Yesterday we had a visit from Sarah Raven. She came to look at our trial nursery to write a feature for the Telegraph.
She has been a passionate advocate of British-grown flowers and has been a helpful part of the resurgence of the industry (along with the de-valued pound, the Kenyan riots, the dust cloud, rising fuel costs, demand in Eastern Europe and African inflation).
I am unsure what she will make of our business, her views on supermarkets are generally quite sceptical. Our business is built, more or less exclusively, around supplying supermarkets, a situation which has evolved out of necessity and pragmatism rather than a commercial ideology.
I like “the Raven vision” and she is clearly a passionate and knowledgeable horticulturist. We have about 300 different species and cultivars in trial and she spent 5 hours looking around making helpful observations.
When she arrived she fell under the (annoyingly frequent) misapprehension that my father and I are brothers. This maybe happens once a month here. It leaves Dad grinning and walking around on a cloud of air. I, meanwhile, spend the rest of the day wearing a grimace that is so malevolent that it makes Gordon Brown look like one of the Jedward brothers. The dad/brother confusion is a self-fulfilling prophesy, in many ways.
Poor old Sarah. When she visited JA Collison’s nursery nears Kings Lynn later in the day, she assumed that Phil and Ian Collison were father and son when they are in fact brothers.
It is clearly tricky to assume anything when you are in the Fens.