Quiz and Prizes! Celebrating six years of garden blogging

– Posted in: About this site

Yes, I’ve been blogging here for six years, and this is my 800th post! I thought this year I’d throw you a challenge. I’ve got four plants that I bet you can’t identify. I’m going to let you have fun trying, but I want to keep it interesting. The two prizes below will be awarded to two commenters randomly chosen, even if they don’t correctly identify any of the plants. Fiskars hand pruners model 9644PB_diagram_01.jpgI have both these tools and can vouch for their usefulness. The Fiskars pruners fit better in my small hand than standard size Felco pruners and are suitable for light pruning jobs. Sometimes my kids want to trim briars and these are the pruners I let them use.

The Planter’s Buddy has worked well for me getting out tap-rooted weeds and planting small cell-pack starts. I think it will also come in handy planting bulbs in between established plants. And I used the serrated edge to help divide some perennials this spring. The Planter’s Buddy was donated by the National Gardening Association. Have you been to their website? They have a Weed Library, a Zone Locator, various calculators and a whole bunch more information. They also work hard to interest children in gardening.

Can you identify these plants?

Yes, anyone who comments is eligible to win one of the above prizes. But I have a special double prize for the first person who manages to identify all four of these plants. Nancy Ondra will autograph a paperback copy of her book, Foliage, for the plant savvy person who identifies all four of these images correctly, and Debra Prinzing will send a signed copy of Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways: Big Ideas for Small Backyard Destinations. So whether you’ve got brains or luck, you stand a chance to win something. Contest is over Tuesday, September 9th at midnight Pacific time. Are you ready to see the plants?
Mystery Plant number oneMystery Plant Number TwoMystery Plant Number ThreeMystery Plant Number Four
You didn’t think it would be easy, did you?

Past anniversary celebrations

It’s always a challenge to come up with a meaningful way to commemorate these blogging milestones. Two years ago, I did a series on Garden Blog Pioneers. If you want to learn more about some of the first garden bloggers, and what it was that made them go bravely forth where no gardener had been before, you’ll find the series fascinating. And last year I turned guinea pig and let my readers interview me. I think that was eye opening for everyone, but if you have a question that wasn’t answered in that interview, you can ask it in the comments below–along with your plant i.d. answers.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

Comments on this entry are closed.

Karen September 10, 2008, 1:27 am

1. cistus
2. california poppy (yellow)
3. ??? crinkleleaf deciduousperennial
4. some kind of mint?

OK, I suck at plant ID. Now I’m going to go back and look at the other comments and see if I can learn something.

Congrats on your 6 years! I passed the one month mark yesterday and it felt like an achievement. 🙂
– Karen
One month is an achievement, Karen. A long journey starts with a single step. Thanks for commenting.–Kathy

Elizabeth September 9, 2008, 9:43 am

Thank you for the fun anniversary game, Kathy. I wish I wasn’t so late in entering, but I would have never guessed the third one (nettles) anyway.

I’m glad it was fun, even after someone else gave away the answers. See you on Twitter.–Kathy

Tina September 9, 2008, 9:22 am

Well, buggers…way, way too late.
But, I can still wish you congrats on the anniversary!

And I can still say “Thank you!”–Kathy

Philip September 8, 2008, 7:45 am

Congratulations on your six years of blogging!
It was fun to guess, even though Rick won. Congrats to Rick,too!

Thanks, Philip. You’re a good sport.–Kathy

Craig at Ellis Hollow September 7, 2008, 4:21 pm

Congrats Kathy.

Being late to the party, guess I’ll just have to say ‘What Rick said.’

That pretty much sums it up at this point. Thanks for stopping by.–Kathy

Vertie September 7, 2008, 1:28 pm

Congrats on the six years! So glad that the plants are already identified. I had to no idea!

Vertie, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. It was good to meet you this spring.–Kathy

Robin at Getting Grounded September 7, 2008, 11:17 am

Okay, I was going to put in my guesses, but since Rick has already won, I’d look silly putting in my completely wrong answers at this point! I was totally convinced that #3 was a mint like many others were, and we were all wrong. But I would love to win an awesome tool. Thanks, Kathy, for giving me some fun this morning. Robin

Glad you had fun, Robin, and as the following post indicates, you did indeed win an awesome tool.–Kathy

Lynn September 6, 2008, 10:10 pm

Hi Kathy–nice contest! I have no hope of guessing, but #1 is a potato of some kind and #3 looks like some primulas I just got from the ACNARGS sale.
Hee hee but I’m the only one who got to see your fantastic place today and share in the bulb harvest! We probably walked right by ALL of these.
Congratulations on 6 years of blogging and being such a wonderful educator to us all. May it all keep getting only more interesting.

