“Faster,Faster” Urged The Furious Pharmacist

More aeroplanes this week although pretty much everything about Flybe is better than Ryan Air.

The seats were more comfortable and upholstered in a dove grey leatherette, there were pockets in the seat in front.

The aeroplane had propellors which is strangely comforting as that way you know whether the engines have stopped before landing.

The stewardesses smile and their hairstyles are much more freeform. One had tailored wisps that fall in front of her ears and look a little like the cheek pieces on a Roman helmet: but softer and less impervious to arrows or glancing sword blows.

Nobody has yet tried to sell me smokeless cigarettes or lottery cards.

It was a bit bumpy though.

And I wonder why there should be so much fuss about life jackets on a flight from Birmingham to Glasgow I would have thought we were more likely to hit a Pennine or at the very least a branch of Matalan just outside Salford than water. Perhaps “Your crash helmet is beneath your seat” would be a more useful catchphrase. Or “A blank Last Will and Testament Form will fall from the panel above your head”.

I have been to Glasgow in the company of Toby Buckland, Chris Collins (the Blue Peter gardener), the utterly delicious Aggie McKenzie (the less intimidating Scottish one from ‘How Clean is my House’) and Craig off of Big Brother (1) to compete in Celebrity Eggheads. This is an early evening Quiz Show of whose existence I was blissfully unaware until quite recently. In it a team of people compete against the Eggheads who are a collection of people who have won every Quiz show around. There are winners of Mastermind, Brain of Britain, Fifteen To One and various others. They undoubtedly have a great deal of general trivia stored between their ears but I am not sure if I would like to be stuck in a lift with any of them for too long. One of them reads and memorises the cast lists of television programmes in the Radio Times but never watches anything.

Still, it is one of those things that come along every so often that should never be refused. We were the Celebrity (2) House and Garden team.

I think I am probably not supposed to announce the result here but, we did not completely disgrace ourselves and you will have to wait until around Christmastime for it to be broadcast. In the meantime watch out for Martyn Cox and the Horticulture Week team who I think are probably transmitted before us.

The BBC building in Glasgow is super -duper impressive. There is also another fine building across the canal

that looked a bit like shiny croissant. The experience was pretty terrifying all in all but I am glad I did it as these things only come along every so often and it would be silly not to go along for the experience. Our team name, by the way, was Marigolds and Mortar.

So back to the airport, back on another aeroplane and back to Birmingham. I think that Toby and Craig might be long lost brothers. They also both look quite likeMarkD, maybe they are the long lost triplet heirs to the Czar.

Other interesting things this week include a new client and the solving of a particularly tricky Ha Ha problem.

I also participated in a Gardeners Question time in aid of BYHP – a very fine local charity. I am not at my most comfortable in such situations as my mind goes blank when asked about non-bolting Coriander seed or the best plants for a sunny border. Most of my questions required me to recommend the felling of a large tree. I also ran an auction whose lots included a stuffed Peter Rabbit the size of a pert Red Setter (which I sold for £220, thank you very much).

I also gave a troupe of design savvy ladies and gents a personal tour around this garden, it was quite nerve wracking as one of the participants was Mary Keen, doyenne and grande dame of garden design. I feared her quizzical eye but actually she is just as delicious as Aggie McKenzie ( although in a slightly different way). They asked good questions some of which I was unable to answer satisfactorily.

And finally, just to keep the hard core of deluded people who come to this Blog for horticultural wisdom I planted a small garden. This was commissioned as a place in which the client could inter the ashes of a number of dogs and a horse. The ashes of a horse, incidentally, fit into a surprisingly small box. It is part of a larger garden but I decided to go annual and bright so, for those who like a plantlist, these are the ingredients:

Tithonia rotundifolia

Cosmos Dazzler

Nicotiana sylvestris

Dahlia Jescott Julie

Dahlia Rip City

Dahlia Ambition

Dahlia Sam Hopkins

Dahlia Hillcrest Royal

Calmagrostis Karl Foerster

Ligusticum lucidum

Ammi majus

Thymus Silver Posie

Cornflowers (Blue)

I am off to Gardeners World Live at the NEC in Birmingham for five days tomorrow: I am running the Celebrity Theatre with proper garden celebrities like Ms Klein and Messrs Titchmarsh, Buckland and Don. And Alys. And the bald gingery one.

And on Sunday Dawn is doing clever things with herbs and hanging children in baskets. So if you are there please come and say hello.

The picture is of Seseli libanotis, Phlomis tuberosa Amazone and the fading flowers of Allium Purple Sensation.

I am listening to the Concerto in E Flat for Trumpet and Orchestra by Haydn and Hummel. Played by Alison Balsom. Which makes a sophisticated change from the fabulous Bert Kaempfert who seems to have been rather dominating my listening recently. (3)

PS I am assuming that most of you have seen the new Three Men Went To Mow but, just in case, here it is….

(1) and also, until they got bored and wandered off, a number of stray Twitterers

(2)I fully appreciate that this is stretching the elastic of the word “Celebrity” to its very limit. As my ever supportive friend, Mark Diacono, sweetly put it: “For Celebrity: Read Available and cheap”. He might be right but is more likely eaten up with envy as he did not get the chance to show off his extensive knowledge of darts and guavas.

(3) If any of you are unfamiliar with the oeuvre of Mr K then may I point you here.