| After some twenty years in London, I moved with my wife and two young sons from our much loved, but miniscular, terrace house with postage stamp garden in Wimbledon, to a comparatively mammoth house with a seemingly endless garden in a pretty Oxfordshire village complete with its own annual Flower and Produce Show, Harvest Supper, and my wife’s very large extended family.
There I quickly discovered that while endless enthusiasm, tenacity and hard labour do go some way to creating beautiful gardens, horticultural knowledge, however limited, does help. And so, after a few seasons’ trial and pretty serious error, I undertook the RHS Diploma in the Principles and Practices of Horticulture.
So farewell Saturday lie-ins, and hello college lectures, double-digging, planting, pruning and the unimaginably stressful weekly plant identifications, or ‘idents’ as they are known, conducted in Latin, under strict examination conditions and the all-seeing eyes of the tutors – first at Pershore College, and later with ‘Best in Horticulture’ at Ryton Organic Gardens in Warwickshire where I also sat the theory exams. Somewhere along the way, I also discovered the joys of beekeeping.
Gardening and beekeeping aside, I run a busy, award-winning PR agency, Twelve Comms, in the delightful and newly infamous market town of Chipping Norton, with clients ranging from The British Beekeepers Association to metal packaging organisations, universities, schools, waste management and temporary structures companies, and even a Cathedral.