Antonia 'Two Sheds' Swinson.

  • Source: Times Online Webslog
  • Date: 24 November, 2006
  • Author: Jane Owen

Antonia has been a friend for many years despite the fact that she lives in Scotland and has a more admired d?colletage than mine. Now that I?ve declared my interest I can talk about her latest book You Are What You Grow ? life land and the pursuit of happiness (Luath Press). It?s a great read (via The Iliad and Desperate Housewives) about allotment life and why gardening is good for you, told through Antonia?s allotment, from her perspective as a business writer.

For instance: ?OK so my carrots and parsley flatly refused to germinate, but the onions and squashes did me proud. As we swap these tales there?s no keeping up with the Jones, instead everyone has a fierce interest in each other?s knowledge and a desire for us all to succeed. This leads to genuine creativity which, the management consultants I write about tell me, is ?innovative synergy?, now sought by all successful companies. Amazing: we manage this without expensive management consultants??

Co-operation thrives among real gardeners and when the chips are down they?ll always help each other. Even Chelsea rivals. I was once roped in to help save a hopelessly disorganised Chelsea show garden entrant to get finished on time. His rivals donated specimen plants, gave advice and, when they?d finished their own plots, labour.

Can?t see the same camaraderie among rival companies when one of them starts heading for insolvency.

Gardeners' cooperation is confirmed here: I've included a picture of my own ruby chard to illustrate this blog after AS failed to send me one of her own.

Tuesday, 23 May, 2017
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