Seen at the Festival of the Tree

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

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Honest Scrap: Did you sort the lies out from the truths?

Well that was fun and many thanks to those of you who joined in and to Tim for nominating me in the first place. Congratulations to Arabella Sock and Susan Tomlinson who both managed to spot which 3 of my 10 tall gardening stories were untruths. Juliet also deserves a special mention for sleuthing around Blotanical and finding out which garden I'd like to see before I die. Here's the complete lowdown:

I've been to a reception at Highgrove followed by a guided tour of the garden with Prince Charles

I still have the gold edged invitation with swirly gold writing if you'd like to see it. It's quite bizarre being followed around a garden by waitresses carrying massive trays of canapes and drinks, but one could get used to it ;)

I have a piece of Welsh hillside named after me - planted with 1,000 trees

In the 1990s I volunteered and then organised tree planting weekends for Earthwatch, who were supporting Professor Martin Haigh's research into regenerating soils on mine spoil heaps in south Wales. 1,000 trees were planted each late November for a number of years as part of National Tree Week. Martin always named each of his research plots after key people involved and I was honoured when he chose to use my name in 1994 - the year we planted them in the snow!

My ultimate horticultural ambition is to have enough land for a proper orchard

Too true - I wrote about it here.

I have a plant named after me - a rather lovely Clematis

Not quite - well spotted those of you who realised I was writing about my mystery Clematis which finally was named when launched at Chelsea this year. Mind you, I still have an unnamed sport of C. 'Josephine' in my garden, so Clematis 'VP' could still materialise one day...

I've appeared on Gardeners' World alongside Carol Klein, Joe Swift and Rachel de Thame

NAH has the evidence of when I was standing watching the filming at Gardeners' World Live 2 years ago. Joe Swift ended up standing directly in front of me, Carole Klein at my side and Rachel de Thame leaned over the fence. I was recognised by This is My Patch when it was broadcast!

The garden I'd love to visit above all others is The Alhambra in Spain

As seen on Blotanical.

When I was little the garden feature I wanted most was a bouncy castle

It was a swimming pool - an ambition I held until practical matters held sway when I bought my first house in Durham. Secretly I still hanker after one...

I've been invited onto a Chelsea show garden for a chat with the designer

I wrote about chatting to Nigel Dunnett last year here, not to mention the time spent with Mark Gregory this year :)

I've had a 10 minute chat with Prince Charles about controlling slugs

This happened whilst we were looking round the kitchen garden in the visit I told you about above. Bizarrely one of my lecturers at Newcastle was the world's expert on slugs, so we regularly had more than 10 minute conversations with him about them during crop pest practicals.

I have a degree in Horticulture from Newcastle University

It's Agricultural and Environmental Science which is very different (plus a Masters in Applied Hydrobiology from Cardiff - I seem to hanker after degrees with strange combinations or names!), but in my first job after graduating the woman looking after me during my six week induction course told everyone it was Horticulture, so I had to field lots of GQT style interrogations as a result. Must have been an omen ;)

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