Eighties pop icon-turned celebrity gardener Kim Wilde popped into Swindon on Saturday 19th March.
The former pop princess was invited by the Wyevale Garden company to re-open their new-look centre in Stratton-St-Margaret - and launch a special new flower they've grown in her honour. Called the 'Kim Wilde Sweet Pea', the good scented, lavender blue blossom with frilled petal edges was produced to celebrate Wilde becoming the 'Face of Wyvale' in 2005.
And the singer, who has ditched the microphone for a new career as a garden designer, couldn't hide her delight when she first saw the seedlings of the purple-sproating creation. "It's going to be a wonderfully pretty summer flower. And it'll smell gorgeous!" she exclaimed. "The Sweet Pea has always been one of my favourites and I'm going to take this one home and plant it in my own garden."
After posing for pictures, Wilde spent the whole day at the Centre, meeting and greeting customers as well as signing autographs and copies of her new book 'Gardening With Children'. The pop icon, now 44, and the daughter of 60s rocker Marty Wilde, shot to fame in 1981 when her single 'Kids in America' went platinum in the UK and topped the charts in the United States.
Further success followed with 'You Keep Me Hanging On' and 'Cambodia', before her love of all things horticultural led her into her present career as a gardening journalist and TV presenter during the 1990s. "While music is still my first love, I find that people who have a passion for gardening have a passion for life. And I like that," she told an audience of over 1000 people who had turned out to see her.