According To Seabrook ... Efficiency is a fact of life for some of us

Staff at The Sun now produce seven editions a week.

They file copy for the newspaper as well as its website and soon they will produce television content too. All this while staff numbers are to be cut by 40. There used to be 19 staff photographers - now there is one and many of us take our own pictures. It is called multitasking.

This may not come as any surprise to readers working in the commercial sector. Times are tough and likely to get more so in the near future.

Visiting schools, colleges and less commercial operations such as the BBC, National Trust and RHS, I do not see the same aggressive approach to increasing efficiency.

There are complaints about eastern Europeans taking British jobs but, quite honestly, there are well-trained people used to working for less and we have to acclimatise to a lower standard of living.

Two Christmas newsletters from Notcutts and the Garden Centre Group arrived earlier this month and references to gardening were difficult to find. While the weather has hardly been in our favour, surely at least one half-page out of eight could have been allocated to gardening?

The in-bold first line in the Sage covering letter reminded me that the renewal date for continuing membership is next June. Having read the privilege club newsletter, I could see no reason why a gardener would want to renew seven months in advance.

Visiting the Burford Garden Company on a cold, wet Sunday lunchtime, I was staggered to find the car park packed. A lot of the visitors were in the restaurant and coffee shop, but there were barrows going through the tills with coloured bark dogwoods, bulbs and evergreens.

At the entrance were eye-catching, variegated, standard hollies at a good price, which bridged the gardening and Christmas messages nicely.

Peter Seabrook is a gardening writer and broadcaster.


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