Tuesday, 21 February 2012

That RHS Judging Row in Full

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The more cognisant amongst you cannot fail to be aware of the enormous storm in a teacup row that has happened every year emerged unexpectedly over the judging of Chelsea show gardens and indeed show gardens in general.  But let us stick with Chelsea because, as we all know, that is the only one that really counts.

Amidst calls for transparency, celebrity judges, detailed analysis of every decision, equality for women gardeners and Simon Cowell, there is but one voice of reason - and that is the voice of the Sock.

So here we have the Sock's ten criteria for judging at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

1. All the Sock's friends should get gold medals and people who she knows and quite likes from twitter should get silver gilt - even if their gardens/exhibits are a bit rubbish.

2. Cleve West should get gold whether he is 'showing' or not.

3. Cleve West should always get Best in Show

4.  That David Do'anythingforthe'money should only be allowed into downmarket events like GW Live

5. Anyone who gives out free champagne at Press Day should get gold.

6.  All judges should be forced to wear smart blazers emblazoned with RHS logo and straw hats (see picture of elderly gent at top). This is important for preserving the mystique of judges - we don't want them looking just like some bloke from down the road. For the sake of equality at least one of them should be female - preferably Germaine Greer or similar.

7. There should always be at least one 'comedy' exhibit - like the Plasticene Garden or The Oirish Sky Garden which will also double-up as the one receiving the 'People's Award' because let's face it, the people don't know any better.

8. Ringo Starr should get Silver

9. er.. that's it. I was going to do more but we don't want to get bogged down with rules and regulations  - at the end of the day it's not rocket salad.

10.  In the interests of fairness and transparency we are going to have a poll on this so can you  go to the top right of this post and tick the statement you most agree with.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Shiny Happy People - 2012

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Mystery object? Big clue at end of blog

Hurrah! The winter hibernation period is over - and how do I know this? Because I have been to the RHS London Halls Spring show!  It isn't the most exciting event of the year, although there is something reassuring in the continuity of the iris, hellebore and snowdrop displays - and importantly it is the first 'social' horti-event for the Sock and a chance to gossip and catch up with friends in the pub afterwards.  Talking about snowdrops they were there and they had multiplied!! Yes it's the lovely snowdrop hat ladies..

First Emma


then her mum (I think)


then an unrelated lady with a smashing snowdrop hat who, when I asked if she'd mind if I photo'd it told me "I got it off  Ebay and some lady just came up and said it was her mother who had knitted it!!"


So there we go - I told you they were expanding. Next year I will expect at least four snowdrop ladies.
(Apologies to Emma by the way - I should have said hello but I was in the process of being forced to go to the pub when I saw your hat in the distance.)

Also at the show this bright and smart garden by Owen Morgan got a silver medal.


It's not until I looked at this photo of Owen's garden that I realised it was part of an 'alleyway' extending backwards which actually makes more sense of the lovely bright colours and design.  [Note to self - always read the blurb on stuff]

There were only two show gardens which I thought was a shame as they seemed a bit disconnected to the rest of the show.  I think having more, smaller, gardens works better at the Halls - like those 'balcony' ones from a couple of years ago that turned up at all the shows until everyone got fed up with the sight of them.

And of course the happy Heucheraholics with their unmissable love-themed display! Unmissable as in it was so bright you really couldn't have failed to notice it.


We enjoyed Jo Thompson's interesting and engaging talk about her show garden for the Camping and Caravanning Club.  No dreary, damp, dilapidated static caravan here - "Doris" is a very shiny happy caravan who will leave her home in the Isle of Wight to do a star turn at Chelsea.


Talking about shiny happy things, after a quick trip to Wisley (which was overflowing with half-term children, yummy mummies and even yummier cake!) I am now one of the very privileged few to have seen James Alexander Sinclair's app!


An exquisitely gorgeous, strokeable, streamlined piece of work - and the app is quite interesting too!