Who on earth is Cleve West?

Have you heard of Cleve West?

If you haven't, don't feel bad about it. He certainly wouldn't want you to. Frankly, it's not really surprising if you live on this side of the Atlantic.

However, if you live in, or come from the UK, then there’s a pretty good chance, if you are at all interested in gardening, that his name will at least ring some bell in your memory.

For those of you who are still in the ‘never heard of him’ category, let me enlighten you.

Cleve is simply and undisputedly one of the best contemporary garden designers in the UK. To date, his superb designs have won a staggering six gold medals at the prestigious Chelsea flower show; and even more remarkably, he won the coveted Best in Show title two consecutive years running. That’s an awesome achievement for anybody!

The result of all of this is that it gives Cleve a certain amount of celebrity. OK, so it doesn’t make him the equivalent of a Hollywood A-lister. He probably doesn’t have groupies that hang on his every word, awaiting his latest utterances on Twitter. And one would hope that he doesn’t have stalkers lying in wait for him outside of his house. But this little bit of renown, coupled with a solid and well deserved reputation for what he does so spectacularly well, does give Cleve something of a platform. People in the gardening world and those with a keen interest in horticultural matters will be interested in what he has to say.

Of course, the same can be said for anybody who achieves a modicum of celebrity. Even for the briefest moment, they have an opportunity to influence the world at large, or at least those who are expressing interest in them as an individual or what they have achieved, or what they do.

So what do the majority do with their 15 minutes, or even 50 years of fame?