The secret gardener - Kate Humble

The wildlife TV presenter has always been passionate about nature, but seems to be becoming increasingly keen on gardening.  One of her latest passions is growing dahlias.  “When I hit 50 I suddenly thought, ‘I really want dahlias in my life.’  I don't know why that happens, but apparently it does...” she told the Belfast Telegraph.  “I've had enormous pleasure from my garden, from just weeding, growing things,” she said.

Simple pleasures, such as growing vegetables or, indeed, dahlias are explored in Kate’s new book A Year Of Living Simply: The Joys Of A Life Less Complicated, (Octopus), in which she celebrates getting back to basics – and enjoying things that bring genuine pleasure such as feeling the soil between her fingers in the garden.

Kate has described herself as a “have a go gardener” rather than an expert.  She and her husband Ludo have a 4-acre small holding in the Wye Valley, Wales, with pigs, sheep, chickens and dogs.  Kate’s also started keeping bees.  The land was in good shape when they took it on, but Kate and Ludo are planting trees and are gradually making it their own.  “We were overwhelmed by the responsibility of the garden when we arrived, but we are much more confident now and have made a veg garden and a huge wildlife pond that is already home to pond skaters, dragonflies and diving beetles.  We have even been brave enough to prune the apple trees,” she said in a recent interview.

Photo credit - C Richardson