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Alan Titchmarsh opens Gardening Club with ITV

Alan Titchmarsh's Gardening Club

ITV

Alan Titchmarsh opens Gardening Club with ITV

From Breakfast Time and Songs of Praise to Pebble Mill via Ground Force, Alan has been part of our TV landscape for decades…

Now in a brand new ITV series, Alan Titchmarsh who is now in his 60th year of gardening, along with a diverse team of experts shines a light on the latest horticultural trends and innovative gardens across the UK, providing a wealth of practical gardening tips for both aspiring and experienced gardeners. Alongside Alan, the expert team includes David Domoney, horticulturist Camilla Bassett-Smith, community gardener Tayshan Hayden-Smith, eco-friendly gardener Anna Greenland, and house plant expert Sarah Gerrard-Jones.

Can you tell us a little bit about Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club and how it came about? 

It’s a wonderful little show which has all kinds of facets of gardening. It’s inspirational, practical, enthusing and particularly made for a broad range of people. Experienced gardeners will enjoy it but also so will people who have been a bit frightened of it and not really got into gardening before. It very much aims to cut the mystique and keep the magic. Even with all keen gardeners, there are always new things to learn and it’ll inspire them as well.

Tell us more about the talent that you have joining with you on the series? Have you learnt any tips from them?

Oh I have, it’s always interesting watching people with an expertise. We have a mushroom grower on the first programme, who grew mushrooms in little sacks for the Newt down in Somerset, for the kitchens there. There’s a guy called Alex who is new to vegetable growing, and we’re following him and his veg patch to see how he does, which has been filmed over the last year. Their enthusiasm is so infectious, even if you might know the information, old gardeners are keen to see other new gardeners coming on. What I hope this series will do is explore and enthuse people who are new to gardening by showing what other beginners have achieved.  

A lot of the series is filmed at your own home. How does it feel to bring the viewers into your own garden? 

All my bits will be in my own garden. It feels like the right thing to do. I did it for 27 years at the beginning of my broadcasting career and then when we moved house about 20 years ago, I said right this one’s for us. We did a series called ‘Grow Your Own at Home’ which went down in lockdown, which my wife filmed, and she became quite famous for her film camera work despite never doing as much as taking a snap on her iPhone before. So we’ve done a little bit from here, but generally it’s not seen very often. It’s nice for viewers to have a peek inside my own garden as well. 

Alan Titchmarsh led the Ground Force team for the BBC

What advice would you give to anyone who is interested in starting gardening for the first time? 

Well watch Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club and pick up on the enthusiasm and the vibes and also the knowledge. I’m hoping it stops people being frightened of having a go and says ‘Look what you can achieve’. The great thing about gardening is, it doesn’t just feed the appetite and the body, it feeds the soul as well. The combination of growing things to eat but also things that look beautiful, enriches our lives and lifts our spirits. 

And, is now as good a time as any for people to be out gardening as we approach spring?

By the time this hits the airwaves in early March, spring will be underway. So what this series does is give you a spring in your step and the enthusiasm and the know how to leap into spring and start doing things. Feed your plants, which is a very good tip at this time of year, get out there with the Fish, Blood and Bone and give everything a good sprinkling of the stuff. They’ve had so much water during the winter, it’s washed a lot of nutrition out of the soil. So feeding, mulching, pruning roses and things like that will set them off for the new year. That’s what we’ll be focusing on.

Besides gardening, what do you like doing in your down-time? 

I just like being out here, and in a way it’s got more important to me as I’ve gone along. It’s my 60th year of being a professional gardener – I left school at 15 in 1964. But it’s just become more and more important. I’m sitting in my garden now watching gently bubbling fountains and little daffodils flowering and hellebores in full bloom and thinking there’s nothing better than this. It’s glorious.

Describe the series in three words. 

Inspiring, heartening and fun. 

Alan Titchmarsh’s Gardening Club starts at 2pm on Monday 4th March, and then weekly for 10 weeks, on ITV1, STV, STV Player and ITVX

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