Saturday, February 18, 2012

Miami, here we, erm, come

Well, here I am, it's ten past nine, the cab's picking us up at 10 am tomorrow and I really should be packing for my trip to Miami. In time-honoured fashion, however, I am not packing. I am faffing.
I always suffer from a sort of premature home-sickness just before I go on holiday. I'm fine once I'm on the way to the airport and never give it another thought. But for the few days before my holiday, I start feeling wistful and wonder whether it would be nicer to stay at home. Mad, or what?
This has been an interesting week in the horticultural world. My second post on changes the RHS is considering making to the judging rules regarding show gardens has just gone up on Thinkingardens, Anne Wareham's website.
The first one generated a huge response, which is fantastic because the whole aim was to start a conversation.
Thinkingardens debates all sorts of issues surrounding gardening - philosophical, social and aesthetic. You may not agree with the viewpoint of every contributor, but I guarantee that it will stimulate the little grey cells, to quote Hercule Poirot.
And that's why I'm a passionate defender of Thinkingardens - and of Anne, come to that - and that's why I volunteer to write for her.
I like - no, I love - the process of discussing ideas. As a journalist, I've spent most of my career attending daily conference, and it is astonishing how many times the germ of a concept is polished and tumbled to a shiny finish by the input and constructive criticism of colleagues.
Not everyone enjoys it, of course. Some people feel threatened if their views are questioned. Others might wish that media mosquitoes like me would just buzz off and leave them to prick out their seedlings in peace.
But I believe that without questions, there is no progress. As Albert Einstein said: "To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science."
Wow, quotes from Agatha Christie and Albert Einstein in the same post. Whodathunkit?
I'm off to pack.