Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Forgive me bloggers for I have sinned. It has been at least six months since I last blogged.

I hope to atone myself, but believe me, it's been a hell of a six months.

In brief:

I have designed various gardens, large and small ranging from a long large oak (yes oak) rill which strides though the client's new jungle, under a tree-walk and house, past a shade sailed fire-pitted bar area and ultimately to a swimming pool, through a couple of now delivered courtyards, to a vast meadowed native space set to build in the next few weeks, and finally an 'outdoor room' garden overlooking a tennis court with a terrace designed to proportions which allow table tennis tournaments.

I have seen a multi gold Chelsea-medalist dressed as a flower on a west end stage, danced and laughed my socks of at the best festival ever (Vintage at Goodwood, I salute you), celebrated my sons first and sixth birthdays with cake, tickles and water pistols, grown far too many green beans, enjoyed various raucous nights under stars and canvas and celebrated several fortieth, fiftieth and even a seventieth birthday in equally boisterous style. I have debuted in the Financial Times House and Home pages, finished my third book (released spring 2011), met the Queen (yes, really) and visited several jaw-droppingly beautiful gardens, my favourite of which has to be Waltham Place (though if we're talking company alone the Highgrove visit was an absolute hoot).

Oh, and I've become seriously addicted to Twitter.

It has seriously been a fantastic season.

But the highlight of it all has to have been working with Jane Owen on The Green and Blacks Rainforest Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, more of which can be read about here. It was such an honour and a priviledge to be involved with such an important project at Chelsea, and to work with so many passionate people, not least the Cameroonian contingent. To say the team were thrilled to receive a gold medal for our efforts would be the understatement of the year.

However, on a personal level the pinnacle of all the immensely hard work has got to be this. Last week receiving, then showing, my actual real-life RHS gold medal to my children who were so patient whilst I was away.



  1. Magic. What a very special thing indeed to have. Don't lose it!
    Lovely to have you back...x

  2. You can't just swan in after six months with your shiny medal and frilly knickers.
    We are not that easily swayed: well, Lia obviously is but the rest of us are made of sterner stuff..
    Presents would help, expensive presents.
    All round.

  3. Oh James is being harsh. If I had done all that in the last 6 months I wouldnt have been blogging indeed I would be in therapy. Your medal is fab, I think you should wear it at every opportunity.

    The trip to Highgrove was hilarious, I must think about organising something for next year

  4. Being quite a new professional gardener and yes a woman,I am humbled by what you have achieved and your knowledge.I don't design, there are to many excellent designers out there(and some bad ones),but it's people like yourself who enable me to strive to be the best I can in what I do with my gardening career.
    Er sorry,that sounds a bit grovely,hope you know what I mean.


  5. Lia - Thank you, I'm thinking of buying a safe so I always know EXACTLY where is at all times. That is if I can find it. Damn, how could I lose it so soon?!
    James - Presents? Can hardly type through the laughter!
    Helen - You know we thrive on being busy at all times. That's what keeps life exciting. And yes, another garden visit is a perfect way to keep occupied. Bring it on!
    Michelle - I can't tell you how touched I am by your words. Thank you so much, its words like yours that make ME strive to do better! x

  6. Genius, congratulations on your shiny medal, really well deserved. Inspiration for designers of 2011 train gardens everywhere.

  7. You may have a shiny RHS gold medal, but do you have a shiny gold wrappered chocolate medal given to you by the lovely Cleve?

    I suspect you probably do ;)

    Very well deserved, especially as it involved the very lovely people from Cameroon.

    And blimey missus you have been busy. I don't know where you found the time to come to Highgrove, but how gigglesome that you did :)

  8. You're a shameless tease woman! All this talk of oak rills, fire-pitted bars and tennis court vistas and not a single photo.

    So OK, we got a shot of a Gold medal winning garden and a Gold medal, but as you've now average 2 words a day for the last six months I thought we might at least get a photo of one of these other marvels (or perhaps a raucous night out - surely you were papped?)

  9. I'd like a present too. An edible one if you would. A cake would do, something sweet for sure. I'm guessing JAS was the 70th party, ...but stumped on the other two tho.

    Anyway, a tentative welcome back...we're not having it if you're thinking of just bloggong and getting a lot of acclaim then wandering off again. You've got to post dull stuff, tedium, some non-achievements, a few almighty cockups too if you want to be taken seriously

  10. Yeah, there's nothing worse than a sporadic blogger. Us regular stalwarts in the mighty blogosphere need more presents than you can afford if we're going to take you seriously (a single malt would do me for starters). Also, a tip...we all exaggerate a little here and there to keep things interesting while blogging but doing all those things while bringing up two kids??? Yeah right! You'd have to be superwoman to do that so we all expect your frilly knickers to be suitably arranged on the outside at the GMG awards if you don't mind.