Wow, what a week it’s been!
On Monday, actor Jim Carter (Carson from Downton Abbey) told a gathering of the gardening industry at the House of Commons about our Flower Power Art Challenge in aid of Greenfingers. On Saturday, our mischievous terrier, Rosie, made a live debut on QVC, chomping her way through a Millington’s edible Christmas card for dogs (which she loves). And, the biggest news of all, on Thursday my new website which was launched in April, was voted ‘Best Website of the Year’ by the Garden Media Guild!
It was about this time last year that we started to think about ways to revamp my website which initially was just a product information site, helping customers discover more about my Flower Power range and showing them some of the fantastic results that gardeners have achieved with them.
My son, Nick, was in charge of revamping it and, early on, we decided that we wanted it to become a ‘go to’ source for good advice and inspiration for gardeners. Jean Vernon, an old friend who writes for The Daily Telegraph’s superb weekly gardening supplement, agreed to be our Editor-in-Chief and Michelle Board, a very talented freelance writer and blogger joined us as our Web Editor. We then asked Stef Tock, who’d hugely impressed us with his work on our previous site, to design and manage the new site: www.richardjacksonsgarden.co.uk.
We wanted to encourage new writers, like Vicki Cooke (The Royal Kitchen Garden Keeper at Hampton Court) to try new ideas like our quick video tips, and we were delighted that the visitors to our new site felt it to be a refreshing change. And now we know that the judges liked it too and we’ve won the gardening equivalent of an Oscar! Not only that, Vicki won the Alan Titchmarsh award for New Talent too, and Alan even presented it to her at the ceremony!
I’ve a bit of hot news for you. We’re not going to rest on our laurels and we’re planning to make it even better. As part of the changes, we’re launching a special (and free) gardening club for everyone who signs up for my monthly newsletter.
I’ll take a deep breath, calm down, and now tell you about the rest of the week. Once a year, the great and the good of gardening meet at the House of Commons. Somehow I got there too and I was thrilled to hear Jim Carter talk to the assembled group about our Flower Power Art Challenge (see my blog). What’s more, he said that he’s entering it!
Then on Saturday, Rosie our Gnasher-like dog was asked to make her TV debut on the Saturday Morning Gift show to demonstrate just how much she loves the Millington’s edible Christmas cards for dogs. On-air she behaved beautifully (which is more than can be said for Jackie Kabler!), and she’s keen to make a return visit soon (but only, she says, if she can have her own dressing room and a Winnebago!).
In between all the excitement, I’ve been trying to get my Christmas presents sorted. One of my mates Don has recently started feeding the birds in his garden, so I was delighted to see that the Garden Pick of the Month for December is a special combination feeding and nesting kit from Wildlife World. It includes the incredibly popular Park Bench Feeder as well as the Cottage Bird Nest Box, which is ideal for small birds such as blue tits. Both are beautifully crafted from FSC certified timber.
And still on the subject of presents, if any of my family are reading this I’ve just spotted something on the QVC website! I love the gardening themed cufflinks from Simon Carter, especially the watering can design!
That’s it for now. I’m off to choose which Christmas jumper to wear on-air next. Simon Biagi thinks the elf jumper will suit me best!