When I studied garden design a few years ago, my friend Mark used to sit at the class Naughty Table, while I was on the Smutty Table. This was due to high levels of sniggering at plant names such as ‘Pinus’ – a rite of passage for all horticulture students, I’m sure. Somehow we both managed to pass and Mark won a ‘Student of the Year’ prize for being an all-round good egg.
Mark went on to set up his own garden design company, Pod Garden Design, and has created the Cinema Paradiso garden at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show this year. He invited me to sit in it, which made me feel very important. The garden has an outdoor TV screen, which is weather-resistant apparently, and an enclosed seating area surrounded by scented plants. With a drink in my hand I felt right at home.
The garden was created on a very low budget, with no sponsor, and it won a silver medal. Not bad for a founder member of the Naughty Table.