Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Gardeners ‘must not forget to have fun’

There is so much work to be done outdoors at this time of year that it would be perfectly understandable if some green-fingered enthusiasts were to let it all get on top of them and get stressed out.

Obviously this is inadvisable – but the risk of this can easily be negated by adopting a more laid back approach to gardening.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper across the pond in the UK, acclaimed professional gardener and broadcaster David Domoney said that people take the activity too seriously.

This is sound advice from a highly reputable source – he is known as the Heston Blumenthal of gardening and has also been referred to as 'the gardener's gardener' by Alan Titchmarsh.

He told the Daily Telegraph that a rose is still called a rose, regardless of its Latin binominal name.

While there is undoubtedly a certain pleasure in hanging baskets and dividing hostas, as well as more straightforward tasks such as cutting lawns and weeding borders – he emphasised the importance of taking advantage of the green space to kick back and relax.

"It's about having fun," the expert explained, adding: "Water pistols with the kids, a glass of orange juice and the Sunday papers, barbecues and the scent of honeysuckle."

Indeed, Mr Domoney has earned himself a reputation for being something of a maverick – having once rode a Harley Davidson on to the grounds of the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show.

He said that the vehicle was a part of the Ace of Spades garden he designed as an entry for the competition back in 2009 – adding that he tried to drive it out to an awaiting lorry a la Steve McQueen in classic World War II film The Great Escape.

"Unfortunately, Harleys are quite noisy and I was stopped by a steward who told me I'd have to push it through the grounds, escorted by two officials in hi-viz jackets. I waited until he'd gone around the corner and roared off to the exit, whereupon I was stopped by another official and was nearly arrested," Mr Domoney commented.

This irreverent attitude has also fed into the means by which he grows his plants.

For instance, he has been known to feed Viagra to his plants, explaining that the drug is a good source of nitrous oxide. This helps close certain pores in stems and keeps them upright.