Flogged up to the NEC at Birmingham today to see Grand Designs Live.
I can't tell you what it was like to go to a venue simultaneously hosting three shows (I could have gone to GDL, something to do with horses and the Wedding Show on the same day) - OMG as my daughter would say. The garden design area was much more hot tub than horticulture, but it was a valuable day and gave me much food for thought. I don't want to sound like too much of a suck, but Kevin McCloud is a very nice, personable bloke who is passionate, intelligent, and knowledgable about his subject (like Hugh F-W). Grand Designs has deservedly done him well, now attracts a huge following, and has opened a whole new world for people like me (like River Cottage). Ten years ago I wanted to live in an old rectory. Now I want to build my own eco house. Why in God's name can't someone do for cool, chic, functional eco friendly gardens and landscapes what Kevin has done for cool, chic, functional modern architecture? I'm sure there's a gardening McCloud out there - there's some tremendous talent around - a commissioning editor somewhere needs to be persuaded to back someone to do it. Is Matthew Wilson's Landscape Man a start? I was mulling all this over while stuck in a traffic jam on the M5 somewhere north of the Cheltenham exit on the way home and listening to Gardeners' Question Time. Someone asked the panel what they would do if they had a spare acre of land. I know it's just a bit of fun, but I for one was interested and thought I might get an inspiring idea. One of the panellists said she would plant a field of Pumpkins. PUMPKINS!!! Says it all, really.