Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I don't want to go to Chelsea....

We all have our interests, and one of my minor obsessions is garden gnomes. Some time ago I started a group in Flickr called "Home for Gnomes"”. Like many desert plants, Home for Gnomes seems to thrive on neglect, and with very little attention from me it has grown to over 90 members, a testimony I would argue to the global appeal of these little creatures.

With this in mind, you can imagine how horrified I was this morning listening to the "“Today"” programme on BBC Radio 4. This had a piece on the Royal Horticultural Society'’s Chelsea Flower Show making the point that one of the things banned from gardens at Chelsea is my beloved garden gnomes! One of their "roving reporters" was featured "smuggling"” a gnome into the show and seeing what the reaction to him was. There was a great feeling of tension during the piece as listeners no doubt feared that RHS "heavies" would burst onto the scene and eject our heroic reporter and friend. There followed an interview featuring the Garden Master of New College Oxford who represented the RHS and its role in "“policing the line"” over which nasty, kitsch creatures like gnomes would not be allowed to cross. The highlight of the interview was the point at which he was asked if fairies were banned too. He spontaneously uttered that "If you banned fairies you'’d have to ban half the garden designers!"”

Anyway, I like gnomes----so there!