Friday, 27 May 2011

Pest Of The Week

This is the winner of a new gardening award set up by me. Pest of the week, (monthly, if I am too busy). It is the Mealy Cabbage Aphid, (Brevicoryne brassicae). Obviously it's prize is death. Squirted with full fat Guernsey milk and washing up liquid. (Seeing which one I prefer).

Think there maybe Whitefly in there too. Looks like I disturbed a party.

Planted chives, (Allium schoenoprasum) and Tagetes (Tagetes tenuifolia) nearby to see if companion planting helps, sure it will work better than my poor Dalek impression which I did whilst squirting.

Monday, 23 May 2011

RHS Gets Funky

I felt very lucky to watch the clouds of pollen at Chelsea from Anne-Marie Powell's show garden whilst sitting on a bean bag,(getting up from the bean bag is a blog in itself).

Now I am not going to go into detail about designs and flowers. The BBC and other blogs will do a far better job than I could ever do. But I do want to share some photographs that show what a stunning day I had.

The one display that stood out and blew me away was the RHS experience. Oh my, it was stunning, modern and funky. The stand showed how the RHS is changing and becoming more accessible. I spent more time there then looking at some crane with a odd shaped Hula Hoop hanging from it.

My college Sparsholt did a cracking display which even had Narcissus!! Here is Chris Bird looking very smart.

A lovely Gentleman from Sri Lanka Tourism, Sanjika Perera, who won my heart with a bracelet.

This very funny chap who was in Cleve West's show garden. I cannot remember his name, but he made me laugh.

And that was my Chelsea, loads of new ideas that will never happen in my garden due to time, money and sanity, but happy memories that will give me more.

Monday, 16 May 2011

A New Path

I have a new job. It has not yet sunk in and it probably will not until I sit at my desk and twirl on the chair. It is Garden writer with Amateur Gardening Magazine.
I am having to take pauses in my daily life to register what has happened to me. It's been a long and sometimes fraught path. Anyone who has decided on a career change will know that it is not easy.
I could write about how I achieved my goals, where I worked, the tears and the stress but instead I just want to thank some people who have helped me get where I am today.
A very big thank you goes to the RHS and Sparsholt College, I have been taught by three of the finest lecturers Ray Broughton, Rosie Yeomans and Chris Bird. Without their passion and knowledge I really would not be where I am today. Patrick Fairweather who gave me the opportunity to work in the learning garden attached to his garden centre, and his family run commercial nursery. I learnt an awful lot, quickly. To all my Twitter followers who have read my inane babble, you were all with me throughout the hard work. My private clients who let me loose on their property. And of course to River Cottage and Mark Diacono. Mark saw the potential and dragged it out. I can't personally speak for Mark but we worked well together, bit like Catherine Tate and David Tennant.… Though it's me who is funny, he is just tall.
And lastly, (Gwyneth Paltrow eat you heart out), thank you to my family and friends. I have been told off already for not organising a cocktail party in celebration.

I suppose I should write about something informative. Or let the Natural History Museum do it for me.