Lynn, I really enjoyed our visit, too. We did walk by some of those plants, but not all of them.–Kathy

wiseacre September 6, 2008, 10:27 am

Grats Rick

I got here a day late and one guess short. The nettles got me 🙂 Ouch

potato – only a general guess
poppy – general guess again
? – I was going to say mint of some sort
Lemon balm – I’d never mistake it – I walk around with crushed leaves up to my nose all the time. I know what people must think when they see me

I sometimes like to sniff the lemon balm myself, wiseacre, but I never stopped to think how that looks to others!–Kathy

Kathy Purdy September 6, 2008, 7:09 am

Congratulations, Rick. You are the first person to correctly identify all four plants. You win the two books.

The random drawing doesn’t end until Tuesday evening, so anyone who comments after that is still eligible to win one of the two hand tools.

Rick September 5, 2008, 10:51 pm

1. Purple variety of potato
2. California poppy
3. Nettles ( I have these in my daylilies too)
4. Lemon Balm

PS Nice blog and congratulations.

ShySusan September 5, 2008, 9:09 pm

This is the first time I’ve commented since I discovered the gardening blogosphere via your igoogle gadget. 😎 Thanks for showing me the doorway. I’m reading numerous blogs daily now and getting wonderful ideas to enrich my own (so far) tiny gardening efforts. Anyway, like most everybody else, I think the first picture is of potato flowers. I’ll say that #2 is an evening primrose, #3 some kind of mint, and #4 some variety of Heuchera.

ShySusan, I’m glad you got over your shyness long enough to venture some answers. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the world of garden blogs.–Kathy

Cymry September 5, 2008, 9:06 pm

1. potato vine
2. white california poppy
3. strawberry plant
4. lamium

Thank you, Cymry, for stopping by and playing along.–Kathy

tedb September 5, 2008, 8:11 pm

Here’s my 2 cents most have already been suggested
1. Potato
2. Califorinia Poppy
3. Blue Vervain
4. Lemon Balm

These were the ideas I came up with from the photos, but it nice to have some comfirmed by a few others!

Yes, Ted, you got 3 out of 4. Number 3 was a head scratcher for me, too.–Kathy

Carol, May Dreams Gardens September 5, 2008, 7:15 pm

Okay, those 1st flowers do look like they are from the nightshade family, but they look like they are whistling “Happy blogiversary to you, Happy blogiversary to you…”

The 2nd flowers…some kind of poppy. When you don’t know the name, make it up, I say. How about Papaver orientalis ‘Purdyville Vanilla’?

The 3rd and 4th plants… I don’t know, so how about I steal Annie’s answers? They are as good a guess as I could come up with!

You made me laugh out loud with ‘Purdyville Vanilla,’ Carol! Thanks!–Kathy

Annie in Austin September 5, 2008, 5:36 pm

Happy 6th Blogiversary, Kathy! It’s interesting to think how different it is to offer you anniversary wishes today. A year ago most garden bloggers were just names to each other. Then at the end of September you came to Austin and stepped off the page. Ever since, when I read your words I can also hear your voice in my mind and imagine your expressions.

Potato flower at #1 seems right – but the rest? #3 looks like verbena bonariensis and #4 looks like the apple mint a friend used to have. I don’t know about the second flower but it sure is pretty! Could it be an Icelandic poppy?

I love the Garden Quote from the Bookish Gardener that is showing on your blog right now…

” I am instinctively suspicious of any garden writer (or gardener) who is insufficiently fretful.”
Chan Stroman

No worry about insufficient fretfulness in Austin this summer!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Yes, Annie, I’ve had some good times in your living room and can imagine you saying the words in this comment. Maybe one day the Bookish Gardener will get back to regular blogging. Here’s hoping you have an unfretful fall!–Kathy

Tamra September 5, 2008, 3:16 pm

1. potato
3. I don’t know what this is, but I know it is not borage, catmint or foxglove.
4. Lemon Balm

Number 3 has been stumping quite a few people, so don’t feel bad, Tamra. Thank you for taking the time to comment.–Kathy

Kathy Purdy September 5, 2008, 1:56 pm

Pam, you are right, you are still in the running for either of the hand tools. They will be awarded in a random drawing regardless of correct identification.

No one has correctly identified all the plants, so the two books are still waiting to be claimed.

Pam/Digging September 5, 2008, 12:33 pm

Happy blogiversary, Kathy. Boy, you give away good prizes, so I’m going to play along just to get in the running. Potato vine is my guess for the first plant. And as for the others? I have no idea. Ha! I’m still in the running, though, right? 🙂

Cindy September 5, 2008, 11:08 am

OK, I’ll play even though I know those last two are probably things I’d never be able to grow and probably haven’t ever seen. The first one is a potato. The second is some type of poppy, maybe Icelandic. Third, I’m going to guess Verbascum. Fourth, hmmmm, something in the mint family, but I just don’t know what.

