A Trombone Stuffed With Rolos

This blog has been alive for six years this month: both here and, previously, here.


Six years worth of drivel has trickled from my fingers to clutter up the outer reaches of the hypernet. Nobody noticed for quite a long time, which was okay but blogging is much more fun when you are certain that somebody is reading the thing.

What a sterling use of technology.

Sometimes I wonder what will happen to all this stuff that we broadcast. Will any of it exist in fifty years time?

Indeed, should it exist ? or should it just pop like floating soap bubbles colliding with a stationary hedgehog ? Will future historians ever show any interest in the billions of self-indulgent words that we have written? Who knows, but, almost every time I publish a blog post, it always strikes me as remarkable that it was only six hundred odd years ago that every individual book was laboriously copied out by monks with chilblained fingers and grubby habits. Each book cost a fortune and was mostly only seen by a handful of people, the subject matter was also somewhat limited being confined to religion. There was no illuminated detective fiction or saucy romance. Then Caxton and Gutenburg and that lot got going and soon the printed word was, while not exactly available to all, much more widespread. Nowadays any old sod can find an audience.


Spring is coming and there are things to be done. Included on my list of January achievements are:

Gone to listen to a recording of Gardeners Question Time in Spalding, Lincolnshire. My learned friend Nigel Colborn recently launched an impassioned defence of his home county but he skates over the bleakness of this particular area in favour of various wolds and luminaries such as Isaac Newton and Nicholas Parsons. There is nothing woldish about Spalding : unless your idea of an area of outstanding natural beauty includes heaps of sugar beet, concrete barns and ditches. Maybe I caught it on a bad day, in the wrong light or perhaps I missed the best bits.Anyway, when I got there the gloriously fragrant Matthew Wilson was on the panel so all was sunshine. It was interesting: I sat in a rather comfortable van with the sweetly scented Lucy Dichmont watching the broadcast while she uttered slight direction into the ear of Eric Robson. There was cake but not in the luxuriant quantities I had been led to expect.

I am very admiring of the GQT panel: my mind kept going blank when I tried to come up with an answer and I was not even out there snuggling up to Bunny and Christine. It is one of those perennial problems that I have: as soon as somebody asks me a specific question like “What shall I plant in my dark moist corners?” (or something similar) I have a moment of blankness when all I can think of are plants that thrive in the windswept aridness of the high plains. Somehow the brain eventually re-engages and I start spouting about ferns.

I have attended two meetings of the RHS Judging review panel. We are examining the show garden judging process which is interesting: we are also making progress which is excellent. There will be a public meeting in early February so that any interested parties can come and chip in their opinions.

I have collected a new and rather spiffy suit (single breasted birdseye).

I have organised some trees and seen assorted clients all of whom seem reasonably happy.

Had a very fine lunch with Cinead from the English Garden.

My daughter has become very keen on the idea of taxidermy. She has spent much of Christmas skinning things including nine moles and three squirrels. A skinned squirrel looks just like a rat.

Errrrr….. that is about it really.

Oh, and I am reaching the zenith of a very exciting project which will completely change the world of gardening media for ever. Details will follow very soon: please remain poised.

I am listening to You’ll be Sorry One Day by Slim Harpo.

The picture is of a frosted Phlomis.