Thursday, 28 May 2009

Lady of the Sweetpeas ...and how I met the Titchmarsh!

So at the end of the best week of flowers, they ring the bell for the 'grand sell-off' and then all hands to the fore as everything is either sold or given away. The civilized crowd suddenly turns into a mass of sharp elbows shoving, and fear glazed eyes! Queues snake around each stand,with ladies in frilly skirts and straw hats eyeing their chosen plants like Clint Eastwood under a desert sun.. It's rather like that scene in Finding Nemo with the seagulls all crying 'mine, mine,mine'.

Doesn't this lady look delightful? I was trying to take a picture of her for ages.

The Shoe and I were rather laid back about the whole thing. I,of course wanted to come back with some reminder but as we were yet to 'design' our garden, we thought it best just to see what found us. We headed back to the pavillion where the garden nurseries have their stands just to see what was up for offers and then 15 minutes before the bell was rung,I finally found the sweetpea stand.

Now these flowers are my most favourite of all flowers in the world and that's saying something. The lemony,lavanderie,vanilla scent reminds me of summer childhood holidays,and all the best things and make me happy beyond words. For our wedding ceremony we lined the aisle with jars of sweetpeas to scent me down the aisle! Anyway... you get the idea!

There we were,15 minutes to go,in front if the rainbow-hued display and we ask if we can buy any. 'We give them away as they won't last much longer' came the reply! BRILLO!
Say no more, I took up position behind the rope along with a few other sweetpea fans and then ding ding ding, all hands on deck and I was soon rewarded with the biggest arrangement I'd ever seen of beautiful mixed Spencer sweetpeas. Heaven! And I did feel triumphant as they were the most scented and in best condition. They were greatly coveted.

I was getting many admiring glances and smiles of approval as we made our way through the crowds. We even picked up an everlasting sweetpea plant that was going very cheap. We staggered out into the sunshine,what a sight, especially as it made my love looked like he had a lovely green hat.

And suddenly I heard the Shoe shout back at me 'Titchmarsh!' And there just in front of us was the T-man doing a live filming of people with their plants. I edged my way forward trying to get noticed with my sweetpeas saying 'pick me,pick me' under my breath and then through the crowd surrounding El Titchio, I spotted the producer man pointing at me, was he really pointing??..yes he was- pointing... at me! and then next thing I know, a very orange Alan is shoving a microphone in my face and sniffing my sweetpeas...!! Ooo moment of excitement!
I blithered something and then he was gone on to the next flower fanatic with their prized goods.
We rushed home laden with sweetpeas and foxgloves, not the easiest thing to manouvre on trains and later that night we watched the television show at my wonderful Granny's house,full of the tales of the day,telling her what it was like in real life and so came the scenes of the big sell off and what d'ya know? There, almost hidden beneath my armful of purple and pink flowers was me looking very happy!! We screamed with laughter, I couldnt believe it, out of all the people they must have filmed.. Fame at last! Well my 5 seconds worth anyways! It was the icing on the most delicious cake and one of the happiest days I'd had for a long time.

Here is the link to the show on BBC iplayer for uk readers. It's only available till saturday so get it while you can! Scroll through to about 53 minutes and there you'll see little ol'me and my blink and you miss it tv appearance!

( For those you unaware of the tv presenter Lord Marsh of Titch,his name is usually preceded by the words 'housewife's favourite'.Typically English, to some he's warm, gentle,friendly- to others inoffensive,dull and bland but the best word is probably 'nice' and he's well on his way to becoming a very British institution, a bastion of niceness as much of cups of tea and perfectly striped green lawns. Every year, he presents a week of programmes from the Chelsea show... he does know his gardens!)


Hannah said...

You met the Titch! Thats so exciting!!!! wow wow wow!

Also-You know I was going on about vertigal gardens? Did you see this article in the guardian? This is what i meant! (Sorry if you dont really like them!)

Hannah said...

(By vertigal, I meant vertical. I Must learn to proof read!)

Nantucket Mermaid said...

Goody for you...sweet peas and a spot on the telly....and foxglove....whoopie!

Flora said...

Thanks gals. yes it was a definite highlight so far.. does that make me sad?! Oh well..

Hannah,thanks for that article and yes I love them too, there was a stall demonstrating the modules in the pavillion area but had run out of ones for sale. It's probably the one mentioned int he article. They are such a good idea.
There's a new building I drive past near Canning town that has been planted up it looks amazing.

anna said...

Pretty, pretty flowers. You lucky thing!

Peonies and Polaroids said...

Well aren't you just too pretty for words with your sweetpeas and flowery hair band! I love the clip although I have to say that Titchmarsh gives me the absolute heebie jeebies, I do not like him one bit!

Top bird said...

Oh wow, we shared a Titch moment. Though I don't think I made the final cut! Lovely sweetpeas. xx

h for hellebores said...

I'm so impressed. Gardeners World just hasn't been the same since he left.