Wednesday, 7 April 2010

My Story Part 2

Carrying on from my post of 19th March, I think rather than try and tell the various parts of the story about working here in order, I would rather recount tales as they spring to mind.
Being a gardener on an estate such as this one, which is in a very prominent position overlooking Poole Harbour, I got to see and sometimes take part in many things to do with TV and radio.
On one occasion some scenes from a TV series called Poldark, which some of you may remember, were filmed here. As I lived in the gate lodge of the estate it was my job to be ready for the arrival of the TV company and all of it's vehicles etc, and so it was that at about 4.30am one morning I was woken by a knock on the door, and on going outside was met with what can only be described as a convoy stretching down the road of articulated lorries. Once these were let into the car park they arranged themselves as best they could, but still took up most of the space. Satellite dishes were erected, the canteen truck set up (gardeners were allowed to use this for free whilst filming and the food was SUPERB!). Various trailers for the actors were put in a row, and then for the next few days chaos ensued. It was very strange to see the house surrounded by so many people in period costume, we felt quite out of place in our modern day clothes.
On another occasion an episode of The Russ Abbot Show was filmed and I remember seeing him and his entourage dancing and singing their way through The Rock Garden, and a little later a comedy sketch with himself and Les Dennis, who was quite a miserable chap and very stand offish.

'That's Gardening' with Professor Stefan Buczacki filmed a programme as well. On this occasion they wanted someone to be interviewed by him and as I was the only gardener not shaking in his shoes at the prospect, I put myself forward. What is not evident on the interview, filmed in the Italian Garden, is that I had an abcess on a tooth, but this was cleverly concealed by filming my good side. I still have a copy of the interview but cannot seem to download it onto my blog......never mind!

I don't know if many of you have heard of 'Gardeners Question Time'.....Edith, you probably have I would think, but it's a radio show where people are recorded as they bring their various plants to a panel of professionals for advice. One episode of this was recorded at the gardens and so many people turned up that the organisers had to rope in the Compton Acres gardeners to help their panel....absolutely brilliant fun!!

I have had the pleasure of talking with Roddy Llewellin whilst he took photographs for his latest book, seen genuine Geishas as they were filmed in the Japanese Garden in their remarkable costumes, and on another occasion, though not to everyones taste (but hey...I was a young red blooded male at the time!), it had been approved by the owner to have a glamour shoot done in the Japanese Garden. Unbeknown to the management it wasn't quite what they had expected and on doing my early morning rounds before the public were allowed in, I was met by a half dozon or so very attractive ladies who were either totally naked, or wearing very little lingerie, posing provocatively in various places.......who said gardening can be boring?
I think that's enough for now as I could just go on and on............TTFN!


  1. Dear Gary, You must have wondered where I was. I have been searching the blogosphere for this posting since, on the first two occasions I logged on, it blew up in front of me. Joy of joys, I have once more caught up with you, clearly a star of stage and screen. You omit to tell of your part in the fashion [or was it porn?] shoot....

    I was most intrigued to hear of all the goings on at Compton Acres where life can never have been dull. Of course I know of Gardeners' Question Time and I am not at all surprised that they required you to help them out as it is my belief that they are not, when it comes to trickier areas, so well informed.

    Now, tell me, Gary, have you yet unlocked your entry into Blotanical? Believe me, there appear to be countless messages awaiting you.

  2. Hi Edith,
    Fortunately, my only part in the photo shoot was to oversee everything until they had finished, and the only thing stopping it becoming a porn shoot would apparently have been male counterparts.
    Your comment about the Question Time panel was very close to the truth, but I may mention more on that at some other point.
    It is really frustrating with Blotanical. I have been trying on several occasions to login in using the combinations of details that I normally use for various internet stuff, and have contacted them twice now about this, but they seem to simply ignore my requests. I am not sure what else to do but will keep trying I suppose.......Grrrrrr!