Looking in on Kim Wilde’s cottage

Together with the German singer Nena Kim Wilde is at the top of the charts after years of silence. The immensely popular English singer who withdrew from showbiz a long while ago, to devote herself to her family and her passion for gardening.

When Kim Wilde and her husband, stage producer Hal Fowler, went looking for a house where they could live with their future family, they only had one wish: there should be a big garden around the building, because gardening is Kim’s biggest passion. This beautiful old-English cottage in Hertfordshire turned out to be their ideal home.
The countrylike exterior of the cottage was extended into the inside by the Fowler-Wilde couple, with big, stylish furniture, cushions, a lot of wood and stone, and beautiful big carpets on the ground. The hearth is centrally located and heats the big living on cold winter nights. The furniture is placed in such a way that son Harry Tristan and daughter Rose Elisabeth can play there to their heart’s content with no fear of breaking anything. The garden around the house is the big pride of Kim Wilde, who also writes columns about gardening and presents a gardening programme on English TV. She designed the beautiful garden herself. There are beautiful plants and flowers, and trees bearing fruit. Kim has also made a vegetable garden: “We all eat our vegetables from the garden! I have always loved to see plants and trees grow. After having quit the showbiz, I started getting into gardening more. I especially like making designs of gardens and then creating them. But I usually only like the creative part. Hal is the one who weeds the garden and gets rid of the garbage. I feel very happy when the whole family is working in the garden. I hope that I can pass my passion for gardening on to the kids. I am succeeding right now. My son loves it when he can rake the garden or can pick the fruit.”

For Kim Wilde a big dream has come true with this family happiness. Despite her seven million albums and twelve million singles sold worldwide, the English singer felt disillusioned with showbiz and just wanted an ordinary life. “Since my twentieth I have travelled the world. I never had any rest. I loved performing, but everything else made me feel tired. I always had to make new hits, and look good. I had a burn-out. Physically and mentally I was out of it.”
It was obvious to her father that Kim would get into showbiz. Marty Wilde, a rock ‘n’ roll star from the fifties and sixties, passed on his musical genes to his son Ricky and daughter Kim. Kim’s first single ‘Kids in America’ was written by her brother and produced by her father. The song was a big hit immediately and Kim stopped her art college education. Europe, America, Asia: all over the world she was a big star. This continued until 1996 when she seemed totally burned out. Kim proceeded in a different direction and took on the role of Mrs. Walker in ‘Tommy’, the musical by The Who, in the Shaftesbury Theater in London. There she met her current husband Hal Fowler, who played the role of cousin Kevin in the musical. They got married in 1996.

But still, the itches were still there. When the German singer Nena asked her for a duet, Kim decided to return to showbiz for once. “When I was successful in Germany, Nena had a hit with ’99 Luftballons’. We met at festivals at the time. Everyone thought we were competing, but we were great friends at the time. When Nena decided to record a new version of her old songs and asked if I wanted to sing ‘Anyplace, anywhere, anytime’ with her, it seemed like a great idea. I never ever suspected it would be such a big hit again.’
Kim Wilde has got a taste of it again. She enjoys the success. ‘Still, I will only perform occasionally and record albums. My family and my passion for gardening remain the most important thing for me.’