Allotment People, Boy George, BookPeople, inner chimp


1. The

 BookPeople allot

, 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 wroteKitchen Garden Mar 14photo 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.

I also appeared in Gardeners World mag recently (see above).gw

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 – 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.


BBC debut, Allotment Planner, badgers

A review of popular Xmas gift Allotment Planner in English Garden.

garden mag

1. I’m making my BBC debut on 24.1 in ‘over the fence’. It’s a column in BBC Gardeners World mag.
2. surveyed the most unwanted biography book present from xmas. Fergie and Morrissey were near the top. Fergie sold 800k. I don’t believe this. If you like Man U u would want the Fergie book, same with Moz.

3. Back from Oz. Visited spectacular destination Eden Gardens in North Ryde where the gardens manager Jesse Novotny is ex homeless and was on Chelsea Flower Show Oz team, FlowerPower in Warriewood which is like a GB garden centre and New Leaf Nursery, which I loved. Animals (for sale) roamed. Old cars were the plant features. Mostly edibles and all explained and useful.  Recycled pets.  If anyone wants a tour guide…

4. Producer of much talked about Benefits St is Kevin Hull, who produced Allotment Wars last year, which I talked to him about.

5. Carbon Gold’s Amy Zienkiewicz got my book Allotment Planner for Christmas, as did quite a few other people I’ve heard from. Richard Jackson says its ‘superb’ on Amazon. Though not as many as saw me on…

6. Show Me the Telly. On ITV. Our team lost to Chris Tarrant, Michelle Collins and Arlene Phillips.

7. Spotted: Monty Don at Balthazar resto Covent Garden, close to his old jewellery business.

8. Wondered where the Kew stolen lily story came from. It was on the Scotland Yard news wire.

9. B&Q has a new PR company.
took over B&Q PR from on Monday.

10. Defra media reception 15.1 with Owen Paterson.
The gossip: Where was the Daily Telegraph?
Mail has a new enviro guy Ben Spencer. The Guardian had about five people there. Paterson said he’d carry on getting badgers shot until the bitter end. The Taste of Cumbria stall was giving out Herdwick. You’re not a vegetarian? They asked. Yes, I said, but I am Cumbrian. Talked to Ryan Blackburn, ex Cottage in the Wood, who is opening The Stamp House in Ambleside.

11. Delayed tree risk register and pollinator strategy consultation launching this month.

12. Mainstream papers told me the only do floods and fracking at the mo. Obvs Guardian etc does climate change too. Apparently 60pc of people don’t mind windfarms.

13. The word from the hardbitten hacks was that Tory Defra ministers don’t care much for science and prefer to listen to the odd farmer rather than their own scientists.

14. Defra came up with £30m to fill a CAP tree planting funding gap for next couple of years. But no-one knew where this cash had come from. It was from Rural Development Programme Funding apparently.

15. RHS and BBC talking peat on Friday.

15.5 The late Simon Hoggart once turned up at the Defra press event. No-one that interesting there this time, not even Countryfile’s Tom Heap, or Mail on Sunday’s Val Elliott.

16. The Telegraph didn’t even run Monty Don quitting twitter as news. The Sun did however. But Telegraph still managed a page feature out of it. Eve the Farmers Guardian did it.

17. Thesefishvchr are gardening trends for 2014.

18. Bryher Scudamore had a feature in the Mail recently on POW father. She was Eden Project press at one point.

19. Garden centres January: Do find Xmas bargains, furry reindeer in corners, staff moving product
about, meal deals, old people, pre-schoolers.  Off to GCA conference next week. And BPOA.

20. See last Amateur Gardening for my news feature on rx to Chelsea post Titchmarsh.


Garden Media Guild awards gossip round-up

photoallot1. I had a lovely time at GMG’s on 27 November. Thanks Westland for the invitation.

2. It was nice to catch up with some old faces.

3. It was great they made an effort to please the vegetarians. Celeb guests including Raymond Blanc and Linda Barker enjoyed his sweet potato terrine and carrot and butterbean baklava.

4. I’m glad my colleague Sarah Cosgrove won the trade journalist of the year award.

5. I caught up with Dr Hessayon, Alan Titchmarsh, Carol Klein and Diarmuid Gavin.

6. Monty Don’s French won best TV – but he didn’t show. Tim Rumball they should give the trophy to someone else then. Titchmarsh and Hessayon had a bit of a pop at lazy garden hacks. Quite liked Titchmarsh’s ‘I have a dream’ Martin Luther King (really) speech.

7. I’m setting up a fringe Garden Media Guild after seeing the success of other media events such as the Edinburgh Fringe and (inspirational book award winner) Tim Richardson’s Chelsea Fringe. I’m offering £250 to anyone who will join (conditions apply*)

8. The Keira watering can in the goodie bag looks like a shepee. Best freebie was probably the Cadbury’s fingers. Neudorff orchid revitaliser was also good.


9. I saw Titch kiss Diarmuid on the forehead. Joe Swift mainly talked to Titch’s wife. Linda Barker was promoting some kitchen company.

10. Marc Rosenberg did not enter news story of the year because he “can’t afford a new suit to collect the award in”. Blogger Sara Venn has laughably complained to the GMG about his “Take a Break”-style reporting of her blog having a pop at Gardener’s World. You’d have thought she would have appreciated the hits AG’s story has brought. A tweeter called Emma Bond had a pop at my Guardian piece , which I don’t think was intellectual enough for her, and for Anne Wareham. I’d explain that the Guardian magazine is aimed at a general mass non-gardening audience, while their works are aimed at… each other.

11. Saw BBC sports editor David Bond on the train to GMGs. He’s sold his house in Teddington and is looking for a four-bedder. Also saw this wiggy guy, who said his name was Alan, on tube on way to GMGs.


12. Matthew Wilson was presenter and presented himself with the journalist of the year award for his FT pieces. His editor once tried to recruit my ex-colleague to write about expensive garden products. My ex-colleague was working for a building mag at the time so passed the request onto me, because I write about garden products. They said to me she had made no such offer.

13. Email received during GMGs saying Nick Davies has left Solus. Call from MA to ND last week: “I hear you’ve left Solus.” ND: “There are a lot of vicious rumours. I am absolutely staying.”

