Lessons in Life No 694: “Disasters come out of nowhere, whereas the stuff you have sleepless nights over usually work out better than expected.” And so it proved over the Miracle-Gro’wers Learning Journey gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Worrying non-stop for a fortnight and working 17-hour days ensured everyone was happy and I spent the most exciting week of my life surrounded by great plants, great visitors and great Miracle Growers. The pupils and teachers who came on to the stands in the Great Pavilion tell me they had a great time meeting the show visitors and giving out 10,000 leaflets to an admiring crowd who packed the front of the stand for 12 hours a day.
The Visitors’ Book gradually filled up with messages from people expressing their interest and admiration of the growing ability of these 4-16 year olds who managed (with a little help from designers Geoff Whiten and Ian Shooter) to win Silver-Gilt Medals for both gardens. Well done to all – including the staff at Scotts Miracle-Gro, especially Jane Hartley who co-ordinated the schools activity and worked so hard to make it all dovetail into place. Also thanks to SMG staff who worked on the project, mentored the schools and carefully picked up plants and delivered them safely to our collection point – a farm building kindly opened by our friends at Scotsdales Garden Centre, Cambridge.
My only disaster was a surprise closure of the Victoria Line on Saturday north of Seven Sisters. That was a complete shock, followed by an even more shocking bus replacement service. But hey, that’s London for you!
I now have nearly 500 pictures of children and staff who were giving out the leaflets. One of my favourites is this one above of Ross and Ciaron Loman, identical twin pupils of Nelmes Primary School, Hornchurch, Essex, delivering leaflets to a delighted crowd. Quote of the week goes to either Ross or Ciaron (I can’t tell them apart, either) who asked the crowd: “Would you like to take my picture?”. Of course they did!