Sunday, 24 May 2009

The Rascals do Chelsea

A guest blog from the really rather slender Fat Rascal

It would have been a good idea to have considered choosing my blog name more carefully but who could have foreseen that one day I would be at the world's most famous flower show in the Great Pavilion announcing "I am Fat Rascal"!

That type of thing happens to you when you associate with Socks. The day was both mustard and red - one colour splattered on clothing, the other on cheeks.

I had also shown a lack of foresight in choosing a seagull as my ringtone so when Arabella rang my mobile to say I HAD to go to the Heucheraholics stand immediately I had already made a spectacle of myself. Then I made it worse by going to the wrong heuchera stand and asking if the name Arabella Sock meant anything to them. Plantagogo lady looked blank so I said "you're not Heucheraholics, are you?" She agreed that I had got that right at least and very graciously pointed me in the right direction.

Once at that Solva stand everything became gloriously surreal - there was mutual making of days, I was greeted like a star, told I was NOT fat, there was an envelope put aside with my name on it containing my pen and fridge magnet and I felt all the reflected glory of actually knowing the Award Winning Blogger! Really lovely people, lovely plants and a very happy moment in a wonderful day.

Another highspot was the birthday cake Ms. B. made me. We met up before the Socks had unsnarled themselves from London traffic and over coffee she gave me the cake in a little cake shaped pot with a big purple rosette on it. There was a minute of present giving embarrassment. I was truly thrilled but made the horrible gaffe of not opening the pot and looking. Happily when we did see Arabella I had to show off and gloat so the cake was revealed in the beauty of its garden green icing and Ms. B. had piped my name on it and added a flower. Arabella was extremely jealous. Ms B. was rewarded by scooping the first sighting and photographing of the Pocket Gardening God thus scoring maximum points.

I feel slightly responsible for the mustard incident. The Socks walked past us while we were having fish and chips and I wanted to call to them to join us. There was a slight hesitation in deciding what name to use but I went for the Sock's real one and she ignored it! If I'd shouted "ARABELLA SOCK!" maybe she would never have had the fateful sausage.

Even Fatter Rascal isn't really a garden man but like me he suffers from the shortage of retail therapy in our French home town. He became extremely embarrassed when I actually bought something though. We've just had our well put back "online" (I believe that's the correct builderspeak) and I had thought that a green plastic watering can really didn't set it off. So a stand selling old galvanised cans was opportune and I dived in, barged and elbowed and secured the biggest one I could see. It had to be bought then and there and Even Fatter Rascal had to carry it. Anyone would think it was a manbag the way he reacted but he couldn't see that carrying a watering can round a gardening show isn't that strange. He refused to get on the tube with it and was relieved to find that it could be checked in with our coats at the restaurant where we met up with the Socks for dinner.

The label on the can describes it as "vintage French" so the "arrosoir" has come home and it certainly look very much as if it belongs here.

* Congratulations to Jools and Sean at Heucheraholics for their well deserved Chelsea Silver Gilt.


VP said...

Sorry I missed you Fat Rascal et al. I was told you'd already dropped by when I got to the Solva Sweetie Shop!

VP said...

PS Has anyone else noticed that the Heuchera fashion seems to have gone distinctly gingery lately? I first spotted the trend at The Inner Temple last September and it seems to have carried through into this year...

Arabella Sock said...

I wonder how many people turned up at Heucheraholics. Do they hold the record for meeting most garden bloggers? There was

me (Arabella Sock)
Fat Rascal
Ms. B (who lurked but didn't introduce herself)
Anon (she got there before me!)

and I have seen various other mentions around the blogs but I can't remember who they all were now.

My fridge magnet is holding my list of plants I "need" onto the fridge - very appropriate.

Arabella Sock said...

PS.. Yes I had noticed the gingery ones. I am not as keen as on the rich plums, silvers and bronzes. I am not sure about tiramisu either although I think Fat Rascal might have that one. I noticed on the RHS site that someone said that this is not a new introduction this year (as was claimed by someone) and has been quite widely available for some time

VP said...

Dawn from Little Green Fingers was there too.

I'm not sure how long Tiramisu has been available over here - it's a year or so at most. I think it's awful - like you I go for the really dark foliage ones like Licorice and Obsidian. I'm still wondering how I can fit Midnight Rose in when I get one!

Fat Rascal said...

I saw your envelope at the stand, VP!

I did get three Tiramisu plugs from a French mail order company. I did wonder at them being available here and not the UK.

They do have gingery veining but when that fades on the older leaves they're a very similar colour to the Citronelle ones.

I think I prefer the darker leaved ones too but I love seeing all the different colours together.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Sounds like you had a very fine day Unfat Rascal! Loved that cake! And it was of course very sensible to buy that humongous watering can and then lumbering Even Unfatter Rascal with it. ;-)

VP said...

I do like 'Lime Rickey' too, in spite of doing an impression in my head of Biancah from Eastenders every time I write, think of or hear the name!

I like how it goes a lovely buttery yellow over the winter - a cheery sight in all that gloom.

Ms B said...

Ah, fame at last! Well, a cake of mine has appeared on the best blog ever which is probably as close as I will get!

I am just glad I did'nt ask for a fridge magnet/pen only to find I was not one of the chosen ones :( I saw a H 'French Quarter' & thought of you Fat Rascal: it was sort of blotchy colours!

Had a lovely day partly in the company of Arabella & Fat Rascal along with a couple of hangers on. They made my day of course! Not the hangers on though they were quite nice too!

Photomacro said...

This is by way of a request on behalf of the fridge magnet source. I look after the Heucheraholics web site (just getting ecommerce up and running) and we wondered if you would allow us to use the Chelsea shot on the HH website?........Jooles camera went dodgy on her so no pics.

Fat Rascal said...

Hi Richard!

Arabella alerted me to your request and she has matters in hand. But it's a yes, sweetheart, as Simon Cowell would say.

Remember to think about mail order possibilities for those of us who live outside the UK.....

Arabella Sock said...

Hi Richard

I can't find an email for you to pass on the photo files from Fat Rascal. You could just copy the picture from the blog or if you email me at

then I can send you the photo and a couple of others Fat Rascal has sent me of the stand.