There’s been a lot of media coverage just recently of Monty Don and his dog, Nigel. Naturally, I’ve seen a lot of Nigel (and let’s not forget the newbie, Nelly!) as I’m a devoted fan of ‘Gardeners’ World’ – from the Geoff years onwards. So I’ve had quite a while to admire Nigel’s perfect ‘on camera’ persona, and to envy Monty his placid companion. Watching Monty casually lob a ball for Nige, who then WALKS OFF WITH IT!!! makes me sooooooo jealous.
Now. Imagine the filming at Harrell’s nursery garden.
Gardeners’ World. Music – Monty strolls into view, pushing a wheelbarrow – music fades.
Monty: Hello. Welcome to Gardeners’…….. (Milly, at his heels, spots the camera man.)
Milly: Bark! Bark! BARK!
Monty:….. World. Tonight …Bark! BARK! Quiet, Milly!.. I’m going to ..( camera man suddenly lurches to one side as he is struck by Sophy hurtling up from the garden on hearing a stranger’s voice) … be planting …. ( picking up the ball that Maisie has dropped at his feet and throwing it)…. my runner…(picking up the ball that Maisie has dropped at his feet and throwing it a long way)…. beans…Bark! Bark! BARK! ( Camera man can’t follow Monty to his raised bed, as Sophy is hanging on to his waist with her paws) .. now that …(picking up the ball that Maisie has dropped into his newly-dug runner bean hole and throwing it as far as he can) Bark! Bark! BARK! Quiet!! Milly….all danger of frost…(picking up the ball that Maisie has dropped on his runner bean plants and hurling it into the trees) …has passed…. OFF SOPHY!! QUIET, MILLY!! Right. Let’s stop filming for 5 minutes while I shut the dogs in the shed. ( Cameraman heaves a sigh of relief as Sophy is pulled off him. Monty grabs Milly and Sophy and shoves them into the shed. There’s no sign of Maisie, as she’s lost her ball and is now deaf to any and all calls.)
Oh! Yes. I envy Nigel and Nellie, but I wouldn’t swap.