You might remember a few weeks ago that I told you DJ and the vegetable garden were in for a local gardening competition – er, well, actually that I had entered him into it. After months of hard graft and last minute panic, the judges came round with their clipboards a few weeks ago to visit the veg patch and left without giving any hint as to how DJ had fared.
Finally, the moment of truth arrived on Friday. It was the Billericay in Bloom prize-giving, attended by such luminaries as our local MP John Baron and Ken Crowther, gardening expert and presenter on BBC Essex who was also handing out the prizes. Annoyingly, DJ found he’d doubled booked himself that night with an evening out in London and couldn’t attend. To be honest, he was so convinced he wasn’t going to win that I wonder if subconsciously he’d decided not to go along to avoid any disappointment.
Anyhow, yours truly went to the event as his representative in case he had managed to win something after all. The room was packed with intrepid gardeners of all ages, the air bristling with competition. A big projector displayed photographs of many gardens in the town, including a topiary peacock. At first, I looked in vain for any photos of our veg patch. It didn’t look hopeful. After 20 minutes I spotted what I thought may have been a picture of some of DJ’s lettuces, but it went by so quickly that I couldn’t be sure.
There were so many categories, from best kept front garden to best container garden (school category), that it took some time to get around to the ‘best vegetable garden’. By then a local dentist, who was sitting on the same table as me, had already picked up two first prize plaques (no pun intended) and hopefully lots of new gardeners as customers. Chatting with him, I missed the announcement of the best veg category and had to strain to hear the names being called out.
I couldn’t believe it when DJ’s name was read out, and rushed to the front to collect his trophy. Ken Crowther looked confused. “You don’t look like a Douglas to me,” he said. But when I explained that DJ couldn’t make it and that I’d gone there on his behalf, he grinned and handed over the trophy. I felt like an imposter standing to have my photograph taken for the local newspaper with the real winners. Behind me, John Baron quipped that next year everybody would be jumping up if a prize was announced and nobody claimed it, insisting that they were the winner!
I immediately texted DJ and he called back from his evening out in London in shock. He was completely stunned. Later our neighbours, Nina and Kevin, rushed round to offer their congratulations. They were almost as excited as me! How clever their son Callum was to predict previously that DJ would win first prize (but then he is a member of the school green club, so he knows what he’s talking about). Maybe it sounds daft but I am so proud of DJ, I could burst. He worked so hard for it. When he got home, he stared at the trophy in disbelief. “I can’t believe it,” he said. “Does this mean I have to compete again next year?”
So here’s to DJ. Tonight we will be sampling some of our new home-grown courgettes (after a slow start, these plants are finally getting into their stride), blueberries and raspberries to celebrate!
How is your vegetable garden faring in the hot weather? What successes and failures have you had this year? Leave a message and let me know.
|StumbleUpon||Technorati||Yahoo! My Web|