Gardeners' World meets broadcaster Kate Garraway in her garden

In an episode of Gardeners’ World, due to be broadcast on BBC Two on Friday 9 October, Joe Swift meets TV presenter and broadcaster Kate Garraway to discuss how gardening has become a lifeline for her family.

Published: 9 October 2020
The garden has been the most important space for us. It just gives you that sense of positive moving forward. You can’t think short-term in a garden, you have to plan. You have to have hope.
— Kate Garraway

Kate’s husband Derek Draper was taken to hospital in March with Covid-19, and remains seriously ill in hospital.

“It’s obviously been an odd year for the world, and very directly, personally for me,” Kate explains.

The TV presenter talks to Joe Swift about the positive effects of gardening with her two children. “It was rather sad because the radishes came, they’re one of Derek’s favourite vegetables, and we ate them and he still wasn’t better. So I then thought, we’ve got to go more long term, planting things that were going to take longer to bear fruit... and I’d say, Dad will be better by then, and of course now that it’s been so long, we’ve got a huge basket of bulbs, so that when Dad comes home, the place will be full of colour.

“When you’re living day to day on a knife edge, doing something that gives you a future just helps with a sense of progress, where there is actually is none from the direct situation.”

During the programme, Kate discusses Facetiming her husband from their garden in North London, despite knowing Derek couldn’t respond from hospital. She says: "I’d sit in the garden and do that and talk about the things that he loved. It’s a lovely thing to do.”

Kate tells Joe how the garden has become the family’s saviour: “It’s been the most important space for us. It’s been a place to find joy, hope, go a bit crazy and feel a bit unleashed in a stifling physical and emotional time that we’ve all lived through. It just gives you that sense of positive moving forward. You can’t think short-term in a garden, you have to plan. You have to have hope. You have to invest in a future. You don’t plant something unless you believe it’s going to come up, so by planting something and believing Derek will see it when it comes up, that gives us a sense of future.”

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