovely sunny morning here. Wishing you good weather to get on with any garden jobs you have planned this weekend... oh and do take time out to sit and enjoy it if you can :-D

All photos above were taken on Ocotber 1st 2009.

17 comments:

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Shirl, Congratulations on your award! Many years of happy gardening and blogging! Your new project is exciting! Who will live there? It's certainly a challenge! Good luck!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

As I said in my last comment, on your previous post, your award is well-deserved, Shirl;-) I'm very happy for you!

Midmarsh John said...

Hearty congratulations Shirl. You put a lot of work into your lovely wildlife friendly garden as can be seen from your great photographs.

Good luck with your latest project.

VP said...

Hi Shirl - warmest congratulations. As soon as I saw that award category I knew it'd have your name on it :D

shirl said...

Hi there Tatyana, Jan, John and VP :-)

Tatyana – Many thanks and many Congrats to you too as ‘Newcomer Blog of the Year’!! I have appreciated the comments you’ve left on my blog. Thank-you, wishing you too ‘many years of happy gardening and blogging’ :-D Oh yes, this is a project and a half and now that I’ve shown photos of the pond area I’ll have to keep going. I can’t wait to find out who’ll live there… but a wait it will be! It is likely to be Spring before the real action will begin. Thanks for the luck… I do believe I’m going to need it :-D

Jan – Thanks so much for returning and leaving a comment here too… you just show how generous the Blotanists are with their support. I do appreciate your kind words :-D

John – Thank-you! Do you know the funny thing… I never considered myself a wildlife gardener pre blog. I guess I wasn’t really as only since starting my blog have I fully appreciated it! Thanks… I do believe I’m going to need luck and perhaps a few magic spells in the making of my new pond :-D

VP – Thank-you, you are very kind. I was tired later last night to get round blogs with Congrats but had intended emailing you too. I have to say I am at a loss as to why you never scooped any Awards. I thought the same last year. You definitely had my votes! You demonstrate a very strong commitment to your own and other blogs and I applaud you for the work and innovative postings you post. I do know it’s not necessarily about the winning… I was just so chuffed to get nominated! However, on your behalf I was disappointed. It was good to see Karen and Helen got awards which I’m sure you’ll be delighted about too. I’m guessing they will be thinking the same as me. Wishing you a great weekend :-D

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Shirl!!! Congratulations on your Blotanical awards! You definitely deserved to win this one!

shirl said...

Hi there Robin, thank-you! I was just chuffed to bits :-D

Just popped over to see your latest posting and I now see why your blog didn’t appear in the best photography list or in any other category… you didn’t enter it!

Congrats on your regional award in Indiana… well deserved especially when you have had so many family issues this year. You really do deserve an award for keeping up :-D

BTW I love your new seasonal banner and the photos of the turtle with its story! Just as the hedgehogs aren’t wild with you turtles aren’t seen in the wild here in Scotland.

Wishing you a great weekend :-D

Anna said...

Many congratulations on your well deserved award Shirl and look forward to reading more about the wildlife in your garden over the coming months ! Dont't envy you all that hedge trimming :)

garden girl said...

Warmest Congratulations Shirl! Hugs, Linda

Mary Delle said...

Big congratulations to you. As for your latest project, what will live in this pond? Have you decided or still thinking?

Daffodil Planter said...

Shirl, Congratulations to you and the hogs on your win! You are a wonderful part of the blogging community. When I met you in the winter you offered to go tour snowdrop gardens in Scotland for me. Wow! I was touched. Now you will have a large wildlife pond. What will visit there? The Loch Ness monster?

HappyMouffetard said...

Shirl, Congratulations - so well deserved :-)

Yan said...

oooooooh a pond. I'm wishing you tadpoles and frogs and newts and toads and herons and dragonflies and all sorts of exciting new wildlife. Congrats on the award. Yan

Frances said...

A big congrats to you, Shirl! You had my vote and deserve the prize for your wildlife centric garden and blog. The new pond has great promise! The word chuffed is such a fine one, I picture sort of a ruffled stiff collar around one's neck full of happy thoughts. ;-)
Frances

ShySongbird said...

Many (belated) congratulations Shirl, very well deserved!

I will be very interested to see the progression of your new pond, it is something I would love but never quite get (or have the courage!) to do!

That hedge must take some cutting! :)

shirl said...

Hi again Anna, Linda, Mary, DP, Happy, Yan, Frances and Jan,

Anna – Thank-you, I was thrilled. I’ve got my camera outside at the moment hoping to catch something wander past it! Yep that hedge is a beast and you have only seen glimpses in the pics above… wait until you see the longest strip. We have never been this late in completing its trim (this is an August job) which still has another couple of hours to go yet. It’s good to see it done though :-D

Linda – Thank-you! Warmest Congrats to you too… I see you were best Illinois blog!! I agree completely with your ‘thanks’ post. I had difficulty throughout the last few months posting and keeping up with fav blogs too and also have missed the chat with so many bloggers. I have missed them too :-D

Mary – Thank-you! Oh… this pond project is going to take some time yet and it is a scary one at this moment. I don’t expect I’ll see too much in it over the winter months except perhaps wrens and robins looking for food along its edges. The plan is that building it now will put in a good condition for attracting all sorts next spring. I’d love to see frogs but newts would be fantastic too. Oh… perhaps I’m being greedy now but dragonflies would be on the list too :-D

DP – Thanks… LOL yes the hogs probably deserve part of this award. Thank-you so very much… this is a wonderful blogging community to be part of! I have to say I was absolutely thrilled to be able to offer visiting these gardens for you… I just felt it fantastic that I could bring them to you :-) Yes, a large wildlife pond is still a scary but exciting prospect. It won’t be huge as my garden is small but my intention is to get the largest surface area I can so we can see clouds floating by in it… mm… no don’t think we’ll see nessie down here… perhaps some other monsters though ;-)

Happy – Thank-you… and thanks for all the visits you make. I appreciate your comments! Pity the members of the BEEB Message board won’t be sharing in them now… I had to laugh. Their loss entirely :-o

Yan – ooooh… spot on…. that’s exactly what was on my list!! We do get a single heron fly over the garden already and I have thought of how much of a start (fright) it would give me to see it standing in my garden as I come out to hang my washing out nearby!! Thank-you, I was so thrilled to get this award :-D

Frances – Thank-you! What can I say in return but one massive congrats to you for receiving five awards including Best US and Garden Blog of the Year…. You’ve come a very long way quickly from your newcomer of the year awards :-D LOL… a very interesting thought… I was just so very pleased and happy with this particular award :-D

Jan – Thank-you! One of the best things about this award is that the nominations have come from many bloggers I have met in the last 2-3 years and perhaps a few I will meet in the future :-D LOL… so will I… I don’t know at what rate I will build this pond… it may take some time ;-) Perhaps I have been foolish to say what I’m planning when its in the early stages… but then again this may just be the thing to get me going with it!! Yep… courage is definitely something I am telling myself I have for this :-D Oh yes… that hedge trim is a project in itself… unfortunately light is a problem now. This job should have been completed in August :-o

Chookie said...

congratulations, Shirl, adn all the best with the pond -- can't wait to see the finished product!