Date: 31 March 2001
Originally published in: Amateur Gardening (UK)
Written by: Marc Rosenberg
Eighties pop star turned garden designer Kim Wilde has hit back at critics of TV makeovers. Speaking exclusively to AG, Kim, who will star in Garden Invaders starting on BBC1 on 30 April, said makeovers help people realise what is possible in their gardens. Kim is best known for her pop hits ‘You keep me hangin’ on’ and ‘Kids in America’. She is studying for a City & Guilds in design and planting at Capel Manor College in Middlesex, and takes her exam this June.
Kim said: ‘It all started five years ago when I did my own garden – that’s when I caught the bug. I discovered that gardening was hugely creative and very additive. I love the suspense of waiting for things to happen, and watching things grow’, she added. Kim watched the first series of ‘Garden Invaders’ and described it as ‘Great fun’. She said that she was overwhelmed when producers asked her to design 20 gardens for the second series.
‘It was a huge challenge, and I’ve got the physio’s bill to prove it!’, she said. ‘I’ve had major back problems, and I’m sure it’s a result of moving masses of rubble in those gardens.’
Kim described gardens created on ‘Ground Force’ as ‘very apealing’. ‘It’s important not to get snobbish about makeovers’, she said. ‘People are not stupid. They know that real gardens don’t have to be created against the clock. They help people realise what is possible in the garden, and new gardeners feel they can do it. It’s all psychological.’
Kim siad her TV designs were aimed at getting people to have a go: ‘I enjoy all sorts of gardening styles. A combination of big plants and herbaceous plants gives an awesome effect.’
Kim is developing her own one-acre garden, and has two cres of woodland. The garden includes a shady area, a north-facing courtyard, an orchard area, wildflowers, a formal herb garden and lavender. ‘My garden has eight huge raised vegetable beds. I had to learn what to put in them, so I went down to the allotments and picked people’s branis – and read the instructions on seed packets’, Kim said. ‘I never get as much time in the garden as I want. I have a gardener who comes in every week to help, and sometimes gets the jobs that I want to do. I think: I’d be out there doing that, if I had the chance!’