Monty don says new garden can be daunting when older
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Monty Don opened up to BBC viewers on the “daunting” challenges of creating a garden later in life during Friday’s Gardeners’ World. The 66-year-old admitted that the prospect of tackling a garden from scratch can feel intimidating for his generation. However, he offered some wise words of wisdom after a viewer shared a touching story about creating a garden in her 80s.
During the episode, the horticulturist discussed the work involved with growing and maintaining a garden, adding that older gardeners can often be reluctant to start any big projects.
Monty explained: “I think all of us share the pleasure of growing a new plant or a new fruit or even creating a new border.
“But tackling a brand-new garden from scratch is daunting to anyone, particularly as you get older.
“However, for one of our viewers in Swansea, this is a challenge that she is embracing with enthusiasm.”
The show turned its focus onto viewer Ann who welcomed viewers into her impressive back garden which she started working on four years ago.
“It’s the first time I have started a garden conscious of the pressure of time,” Ann explained.
“Since I was nearing my 80th birthday I felt a sense of my own mortality.
“A person in their 80s may not have the energy to spend on the garden that I would have had in my 40s.”
She shared her secrets to creating a stunning garden later in life and explained how much she still enjoyed getting her hands in the soil.
Ann said: “I think one of the things is to have an awareness that if you cannot maintain it, it needs to be something that’s easily maintained by someone else.
“I certainly was aware that I couldn’t start with very young trees. I wanted to have trees that were mature enough to have an impact, but not so big that I was unable to care for them as they got established.
“It’s really essential to me to have a garden, I like getting my hands in the soil and I just like spending time outdoors talking to the plants.”
Monty commented on Ann’s heartfelt story, echoing how he’s had to adapt his role in the garden as he gets older.
“I think that is really inspirational,” Monty said. “Not just for those of us whose youth is in the distant past, but for anyone of any age.
“It’s never too late to start something new.
“And for Anne to make a wonderful garden at an age where she could be forgiven for taking things easy and looking back more than forward, I think, is a lesson for all of us.”
“Long may she enjoy her lovely garden,” the broadcaster added.
Fans of the Gardeners’ World took to Twitter after being touched by Ann’s anecdote, with Cate saying: “I am SO loving Ann #GardenersWorld.”
Eileen Elder added: “Your garden looks wonderful Ann, age is just a number, never too late #GardenersWorld.”
Advolly said: “Aw, bless Ann and her little garden.”
Gardeners’ World airs on BBC Two on Fridays.
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