I hope I win the Planter’s Buddy! It looks like something I need to add to my collection of hand tools. (It’s not a hoe, so Carol doesn’t need it!)

Cindy, it’s quite possible you wouldn’t be able to grow some of these in your hot, dry garden, though they’re all fairly common plants. Thanks for joining in!–Kathy

Kim September 5, 2008, 10:34 am

Happy anniversary. This is hard especially the last two which is why I end up nuturing weeds and pulling our pernnials. At this stage in spring, they all look alike to a newbie!

1. Potato flower
2. California Poppy
3. Catmint
4. Sure looks like lemon balm

Are you sure you’re a newbie? You got three out of four right!–Kathy

Kat Malstead September 5, 2008, 10:32 am

*bah* #1 is a potato flower. “Borage” was deeply on my mind. *fooey!*

My guesses are:

1) Beautious Potato
2) Evening Primrose
3) Foxglove
4) Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis?)

>^,,^< /bonks me noggin

Your correction is duly noted. Don’t be so hard on yourself, you need that noggin!–Kathy

Kat Malstead September 5, 2008, 10:22 am

My guesses are:

1) Borage
2) Evening Primrose
3) Foxglove
4) Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis?)

hee hee hee hope I win, I LOVE those tools! Regardless, CONGRATULATIONS on six successful and well-read (and well-loved) years of blogging! We appreciate you!


Thank you for your kind words, Kat.–Kathy

Valerie September 5, 2008, 10:20 am

#4 is lemon balm
#2 is some kind of mallow
#1 is something I have in my yard, too
#3 looks like borage maybe

Thanks for stopping by and playing, Valerie.–Kathy

Gail September 5, 2008, 9:42 am

1. Nightshade family…you have big vegetable garden, hmm a potato!

2. oenothera, pale yellow evening primrose

3. mint…

4. another member of the mint family!

Lots of fun!


Glad you enjoyed it, Gail!–Kathy

Matriarchy September 5, 2008, 8:38 am

Happy Anniversary!

1. Potato flower
2. Eschscholzia californica ‘Alba’
3. a foxglove?
4. Lemon Balm

Matriarchy, you are pretty darn good! Only missed # 3.–Kathy

Dee/reddirtramblings September 5, 2008, 8:21 am

Gracious, this is hard.
1. Potato. If it were blue, I would have said Borage. 🙂
2. Cosmos of some sort.
3.Daisy of some type
4. Ajuga? I know that can’t be right.

Congrats, my friend, on your blogoversary.~~Dee

Thank you, Dee. I bet a lot of these plants aren’t commonly grown in red dirt Oklahoma.–Kathy

Naomi in Ohio September 5, 2008, 8:18 am

I am a garden-newbie and am only positive about ONE of my “guesses”

1. Potato – – definitely
2. I was going to say poppy, but then looked up poppy, and am thinking I’m wrong on that one.
3. NO earthly idea
4. Peppermint?

Naomi, thank you for being a good sport and playing even if you’re a novice plant-lover. #2 is in the poppy family, so you weren’t too far off.–Kathy

mss @ Zanthan Gardens September 5, 2008, 8:02 am

1. Potato vine
2. buttermilk California poppy
3. a hairy mint
4. a lamium of some sort

MSS, you did well for being out of your geographic element. Not sure if #3 and #4 even grow where you live.–Kathy

Margaret September 5, 2008, 8:00 am

I am going to have another cup of tea before venturing my guesses. #1 is definitely Solanaceous, probably a potato. #2 looks like something in the Papaveraceae, but I am thinking more California (based on fine texture of foliage), like Eschscholzia, than regular Papaver.
Now like I said, time for tea before I embarrass myself any more…

Too bad you didn’t come back after your tea, Margaret, because your first two answers were correct. Two points for looking at the foliage to help make your i.d.–Kathy

Anna September 5, 2008, 1:11 am

Congrats on your 6 year anniversary.
4. Lamium purpureum
3. Terra Nova Coneflower–can’t think of which one–might be the double.
2. Yellow Evening Primrose
1. Don’t have a clue

Thanks for stopping by and playing along, Anna!–Kathy

Katie September 5, 2008, 1:01 am

Kathy – congratulations on 6 years of blogging! I’ve enjoyed your blog from when I was just a wee garden blogger. It’s always fun to run across your articles in magazines too!

Keep up the good work!

Oh, my guesses?

1. Potato
2. Yellow Poppy
3. Mint
4, Mint

I’m terrible at identification, but I think the first two are close!

Again, congrats!

Thanks, Katie!–Kathy