I haven’t posted much lately, not because I haven’t been gardening – oh no, there has been lots of gardening of which I will post more later. However, something much more exciting has been taking place. I have been preparing for the Church of England’s Garden Oscars. What do you mean you haven’t heard of them, you must have “Green Church Awards 2017”. It is a really big event in worldwide Anglican Church circles.
Anyway, straight to the exciting stuff. Our little Church garden here in our village of Pinar de Campoverde had been nominated for the Green Church Awards. Now if you were cynical you may say so what! But that would be to misunderstand what we are talking about here. Our garden was created from a parcel of wasteland beside our Church, it was a derelict eyesore, unloved and uncared for by anyone. That is until our super congregation all 20 of us got stuck in. The garden was designed by a well known gardening blogger (alright it was me, now you ask), but that was the easy part, the hard part was raising the funds, getting the plants and then making the garden. The pictures below show me starting to layout the garden at the start of the project.
Everyone at the Church got stuck in, we started a plant donation and sponsor a plant scheme, we held fundraisers to pay for the hard landscaping, and then most importantly we enthused the whole village so that lots of people come along with their garden tools and wheelbarrows etc to help create the garden. The photos below show us developing the garden and then some of the team at the end of a long day. The final photo shows the garden in all its award winning glory.
Anyway, the end result was that myself and Cruella (my wife who is notorious for plant destruction in this blog) went to Lambeth Palace to the awards ceremony as representatives of our Church. Bear in mind our little Church in Spain was shortlisted from 117 entrants worldwide; and that everyone we were up against had full time workers and most had Lottery funding. Anyway after a week of practising our disappointed Oscar face, and Cruella debating whether when she was asked “who she was wearing” would Primark be a good answer, we turned up at Lambeth Palace.
The outcome was that we were awarded a “highly commended” certificate; for us gardeners that is the equivalent of a “silver gilt” at the Chelsea Flower Show. Disappointing but still very acceptable. Especially when the Church who won had three full time workers and National Lottery funding. We were very proud to accept our certificate from the Bishop of Salisbury on behalf of everyone in our village.
The award ceremony was given added tension and spice when Cruella (ever the attention seeker) suddenly announced that in solidarity with all the other women she too had been propositioned by Albert Einstein at an audition. When it was pointed out that the father of Physics had nothing to do with show business she changed her story and claimed it was Leonard Bernstein. It was further pointed out to her that the famous Conductor was now over 70. Eventually she claimed it was actually Arnold Weinstein and she met him when he was playing the part of the “Terminator”.
The photos below show me and Cruella at the ceremony and with the Bishop of Salisbury. We both brush up rather well I think, but the Bishop looks as if he is about to go to sleep, it must have been my gardening stories.