Gardener crushes

You know you’re of an age when you fancy a gardener. As long as it isn’t Alan Titchmarsh, you’re okay. I have nursed a crush on Dan Pearson ever since I first read his columns and watched his BBC2 series. You also know you’re of an age when you watch BBC2. Or when you switch to BBC Radio 2.

I don’t mind. I quite like being of an age.

Anyway, there’s an article about Dan in this week’s Guardian. He has his own column, so it’s nothing new, but it’s nice to read about him for a change.

The article says he’s like a character from a DH Lawrence novel, which made me laugh because he’s definitely not a Mellors. There can only be one Mellors for me, and that is Mr Sean Bean. No question. He reminds me about why we ladies might like a gardener. Technically, I think he was a gamekeeper, but who’s splitting hairs?

Anyway, it’s not just a crush on lovely men in corduroy (yes, I’m definitely of an age now…) with floppy hair and waistcoats… I think it’s more of a crush on the kind of man that becomes a gardener, since you’ve got to be both delicate AND manly, and love a bit of green stuff as well. There’s something very attractive about a man who can appreciate a flower. I can see what the writer means when she says Dan Pearson is a bit DH Lawrency – though I’m thinking more Gabriel Oak.

It’s not just a love of the unkempt, floppy hair and crinkly eyes, but I like where Dan Pearson comes from, gardening-wise. Yeah, yeah. I know. I sound about 97. He is a man who loves Japan and who hates formality. Plus, he thinks he suffers a little with the seasons, and I know what that’s about. Winter is restful, but it makes me miserable when it drags on too long. Luckily, we usually get a fair share of sunny days here in winter, even if it is cold. He gets what gardening is really about, too – that it’s meditative and thoughtful. Gardening is a total state of mind.

I think that’s what I love most about this place. In England, I had a nice garden that I made from nothing. It was a small, modern, new garden but it was still getting to be something.


Here, everything needs so much more space and grows so quickly. It’s been wet all week and the grass is knee-high again. One week without mowing and it’s like I never even bothered. That’s kind of good though because these warm, wet conditions means that everything grows really fast. I get to see everything that might take ages to grow in other conditions. I’m tired of waiting for a proper burst of warmth though. We’ve had two days that have broken the 20° barrier and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change much. Bloody gulf stream!

8 thoughts on “Gardener crushes

  1. Well now haven’t you made me feel OLD, I have been a Gardeners World fan (BBC2) since my beloved Alain (how dare you diss him) was a presenter and as for Radio 2, I wasn’t aware there was any other station!

  2. Fergus Garret from Great Dixter is the man for me. I once came round a corner and encountered him with his shirt off…

    However, I periodically get to look at the head gardener at Azay-le-Rideau whilst he is dressed in a wetsuit — not the sort of thing I can recommend — he’s in his 50s and clearly enjoys a good lunch.

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