An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

November 30, 2012

1 Freeze, 2 Frosts, 400 Posts

This past week my corner of Tidewater had its first below freezing weather, and my more tender plants and the hanging-on-to-the-bitter-end summer annuals are now showing the results. Unaffected by this brief dip below the 32 °F mark are the Camellia sasanqua in my garden. So I thought I would share a few photos I took of them today.  This post will be my 400th, and while you look at the pretty camellia pictures I will throw in a few statistics about my blog that the good people at Google have been kind enough to provide me.

Camellia sasanqua 'Kanjiro'
Camellia sasanqua 'Kanjiro' (3)

At the time of this writing, I have had 207,609 individual pageviews.  My top three most viewed posts are:

#1 Vitex agnus-castus (Chaste Tree)
This post has 5395 pageviews which is almost 4 times as many as the next most viewed post.  The vitex post was one I wrote just a few months after starting the blog, The writing was not stellar, and the pictures were not that great.  I attribute its popularity to people searching the internet for information about vitex's medicinal properties.

#2 Bloom Day - The Neglected Groaning Board
I am not sure why this post was so popular, but the pictures were good if I do say so myself.  It is one of two Bloom Days in the top ten.

#3 Jasminum nudiflorum:  A Yellow Signal of Change
This was my second post discussing winter jasmine.  I guess I am not the only who appreciates this plant's dead-of-winter bloom time.

Camellia sasanqua 'Mine-No-Yuki'
Camellia sasanqua 'Mine-No-Yuki'

Most of the people coming to my blog have come from searching Google, Google UK and Bing.  My top three search terms, in order, are "vitex agnus castus", "tidewater gardener" and appropriately enough "camellia sasanqua".

I also get a lot of traffic from other blogs like Danger Garden, Pardise Express, May Dreams Gardens, Dirt Therapy and Rock Rose.  All of which were in the top 10 list of referring URLs.  I will not name the URL that is responsible for my third greatest source of referrals. It is an adult movie site that specializes in things that most people don't consider very sexy.  I think the "water" part of my blogs title brings them here.  Perhaps you get the picture.

Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'
Camellia sasanqua 'Yuletide'

Sometimes ask myself why I keep blogging.  I think it because I like to share, not so much in a material way, but like most humans I like to share (and compare) my experiences with other people.  It is one of the ways we learn. As it has been said before by other bloggers, I have met so many like-minded people through blogging I never would have met otherwise. Most of them are virtual acquantances, but several are actual. Would I blog if no one else ever looked at what I wrote or photographed?  Maybe.  Besides sharing, I also blog as an exercise in personal journaling.  Sometimes I enjoy looking back at where my head was at some point in the past.  This may really come in handy when a future me starts losing more brain cells, or maybe by then I will be wondering why I ever bothered.  However, I want thank you for bothering to visit A Tidewater Gardener, whether its regularly, occasionally or just once.


  1. Can't grow any camellias in zone 6 until global warming warms us up to zone 7. But grew up with them in Sydney where they could reach 20+' high. My favorite is Yuletide. Hope your flowers hand in there for a while.

  2. Congratulations on 400 posts! I enjoy your blog a great deal, so keep posting!

  3. I enjoy your photos, your friendly writing style and learning about life in your neck of the woods.

  4. Happy December 1st, Les. I still don't have a Camelia. I keep wondering why, since they're so lovely and do so well in the cold. But each year I get to enjoy yours, virtually.

  5. Then, or course, there are those of us who come to you through Google Reader. Keep going. In memory of my southern past, I've now got three camellias, two sasanquas, near the house. They do bloom some, but it appears zone 6 just isn't their preferred territory.

  6. Please don't stop! It is a great pleasure to see A Tidewater Gardener in my inbox. Your photography is spectacular.

  7. I frequented the Tidewater area at one point in my life; now as a Colorado resident I enjoy seeing and reading about that locale from afar. I find your blog is also an inspiration to actually get out into the wild places.

  8. Congrats on your 400th post! I love the variety of your posts, and the photographs, which are amazing. I am still trying to work out whether I can fit a winter flowering camellia in my new garden, which is entirely your fault... I remember lusting after one when you posted about them last year.

