As 2019 draws down, I thought it might be a good exercise to think about the past year and what has stood out as great, enjoyable, unexpected, and/or soothing.
What was great in 2019
This Podcast Will Kill You– a delightfully quirky podcast full of science about pathogens and their history that I can’t stop listening to. Fascinating, scary, and good clean fun.
Gardeners Question Time– another great podcast from the BBC that I’ve recommended for ages, but it just keeps getting better and this year was really stellar. I’ve taken to having a notebook on hand when I’m listening because the ideas and recommendations are always so great, so well researched, and so clever.
Adam Frost on Gardener’s World– Adam took a turn on GW for a couple of episodes this year and it was such a delightful change- he has the same calm, easy demeanor of Monty and the eye/expertise of a Chelsea winning designer which made for great TV (it also helps that he shares his cats, dog, and sheep with us too). I still like Monty, but I think if the show is eventually left to Adam, it will be in great hands.
BritBox– this was our first year using the service and I can’t rave enough. It makes watching Gardener’s World and RHS show coverage easier than its ever been- plus you get bonus shows like the British Antiques Road Show (so much more fun than the US version), Escape to the Country, and loads of other dramas and comedies. At $69.99 a year it isn’t cheap, but you can do monthly subscriptions to only have it when GW is on. Can’t recommend it enough! (Though I’d love it if Channel 4 was added to the mix to make watching other British TV easier)
The Great British Bake Off– this show is a perennial favorite of mine and if you aren’t watching it, I’d recommend checking it out. Its available on Netflix and sometimes PBS. The camaraderie, humor, challenges, and unique bakes make for the most soothing and enjoyable television out there.
Cheater Rough Puff Pastry– speaking of the Bake Off, I’ve long been intimidated by home made puff pastry. I finally tried it and this recipe from Bon Appetit was really easy to follow and yielded fantastic results.
Google Keep– I already mentioned how awesome this is in helping me stay organized for the holidays. I’ve already moved on to using it to organize recipes I want to try (or use often) and lists/locations of garden plans, plants, and ideas. It really is fantastic and I recommend it to anyone who is a list-maker.
Really Great Television– Derry Girls (Netflix), Schitt’s Creek (Netflix and Pop!), The Good Place (Hulu and NBC), Brooklyn 99 (Hulu and NBC), the aforementioned British Antiques Road Show (BBC and BritBox), Fleabag (Amazon). I can’t say these will all be to your taste, but I sure loved them all.
Duluth Trading Company Women’s Overalls– I mentioned these in my Gift Guide, but I can’t recommend them enough after a year of use. They are sturdy, comfortable, thoughtfully designed with gardening in mind, and I really love having duty specific wear to keep my other clothes cleaner and to never be wondering where to put my secateurs in my yoga pants (the answer is nowhere). I have both the Fire Hose and Heirloom Gardner pairs and love them both equally, though the Heirloom ones are best for warm weather and got the most use.
What I’m looking forward to in 2020
Monty Don’s series on American Gardens (with an accompanying book)– Monty does travel and gardens really, really well. I’m excited to see his take on what makes a great American garden and which gardens he goes to. (If this is piquing your interest, get on YouTube and look for Monty’s series on French Gardens, Italian Gardens, Japanese Gardens, Paradise Gardens, and Around the World in 80 Gardens- all superb television)
The Great Pottery Throw Down– the sibling to the Great British Bake Off (by the same production company) but with pottery! Its been on a bit of a hiatus, but is coming back for season 3 this coming year. Search out seasons 1 and 2 on YouTube if you are at all interested in arts and crafting- its such fun to watch these folks build amazing things out of clay. Its offered on Channel 4 in the UK, so not available on BritBox, but someone always uploads episodes to YouTube if you don’t have a VPN.
The 20th Anniversary of our local garden tour– it should be a real blow-out this year with a rumored 20 gardens on tour (one from each year). I can’t wait!
Building The Pond- I’m fully 100% on board and have a plan that is both viable and practical and I cannot wait to start digging that hole and sharing the process with you all!
What things did you all love this year and what is it that you are most looking forward to in 2020?