A SMALL plot is no obstacle to a great garden, so says one of Britain’s best-loved horticulturists - Monty Don.
Speaking to the Solihull News ahead of Gardeners’ World Live, which runs at the NEC until Sunday, he said that quality was better than quantity.
“The first garden of my own, when I was in my 20s, was the size of a postage stamp in Hackney,” he revealed.
“Obviously people in the country tend to have the luxury of more space but a smaller garden isn’t in any way less pleasurable.
“Planning is important though. Plant the things you like to eat if they’re edible or that look nice if they’re not.”
A regular face at Gardeners’ World, Monty says one of the best thing about the event is the chance to meet other enthusiasts and be inspired.
“People can get a bit caught up with the method, when really the final result is a lot more important,” he adds.
“It’s like eating a piece of meat, you wouldn’t worry about how to hold the knife and fork. It’s all about what it tastes like.”
Monty, aged 56, says that Britain’s enthusiasm for growing things shows no sign of abating - gardening is reckoned to be the most popular pastime of all.
“In this country I think it’s because we were the first people to industrialise in the 18th century so we lost that link with the countryside.
“So I think there’s an impulse there to get back to the land with gardens and hanging baskets and window boxes...”
Though Monty thinks making mistakes is all part of gardening - “I still think ‘blimey’ it’s gone wrong” - there’s one thing he’s adamant about.
“Don’t use chemicals. You’ll end up killing everything so avoid them at all costs!”
n Find out about this year’s Gardeners’ World event at www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com