Greenfingers: The Alan Titchmarsh column

In the world of gardening, we often see our green spaces as personal sanctuaries, reflections of our innermost selves. Yet amongst the greenery, there lies a hidden potential – the chance to turn these private retreats into vibrant social hubs, where relationships blossom and communities thrive.


Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock (10153007ad)
Alan Titchmarsh
‘This Morning’ TV show, London, UK – 13 Mar 2019
ALAN TITCHMARSH: “I MET MY WIFE SINGING, NOW I’M BACK ON STAGE AFTER 30 YEARS”
Hosted by the fabulous John Barrowman, All Star Musicals returns on Sunday with seven new celebrities lined up to perform on stage at the London Palladium. Gardening Guru Alan Titchmarsh joins us with everything you need to know about the all-singing, all-dancing celebrity contest, reveals how singing helped him meet his wife of 45 years and how after a successful knee operation he’s happy to be back in the garden again.

Imagine a plot where the simple act of sitting down invites conversation. Seating, thoughtfully arranged under the shade of a tree or around the inviting warmth of a fire pit, becomes more than just a place to rest; it’s a setting for interaction. A garden bench or a collection of movable chairs can transform a solitary corner into a bustling social spot, encouraging discussions that range from the mundane to the profound. In this space, the traditional barriers of fences and hedges take on a new role as subtle invitations for neighbourly chats.

As the sun moves across the sky during the daytime, the garden will reveal its various moods and states and can look different in various settings. With the gentle morning light illuminating the lawn and its flowery cousins, that invites early risers to a nice tranquil start. By the time we get to mid-morning and early afternoon, that’s when the garden really begins to buzz with life – quite literally. With bees humming, birds singing and the soft rustle of leaves in the breeze. Then, as evening gradually finds its way into proceedings, the garden dons its nocturnal robe. As the sun begins to disappear, it generates a soft lighting and that can sometimes cast something of a magical glow. Transforming pathways into golden trails and flowerbeds into pools of light, this gentle illumination isn’t just a functional one, it also sets a mood and an ambience that encourages guests to linger, converse and stay longer under the stars.

With this social oasis created, any dining area will become more than solely just a place to eat, but also a communal gathering spot. A large table – maybe with a nearby grill or pizza oven – stands ready for shared meals, laughter and stories. This can attract repeat company. Each season brings its own charm, its own reason for gathering, and its own story to tell. Let your garden be a demonstration to the power of shared spaces, where every leaf and bloom is a testament to the enduring beauty of human connection.

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