Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, 12 February 2009

RHS People's Gardener


The first of the fortnightly winners for the RHS People's Gardener award outside the BBC. Click to enlarge to see how the photographer has thoughtfully captured the foliage hat on Tina's head. Picture courtesy of the RHS.

I've just received my first ever press release, thanks to the RHS. Not only that it's actually targeted at garden bloggers viz:

Please see attached press releases about the People’s Gardener competition. The search is still on and we would love your bloggers to nominate themselves or someone they know. So how could I resist telling you about it? ;)

I won't give you the contents of the press release as the above link to the RHS website tells you everything you need to know about the search for the nation's best community gardener. Each fortnight 4 nominees will battle it out on Alan Titchmarsh's chat show to go through to the finals in early April, which will be decided by public vote. The first showdown was on February 2nd, so it's early days yet in the competition. The prize is pretty good too:

  • £10,000 in garden gift vouchers to be spent on community project(s)
  • Life membership of the RHS, possibly becoming an informal ambassador for their work
  • A VIP trip to Chelsea, spending time with Alan
  • Guest of honour at the Britain in Bloom awards
  • A top RHS gardener to advise on their community gardening project(s)
  • The chance of a regular gardening slot on Alan's chat show in the autumn

Spookily before I received the press release I'd already left comments on various blogs saying my inner imp is telling me to nominate guerrilla gardener Richard Reynolds. Whilst I'm being mischievous, I do believe that Richard has done more than most of us to ensure not only is his local community improved, but also galvanising many others to do the same across the country via his website. His methods may be controversial, but his recent book On Guerrilla Gardening is not only intelligent and thoughtful, it also advocates a responsible approach, ending with the acknowledgement that guerrilla gardens need to be accepted into community gardening for their ongoing care. Thus the act of guerrilla gardening can be the catalyst needed to galvanise a community into looking after its open spaces.


I've contacted Richard about nominating him and got his OK to do so. He'd already nominated himself, but the researcher who phoned him up couldn't quite get her head around what Richard does. Perhaps a nomination from a more 'mainstream' person like me with a link to Richard's guerrilla gardening website might help the TV programme to understand what he's all about. You may know of someone in your own community who also deserves a nomination, including yourself perhaps. If you do, then you need to send a short email or letter of nomination plus photographs to the appropriate address below:

Email alan@itv.com or send your application to: The Alan Titchmarsh Show PO BOX 64382 London EC2P 2GJ

The closing date for entries is March 4th.

8 comments:

  1. I've emailed in my vote for Richard as well. He could do A LOT with that prize money.

    He's such a nice chap. He emailed me after I wrote that GQT piece last week (http://tinyurl.com/gqtcross)

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  2. Muppet - brilliant! That was exactly my thoughts when I saw the competition for the first time.

    I hope Richard doesn't mind, but here's his reply to my email when I asked him if he was OK about being nominated...

    I would be delighted to be nominated.
    I heard about this competition for the first time last week and of course immediately entered myself, but I had a call from a researcher called Laura, who seemed a bit confused that I didn't just garden in one location near where I lived but several, and that I sometimes did it alone and sometimes with people, and the idea that other people could enjoy it and appreciate it without having a BBQ there seemed to create some kind of short circuit in her mind. She asked me to send some photos but never confirmed receipt of my e-mail. Never mind, a nomination might change her mind perhaps, thanks for thinking of me. I'm keen that the mainstream gardening world welcomes our provocative approach as something valid, so many guerrilla gardeners are just keen gardeners with a bit more mischief than the establishment expect. And the establishment (ref. Gardener's Question time a couple of weeks ago) have a seriously misguided impression of what we do.

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  3. PS Muppet - did you get a response from your GQT complaint?

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  4. I shall vote for Richard as I can't think of anyone more deserving of this award.
    I also complained about GQT, to which as yet I've had no response. xx

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  5. A deserving nominee. I did not hear the edition of GQT that you mention. I read yesterday that the GQT contract has been awarded to a new production company. I wonder if there will be changes in the pipeline.

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  6. Soon as I get back from breakfast out with the girls....my two sweet neighbors---I'll head on over and see what this is all about. Congrats to you VP. I know you were excited too. A press release is a proud accomplishment.

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  7. I am so with you on R Reynolds.
    Rus in bloomin' urbis. Vote now.

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  8. Flighty - the only response Richard has had from amking his complaint is an automated response saying they don't respond to individual complaints!

    Anna - yes he is. I suspect so, though I will be disappointed if Jo King ceases to be the assistant producer. I nearly fell off my chair when I went to a GQT recording and she introduced herself.

    Anna (FGG) Thank you and I'm glad to hear you're feeling better now :)

    Colleen - hear hear!

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