Country & Garden: Cuttings

News From The Gardeners' World
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The Independent Culture
THIS TUESDAY, at the Museum of Garden History, Caroline Holmes continues her series of day courses on gardens of the past by looking at the Tudor garden. At that time novelties introduced from the New World were already beginning to appear, but in modern-day terms the choice for gardeners was still limited. For decoration, they used arbours and trellises and heraldic beasts on poles. They grew sweet-smelling herbs (they needed them) and clipped box into fantastical, emblematic shapes. This day course (11am- 4pm) costs pounds 40. To book, call 0171-261 1891.

`COUNTRY LIVING' magazine's Christmas fair continues today and tomorrow at the Business Design Centre, Islington, north London. The best thing about the fair is that it brings together in one place all kinds of designers, craftsmen and people who produce food and gives them a showcase. This year the fair is divided into five different areas: decorations, food and drink, presents, the Christmas emporium and the gallery emporium. The fair is open today (10am-6pm) and tomorrow (10am-4pm). Admission costs pounds 10.

GARDENING HAS grown from a cottage industry into a major retail market, which Mintel expects to be worth pounds 3.6bn in the year 2000. About 34 million people in this country have access to a garden and 23 million of them even admit to getting some pleasure from it. When numbers like this start being bandied about, the money men move in with interested, hawkish smiles on their faces. Having stuffed us to the gills with cars, video-recorders, carpets and kitchen cabinets, they are now giving us the hard sell on lawnmowers, turf strimmers and paving.

BBC WORLDWIDE has recently published the results of what it claims is the biggest survey ever carried out of UK gardening habits and attitudes.

We don't need the BBC to tell us that Alan Titchmarsh (pace the ubiquitous Charlie Dimmock) is the most widely recognised gardening personality of the day. But it is surprising to learn that 47 per cent of gardens have a barbecue; that's 10 per cent more barbecues than compost bins.

Pollution? Just shut up and pass the pork chops.

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