, a leading online book retailer, are running a special ‘Love Your Home and Garden’ category on their website to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and my book ‘The Allotment Planner’ is featured.
2. The Allotment Planner book is having a reprint and I’m working on a successor. So thanks to everyone who has bought it. I’m continuing my guerilla campaign to sign copies I find in shops. Waterstones and Wisley are best. Foyles was ‘out of stock.’
3. Chas out of Chas and Dave wrote an allotment book. This is true.
4. Kitchen Gardener mag and English Garden reviewed the book. KG said it was essential for any allotment holder. Gardening isn’t known for its in-depth reviews, books or otherwise. Thinkinggardens, Anne Wareham’s forum for critical thinking on gardens had a ‘supper club” recently to discuss their views. I don’t ‘think’ I’d be a helpful ‘supper’ discussion person. You’d know what I mean if you’d met me.
5. One of my favourite garden designers, Tony Smith, is exhibiting ‘abstracted landscape pictures created with sand spray paint and lacquer’. He says: “A bit weird really, quite disturbing!! This is my 3rd exhibition and it seems to be gaining momentum.” Boy George is another exhibitor. It’s at Trinity Buoy Wharf, 13 February.
6. Got stuck into a row about British-sourced flowers. Reported on Interflora and RHS’s ultimate love bouquet (£195). Interflora said half was British, then removed Union Jack ‘icons’ and said the flowers might not be. My extensive researches (30+calls etc), showed they wouldn’t be. Reported on it and included Louise Curley, who is bringing out the Cut Flower Patch . Telegraph kindly followed it up, as did Independent.
7. Signs of spring appear early across UK after mild winter. I thought that’s a good story when I read it in the Times.
Then…I realised it was a PR piece that comes out every year (apart from last year when it was cold)
The Guardian – 4 days ago
The Woodland Trust’s network of nature watchers recorded snowdrops appearing as early as December, and have spotted budburst on elder …
Mild winter leads to early surge in signs of spring as flowers and butterflies flourish
WalesOnline – 4 days ago
UK weather: mild spell causes birds to break into song and flowers to bloom
Telegraph.co.uk – 4 days ago
8. Went to School Food Partnership launch at Charlton Manor Primary school the other day. Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins invited me. Levi Roots and Raymond Blanc were there. Also Ray’s son and his partner Casualty’s Charlotte Salt. RB said make omlettes and Levi said smoothies. Chris Collins old agent Jez is now a famous foodie.
9. At recent GCA conference garden centre owner Mike Burks said he was using my garden trends piece in his talks. I’m heartened by Telegraph 2014 popular flowers and kale pieces (both part of my 10 trends) that followed.
10. Giles Coren’s wife Esther piece on going vegan for a week in recent Times mag. She thinks it’s a ‘lifestyle choice’ based on the ubiquitous Leon’s book on vegetarianism (which isn’t veganism) and two other books which are ‘coffee table’ (all cookbooks are now). She doesn’t mention that people actually go vegan for moral and health reasons at all in the four pages she gets given.
11. Stephen Anderton has the same birthdate as Nathan Lane (3.2.56)
12. Wisley gets sent 700 butterflies a week from Stratford Butterfly Farm. Up to 3,000 visitors a day to the butterflies, now in sixth year. They last a fortnight.
13. Spotted: Clive Nichols at Marylebone station. Kevin Pietersen and wife Jessica on Wimbledon Common playing football with their kid.
14. Titchmarsh at Perennial launch with envelope. He casted it around saying he was donating to the charity. Wouldn’t say how much.
15. Mr Bloom is back on kids tv. I asked BBC for an interview and press info. They said they weren’t actively promoting the show and didn’t send any info. Wonder how you’d feel if you’d made the show? The BBC has 147 press officers. Also The Patch (new name for Great Allotment Challenge). After much calling of BBC prs, they aren’t looking after it any more.
16. Recent Daily Mail piece – I’m Chelsea’s biggest fan says Monty Don.
Not according to this 2000 piece.
17. Garden centre food in newspaper. Many are Garden Retail award winners.
18. AT GCA conference consultant Roger Crookes said read Jean Giono’s the man who planted trees. Bradley Wiggins, Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy’s psychiatrist ‘inner chimp’ shrink Dr Steve Peters was at GCA. The chimp is the bit in your brain that makes you do mad stuff and sound off (I think). SP is a world veteran’s 100m and 400 champ. He said Bellamy and Ronnie O’sullivan have been hijacked by the emotional side of the brain.