Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cool thoughts

although I am too hot to think. Writing about no-chemical swimming pools is heating instead of cooling my brain. And I cannot remember the name of this plant.

I’m told that it seeds everywhere. I was told that about Nicotiana sylvestris and I can’t manage to get it to flower let alone seed.
Then there’s the enigma of the Monkey ‘C’.    

Julian Dowle, Lila and the missing Ann-Marie

Julian Dowle, Chelsea veteran, judge and winner of countless gold medals with Lila Das Guptas, BBC Chelsea star and I crept into this hut to escape the razzmatazz outside.

I wish Ann-Marie Powell had been able to join us but Gilbert Bundy prevented her appearance at Chelsea and, at a few days old, he would not have been allowed in the showground. Yet another reason that the RHS should reconsider its under-fives ban.


UCL occupation

Went to see daughter number one last night. She is one of the UCL (University College London) students occupying the Jeremy Bentham room close to where, many years ago, I used to have tutorials.
Just outside they have made a cardboard coffin. Candles and flowers surround it. A plaque reading, ‘RIP education’ explains the curious shrine.
Inside, a timeline around the wall marks interviews with the various newspapers and the BBC; marches; interventions from the authorities.
The atmosphere is calm and serious.
Tables, each with its own collection of laptops and students are marked, variously, ‘Media’ ‘Process’ ‘Welfare’ and so on.
I am invited to join the supper line: tuna, cous cous, tomatoes.

All the students I meet are polite and thoughtful. I ask who are the leaders. There are none. Yes, I say, but there must be a few key decision makers . No, it’s just consensual.


So the Garden Monkey has an infallible Champagne Tracker Device too – just like the Hort Week team. Why wasn’t s/he at the Future Gardens Laurent-Perrier trough yesterday? Maybe s/he was.    

Chelsea at sea with the Cayman Islands

The clear picture shows the Cayman Islands’ gold winning exhibit of an undersea garden. The blob shows my uncategorized underwater photograph of a Cayman Reef.

This is the Cayman Islands’ second ever garden at Chelsea so the gold is not at all bad. In fact it’s a miracle they agreed to come back at all after last year when Dutch customs officials confiscated the Cayman Islands’ rare ghost orchids in transit to the UK. Remember this if you come across a bloke down a dark alley offering you, ‘Genuine ghost orchids. honest gov’.


Snow magic

Virgin snow in Regent’s Park and along the Regent’s canal.Freezing wind chilling my cheeks and shaking the last red leaves off the Metasequoia glyptostroboides. A pool of red spread around the tree and across part of the lake beside. Scent of pine wafting across the path.
Puzzled ducks wander about on the ice. So few people are walking to work in this beautiful sunshine. Why? Especially on Monday when, once again, the tube strike hit. I came into Paddington and walked across Hyde Park and St James Park (my fave) to work at the FT on Southwark Bridge.
What a wonderful start to the day.
This evening I walked back across the Millennium Bridge. St Paul’s was floodlit in red. It looked magnificent. Then onto Salt Yard for Tapas with Barbara de Lacey and finally a number 24 bus through the snow back to Camden.

Future Gardens

Tony Heywood’s thing. Some people were comparing it to Niki de Saint Phalle’s stuff. No way.

Bruno Marmiroli’s tree through coal.Followed by: classic Ivan Hicks; golden dog turds (odd, even for FG);sitting hole in Hugo Bugg & Maren Hallenga’s modestly named Narratives of Nature; Peter Thomas’ Metamorphosis and the beehive bogs.