I've had the pleasure of working with a 21st-century plant explorer recently. A man who swapped a successful but depressing career in City banking to follow his passion for discovering and collecting seeds from plant species around the world. Tom Mitchell has spent the last five years setting up a nursery and growing a range of unusual, rare and exciting plants from his collected seeds and is now ready to sell the propagated plants to gardeners and plantsmen around the world, via his hugely informative website evolution-plants.com
We planned two events. The first was a soft launch and thank you to his friends, family and key contacts, which was a joyous occasion, held in glowing autumn sunshine. The second event was a launch to the great and the good of the garden media.
Several weeks of preparation and the press day came. Everything was sorted, ready and waiting for the guests to arrive from around the country. However, the one thing I sadly can't organise, even after all these years is... the weather. The morning was greeted with horizontal rain and howling winds. As we prepared I admit I had to paint on a calm and relaxed smile for the benefit of Tom and his fabulous nursery team, in a bid to hide my growing concerns that actually no one in their right minds would set off in weather like this to attend any event. Thankfully the garden media are, as you might expect, rather hardy types and duly 21 of our guests battled their way through the elements to join us for what turned out to be a fabulous celebration of the start, of what I hope will be a great and well deserved success for Tom and Evolution Plants.
Coverage has already started coming in from a host of excellent bloggers who attended, including Tom himself with his Fifteen Minutes of Fame The Enduring Gardener, Vegplotting and one of gardening's wittiest bloggers Arabella Sock with The Lady Launches
We just need gardeners to start buying all those gorgeous plants now - before I do!