14. Stefan Buczacki got lifetime achievement at GMGs. He said he had never been afraid to stir things up. In his speech he thanked a load of people. Did he stir anything up? No.

15. Maybe Frances Lincoln will enter my book The Allotment Planner for next year. Hessayon said no-one sells reference books much anymore cos its all on Google. The first two prize winners were…reference books.

16. Ended up having a curry with Stephen Bennett on his last day at the RHS. Then went back home…to the drawing board.

*must have written a story I like to be eligible to join

Garden Media Guild awards, Allotment Planner: all the hassle of a garden but not at your home

Ahead of the Garden Media Guild awards on 27 November…


1. In the Guardian with Allotment Planner. In The Sun next week.
Also Cambridge News and BBC Radio Humberside etc. On the radio Doug Stewart was talking about his favourite rose. Mine is Rosa ‘Helmut Schmidt’.
Comedian Dominic Maxwell: “allotments:  all the hassle of a garden, but it’s not at your home.”
Latest celeb book buyer: QVC gardener Richard Jackson.

2. Also in The Sun.  And on his Radio Two show, Chris Evans has been saying how ill-advised Monty was to get into his Twitter argument about badgers. (Monty Don left twitter after supporting badger cull and tweeters campaigning to BBC to get shot of him. Beeb says Mont’s done nothing wrong btw).
3. A blogger called Sarah Venn decided to have a ramble about Gardener’s World not being wholly to her taste. Nothing new there. Everyone is gardening has a view on GW. Amateur Gardening picked up on Venn’s piece. Venn and blogger pals got upset and tried to get the AG writer fired via Facebook and an open letter. Venn upset that her blog was used without ‘authorisation’. She could have altered/taken down the blog if contacted. Monty Don responded to Venn’s post. The bloggers think AG ignored Don’s justification of his show. Actually, Don’s equally rambly, earnest reply would have made a much better story.

ag facebk

3. Garden Media Guild awards
Martyn Cox used to do his own comedy GMG awards. Sadly no longer.
Here’s my winners:
News-Perennial winner Marc Rosenberg says he has not entered. I can’t tell who the judges of this category are from the list on GMG website. Winner: Monty to blame for spring bedding crisis is best, but no-one knows who wrote that.
Blog-could be anyone. Organisers (well the PR company working for them) say entries are up 92 per cent. I’ll go for last year’s winner.
Garden writer of the year: Could be anyone. I’ll go Monty Don.
Mag of the year: Amateur Gardening for its stance on bloggers.
Lifetime achievement: My choice Richard Jackson, but he won’t be there, so someone else.
Trade hack: Usually low entries. Surely HW’s turn.
Book: The Yellow Book. Gardening in Pyjamas. The Octopus’s Garden pic book by Ringo Starr. Richard Jackson (top seller of the year-Container Gardening) and Ken Cox haven’t entered, or would be my winners. I hope Alys wins.
Tv: Monty’s Italian.
Highlight will be Dr Hessayon’s speech, announcing his retirement.
Best PR-the PR company Pr’ing the event, which PR’d how it’s chief PR is giving out one of the unsponsored awards.

4. Made raspberry jam the other day with youngest boy and last autumn raspberries. Burnt pan. Jam cost me £89.99 for new set of pans.


5. Look out for big stories on poppies, allotments in the next week.

6. Kingsbury on Prm. Raising awareness of the issue – amazing how many people not aware even a couple of months after I did it nationally on 16 September.

7. This is the new stuff on PRM.

8. Garden Centre Group plant buyer Nicky Roeber tells me he knows Leo Sayer’s ex wife, who used to work with in a Kensington winebar. Leo was in Syon Park garden centre the other day. Did it make him feel like dancing? No, I’m told.

9. Which boyband is involved in Garden Re-leaf?

10. Saw two red squirrels in the Lakes last month on consecutive days, which indicates a revival. My brother keeps one at his Lake District home, in a cage. He feeds ‘Rusty’ Topic bars and takes it for walks on a lead. Meanwhile, reds are surviving squirrel poxvirus in Formby.

11. Graham Spencer is on the 5-2 diet.
12. The Oregon Department of Agriculture has restricted the use of two insecticides to help protect pollinators, including honeybees. Beginning in 2014, Oregon will require a state-specific label on dinotefuran and imidacloprid products sold in the state that prohibits their application on linden, basswood or Tilia species.
13. PR of the week
Is this the thin end of the wedge?
New Brussels directive prevents Japan, South Africa and Brazil from competing in the Olympics of cheese

Organisers of this week’s World Cheese Awards at the NEC Birmingham have appealed to the Food Standards Agency to help overturn an EU ruling that prevents Japan, South Africa and several countries from South America, including Brazil, importing samples of cheese for judging.

A recent change to EU legislation over concerns about animal health rules and the safe handling of milk means that a number of countries have been denied permission by DEFRA, which is following the strict letter of the law of the EU directive, to enter the world’s largest international cheese competition. However, in an unprecedented display of support, each of these countries will be sending representatives to adjudicate at the awards, which attracts almost 3,000 cheeses annually from all over the world and 260 experts from more than 20 different countries.

14. Monty Don has replaced Titch on BBC’s Chelsea coverage but hasn’t said anything about it yet. But he did write about Chelsea in the Observer 2000 when he was presenting  for C4, “three TV programme simultaneously”. He wrote about the gardens: “I heard someone making glib, snap judgements to their clip-boarded companions. It was me. All power corrupts, but telly corrupts absolutely.”
He also complains no-one knows what is going on, that his earpiece hurts, and that he can’t remember what to say, or read the autocue: “No one told me, but I was supposed to memorise chunks of the script and read the rest off the autocue. I need half a dozen goes to memorise someone’s name, let alone their words.”
He praises the nurserymen: “The stands under cover are manned by people who have modestly, and with unbelievable labour and dedication, grown all the incredibly beautiful plants that you see.”
“The flowers? The gardens? All the plants and inspiration? The new kit unveiled and all the experts to chat to? I was only at Chelsea for six long days, so couldn’t possibly have time for any of that.”

15. A piece in the Evening Standard mag on her three worst hangovers the other day. The writer said she got v drunk in 1995 aged 18 and pulled a footballer who turned out to be just a lad on remand. I knew her in 1989 when she was 16. In 1995 she was 22. Definitely.

16. I was looking through my old cuttings the other day after an office move (from Hammersmith to Teddington Studios). I worked out that my national paper stories were: 10 per cent Titchmarsh, 8 pc Don, 5 pc Diarmuid, 3 pc Hessayon, 7pc allotments, 12 pc Chelsea Flower Show, 4 pc other RHS, 1 pc Kew, 3 pc NZ, 1 pc cricket, 4pc peat and pesticides, 7 pc trees, 2 pc parks, 3 pc Jamie, 15 pc other.


Allotment Planner controversy, Dimmock Horlicks, Bake Off, Titchmarsh


1. My book Allotment Planner is splitting opinion. One Book People (where it’s £4.99 as a limited promo so get in quick) reviewer called it ‘rubbish’. Some RHS person bought Wisley curator Colin Crosbie one as a joke, I suspect. But HTA’s Raoul Curtis-Machin likes it – and paid full price from Wisley. As do some allotment bloggers but not others. The issue is, the book isn’t a guide to grow your own veg with step by step pics, like nearly all other books in the area. It’s about new things to do on your plot. Maybe gardening just doesn’t get news, because it so rarely produces any, apart from what I do. Rarely has a gardening book been so divisive, or indeed over-hyped.

2. The book is featured on two pages of The Guardian Saturday magazine (23 November). I’ll be on Radio Humberside on 24 November at 9.15am with Blair Jacobs/Doug Stewart. Catch up on I quite like this radio stuff. In Cambridge News on 24 November Colin Hambidge. “Above all, Matthew conveys the message that having an allotment can actually be fun, as well as hard work, creating a sense of community with fellow-allotmenteers and promoting a feeling of well-being. This is a book which says we don’t have to do everything ‘by the book’, but can be as individual as we wish.”

3. Jaguar were gonna do a Chelsea Flower Show garden but dropped out.

4. Recent media: Gardening Bake off Great Allotment Challenge was in Sunday Times then all the other papers the next day. I thought it was best to be quoted to promote the book, Allotment Planner. And I was -very extensively with a very kind credit for the book, that fits in with the show very well.

A Telegraph guy called Tom Rowley called me to talk about my Titchmarsh leaving BBC Chelsea coverage, picked up by the nationals after BBC/RHS evasiveness.  Sadly, he wasn’t able to use my name in the article, though he fitted in Bunny Guinness (‘I’ve never heard of Sophie Raworth‘). Raworth visited BG’s garden at Chelsea a couple of years ago on press day and is on telly nearly every day. Also Sue Biggs and Diarmuid Gavin (‘Alan’s wonderful’). Little did Tom realise, he wouldn’t have been writing the news feature at all if my news piece hadn’t been one of mine they picked up that was on the front page that week.

Similarly, the inevitable, inimitable Michael Leapman piece appeared in the Telegraph a few days after my piece on Allotment Bake Off, that was also in all the papers. He revealed he once did a bit of work for Bake Off producers on a Giles Coren show, but they didn’t like it much. Other than that, rehashed.


5. Jack Shamash is 77 in royal biogs on Amazon. Hope his wife Carol will put my book on

6. Poinsettia and energy crisis.  Spectator picked up on. Wonder if they need a gardening column after Ursula Buchan’s retirement?

7. Chelsea World War One news.

8. Invites flooding in from Garden Media Guild awards next week. Sadly I non transferable. Expect a big  announcement from a garden media figure.

9. Chelsea Titchmarsh Waitrose news.

10. Loch Ness Otters.

11. After some requests, I’ve found out that garden centres can get Allotment Planner from Baker & Taylor, who are distributors to that sector, but you might have to ask for it. Allotment Planner has officially had more publicity than any gardening book ever, apart from Monty Don’s.

12. I met this dwarf called Peter the
other day. He’s a baker and he was
telling me all about baking flatbreads.
It was fascinating.

I love the pitta patter of tiny Pete.

13. Christmas gardeners presents wants and not wants. I did a big survey.
mag sub
RHS/Nat Trust membership
Chicken/beehive/micropig-livestock generally
Olive or tree fern

Not want:
Indoor water feature
Comedy gardening sweatshirt
Comedy gardening anything
Expensive GYO kit
Crochet pot hanger
Bag compost

14. Wisley is getting a new play cafe

15. Hillier Garden Centre in Eastbourne has hosted TV presenter and gardening expert Charlie Dimmock to help Horlicks launch its new look hot drink.


Centre manager Glyn Webster said: “Charlie’s appearance really helped kick start the festive season at Hillier, as visitors were able to sample Horlicks’ malty, indulgent taste whilst finding out Charlie’s winter gardening tips.”

16. The Country Landowners Association today said that unless Warfarin-based baits are re-approved for use in the UK, grey squirrels will threaten the health and productivity of our woodland. What horseshit.

17. Scottish die hard allotment battlers.

18. From a correspondent: “In my opinion not as bad as ‘guest editor’ The Prince of Wales twice using the adjective ‘phosphorous’ where he means the noun ‘phosphorus’ in this week’s edition of Country Life. I have pointed this out to the mag’s real editor. So much for a Cambridge education!”
19. Allotment Planner.  My mum says it ‘looks nice.’ Allotment bloggers haven’t got beyond the index and pics. They think it’s a straight guide. Probably not clear via cover/title that it’s an alternative guide, and not about when to plant carrots with step-by-step pics-that has been done a lot.

20. From a correspondent: “Forgive me for being pedantic, but I cannot help thinking that the illustration of sweet peas in a jug on page 146 of the book is of unscented perennial Lathyrus latifolius rather than the scented annual Lathyrus odoratus.”

21. I plan to reveal where I got my inspiration for Allotment Planner from soon- six months camping on the allotment while homeless.

22. Food tank edibles of the future: Amaranth, Bunya Nut, Cowpea, Enset, Filder Pointed Cabbage, Formby Asparagus, Hinkelhatz Pepper, Kumara, Lifou Island Yam, Målselvnepe Turnip, Mungbean, Okra, Papalo, Perinaldo Artichokes, Rourou (Taro Leaves).

23. I was at the All Party Hort Group reception in Parliament on Monday. Jim Carter from Downton Abbey called group chair Baroness Fookes an ‘herbaceous border’ which is nicer than what Alan Clark used to call her. Boyd Douglas Davies said he will talk about garden centres being like ships at the HTA event on 21 November at Young Plants in Stratford, that I’m also at. Glynn Davies used to be in a band in the 1970s. Alistair McGowan is voicing the Garden ReLeaf quiz 2014.  Lord de Mauley talked about PRM wins and peat use reduction, which didn’t quite chime with the reality. I talked to a parks guy who said parks campaigns are good because everyone likes parks. Except Margaret Thatcher. At Garden Centre Group, apparently Nicky Roeber knows Leo Sayer. Also spoke to Kevin Bradshaw and Tim Clapp. Ended up in effing Esher after falling asleep on train.

24. I met a publisher and talked about a cricket book idea the other day…and I went to Wembley to see England-Chile.



Chelsea Flower Show 2014 launch gossip. Allotment Planner hits top 40.

1. Went to RHS Wisley on 9 Nov which I’m pleased to say lived up to billing as the finest gardening bookshop in the world.

My bookbook desk, Allotment Planner, released on 7 Nov, two days earlier, had
already sold out on the ‘recommended’ and ‘new releases’ shelves.
There were just three left on the back a-z section, between Terry Walton
and Andi Cleverley’s many allotment tomes.
I know the shop staff probably wanted to hold back the last remaining copies before
new stocks arrive next week to replenish the dwindling initial order
(even at 50 books now acknowledged as rather conservative by Wisley’s
book buyer).
But I thought I owe it to my public -and potential fans- to let them
know Allotment Planner can change their lives. After all, no fewer
than eight (yes 8) amazon buyers have given it five stars, and many
bloggers have kind of praised the book, mostly for it’s handy size and durable
covers. (Oh, and it’s been featured in all the best garden mags (two pages in Grow Your Own mag December) and
gardening pages of national papers.)
Anyway, I took two of the last three copies, leaving a solitary tome
next to fight it out alongside at least a dozen Cleves and Lias. The
lucky pair found themselves in pride of place (replacing a very
dispensable looking Monty Don DVD set and a couple of Chris Young tomes) at the front of the book


As a finishing touch, I signed them both with a ‘best
wishes’ and placed a ‘newly released and highly recommended‘ placard beneath.
I had to do this subversively, as I know the book buyers were a little
embarrassed about under-ordering, but the dual pull of my signature
and the lofty position the book had returned to, should help the charity’s coffers, and feed my kids this Christmas.

2. Radio Essex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex listeners heard me on 10 November (click link if you missed it!). Thanks to Bradleys and Andy Garland for setting this up. Kent was 8.30am and Surrey 10.20am.

3. Ken Crowther: “Yes and we gave it a good talking up in the prog on bbc essex during the 11 o’clock segment. with Tom Cole.
Will next review on . Going to give to Andrew Tokely at T&M and go from there.”

4. I’ve always wanted to be a top 40 artist and Allotment Planner has sneaked in at Amazon top 40-almost making it to top 40 were…

5. The Rich brothers (CFS exhibitors in 2014), voted 43rd joint sexiest in Wales just behind horse-faced rugby player Sam Warburton. Top was Leigh Halfpenny, another rugby player.

6. Message from Wisley. ‘I picked a call for you from Nigel Eaton at RHS Wisley. It was regarding the book by Mary Berry you wanted signed at the Christmas launch. He has the signed copy but wants to know where he should send them to.’ This follows my failed effort to beat the Bezza hoards and get a signed copy for my Mum a week ago (she had to have a wobbly forged signature ‘She writes like an old lady too!’.)  Thanks Nigel! You’re a star.chefs

7. At Chelsea Flower Show launch at M&G this week…

8. Charlotte Rowe (pictured) told me she was Red Ken’s PR at the GLA for years.


9. Stephen Bennett did the deal for four more years CFS sponsorship from M&G. He’s leaving RHS imminently, sadly.

10. Nicki Chapman was filming for BBC. Caught her yawning during speeches. Where was Titch, Swift, Sturgeon, Klein? They are the media types who will make most out of the show after all. CKlein was on cover of latest Amateur Gardening. I thought she was a Garden News regular.

11. RHS PR Laura Tibbs’ baby is due on 30.12.  She was eating macaroons faster than I was stuffing them in my pockets.

12. M&G gave out dinky bottles of what I thought was shower gel. It was water.

13. The even was well attended but no national hacks present. They were last year when Titch talked.

14. Steve Bradley said the blank pages were the best parts of Allotment Planner. Charlotte Rowe asked if it was self-published.  Chris Young praised my PR campaign.

15. World War One was everywhere in the launch, and young people. But Italian design and Cleve West will be the stars of the show for experts.

16. RHS boss Sue Biggs keen to talk up new BBC contract. But as BBC outside broadcast unit is in disarray, there could be some changes to show coverage. Rosemary Edwards from BBC was at the launch.

17. Hillier is to launch two books for 150th at CFS. One is the manual updated and one is by Jean Hillier on the history.

18. I asked Hugo Bugg is he was related to Jake Bugg (the singer). He said Bugg isn’t a real Bugg. I suggested getting JB to open HB’s garden with a badge on saying ‘I’m not Hugo’s brother’. HB backed away.

19. Crocus film showed Belgian stock ready for CFS. This is impeccably sourced surely plant imports will come up in 2014 with biosecurity high on agenda.

20. Book dealer Mike Park is set to show at RHS Westminster for the last time in 2014.


21. I’ve found out why Titch etc weren’t at the launch. BBC has parted company with him. I asked his agent about whether AT was doing CFS a few months ago. She claimed AT ‘hadn’t been asked yet’. The BBC say Waitrose conflict of interest was ‘nothing to do with it’. Joe Swift had similar issues in 2012 with Homebase but survived.

22. Industry concern of lack of hort training (Raworth, Don) in the BBC CFS cockpit. BBC refused to comment.

23. I see Standard picked up on WW1 Chelsea theme.

24. Birmingham’s CFS garden has a 1.7m trench being dug into concrete. Some concern if RHS find out will need a drilling licence etc.

25. Judging was an issue raised by Ian Hodgson at RHS press conf. Sue Biggs sidestepped. But there are changes afoot apparently.

26. Peter Seabrook brought up a lack of commercial hort people in RHS young hort videos. He was told to send a list of candidates to RHS.

27. Historic Houses Association event
Spotted Richard Carew Pole, Nico Bacon, wearing same red socks as RHS event the day before, Lord Palmer, Sir Benjamin Slade playing noisily with his phone as HHA top man Richard Compton spoke, Rose and David Cholmondeley from Houghton Hall chatting to Simon Thurley from Eng Heritage-some envy of the government endowment for EH from heritage house owners. Lord Montague of Beaulieu got lifetime achievement.

Allotment Planner out tomorrow, Garden Retail awards

1. Allotment Planner is launched tomorrow. It’s now in the Amazon top 100…thousand.

Hardcover: 192 pagesallot
Publisher: Frances Lincoln (7 Nov 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0711234701
ISBN-13: 978-0711234703
Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 15.6 x 2.4 cm
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,053 in Books

2. This person liked it

And this one  and this

This person is looking forward to getting it

3. I’m talking about the book on BBC Radio Kent at 8.30am with Andy Garland on 10 November and BBC Radio Surrey with Joe Talbot at 10.20am.

4. The book was in The Daily Telegraph on 2 November


The book was in The Scotsman on 2 November. Everyone laughed at me for describing myself as a “trained artist”. The book is in The Guardian mag on 23 November.  scotsman

5. At the Garden Retail awards on 5 November someone forgot their trousers. Me. Cue mad dash to Primark for some black size 30 skinnies.

6. Jon Holmes was presenter. According to wikipedia on 15 September 2010, Holmes, along with 54 other public figures, signed an open letter published in The Guardian, stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit to the UK. He also has an allotment.

7. Some critics claimed Katy Perry’s new album was hazardous to the ears, but Australian officials have dubbed Prism a genuine “bio-security concern”.
The Department of Agriculture believes that seed paper [which grows when planted] given away with a deluxe version of the album could pose a risk to the country, with security officers ordered to inspect new copies from overseas.
Currently sitting at the summit of the Australian album chart, the “Roar” singer encouraged her fans to plant the seeds and “spread the light” via her Twitter page, now the most followed in the world after she overtook Justin Bieber at the weekend.
Strict custom laws mean that copies of Prism arriving from abroad could be confiscated by border control, as plant materials from outside the country must be thoroughly assessed before entry.
The Australian release contains Swan River daisy seeds that are considered harmless, but fans are still able to purchase international copies online.
A department spokesperson told “Seeds or plant material of international origin may be a weed not present in Australia or the host of a plant pathogen of bio-security concern.
“Our bio-security officers at international airports, seaports and mail centres assess the risks associated with various items every day and are well-trained in making informed decisions about whether items could be of bio-security concern.”

8. Book pan

book panbook desk

9. At the Garden Retail awards I asked what the next big thing was. The answer: Garden centre managers wearing gorilla suits. Maybe for guerrilla garlanding. Living stones was another. A few people on gardening leave were at the event,  but a few jobs were gained through some gainful networking, I hear. Quote:  ”The press have never had a bad word to say about me” lifetime achievement award winner Caroline Owen. Everyone kept her win as a surprise, so she was genuinely overwhelmed, which was the nicest moment of the night.

10. TGCG’s Tom Martell has lost seven stone through going vegetarian. Carol Paris couldn’t dance at the awards because she had hurt her knee tripping over a pigeon while jogging in Hyde Park.

11.  Kitchen Garden is taking on Grow it!’s readers and will have one or two elements of Grow it! within it. It is not strictly speaking a merger – Grow It’s closing and Kitchen Garden has been chosen as the natural replacement for its readers.

12. RHS blogger winner Anxious Gardener.

Finalists: Broughton Grange: Attachment and Separation by Oxonian Gardener, Willow Dens and Flower Meadows: Reaping the Benefits by Kids in the Garden, A bee grave by Sometimes Gardening, The joy of seeds… by Sue Beesley, Bluebell Cottage Gardens, Falling in Love… by Grandma’s Gardening Notes, Juicy story by The Freerange Gardener, Reasons to be Slovenly by Mini Gardeners, As UN-alike as peas in a pod by Purple Podded Peas

*Please note that the blog post Gardener’s Delight by Notes From The Snug was originally listed as a finalist but has now been removed. It’s about purple sprouting broccoli

13. Pesticide website

14.  In Private Eye’s tradition of desperate PR and journalism columns: Desperate bake-offs. A completely wrong story on bake off being the same as the garden revival.

15. I’m on an ITV show with Tarrant later this month.

16. I’m going here for my birthday to see what Simon Rogan’s new resto is like.

18. lookalikeslibbysue libby purves sue biggs
19. andy mcindoe oz clarke


20 Bonfire plants from Kernock Park: Loropetalum chinensis ‘Fire Dance’, Cordyline australis ‘Red Star’, Sedum spectabile ‘Hot Stuff’ (VR), Alyogyne ‘Magic Moments’

21. My book has a load of gardening quotes in it. I found the quotes…then had to find the books they came from, whichallot took a bit longer.

p9. The Poetry of Robert Frost: The Collected Poems, Complete and Unabridged

(I’m not able to find the poem this is from).

Sir Walter Scott: essay ‘On Ornamental Plantations and Landscape Gardening’
p21 The Secret Garden: Frances Hodgson Burnet
p25 Sam Llewellyn: The Sea Garden
p29 Rose Blight (Germaine Greer pseudonym) Revolting Garden
p34 Iggy Pop -Rolling Stone magazine [From Issue 937 — December 11, 2003]
p39 Rumer Godden (from Power of Simple Living by Ellyn Sanna)
p42 author unknown

1. p49 Frank Lloyd Wright – 1931, Two Lectures on Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright, To the Young Man in Architecture, (Start Lecture Page 33), Page 62, The Art institute of Chicago, The Lakeside Press, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, Chicago. (HathiTrust)

p55 Nathaniel Hawthorne in Mosses from an Old Manse

p58 “Silent Noon” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Alfred Austin “Is Life Worth Living?”

