I won an award last week. I am now Practical Journalist of the Year, as awarded by the Garden Media Guild, for pieces I wrote in the Guardian. ‘Practical’ journalist is a bit of a funny one. It implies I’ve been writing particularly clear step-by-step instructions on how to dig a hole, when actually I’ve been writing about my ideas for environmentally friendly lawns, the unconventional ways I recycle waste in my garden, and the crops I produce on my veranda. As I now have my new whizzy website you can see the three features for which I received the award here, under ‘The Guardian’, should you be so inclined. Not a hole among them, see? SEE?
I was properly unprepared speech-wise, but remembered to thank Jane Perrone, who edits the gardening section of the Guardian Weekend mag. It was only after that I realised I should have given a mention to the lovely Joel Redman who always takes the pictures. Weekend’s standard request is for him to produce ‘graphic’ images, which makes everyone blush a little and start talking about the weather. In fact he has never once asked me to loosen my top button, but does manage to conjure clean space and strong lines and render my chaotic garden Weekend-Mag-friendly.
GMG awards time is always a little odd. I know well the disappointment of not being shortlisted, and how random the judging can seem if you don’t get a whiff, how spot on if you do. I think I even got a little told off last time I won one for running around twitter going on about how great I was. So I will just say that it feels good, and that when you earn your living from doing this it is a particularly big deal. Other than that I will confine myself to a little Mona Lisa smile every now and then, and I definitely wont assemble a gospel choir, climb into a boxing ring and do this:
No, almost certainly not.