Why gardening keeps you ever so humble

For real enthusiasts, it's all about the plants and how you grow things - you might as well be a scarecrow

Share
Related Topics

"Hey, the garden is going to be on Gardeners' World!" This piece of news failed spectacularly to excite my son and daughter, who were packing for the start of the university term, and more interested in whether they'd remembered to buy teabags than in my horticultural hooplas. “You gonna be on it, Mum?” asked my son, barely lifting his eyes from a tangle of cables, clean socks and phone chargers.

“No, just the garden,” I said. “…K,” he mumbled, visibly losing interest.

No one is interested in you – as a person, I mean – if you are showing off your garden. People want to know about the plants, and how you grow things. You could be a scarecrow for all they care (although if you were a particularly efficacious scarecrow, capable of clearing entire allotments of pigeons and other thieving avians, they'd be very interested indeed). Gardening is very good for keeping one's ego firmly in its place.

I'd been rung up by BBC Gardeners' World before, a couple of years ago, but nothing came of it. A couple of times, photographers have contacted me, but then decided my garden – a subtropical jungle in South-west London, full of bamboos and hardy bananas – wasn't suitable for their purposes. Oh well, another blow to my self-esteem.

This time however, the GW advance party came round, they enthused about the garden, and they said they'd ring me. Yeah, right, I thought. To my astonishment, they rang a few days later and said they'd love to come and film. So at sunrise one day last week, I found myself mowing the lawn, sweeping the terrace and fishing dead leaves out of the pond. At 9.30am, the crew arrived, along with presenter Joe Swift. I set about making copious amounts of tea.

I open my garden for charity under the National Gardens Scheme, so I'm used to seeing strangers in it. I love watching how they react to it – where they sit, what they look at, how they use the space that I have created. With a film crew it was even more fascinating. I kept wanting to say things like: “The sun hits that bit of the garden in about an hour,” but I didn't dare. What with all the mowing, and sweeping, and tea-making, I felt a bit like I was on work experience.

The idea of the segment they were filming, apparently, was to show how to achieve layers of planting in the garden, so there is a seamless transition between low-growing plants and gigantic ones. So, was my garden an example of how to do it, or how not to do it? I'll have to wait until it airs to find out. After all, I'm only the gardener.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas