Kitchen sink drama: Kim Wilde

Date
Published in
Saturday Magazine (UK)
Written by
Paula Kerr

Kim Wilde, 40, had her first taste of fame as a pop singer in the Eighties, with hits like 'Kids in America' and 'Chequered love'. Five years ago, she took a horticulture course and is now back on TV, this time as a garden designer for BBC1's 'Garden invaders'. Kim lives in a converted barn in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, with actor husband Hal Fowler, 32, and children Harry, three and Rose, one.

'Being a pop star was really good fun. My younger brother Ricky was in my band, and we'd fly all over the world and hang out with our mates in Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran who I still see occasionally. I moved into this house when I was 30, but didn't do anything with the garden until Hal and I married five years ago. We planned to have kids straight away and I'd nursed this dream that our children would spend their afternoons running through wildflower meadows and vegetable patches, so I set about making it happen. As soon as I started, I was hooked and found I had a flair for design. But I was faced with my lack of knowledge, so I took a couple of Royal Horticultural Society courses and I've begun another, on planting. I'd like to start a design business of my own in a year or two.
Hal suggested I create a few gardens for neighbours, then I got asked to do a series of 'Better Gardens' and now 'Garden Invaders'. There has been a certain incredulity from some gardeners who say I only got the job because I was once a singer. But it was the same when I started in pop and people said I only got a contract because I was Marty Wilde's daughter. Hopefully those prejudices will fade in time. I'm glad gardening has taken on a sexy image and there is lots on TV.
Food is a big part of my life so I spend lots of time in the kitchen. I ea ta lot of fruit and prefer organic meat, but I'm not fussy. We grow vegetables - they taste so good when they're freshly picked. I'm not a bad cook. I'll often do a vegetable stir-fry with garlic and herbs, and I like making soup. I've tried lots of diets. As a teenager, I once ate nothing but eggs and grapefruit for a week. Now, I'm older and wiser but I still have good and bad days. Today I'm not being good as I've had butter on my toast. On a good day I'll have toast without anything on it and feel like a paragon of virtue. I have a sweet tooth, but  Inever buy grown-up chocolates. I buy pick 'n' mix for the children, silly stuff like footballs in silver foil. Then Hal says, 'Have you hidden any treats?' and we end up eating the lot.'

Fridge file

Kim's fridge contains: a selection of cheeses, salad, cherry tomatoes, Elmlea cream substitute, St Ivel fruit yoghurts, fruit salad, Duchy organic sausages, cod fillets, Stella Artois lagel, Hobgoblin beer, ready-prepared stir-fry vegetables and various jams.