  9. Les, I cannot remember what I Googled when I landed on your blog, but I was hooked ever since! It was back in 2010. I remember spending all weekend going back through all the preceding 2 years' posts; I didn't want to miss a single photo. As a nature lover and a weekend gardener, I find your blog exhilarating and inspiring. I hope you never tire of it. I always look forward to reading it.
    Congratulations! And on to the next 400...

  10. It is weird what the most viewed posts turn out to be, which keeps it interesting. (mine has to do with a tree collard). I love the physical sense of place you convey, which is a surprising rarity on garden blogs. Plus your photos are amazing, etc, etc. In short, don't stop blogging, Les!

  11. Wow, 400. A great milestone, and the pageviews also. I've enjoyed you posts and photos. It's good to see the coast from land locked Kansas and info from a "pro". Thanks for posting and sharing.

  12. Les, Bravo! 400 posts is quite a feat. I enjoy your journaling as much as I appreciate your horticultural knowledge. I'm glad you enjoy sharing.

  13. Happy 400th! Your blog is way cool. Thanks for continuing to share!

  14. Congrats! Keep writing and posting....I enjoy reading your work. I may not always comment but I'm reading:)

  15. I remember reading an article about hardy camellias, and discovering "hardy" meant zone 6. This was when I was a solid zone 4. Made me realize hard was a relative term. I enjoy the peek at a different kind of climate that your blog provides me. And I appreciate your visits to my site as well.

  16. Over the past couple years, I've severely pruned my list of garden blogs I follow. But yours is at the top of my RSS feeds so that I won't miss a single post. Keep up the good work.

    Too funny about your #3 referral site. Reminds me of the time maybe 10 years ago when I finally convinced a gardening friend to venture into teh google and his first search was to find a source of Salix gracilistyla 'Melanostachys' -- only he used the common name.

    He did not get the results he was expecting.

  17. Thank you for providing US with so many breath taking photos. Your garden AND your photography has always been an inspiration to me.

  18. Congratulations and thanks for the beautiful photos!

  19. 400 posts is definitely an accomplishment especially when each post has gorgeous photos and well written text. Your camellias are lovely. I wrote about camellias this week too.

  20. I am still picking green tomatoes from my garden, although only the lavender is still blooming. I often wonder about other blog stats after reading my own, and find my most popular posts are the ones that have a popular search term (poinsettia), or a very unique one (white forsythia.)

  21. Well my friend, congrats on your 400th. What an amazing number. So glad we got a chance to get to know each other before I moved.
    My Camellia sasanqua Mine No Yuki doesn't have any buds nor blooms on it. Think somebunny (or deer) ate much of the new growth in the spring.
    My four year anniversary comes up this week.... where did the time go?

  22. The photos in the bloom day post *are* stunning. Congrats on post No. 400.

  23. Happy 400, Les! I hope to see hundreds more. Your photography is stunning.

  24. hi les, just wanted to add my congrats and appreciation to you for 400 posts! your blog is always one to count on for interest and excellence. and, btw, your blog is one of the top 5 referring urls to my blog.

  25. PJ,
    Yuletide is one of my favorites as well.

    Thank you!

    Ditto for you!

    You should not have one camellia, but several.

    I get all my blog updates from google reader as well. Good luck with your camellias.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I do not plan on stopping.

    I am your reverse as I have frequented Colorado in my life. I hope to get there again soon.

    I know you can fit at least one camellia, but more is better.

    Wow, a whole weekend! Thank you for the very nice comment.

    A lot of what I post just happens, but I make an effort to show my part of the world.

    You are quite welcome and thank you for reading.

    I know, 400? It makes me wonder what I wrote so much about.

    Thanks for continuing to comment.

    I am like you. I read a lot but do not always comment.

    Yes hardy is definitely relative.

    I hope your friend was not scared away from blogging or gardening.

    Thank you!

    You are welcome.

    I have saved your camellia post to read soon.

    I get a lot more traffic anytime the title of my post is just a plant name, especially if I use the botanical name.

    Yes, I am glad we got to meet as well, but it is nice we can still stay in touch through blogging and FB. I hope your camellia recovers, maybe you should get a rabbit hound.

    Thank you!

    I will try.


  26. I would miss your fine work if you chose to quit blogging. There is not many of your caliper on the web. Your commitment to the environment is also what draws me here.

  27. Gorgeous camellias. I love them all, but for me there's always something about the purity of a perfect white bloom.