TV

It's never too late to start totally digging 'Gardener's World'

Maybe it’s an age thing, maybe it’s Monty Don’s soothing voice and cool bulb planter. Either way, Lucy Sweet's got her fingers in her herbaceous border at last

Gardener's World

Gardener's World

Although the varifocals and the walk-in bath aren’t quite necessary yet, I’ve started to find great comfort in Gardener’s World. My parents used to watch it when I was an interminably bored teen, and I would dramatically yawn my way through it waiting for Blackadder to come on, watching Alan Titchmarsh gently blithering his way around his herbaceous border before he was joined on the spin-off Ground Force by Charlie Dimmock’s dimmocks swaying in the wind while she dug a trench.

I hated both shows with a passion. God, they were the very definition of dull. Plant your hollyhocks 5cm deep, get rid of bindweed, ‘my clematis only flowers every two years, HELP!’, to mulch or not to mulch? Then a lot of raking. So much raking. And ambling slowly down paths, as if time was infinitely expendable. Not to mention all those Latin names of plants, followed by the variety, which, as with pedigree dogs on Crufts, is always something mind-bogglingly random and stupid, like ‘Nature’s Fairy Christmas’ or ‘Trumpets of Morning’.

But times have changed and now I’m shocked to find I’m quite into it. Monty Don and his dog used to drive me to furious despair as he pottered about and droned on. Now, his voice is eternally soothing. He is like a calm pond, a stick in a river, a resting toad on a lilypad. I bet they use his voice when you’re put on hold at Dignitas.

And now I’ve put my days of partying behind me and actually have my own modest patch of green space, I’ve realised that there’s something quietly impressive about gardening. It is the very definition of the long game. You’re in charge, but you’re not really. You can coax, you can tinker, you can amble all you like. You can even rig up elaborate hydroponic planting areas and create your own sustainable food source. But in the end, nature will always win, and your box hedges will grow out like wildly unkempt merkins and you will be buried and return to dust under that tree you once planted, which is now 10ft tall with a trunk like Tommy Lee Jones’ face. Ha! Touché, humans!

Monty Don is like a calm pond, a stick in a river, a resting toad on a lilypad. I bet they use his voice when you’re put on hold at Dignitas.

This should be a disturbing thought, but it’s not. The March of Time (plant between April and May in full sun) takes a lot of responsibility away from you, allowing for you to just be. And when Monty Don says the words: “With gardens you’ve got to take your time and wait,” I’m flooded with the kind of calm you would pay a premium for on the Headspace app. He also has a really cool bulb planter thing like an enormous apple corer, which I googled, then seriously considered buying – only £25.99! Maybe this is what happens when you get older. Maybe I’m growing? Will I like Eamonn Holmes soon? Oh God, maybe I should phone Dignitas after all…

Gardener’s World airs on BBC2 on Fridays at 8pm

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