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: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A teenage girl uses her smartphone in bed.  

Remove smartphones from the hands of under-18s and maybe they will grow up to be less dumb

Janet Street-Porter
Rohingya migrants in a boat adrift in the Andaman Sea last week  

Burma will regret shutting its eyes to the fate of the Rohingya boat people

Peter Popham
Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor