Andy Warhol once famously said that everyone would have their 15 minutes of fame. Well, we didn’t quite achieve that much fame, but yesterday evening, Tuesday 26th July at 9 pm, Rob enjoyed a fleeting five seconds’ exposure on national television, along with the Paddock Plants van, on an episode of ITV’s Love Your Garden, presented by Alan Titchmarsh. A little later in the programme, one of the plants we supplied, an Eryngium Jade Frost, was given a slightly longer allocation of screen time, with one of the presenters caressing her lovingly and extolling her qualities.
How this came about was all rather sudden. Around ten days before the episode was recorded – in nearby Eastleigh, where a cruise-ship themed garden was to be created for a much-loved paediatric nurse – we were contacted by one of the programme’s producer who asked if we would be able to supply some plants. An initial exchange of e-mails led us to feel we probably weren’t in a position to help, but the producer was quite insistent – in the nicest possible way – and we agreed that we would deliver some suitably nautical plants in the form of some sea hollies, including Eryngium Agavifolium, Eryngium Big Blue and Eryngium Jade Frost, along with some graceful Luzula Nivea and some Incarvillea Delavayi, which were doing their full trumpety thing at the time.
When Rob turned up with the plants on the appointed day, the person he was due to meet was attending to some off site emergency and the planned filming of Rob unloading plants from the undeniably photogenic PP van looked to be in jeopardy. Rob stood his ground, however, and did quite a lot of waiting until a cameraman became free to capture the great unloading. Apparently in the tv world the mantra is ‘Hurry up and wait’. Good job he was stubborn, as his cameo did eventually make the final cut.
And, after a few weeks of eager anticipation, we watched the episode last night and were pleased to see the moments described. Quite surprised, in fact, as Rob fully expected that his unloading scene was destined for the cutting room floor. But we were glad to have had an involvement, however small, in creating what was a rather lovely garden for a clearly very special lady.
Postscript. The best bit, however, has to be the moment earlier today when Rob was giving his e-mail address to someone over the phone, who suddenly exclaimed ‘Oh, I saw you on television last night!’ Fame at last.