p69 Minnie Aumonier The Secret of Gardens

p73 Eric Morecambe You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone: The life and work of Eric Morecambe

p80 Charles Dudley Warner My Summer in a Garden

p85 Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends and Influence People

p90 William Kent -M.Jourdain. The Work of William Kent: Artist, Painter, Designer and Landscape Gardener

p95 Rose Blight (Germaine Greer) Revolting Garden

p99 John Ruskin The Works of John Ruskin (specifics unknown)

p109 Thomas Jefferson Jefferson to Charles W. Peale, August 20, 1811. Lipscomb, Andrew A. and Albert Ellery Bergh, ed. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 13. Washington D.C.: Issued under the auspices of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States, 1903-04, p. 79.)

p115-George Cadbury quoted in his biography Lifelines by Walter Stranz
p118 Gertrude Stein Wars I Have Seen (1945).

p124 German proverb Book of Uncommon Quips and Quotations
p131 James Boswell-The Life of Samuel Johnson
p134 Robert Louis Stevenson- Essays of Travel •
p140 Tim Smit in Lost Gardens of Heligan
p145 Louis MacNeice-The Earth Compels
p149 Mahatma Gandhi-The Wit and Wisdom of Gandhi. (I don’t know where he originally said this)
p155 John Erskine- Complete Life
p159 Abraham Lincoln-Quotes and Images from the writings of Abraham Lincoln
p163 Dave Barry-Insane City
p169 Germaine Greer-(Rose Blight) Revolting Garden
p173 Paul Cezanne-Cezanne: A Life
p176 Thomas Fuller-The Life of Thomas Fuller
p183 Chuck Palahnuik-Survivor

Mary Berry ruckus, Allotment Planner-the critics strike, Chelsea early odds

allotratPrintgrow make eat

1. Allotment Planner -200 ideas about what to do on your plot when you’re bored of it – latest. A review.  “Presumably there are 200 ideas in it.” Maybe that can go on the cover of the second edition.
I wonder why there are never any critical reviews in garden magazines? Guess it’s because its a small world and no one wants to offend anyone else.
I did a couple of book reviews for thinkinggardens years ago, on Hessayon  and Toby Buckland.
They aimed to make the garden book review a bit less literal, if that makes sense.

Above is a pic of a rat in my garden, Garden Retail awards (5 November Grosvenor House) and a TV show for next Feb.

2. Mary Berry near riot at Wisley. There were 500 there for a book signing.


3. What’s on the minds of greens: fracking, GM and neonicotinoids.

Andrew Pendleton @AJPendleton
It’s official: #fracking WILL blow a hole in our #climate change targets brilliant research by @simonbullock #energy

25 Oct How much carbon can the UK burn to stay within two degrees target?
Friends of the Earth analysis suggests shale gas explorations would force the UK to exceed its carbon budgets
Tony Juniper @TonyJuniper
@ZacGoldsmith – excellent & incisive analysis on @DefraGovUK Owen Paterson & GM crops. How the heck is OP in office?…

24 Oct

Owen Paterson: the minister for GM hype
Zac Goldsmith: The environment secretary’s stance on GM food is grotesque. It would be wicked not to question the industry’s motives


Also neonicotinoids

4. The RHS is being very strict on not letting Chelsea exhibitors telling the media they are exhibiting before the 11 November press launch. Final confirmations were sent on 29 October. Here’s the latest sanction for letting any info slip.
There is some controversy about an embargo on nurseries announcing RHS Chelsea Flower Show new plant of the year, or even that they are exhubiting at the show. A plantsperson tells me:  “If it’s public knowledge before 11 November the RHS say the plant is not novel and is ineligible for new plant of the year. People think this is too strict.”

5. Show garden round up and odds:
evens: M&G Cleve West, Laurent Perrier Luciano Guibbelei
2/1 Del Buono Gazerwitz Daily Telegraph
5/1 Andrew Wilson/Gavin McWilliam Cloudy Bay
6/1 Adam Frost Homebase
7/1 Royal Bank Canada Hugo Bugg, Brewin Dolphin Matthew Childs
8/1 Massachusetts, The Soldier’s Charity/Coutts Charlotte Rowe
10/1 Victoria Truman, Stoke.

Sarah Eberle is doing a small garden.

6. After Prince Harry’s debut appearance at Royal Horticulture Society’s Chelsea Flower Show this year promoting his Sentebale charity garden, the annual horticultural event will be back to normal in 2014, when the Queen is set to visit a showpiece garden from The Soldiers’ Charity (the former Royal Army Benevolent Fund).
The Queen is patron of the Soldiers’ Charity and is set to visit the garden while making her 50th visit to Chelsea on May 20 2014. The announcements will be made on 11 November – the 95th anniversary of the end of WW1 in 1918.

7. Got an email with November with a pic of a lead news story from RHS The Garden magazine on PRM.  I guess this shows how ‘digest’ news pages in gardening mags help people catch up on what they’ve missed.

8. Also on PRM  frothing anti-eu, you can’t please everyone…

9. It’s 10 years since the death of former Hort Week editor Pete Weston. Friends and former colleagues walked to his memorial in Victory Woods.


10. Monty Don in latest Gardeners’ World magazine berates readers for not following him on twitter – for an entire page.

11. Monty Don twitter followers 29,000. Kew 36k, Rhs 48k, Gardening Express 11k, Better Homes and Gardens (some USA mag 56k).

12. NZ Test Cricket Captains £17.20 signed. £14.50 unsigned.
Canterbury Cricket 100 Greats £21.51.
Durham Cricket 100 Greats. 1p. (ex library) 2004.  What’s the link?

13. Ed Byrne spent two years at hort college. He said on the One Show that qualifies him to be a TV gardener.

14. Some garden designers have tie-ins with photographers, who take lovely shots of their creations. This helps them get in glossy consumer mags. But if you want a pic for your mag, then you have to pay the snapper for it.

15. British Garden Revival: The programmes are due to transmit from Monday 25th November – Friday 20th December, from Mondays to Fridays for the four weeks, so that’s 20 shows in total.

16. Thomas Heatherwick designed a garden bridge for the Thames with Dan Pearson. Expect more on this, this week.

17. A national blog award

18. My eldest has just started school. His teacher asked what present the children would like to give her. Naughtiest boy in class puts hand up and says: “A cup of poo.” He had to stand in the corner and ‘look at the coats.’


