Thursday, December 2, 2010

It never snows in London in November ...

... and I never thought I'd have a snowball in hell's chance of winning a Garden Media Guild award.
Yet here I am, with three inches of snow in Wandsworth, and a framed certificate on the wall that tells me I am the Garden Media Guild Journalist of the Year 2010. Unbelievable.
The Garden Media Guild describes its awards as the "Oscars" of the UK garden media world. Their annual lunch is a very glitzy affair, in gardening terms, where all the starry writers and broadcasters get together with the rest of the industry at The Brewery, which itself is an award-winning venue in the City.
I'd been invited by lovely Martyn Cox to sit at his table, which was described by James Alexander-Sinclair as the "Billy No-Mates" table. In other words, none of us had managed to schmooze an invitation from one of the big horticultural trade companies, which meant we had to pay for our own tickets.
Well, all I can say is that it was a small (well, perhaps not that small) price to pay for a very entertaining lunch. On the table were Laetitia Maklouf, Michelle Wheeler, Dawn Isaac, Mark Diacono, Michelle Chapman, garden writer and editor Tiffany Daneff, writer Alex Mitchell, Amateur Gardening news editor Marc Rosenberg, and garden photographer Rachel Warne.
There was a lot of giggling, a lot of gossiping, and a lot of cheering and whooping once the awards started.
We may have been "Billy No-Mates" but we were certainly not "Billy No-Awards". No fewer than four of us won awards - Marc (News Story of the Year), Mark (Columnist of the Year), Dawn (New Talent) and myself. Naturally, there were huge cheers for other friends who won, who included Lia Leendertz for her blog, Midnight Brambling, Anne Wareham, for her website Thinkingardens and Matthew Wilson for his TV series, Landscape Man.
So, a great day. In fact, so great a day that I sort of seized up with shock and while everyone else waltzed off to the pub, I went home and had a cup of tea.
I know that sounds pathetic, but here's the thing: I write about gardening because it's a passion and I want to share that passion with everyone else. As a mainstream news journalist who works full-time for a national newspaper, I'm in a very good position to get my stories into the main body of the paper rather than be restricted to a section or a weekly supplement.
I'm very grateful to The Independent for giving me the space to explore stories or issues I think are interesting not only to the gardening community but to the public at large. The idea that I might get an award for doing that is ... well, it's unbelievable.
Thank you very much to the Garden Media Guild and to everyone else who made yesterday so much fun.

31 comments:

Edith Hope said...

Dear Victoria, Congratulations on your award. It is always pleasing to be recognised by one's peers and you very much deserve the accolade from the gardening world.

Intelligent and well written, your articles are, in my view, always well researched and authoritative. Your passion for your subject matter shines through and, as one of your readers, I am delighted that your work has been rewarded in this way.

Magic Cochin said...

Congratulations!

A well deserved prize.

Celia

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Dear Victoria, I'm thrilled that you were recognized for your journalistic talents! Someone once said, if you have a passion and are lucky enough to make money at it then it's not a job! Sounds like you like both very much!

College Gardener said...

Congratulations!

petoskystone said...

congratulations!! a well deserved award. the bottom photo is holiday-card lovely, btw.

Darla said...

I am so proud for you! That photo of the snow is gorgeous.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Bravo, Victoria, bravo! Congratulations on your award!
Stay warm in your snowy fairyland!

VP said...

That is some serious blog bling you have there Victoria and very well deserved :)

Take no notice of JAS, I think he was a little jealous he wasn't on the best/noisiest/most award winning table (though if you're reading this James, we did cheer for you loads too! x).

patientgardener said...

Congratulations:)
Helenx

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

Congratulations are in order. It is my lowly opinion that yours is the best gardening blog I have seen from the UK.

I was worried about you with the snow, though!

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Very well deserved Victoria - I am delighted,
I am amused also that between them the "billy no mates table" scooped 4 awards between them - what fun
K
xx

Why I garden... said...

Sounds like a great day; congrats on your award!

Missy said...

Congratulations.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Congratulations! That's wonderful. And the snow is enchanting on your spikes.

Elephant's Eye said...

Congratulations! Well deserved!

Living out of England, and not able to read The Independent I'm glad you post links so these readers can enjoy your 'in print' writing as well.

Deb said...

Big congrats Victoria! So pleased for you. And meeting Elton John the day before? Goodness, what a glamorous life you lead! xx

Susan Tomlinson said...

Warmest congratulations, Victoria!

Plantaliscious said...

Sounds like a fabulously fun event, celebrated in style. Congratulations on the award. Cool new blog badge!

Martyn Cox said...

What great fun we had - although my liver's glad the next event is a year away, as it gives it plenty of time to recover.

Helle (Helen) said...

Congratulations. I always enjoy reading your articles, and it must be great to have one's work recognised in this way.

Dawn Isaac said...

A brilliant and well-deserved award - fully justifying the general level of whooping and hysteria it engendered.

In retrospect, I think going home for a nice cup of tea would have probably been a good idea for me too.

You are so wise.

x

James Golden said...

Victoria,
I want to join the chorus and offer congratulation to you. I'm thinking of you going home afterwards for a cup of team.

How strange to see your garden in snow.

Esther Montgomery said...

Many congratulations.

The spikey-ness of the garden is beautiful in snow. You will have to arrange for it to fall every year now.

Esther

cw said...

Huge congratulations Victoria! Hope you had a brilliant time last week and wish I'd been there to join in with the celebrations.
xxxx

fairegarden said...

Dear Victoria, Hip Hip Hooray from across the pond! Your award is so well deserved and the snow in your beautiful garden is splendid! (Although I hope no damage to those tropicals was done). Being at that table sounds delightful, it was the coolest table of all, obviously, for the winners produced.
xxxooo
Frances

Helen Yoest @ Gardening With Confidence said...

Congratulations on your award. Your blog is brilliant!

Gardenlife said...

I'm delighted for you Victoria, enjoy your well deserved success and keep on writing!!

Gail said...

Dear Victoria, I am so very pleased for you; a well deserved award for sure. Oh to have sitting at the table with you and Michelle~what fun it would be to giggle with you both again. xxoogail

Denise said...

Warmest congratulations, Victoria!

Arabella Sock said...

Oops! I just realised I didn't add my congratulations on your blog! Oh well better late than never and definitely heartfelt although not without a certain amount of jealousy for you being on the best noisiest table!!!!

Ewa said...

Dear Victoria, congratulations to you!
I love to read your writings :)
Hugs,