Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sweet Peas for Summer - notes on a book launch


 An  invitation to a book launch blew the miseries of  March away.. What could be more enchanting than a  celebration of Sweet Peas for Summer written by the sublimely lovely Laetitia Maklouf taking place at (the almost as lovely) Landscape Man's horticultural heaven, Clifton Nurseries set in a pretty and posh area of London.

But what to wear? something feminine and floaty to honour the woman who has put the gorgeousness back into gardening.  I try on my prettiest floatiest dresses and the only comfort I can feel is that I can actually still get them on - but at a very definite stretch.  I am 'too fat to float' and I blame the fact that I ate too much and most of that was cake!  I find a pretty floaty scarf and that has to do in the femininity stakes - as Oldmasock used to say in my long gone teenage years "I don't know who you think is going to look at YOU anyway!"

So off to the big city to meet dear friend and fellow invitee Lazy Trollop who is wearing a pretty dress which no-one  will see as we keep our coats on all evening!  We arrive unfashionably early on a warmish sunny evening, find a canal side pub in Little Venice and  treat ourselves to a couple of G&T's.  Then on to Clifton Nurseries where we are greeted by the Managing Director himself

who understands our needs well enough to guide us straight to the drinks table.  The room is full of beautiful and expensive objéts

a posh cloche - I don't know what it is but it's expensive and I need one

a rather nice handbag belonging to one of the guests which a group of us spent some time admiring

the remnants of a bottle of some really rather excellent Sipsmith's gin which we didn't want to go to waste at the end of the evening

so I liberated it at the behest of fellow invitees who will remain nameless because I am not a snitch

and the most beautiful, scrumptious, impractical pair of garden wellies ever..

which of course belonged to Laetitia

and my fabulous friends Helen Reeley and Jo Thompson who I hope will forgive me for burbling away all through our post-book launch pizza!

Also enjoying the evening were Dawn Isaac (wearing a gorgeous flowing floaty long skirt of which I was rather jealous), Naomi Slade, EW_Gardens (Ursula)  and FlowerFarmer (Georgie) who I can now add to my list of twitter friends made real.

Ahh! You are thinking.. OK we've seen the 'Hello' style Who, What, and Where photos but what about the BOOK!!!

Well I haven't read the book 'Sweet Peas for Summer' yet but I flicked through one at the launch (making sure my fingers weren't sticky from the cheese straws first!) and the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. The general, genuine consensus was that the book - Laetitia's story of creating her first garden from scratch, aimed at those new to gardening - was beautifully written too.  If  the book is as full of charm, humour and warm hearted appreciation of life and love as Laetitia herself,  then it will be a very good book indeed.


the cycling gardener said...

While working as PA to a landscape architect some 12 years ago I had to deal with Clifton Nurseries who were providing a lot of very expensive plants for some very posh clients. Sad to say I’ve never been in person - an oversight that must be put right. However, Clifton looks like a very wonderful but dangerous place to be with a purse full of cash or plastic and I think a visit will need to be planned with extreme caution!

Victoria Summerley said...

I love Laetitia's wellies. I was supposed to go, but had to cry off at the last minute. Looking forward to seeing the book.

Oxonian Gardener said...

Do those wellies come in a size 8?