Allotment Planner tension builds, Chelsea, garden TV, GMG latest

1. Allotment Planner bookallot countdown aggihwis on…Gardens Illustrated: nibbed my book (there’s a lot of competition it seems). AG did better, as did Hort Week. Look out for Telegraph, Guardian and Grow Your Own etc pieces.

Out Nov 7.

2. Wrote for i on EcoMinds gardening and mental health on 23 October. i

3. An employee at a Horsham garden centre appeared on the Great British Bake Off on October 22. Newbridge Nurseries member of staff Sarah-Jane Willis featured on BBC2. She was a finalist in last year’s series and will be talking about what she has been doing since appearing on the show ended. Look out for gardening allotment bake off in February 2014.

4. RHS Chelsea launch is on November 11, which could be a significant date.

5. Alys Fowler’s crowd-sourced unbound has 100 percent of the funding now.

6. Jane Perrone is a judge of GMG trade hack award.

7. RHS blogs competition.

8. PR Week. Supermarket: ‘We don’t discuss suppliers.’ MA: ‘This PR discusses your suppliers.’ PR: We don’t discuss suppliers unless we work on a particular activity such as this release.’

9. PR Week 2. MA: “How was the funding split between RHS and Defra?’ Defra: ‘50/50.’ RHS: ‘Defra funded it all.’ Defra: ‘Sorry, I was misinformed.’

10. MA: When is the Defra tree report coming out? Defra (some time later): ‘No idea.’

11. Bees latest: Italian warning. Also Mary Portas has failed in her bid for bees on her rooftop office because of ‘health and safety concerns’.

12. I’m on Telly in early December on ITV mentioning the book. photo

13. HTA event last week.


14. Germaine Greer book The Revolting Garden (published under the name Rose Blight) contains some gems. They are in The Allotment Planner.

15. Here’s my scarecrow pal, Carol.


16. Great British Garden Revival starts in December with Diarmuid, Wong, Dimmock 20 episodes for two weeks. “Britain’s biggest TV gardening talent in a bid to inspire viewers to save the UK’s garden heritage.” Monty Don, Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Rachel de Thame, Chris Beardshaw, Alys Fowler also involved. In each episode, two presenters will focus on an endangered aspect of gardens which they feel passionately about. Eg Charlie water gardens etc. Grow Make Eat on next Feb.

17. Paul Bignell, news editor, I, has an allotment in South Norwood.grow make eat

18. Rosa Chewsummit in Garden news this week. It’s the wrong image I’m told.

19. Sponsors that have pulled out of Chelsea include Dulux who were talking to Nigel Dunnett and Arthritis UK, who were talking to Tom Hoblyn, I’m told.

20. Royal Bank of Canada-sponsored Hugo Bugg (26) and Brewin Dolphin-sponsored Matthew Childs (30). Cleve West – M&G garden. Some debate about Bugg being youngest but John van Hage was 26 when he designed the Daily Express garden in 1991 and Bugg will be slightly older than that by next May. Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliam (Cloudy Bay).
The Italians are coming: Luciano Guibellei (Laurent Perrier) and Del Buono and Gazerwitz (Daily Telegraph).
Charlotte Rowe’s Coutts-sponsored World War One garden. CR says TBC though. Coutts says they did one last year and are ‘not aware’ for this.

21. Apparently one show manager was suspended once for being rude to exhibitors. Wonder what that tale was all about?

22. Morrissey’s Autobiography. Quite hard work. But what did you expect?  Moz is no2 in charts behind Fergie. I’m 6

  • ,916,418 at present.


garden canards, flowerpot man Monty, GMG judging, poppies, Allotment Planner



Allotment Planner snowball gathers pace.  Grow Your Own mag is kind of serialising. Grow It! likes it. Sadly Grow It! is closing.

Worst things to boast about on social media: your work achievements, fitness regime, kids, dining, holidays, freebies, celebs u meet.

Garden canards:
John Deere student Julia Ireland is writing a piece on gardening clichés for Garden Media Guild mag. Her worst/best is ‘putting the garden to bed’ ie ‘battening down the hatches for winter’.
Beyond the cliché is the gardening canard, and worse than that is the gardening pun.
The canard is particularly awful because, whether you’re a left or right wing gardener the truism stops any objective thought about any thought, idea or story.
One garden writer once wrote a piece on avoiding over use of words such as ‘beautiful’, ‘charming’, ‘fragrant’ etc. The hack still uses them all the time, but it’s a valid point.
Cliches: good year for the roses.
I don’t want to go to Chelsea.
You can’t do anything about the weather.
At this time of year I …
In the spring/winter/autumn summer months…
Winter is great because you can see the bones of the garden.
I prefer Hampton Court to Chelsea because there’s more space.
Frothy planting
I don’t get dirty fingers as much as I’d like
You should always plant in odd numbers
Painting a picture with plants

There’s always needles in green waste.
Autumn is nature’s time to plant. It doesn’t matter how many people visit, it’s about their quality, ‘connecting with the earth’, gardening footprint etc, etc.

Puns: hedging bets, this is Thanet Earth, blooming good year, growth industry, lost the plot etc.

1. Chelsea hopefuls: Thomas Doxiadis.

2. I ran the Royal Parks half marathon recently. Here are my blood blisters. RPAV0213feet
Top celebs: Sophie Raworth, Jason Gardiner -they nodded each other as celebs do – Jenny Falconer who dropped her eyeliner at the start line, Rob Deering, starter was Ian from Come Dancing, Nick Biddle – we talked about the drawbacks of RP staff weeing behind trees.
I was at 1.30 pace for four miles. I did 1.35. Best freebie: Bounce protein bliss. I was 873rd.

3. Football broccoli thing.

4. Alys Fowler’s new ‘unbound‘ book:

5. Plant Repro Material reaction. The media forced a meeting with EC this week.

6. RHS show garden selectors have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. They are ‘held against a wall’ and told not to talk, I’m told. This is happening more often in lots of companies.

7. The Garden Centre Group has replaced Steve Pitcher as purchasing director with Dan Zinner, who joins from South African health and beauty retail business Clicks Group. Andy King (now at Dobbies) joined Notcutts from Bodyshop. Is there a chemist theme developing? King’s replacement at Notcutts Andrew Staff is applying from Notcutts boss job I hear.

