Notes from a Head Gardener ~ Chapter 3 ~ The Big Smoke 25/6/2017

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Competition Winner! That was me this week. I won a ticket to The House and Garden Festival out of the blue (well, I did enter a competition but one does not expect to win) and had two days to organise a day trip to London. I was undecided whether or not I would go right up until the last minute. I had a free day but, as we all do at this time of year, I had hundreds of tasks in and around the garden that I really ought to prioritise. But shouldn’t one make inspiration a priority?

Prospective inspiration won. I hopped on a train and headed solo towards The Big Smoke. London is inspiring in itself for a country dweller and I have resolved to go much more often. It is easy, when one has a business and young children, to dedicate all of ones time to only these pursuits but a break from the norm is important. The show was sumptuous – divided by two separate floors – the ground floor dedicated to interiors, fashion and gifts and upstairs, a space for growers, garden designers, craftspeople and outdoor innovations. 
Talking with people who have a strong belief in their product or service is brilliant because their enthusiasm is contagious. Showing a professional interest in the stand holders is a good thing to do because one gets professional interest in return. A mutual confidence boosting exercise.


The truth is that I have made the journey to London twice in this past week. The first trip was for non-horticultural reasons (Guns n Roses you rocked!) but a chance meeting with a delightful and very trendy journalist / Instagrammer made the mini-break even more special. Alice Vincent, otherwise known as @noughticulture, was extremely sweet and full of spot-on tips to help this country mouse discover some of London’s lesser known horticultural gems. I was particularly taken with the planting at the Olympic Park in Stratford. The plants were flowering well in advance of anything in the Cotswolds. It was rather like being abroad……but only an hour or so away by train. This bumpkin is suitably inspired. 


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