Thursday, 8 January 2009


Anyone who regularly reads the gardening blogs will know that despite my general cheekiness, I have a deep love for the monkey. I'd been racking my brains for a suitable send-off-slash-tribute, and then it came to me in a flash! 

On 12th February, Kyle Cathie are publishing the paperback of the revised edition of Jekka's Complete Herb Book. It is a totally gorgeous bible of everything you can do with herbs, letting you know the best mint for mint sauce, for mint tea, for hanging baskets. Etc. 

Knowing how much the GM loves gardening books (and also having seen at first hand how much the GM's identity fascinates Jekka) I thought this was a star giveaway and the perfectly appropriate gift! And it means we get to celebrate that simian, not boo-hoo about it. 

So I received a brand-new copy yesterday morning direct from the publisher, and I will put it straight back in the jiffy bag and send it off to one lucky winner, in honour of the Naked Ape. Saving one lucky person £16.99.

All you have to do is comment here, don't give me any contact details, I'll just draw the commenters' names out of a hat, then announce it, and you can get in touch with me. But here's an idea: why don't you use the comment to share with us all the GM thing which made you spit out the most tea whilst laughing? 

Monkey, we will miss you, but we hope that the change brings you a bit more peace for sitting around eating bananas. XXX

Jekka is the speaker at KMIS, Kew Mutual Improvement Society, on Monday evening. 


emmat said...

PS the thing that made me laugh the most on Garden Monkey was probably...

God this is really difficult. I really liked the lady from Texas or wherever who said the funny things about her sons. The comical song titles, I did really like them (especially the evil genius of Martyn Cox!).

But probably best memory of all is the Matthew Wilson wars, which did in fact lead to the founding of this very blog. Many is the happy hour I spent composing posts slagging off the monkey's totally one-track Wilsonism. Sigh. Those were the days.

Maggi said...

I really couldn't say which made me laugh the most - just everything. I too liked the song titles and the book thing. I was just getting into GM having only dipped in now and again, shame on me!

This is not the most riveting post but hopefully it will get the ball rolling.

jekka said...

Honoured that you should contribute my book to someone who has made the gardening world sit up and laugh. Jekka

Alex said...

My favourite was the garden party in the summer, especially swapping Withnail and I quotes with GM and 'explaining' Guus Hiddink's success story to Victoria at some length which I know she really appreciated.

Victoria said...

I did appreciate your explanation, Alex. My cred was sky-high in the office next day.

VP said...

What a great idea Emma - a bit like those 'An audience with...' things they do on ITV from time to time.

There's so many things I love - The Garden Party was brilliant, but sadly the evidence is no more. Dig Brother was what drew me in initially, closely followed by the first set of the 12 Days of Christmas. That was back in the AOL blog days too.

I loved the book and song titles, but I especially loved most people's comments too - it's like GM inspired us to be even funnier and sillier than usual. And in a world where nearly everyone is being so serious, that's so refreshing.

No need to put me into the draw 'cos you saw me buy the hardback version of Jekka's book last summer when you took that sneaky picture of my feet :)

I just wanted to join in as a thank you to GM.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

I discovered GM only fairly recently, about 6 or 7 months ago, but what really made me laugh a lot was Dig Brother. And quite often GM's guide to the idiot box, as I like a ranting monkey. ;-) The interviews with garden celebs were often also quite amusing.

Lovers of Monica said...


emmat said...

i can't believe Jekka detected my post about her book in just two hours... Hmmm... maybe she really is a white witch. Anyway it's good that she approves.

Ha ha ha I'd forgotten about the soot woman!

JamesA-S said...

It has to be Chester Hunt's Notes from a Small Shed.
Genius stuff.
For example:
Q. What kinds of plants grow well in shade?
A. Ches says: Over the years, by and large, I have found that shade-loving plants do best
Q. How do I take care of leatherjackets ?
A. Ches says: I am not an expert, but I think that it depends on the type of leather the jacket is made of. Have you tried speaking to Sketchleys?
Q. What’s the best type of hat for gardening?
A. Ches says. A hat might be a good idea in very hot, or very cold weather, but that is surely a matter of personal choice. However, I was greatly influenced as a young gardening apprentice, on Lord Prolapse's estate by Alf Pego, one of the senior undergardeners. His conviction was that wearing a hat was a sign of physical weakness and undoubted moral turpitude. As a consequence he refused to ever wear a hat. Although, for Christmas festivities, he'd sometimes put on the tin helmet he took off a dead Jerry at Monte Casino.

HappyMouffetard said...

Difficult to choose one, but possibly:

"Garden Monkey's Unfounded, Unkind, Untrue & Wholly Pointless Rumours #16
On the remote Pacific Ocean island of Dulali, Gardeners World presenter Joe Swift is revered as a god.

Whilst there are similarities between this idolatry and the Vanuatu island of Tanna, where Prince Philip is regarded as a deity, scientists believe that the Dulali phenomenon is linked to post-war nuclear testing on nearby atolls.

Prior to Joe Swift, the islanders had worshipped Bernie Winters for over 30 years".

The Chester Hunt entries are brilliant too.

colleen said...

Time to laugh? too busy playing detective on GM's gender.

emmat said...

Do the Dulalians also have a small additional temple for Schnorbitz?

Also - did you know that Bernie Winters (just found this out checking from Wikipedia that I spelt Schnorbitz right) and his brother were born Weinstein - they were the first, the original, Weinstein brothers!

patientgardener said...

Oh - I thought I had left a comment yesterday but it hasnt appeared (bit like my hyacinths! No VP I'm not bitter!!!)so will try again.

The thing that made me laugh most about GM was the Soot lady on Gardeners Question time. I was very appreciate of GM putting a link so we could listen to it.

I will also remember GM for his/her extensive collection of old gardening books.

The Black Fingernail said...

I'll admit I never personally found The Monkey to be "jaw aching", but it had its place. Some astute and witty stuff in a late '80's Ben Elton sort of way.

The biggest complement I can give the Monkey is that I, like many from its AOL days, deliberately never darkened its door nor trod on its foot. Just lurked, chuckled and got on with things.

Amongst the many spoof satirical blog entries that didn't happen, but were right up The Monkey's street might have included the 2007 offering:

"Dutchy Organics teams up with Sainsbury's to launch Taste The Deference range."

Followed by the 2009 "Dutchy Grace 'n' Flavour" range.

I think The Monkey will be back in due course......

....or you might get crap like this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Emma,
Apologies for not having left a message here before, but I very much enjoy your Blog and writing.
Well done on coming up with such a cheerful goodbye to dear GM. All I have done is left a doleful message.
So for biggest laughts it has to be the Furry Cup in the ideal presents/12 Days of Christmad - oh, and the first time I saw Monty Don described as the Lord of Cord - oh, and the Rose Botherer bets - oh, and... and...
ps no need to put me in the draw as I have the book

VP said...

The Monkey is back! :) Guest blog post on the new Grauniad blog...