Olympic gardening, 50 shades of gardening, big names in gardening
1. eFIG PR: “Team Office Plant stood proudly before an independent panel of judges as the Olympic Women’s Football kicked off in Cardiff. The panel was made up of some big names in the world of horticulture, Matthew Appleby of Horticulture Week, Phil Evans of Planteria News, Rhiannon James of The City Planter and garden designer Claudia de Yong.”
2. Got sent a free Gardeners’ World mag to try and persuade me to subscribe. It has a ‘what’s on’ page mostly about what gardening’s on TV. That lists Hampton Court Flower Show coverage (BBC2), Tatton Park coverage (BBC2) and Gardeners’ World (BBC2) coverage, plus, to fill the rest of the page, Chris Packham programme on otters (BBC4) and Michael Mosley on the human digestive system (BBC4). No mention of the magazine’s cover star Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden, which attracted double or more audiences than most of the other programmes mentioned. Seems a bit disingenuous not to mention it, especially since BBC is no longer publisher. GW mag is now published by Immediate Media after private equity company Exponent bought 50 BBC mags in 2011. GW mag was sold under licence – BBC and BBC programme-branded titles will be licensed (including Gardeners’ World, BBC Wildlife), with BBC Worldwide not retaining ownership but “keeping a strong continuing editorial interest under licensing agreements”.
3. Olympic update: London paper Evening Standard Homes & Property gardening writer didn’t visit the east London site either (as well as Telegraph guy who wrote a long feature without seeing the park) for her two page feature on the Olympic garden. But ES did find time to nick and publish without asking my pic of Olympic head gardener Des Smith. I’ve asked pic desk at ES for 50 quid. They didn’t reply. Keen to photograph night gardening at Olympic park. But since I can’t get in during the day, night may be out of question.
4. Travel section: Garden Museum/Hortus mag offering five day trip to Yorkshire with Christopher Woodward and David Wheeler. Middlethorpe Hall, Scampston Hall etc. Price £1,699.
Cruise to Tenerife with Matt Biggs and Will Giles, or Madeira with MB, David Hurrion and Tony Russell. Price: not disclosed.
5. September is D-Day for some consumer gardening mags, who have seen ads from posh glasshouse companies etc dry up this year because of recession/poor weather=poor sales, I’m told by insiders.
6. Tony Hawks Lakes film premier
7. “Weren’t they meant to be sold out? Day one of the Games sees banks of empty seats at key venues… as Lord Coe promises to ‘name and shame’ sponsors who waste tickets.” One big reason sponsors’ seats are empty is because corporate types are nervous about taking free hospitality-looks bad and could break rules. Hence seats are full of employees, soldiers and schoolkids.
8. Fifty Shades of Green-Exbury makes Private Eye this week. Exbury Gardens sent out a press release trying to cash in on the hit S&M novel. Private Eye included it in a column of similars. Fifty Shades of Grey at Littleheath Garden Centre tops Exbury by using an innocent elderly male employee sitting in a display of grey plants. Is he called Grey? I asked. No. He’s not. They replied.
9. Went down to Richmond Park to see cycle race then Bushy Park for women’s and saw Wiggo win the time trial too. Also in attendance was Dom of dick and dom. He was in wellies, shorts and with a pram. He had a ’50 pence’ bald spot.
10. Legendary blogger Soilman has received an allotment eviction notice.
11. Regents Park manager Nick Biddle has to scrub out Blur graffito ‘and the views so nice’ lyric from a path on Primrose Hill. NB is the most rock’n’roll parkie I know. He’s an ex House of Love roadie.
12. Query to Jamie Oliver press office-emailed reply. “In case it helps, Jamie is currently unavailable for comments or interviews – many apologies. Peace n love.”