Kim Wilde

One-time chart-topper Kim Wilde lives in a converted barn in Hertfordshire with her husband, actor / singer Hal Fowler, and their young children Harry and Rose. A passionate gardener, she is helping present the BBC’s coverage of the Chelsea F1ower Show.
“It’s really only been in the last five years that my interest in garden design has matured. In 1997 I helped design a garden next to our recording studio in Knebworth. By its completion, I was hooked. I’m completely consumed by it now. When I woke up this morning, my little girl was crying and wanted her breakfast, but I have to confess that my priority was to make sure my seedlings in the greenhouse hadn’t dried out overnight! I was out yesterday and I knew my husband had forgotten to water them.
“I first moved to this house ten years ago, on my 30th birthday. The garden didn’t exist – it was no more than half an acre of barren land next to a two-acre field. Gradually, I’ve divided it into five sections.
“Presiding over it all is the giant ash tree at the top of the garden. Its roots absorb a tremendous amount of moisture, which is why I’ve planted a wildflower meadow around it: the resuIting environment is something they thrive on. The second section comprises raised vegetable beds. I grow everything from peas to garlic and beetroot. I also have a small herb garden which I love to sit near to smell its delicious aromas.
“The section in the middle of the garden is very formal: an avenue of hawthorn trees with a mass of pink flowers that are just about to bloom. Next to it is my new project: a Mediterranean garden with gravel, raised beds and lots of drama – tall plants, globe artichokes and strong colours. Then there’s the pond, which I had put in at the start.
“I’m currently halfway through a City & Guilds course in horticuIture. I go every Thursday and love it. The aim is to use the knowledge I’m acquiring to make our garden the best it can be and also for any projects with which I’m involved – like one I’m doing for the Tatton Park Garden Show in Cheshire, which has an Alice In Wonderland theme~ It’s useful, too, for Garden Invaders, the show I present on BBC1.
“1 was at art college before I became Kim Wilde, pop star, and I really loved painting and creating. To me designing and working with plants is the same process: I’m involved with colour and composition, only now it’s in three dimensions.
“It’s not often in life that you surprise yourself, but I’m amazed at the passion l’ve developed for gardening. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have believed I’d be talking like this. In fact, I was filling in the Census form recently and got to the bit where I had to enter my occupation. without thinking, I wrote ‘Gardener’. Extraordinary, isn’t it?”