3 weeks ago an email landed in my inbox, but not any old email. Every now and then amongst the junk, there is a really exciting one, the kind that makes me jump and skip with delight.
The kind where the subject title starts with; Monty Don new book……….
I don’t think I had even seen the ‘exclusive event invite’ ending before I clicked open, I was too eager to find out more.
The incredibly wonderful publishers at DK were inviting me to an exclusive lunch event on the 30th September, taking place on the rooftop terrace of Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, to celebrate Monty Don’s new book Down to Earth ahead of it’s release on the 5th October.
In DK’s words; Down to Earth is a celebration of the seasons, life lived outside, and shares Monty’s view that gardening is the “secret to living well”.
How could I say no?! You just don’t do you? Plans or no plans, you scream HELL YES, then send a more controlled ‘Thank you very much and yes please!’
So, the 30th came round and off up to London I went on the train super excited but full of cold! Typical, I have had a cold lingering for months but it’s now of all weekends it decides to really kick in! Large bottle of orange juice and some tablets, I was good to go!
The lovely Katie from Lavender and Leeks, messaged me the night before to say she was going too…ahh!! Double celebrations, I get to see Monty and my friend who I haven’t seen for ages, I was one very happy lady.
I arranged to meet Katie at the hotel early so we could catch up over coffee, get ourselves together and go up to the terrace and kitchen garden all cool, calm and collected. We’ve got this…..and we did…until the man himself arrived at least and the delicious gin cocktails kicked in.
We were greeted by the very kind ladies at DK and offered champagne, before we went and chatted to the other bloggers and vloggers, including Sara Venn, Michelle Chapman, Selina Lake and Sean Cameron. Not forgetting fellow allotmenteer Richie and his partner who were competition winners.
There are very few people who can walk into a space and the noise drops silent with people ready to hang on to every word. Monty is one of those special people though, but you knew that already.
He arrived beaming shortly after us ready to tell us all about the new book; here is a brief insight in his words:
“This book began by the side of the Indian ocean on a week I spent mainly doing yoga. I had my notebook with me and I just started to make a few notes about what I felt were the really important things about gardening. They weren’t practical, they were philosophical, what mattered to me”.
Monty was as always his usual ‘down to earth’ self (pun intended); honest and genuine, the reason he is adored by many.
I got to spend a few minutes talking to Monty, catching up since we last met about the allotment and my future dreams. Also taking the opportunity to ask his advice on how the younger generation especially can make gardening a career. Watch my upcoming YouTube video from the event to find out the answer…
Lots of delicious canapés, cocktails and wonderful chat later, it was time for the event to come to an end. 2 hours goes way too fast!
Monty said his goodbye’s and we were given the most beautiful goody bags, filled with a signed copy of the book, an adorable ceramic potted plant, Teapig tea bags, Plum and Ashby hand lotion, a ball of coloured twine and a stunning Anthropologie mug.
It was truly a day I will never forget and really gave me the boost I needed. Game face is back on and I’m focused.
I have to say the biggest thanks to Viv and the team at DK for inviting me to an incredible event!
As I said to the ladies at the event, it is great to see the gardening industry from all angles truly getting on board with bloggers and alike. One of the main reasons as you will know for the starting this blog was to try change the stereotype and inspire others. I think the introduction of these kinds of events show that it is working, which is incredible!
I’m currently sat in a converted barn in the middle of nowhere, having an idyllic mini break away in Yorkshire. Ready and raring to go visit RHS Harlow Carr tomorrow before heading to Drystone Radio studios to do my show in the evening. Make sure you tune in online or via the TuneIn App at 5 – 7 pm on Tuesday to find out more about my afternoon with Monty and his new book. As well as the usual jobs for the month and general gardening news.
Pre-order your copy of the book now.