Monday 30 November 2015

’tis the season

There’s ‘a time for everything’, the good book tells us; chapter and verse with which gardeners are only too well acquainted. Advent is upon us, the shortest, darkest days approach and, the list of gardening activities one can achieve by torchlight being disappointingly short, we are at pains to follow the seasonal exhortations, making we joy, and generally being of good cheer, with a determination that is something to behold.

The last week in November provides an ideal opportunity for such merriment, as several hundred garden broadcasters and writers descend upon the Savoy Hotel for the annual Garden Media Guild Awards. I snuck in for the second year running and, also for the second year running, was delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist in the Blog of the Year category. It’s a tangible affirmation not only of the work I’ve put into the blog over the past year, but also the enthusiasm and engagement of the community that’s grown up around the weekly posts. But while I’m both tremendously grateful and immensely proud of all of this, it didn’t make me blush half so much as receiving several generously and unexpected endorsements from gardening twitter friends (you know who you are) both before and after the awards were announced. A season to be jolly, indeed.

And, as winter follows autumn, itself turning into spring when the moment is right, it seems timely to confess that for a while now I’ve had a feeling that the blog in its current form is nearing the end of a season, and entering a period of transition. The hibernation period must necessarily be brief, but I expect this online collection of my garden witterings to emerge as a thing transformed, albeit with roots very much in the current iteration. I have in mind something slightly more than a refresh with, in time, some new features, tweaks to the structure, and a more open, airy feel about the place. At least, that’s the intention, with a view to launching early in the new year – a daunting, but exciting prospect.

In the meantime, I plan to keep these pages running, but do please excuse me if I should appear to be a little slower than usual to respond while I’m tinkering with things under the bonnet – a vehicular metaphor – time to give the blog a good winter service. ’tis the season for it, after all. fa la la la laa, la la la laaaa.

Posh suit and shoes for hobnobbing on Thursday...

....back down to earth on Friday.