8. David Dodd on Love Your Garden departure: “We’ve really enjoyed doing two series of Love Your Garden and it’s been great fun working with Alan, Frances and Katie. I wish whoever takes over from us the very best of luck.”

9. Olive magazine’s fave celeb chef is…Nigel Slater, then Hairy Bikers, Michel Roux, Jamie, Nigella and then Delia.

10. Was at National Trust’s Morden Hall the other day. They were giving out Merton apples, developed at John Innes Hort Inst, which is now Rutlish school, where my kids might go. John Major, Raymond Briggs and Neville Heath are alumni.

11. Allotment Planner book (again). Watch out for pieces in Scotsman, Daily Record, Daily Telegraph, Grow Your Own, Amateur Gardening, Garden News etc.

12. Half a million grow…cannabis at home. Britain’s Blooming Cannabis Business itv1 10.35pm 16 October.

13. Does Grow it! mag closing in December mean GYO boom is over? Probably more to do with mags then edibles.

14. Monty Don says gardens/allotments should be ‘compulsory’ at Cheltenham literature festival. He also says no-one cares about the Soil Association.

15. A Chelsea grower tells me its just Crocus, Hortus Loci, Kelways, Hardy’s, and Orchard Dene who supply designers’ plants now.

16. Hedgehog appeal. 

17. Chelsea design poppies: In 2008 … The Leeds City Council Chelsea Flower Show garden entry, sponsored by The Royal British Legion, won a silver gilt. In 2011, the RHS rejected a Tony Smith design for a Legion garden. In 2014…

18. Monty Don Top Man: “Ted Hughes meets the Flowerpot Men.” Cuddly jumpers, baggy trousers, braces and working shoes. Women find the “rugged, earthy quality” attractive.

19. Kenwood mixers top 10 childhood experiences. No.2 Fruit picking. No. 7 growing your own. Number One? Mixing bowl licking.

2o. Take your snorkel: Caribbean AHDB agri-tech mission to showcase UK excellence (to Dominican Republic).
21. Full list of judges for the Garden Media Guild Awards 2013 has been press released with judges’ (own?) job descriptions. But who judges which category? Transparency would be good, esp after Chelsea. They won’t say, or maybe they can’t -  difficult to tell from this: “I’m afraid we can’t say at the moment but will let you know as soon we know.” Wareham is doing inspirational books, Thompson is doing blogs. Photographers are doing photography, radio radio, TV TV. There’s quite a lot of trained gardeners, but how many trained journalists (PR training does not count, obvs)? I should add that I’m a former judge and an ‘award-winning’…etc
• Liz Anderson, PR, marketing and comms; clients include Hiller and New Covent garden
• Professor Chris Baines, Leading environmentalist and award-winning writer and broadcaster
• Vanessa Berridge, Freelance writer and former editor of The English Garden and Country Homes and Interiors Magazine
• Kate Bradbury Writer and Editor; author of The Wildlife Gardener, Kyle Books
• Charlotte Bromley-Davenport, photographer with an international portfolio, clinets include British and Russian Vogue, Harpers and Queen, The New York Times
• Lord William Burlington, top photographer
• Michelle Chapman, Writer, gardener and award-winning blogger
• Ursula Cholmeley, Writer, broadcaster and custodian of an enormous 400 year-old garden in Lincolnshire
• Mark Diacono, former gardener at River Cottage, writer, broadcaster and author of three award-winning books
• Lucy Dichmont, multi-award-winning freelance producer and executive, former senior producer on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time
• Martin Fish, writer, broadcaster and RHS judge
• Seamus Geoghegan, Founder of Seven Publishing and former Director of Lifestyle at BBC Worldwide
• John Gilbert, professional Garden Designer
• Laura Giuffrida, Galleries and Exhibitions Leader at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
• Alistair Griffith, Head of Science at the Royal Horticultural Society
• Derek Harris, Award-winning garden and landscape photographer and artist
• Mike Howes, Garden photographer and Honorary Secretary of the Garden Media Guild
• Dawn Isaac, Writer, author and RHS Chelsea medal-winning designer
• Rasika Krishna, Director, Digital Strategy & User Experience at international IT company, APCO Worldwide
• Lia Leendertz, prolific and award-winning freelance garden writer
• David Loftus, award-winning and internationally acclaimed photographer specialising in portraits, lifestyle and food
• Marianne Majerus, Internationally successful award-winning garden photographer; RHS Photography judge and garden design judge
• Laetitia Maklouf, Writer, author, blogger and TV presenter
• Geoff Marsh, Online editor of the Daily Express
• Valerie McBride Munro, Broadcast journalist, has worked on Red Button coverage of RHS Chelsea; coaches gardening skills
• Tyrone McGlinchey, Managing director of Garden World Images photographic library and a Fellow of the Linnean Society
• Clive Nichols, A leading and award-winning garden photographer; judges for the International Garden Photography competition and RHS photography competition
• Graham Paskett, Founder of specialist PR agency, Paskett PR
• Jane Perrone, Gardening Editor of The Guardian; writer and author
• Tim Rumball, Editor of Amateur Gardening Magazine
• Naomi Slade, Prolific and award-winning horticultural journalist and show garden designer. The Plant Lover’s Guide to Snowdrops (Timber Press) is out in 2014
• Sir Tim Smit, Discoverer of the Lost Gardens of Heligan and founder of The Eden Project
• Deborah Stone, Chairman of the Garden Media Guild and Online Gardening Editor for Express Newspapers’ website
• Francijn Suermondt, Colourful and dynamic PR executive for Suttons Seeds, founder; writer
• Jo Thompson, Multi-award-winning Chelsea Garden designer, best in show 2009
• Anne Wareham, Writer, blogger and author of The Bad Tempered Gardener
• Tamsin Westhorpe, Horticulturally trained Editor of The English Garden Magazine, former deputy editor of Amateur Gardening
• Matthew Wilson, Managing director of Clifton Nurseries in London, former Curator of RHS Hyde Hall garden; writer and broadcaster
• Andrew Wilson, writer and author; Director of the Chiswick based Wilson McWilliam Studio and a Director of the London College of Garden Design.

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