What do you know about National Gardening Week? Not much, I warrant. Well, the time has come to do something about it because it is a very good idea. It has been co-ordinated by the Royal Horticultural Society (so I suppose I had better declare an interest right now) and runs from 16th-22nd April.
The point is to whip the country into a frenzy of excitement about the up rushing garden season and gardening generally. There will be events at all the main RHS Gardens but the main impetus behind the event will be various community and local events being arranged all over the country. There will be open days, quizzes, plant swaps and parties.
And presents: lots of presents.
The days of the week are conveniently themed so there should be something for everybody. For example:
On Monday the RHS Members Advisory service will be around to answer any garden questions you may have from pesky pests to wearying weeds. You can telephone, email or turn up at one of the gardens.
Tuesday is called Gardens of the Nation. Everybody is invited to take pictures of their garden (throughout the year) and submit them to central website. This will give future historians a snapshot of what gardens looked like in the early 21st Century. Expect them to be rolled out on the centenary of National Gardening Week in 2112 when our great-grandchildren will laugh at our choice of plants and silly looking trousers.
Wednesday is all about careers in gardening. An important subject: partly because I have one (of sorts) and mostly because we need young people in gardening. Which means we must look after them, pay them properly and enthuse them. There is a Careers day in London hosted by His Grace The Alan of Titchmarsh and featuring both the rising stars of gardening and the old lags (amongst others, Sturgeon, Cleve West and me)
Thursday is about the Environment. There will be great talks at all RHS Gardens about composting, beekeeping, planting appropriately and other things to help us tread lightly.
Friday is about encouraging children to get involved so there will be garden related high jinks and activities.
The weekend is more general and is about “sharing the fun of gardens and gardening”. This includes a guided walk round Wisley with the curator, Colin Crosbie, which will be both entertaining and educational (I guarantee: if you go and you are neither entertained nor educated then I will buy you a packet of Maltesers). There are also charity open days at Hidcote in Gloucestershire (one of our finest gardens) and at Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants
And as an extra bonus the whole week is actually nine days long. It is a magic RHS Week which goes on longer than normal weeks (at least it sometimes feels like that when the odd meeting gets a bit sticky) because on the 14th we should all be sowing wildflowers to launch Britain in Bloom
Sounds quite jolly, doesn’t it? in order to make it even jollier you (yes, you) need to get involved as well. If you would like to arrange an event (and I think you should) then if you go to the website there are three simple steps to help you set things up.
So, what are you waiting for?
The picture is of some chillies: irrelevant, yes. But pretty.