Thursday, 11 February 2010


A long-tailed macaque, Penang Malaysia. (Not the Garden Monkey!)

I'd like to make an official denial:
An hour or so ago, I received this rather startling email from my good friend Chris Young:


“When not busy with all of the above, Nigel spends his time contributing to his hugely popular blog,
The Garden Monkey.

Thinking about it, I think it makes sense as Silver Tree Daze started up when Garden Monkey was slowing down.....

Best wishes


A vervet monkey in the Transvaal - close to some flowers but not the Garden Monkey.


My instant reply went thus:

My God, I don't believe it!

First they spell my name wrong, and then they accuse me of being the Garden Monkey! I fervently deny being the GM. It absolutely is not me, I promise! I wish I was that clever!

Plus, the Limelight picture was shot by Tim Sandall decades ago. Even so, that's a really, really bad jersey.

I really should pay more attention to what my agent's are doing, shouldn't I?

Thanks for the tip [off]. I'll have to do a special blog post!
All best
NOT, repeat, NOT the Garden Monkey.


And then my other good friend at the RHS Garden, Phil Clayton chimed in with:

Maybe. But that’s what you would say....!

Philip Clayton


To which Chris added. . .

Well, I wouldn’t be so rude to comment on the jersey (but yes, it was pretty bad!)....but I’m still not 100 percent convinced Mr Monkey. You, out of all the people, have the wit, charm and eloquence that could make you the Monkey.

Maybe, to help you support your notion that you are not he/she, your blog should out the real an effort to convince your dear, dear, sincere friends at the Royal Horticultural Society’s esteemed journal office!!!----------------------------

And finally, the latest, from Phil:

It was a bit unfair, I’ll grant you, but you are not entirely in the clear yet.

Perhaps you hide a split-personality, the mild, placid half of the Nigel we know and love working on Silver Tree Days, and the other half tearing hapless people to shreds on Garden Monkey... I’m nervous just thinking about it....!

Just in case you didn't get the message, let me reiterate: I AM NOT THE GARDEN MONKEY. OK?

I'm in a bit of a predicament, here, because I can deny this until I'm blue in the face, but I don't know how I can prove it.

What would be lovely would be for the real Garden Monkey to post a comment, here, confirming that, as this post's title states, It Ain't me, Babe!

And while we're on the topic of primates, can I just say that I find it perplexing - and sometimes annoying - that people call apes monkeys.

A male orang utan, just coming into puberty, photographed in Borneo (Sabah.)
Not the Garden Monkey - indeed, not even a monkey at all, but an ape.

That's it. Back to the usual insanity next week.
Bye bye and thanks for your kind attention!


  1. Well, top marks to Limelight Management - they've changed the page already, so if you clicked on the link, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.

    It has to be said, that sweater is AWFUL!


  2. Methinks he does protest too much ;-)
    Although I have the feeling that GM is a female monkey. I have no proof of this and am almost certainly wrong.

  3. hmmm, dont know what to believe

  4. Nigel, we've all known it was you for ages.

  5. EH? I thought Garden Monkey was Bunny Guinness! Doh!

  6. I was impressed by the two sets of twins - or did the agent get that wrong too?


  7. Oh, come on NIgel.
    There comes a time in a chap's life when you have to come clean, fess up and say "it's a fair cop, guv".

    You and I know full well that you still have that jumper and wear it in every RHS Flower Show moderation session.

  8. I can confirm that you are not I and I not you.

    What I want to know is which cheeky bugger at your management is responsible and what prompted them to post it in the first place.

  9. Well, it looks like Nigel is not the Garden Monkey.

    I have wondered, if Nigel has an iPhone and a blog, why he isn't tweeting?

    It would be very amusing for him and GM to have a bit of witty banter on there...

  10. Except that The Don would have to provide the wit - I just dribble on about rubbish - as always.

  11. Thanks for quick responses.
    James - no, that jumper became compost some time ago, I think. I did have a worse one, with diamond patterns but the children confiscated it because I refused to stop wearing it.

    Rob - I registered with Twitter but decided that running a blog was time-consuming enough, without more cyber-twaddling. So I haven't tweeted and probably won't. I may even have heard the voice of a ghostly Frankie Howerd saying 'Twitter ye not!'

    New Shoot - yes, there are two sets of Twins. The youngest, still known as 'The Babies' are in their 30s.

    Garden Monkey - thanks for responding. I suspect Limelight will keep mum on who dunnit. And don't talk piffle about 'provide the wit!' It was the verve and wicked wit of you, and the Hat, that inspired me to go blogging in the first place.


  12. Well done for going public Monkey......errr, I mean, Nigel. Maybe we will one day know who the Monkey really is. Meanwhile: thank goodness the jersey has gone!

  13. I tried to tell Chris & Phil it was so unlikely to be you. GM is too well-versed in popular culture and TV, and NC is quite clearly not (in a very refreshing way) - I just don't think he could have maintained that dichotomy.

  14. Did anyone wonder if Garden Monkey worked at Nigel's agent...?