Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending an hour with Arthur Parkinson at his home in the Cotswolds.
With a following of 120,000 on Instagram, the two-time Gardeners World guest and Author of 3 books (with a forth coming next year!) is a rising star in the world of gardening. However, outside the realms of flowers, he also has a large following for his love and colourful illustrations of chickens.
Having known of Arthur for a few years, he became someone that I really wanted to meet. I don't typically become obsessed with public figures - though what really resonates with me about Arthur is seeing someone young having a go and succeeding in doing something they love.
After receiving a message from Arthur about wanting to order some Cretan planters for his home, I couldn't quite believe it. Our fleeting encounter at RHS Chelsea was a pleasant surprise back in May - though this was a total shock!
After everything was agreed, I popped in the van and tootled over to the sunny Cotswolds to say hello. After a thorough chat about life over a cup of tea, we unloaded the van and he was over the moon with his pots (my 65cm Large Tapered Cretan Planters). I even received a compliment on my green trousers... fashion being something that I don't have a reputation for, I was very happy with that!
I'm so glad to say that the man I met was an absolute delight and hopefully we are arranging a date to catch up again.
It's incredible when I occasionally take a step back and think where this business has taken me. Amongst the thousands of cups of tea (and the occasional lunch!), I've met some truly fantastic people and have made some beautiful friends in the process.
Thomas Pearson