After tough gigs abroad, gardening brings me back down to earth

Date
Published in
The Sun (UK)
Written by
Nikki Watkins

Getting sweaty on stage at Wembley and mucky in the garden may seem poles apart. But pop star Kim Wilde, 51, has found it a natural progression. The Kids In America singer, who gardens around her touring schedule, discovered that horticulture is the perfect antidote to being a rock star. The mum-of-two thinks gardening is a great way to relax — and a new survey shows that plenty of people agree. Gardeners have the greatest job satisfaction, according to City & Guilds, with 90 per cent saying they love their work. Eighty per cent enjoy managing their own workload, and 82 per cent say honing their skills every day helps them feel good about themselves. Here, Kim — a Magic radio DJ — tells NIKKI WATKINS why having green fingers leads to fewer blue moods.

“The results from this survey didn’t surprise me at all — the impact gardening has had on my life is huge. My husband, Hal, is never happier than when he’s outside with me getting stuck into the gardening and our children are inspired by our outdoor life. My brother Ricky [sic] is a successful landscape designer, too, and we still design together. Initially, when I did gardening it was a knee-jerk reaction from a need for balance in an otherwise stressful lifestyle. I would come back from being abroad and being ‘KW’ and stick my hands in the earth. Somehow this would calm me down. Now, I fly to mainland Europe most weekends for gigs and festivals and still find gardening is the perfect foil. It helps bring me back down to earth in a really obvious way, emotionally and physically. I can’t think of anything more inspiring than being outside in a garden, park or countryside. Plants look good, smell good, feel good and some even sound and taste good. And gardening gives back a huge amount of pleasure for the effort you put in. You get different jobs in different seasons so it doesn’t become routine or monotonous. You learn all the time, which is part of any job’s satisfaction. There is the opportunity to learn something every single time you are out in the garden — it is stimulating and inspiring. Gardening also allows you to sift through your ideas, thoughts and feelings so it’s really good for your mental health."

"I have recently become patron of a charity called Waste Not Want Not, which works with people affected by alcohol, drugs or mental health issues. It is really positive for them to work with plants because of the therapeutic benefits. A garden is also like a green gym — it’s a great place to get fit. There is something very elemental about feeling the earth. People remember the smell from when they were children, digging around looking for worms. We have a very strong connection to the earth — after all, we are going to end up in it.”