Seen at The Festival of the Tree

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

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Bloggers Take Over at Awards Ceremony


A tinsel strewn festive entrance, complete with lawnmower. It's also worth clicking to enlarge to see what the sign says...

It's December, so it's time for the annual bash that is the Garden Media Guild Awards: a glittering ceremony held in the heart of London yesterday at The Brewery. Last year I was privileged to be there and had an absolute ball, so despite the ticket price I was determined to be there this time. Then Martyn invited me to sit at 'the best table in the house', comprised almost entirely of bloggers and tweeters, so I knew I'd made the right decision.

The event's format was pretty much as I described last year and it was good to meet up with first timers like Michelle, Letitia and Dawn over a glass or two (it might have been 3?) of fizz and find out where we were sitting. It was at the back of the room (but with a fab view as we were on the balcony): perhaps our reputation had preceded us? There would be no chance of anyone going up for an award from that distance, or so we thought.

A rather blurry view from our balcony eyrie - too much fizz or the lighting conditions? You decide...

How wrong we were! It turned out ours was the most successful table of all. Victoria's listed them all (as well as everyone on our table), including her shock at winning Journalist of the Year. Well, it was most thoroughly deserved, as was Dawn's New Talent and Mark's Gardening Columnist of the Year awards.

After a year of seeing blogging coming in for some criticism, it was particularly satisfying to see both bloggers and tweeters stealthily hoovering up a number of awards and nominations across various media. In addition to the aforementioned, James at last had the quality of his writing for Gardens Illustrated acknowledged as a finalist in Journalist of the Year; Matthew Wilson (aka @LandscapeMan) picked up the award for Garden Programme TV Broadcast of the Year; and Anne Wareham (aka @Bulchey) won Website of the Year. Back in our usual habitat, Lia's gifted writing won the nod for Blog of the Year.

All of this success went to our heads rather and our table ended up being quite rowdy. Martyn was worried this might end up with us being separated at future events, but I was assured afterwards by one of the GMG committee that we'd actually got it right and it would be rather good to get some inter table rivalry going.

After lunch, there was time to meet the mysterious Fat Gardener and for more gossip over afternoon tea with Victoria and The Constant Gardener (hurrah our paths crossed this year!) before heading off to a nearby pub for the evening where Rob joined us with a most timely tin of chocolate biscuits. It was quite a day, with a number of opportunities for VP's VIPs and behind the scenes visits garnered for future blogging: I'll tell you more about these as and when they eventually happen :)

Update from my Comments: I've concentrated on the blogging aspects here, but I also need to mention Marc Rosenberg of Amateur Gardening who also graced our table and won the News Story of the Year. Gardening is often thought as a warm, fluffy occupation or hobby, so it was good to see a hard news expose from the gardening world which actually made a difference being given the nod from the Guild.

11 comments:

  1. I loved it when, after a particularly exuberant burst of whooping and cheering from our table, the presenter said drily: "I think this is going to be a very popular winner." Cue more whooping and cheering. I can't even remember what the award was, or who it was that won! But I know we must have liked them.
    It was great to see you, Michelle. Here's to next year - and another round of Martyn's Madwomen

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  2. Too much fizz - the lighting looks fine.

    Just see where blogging has taken you - you're doing Chippenham proud!

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  3. Yay! Rowdy tables are always the best. Next year more people pictures, frocks and gossip please. We want the 'Heat' version of GMG - well I do. Perhaps I should volunteer my services as a Horticultural paparazzi photographer for the event - in fact that is the best idea I've come up with in a while!

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  4. Victoria - it was Mark's award for Best Columnist and that remark made me giggle helplessly as did the unfortunate choice of sponsor for the environmement award.

    Mark - thank you. I'm still chuffed from last year's ceremony actually!

    Arabella - I have an extremely fuzzy shot of James, Mark and Letitia but then failed to take pictures of everyone else on my table. I thought it would be mean of me to submit just 3 of my companions to the humiliation from my camera. It would be great if you could be 'official photographer' next year, we could safely get squiffy and not worry that we're failing to adequately record the occasion!

    I've concentrated on the blogging aspects here, but I also need to mention Mark Rosenberg who also graced our table and won the News Journalism award. Gardening is often thought as a warm, fluffy occupation or hobby, so it was good to see a hard news expose from the gardening world which actually made a difference being given the nod from the Guild.

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  5. Well, that is all wonderful news and well deserved recognition!

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  6. Sounds like you celebrated in my kind of style! Three cheers for quality garden bloggers - and writers - being celebrated.

    (word verification was "litero" which feels vaguely appropriate!)

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  7. Sounds like you had a great time VP! Rowdy tables always have the most fun :)

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  8. Congratulations to all. It sounds like a fabulous and honor strewn evening. Well deserved!

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  9. Sounds terrifying. I'm horribly staid. Glad you had a good time. Very pleased for the awarded too.

    Esther

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  10. Oh, goodness, yes! I'd forgotten about the environmental award sponsors. Honda, for crying out loud!

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  11. Susan - it's good that bloggers did so well this year :)

    Janet - I sometimes wonder if WV is context sensitive. I've had 'simple' this morning!

    NG - we had so much fun, I haven't really scratched the surface!

    Commonweeder - it's quite a bash :)

    Esther - I was quite terrified last year because it was my first time, but everyone (and particularly Cleve West) made me most welcome

    Victoria - not forgetting their placement alongside artificial grass at the top of this post!

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