Monty Don hits back at criticism after Gardeners’ World host talks change

Monty Don has been the lead presenter on BBC’s Gardeners’ World since 2003 after taking over from Alan Titchmarsh.

Despite branding himself an “amateur gardener” he has remained passionate about the process saying, “There are probably 100,000 amateur British gardeners who are superb at what they do and another million who are really good”.

The 67-year-old suggested he can be criticised for his gardening choices.

But Monty doesn’t feel that his views have changed radically since he started gardening as a teenager.

He told The Times: “I was seen then as being a dippy hippy for eschewing too much physical or chemical intervention. Now, I’ll be criticised for not being radical enough.”

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Monty went on: “I am not the chaining myself to a tree type but I would make a fuss about all the trees being chopped down by plodding councils.

“We have got our priorities wrong, the role of trees in our lives are crucial.”

Before he shot to fame on BBC Two, Monty struggled with depression and has spoken openly about how gardening has benefited him.

The gardening expert has admitted the past decade of political strife and the pandemic tested him.

“I deal in gardens, they ease grief and anxiety and they create solace. But we need to sow seeds for the next generation. It’s not about the angle of the secateurs, it’s about nurturing our land as well as our children and communicating with nature,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he is set to be heavily involved in the annual Chelsea Flower Show which kicks off today (May 22) and he has long been one of the nation’s favourite gardeners.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, he shared a photo of his Herefordshire garden.

He told his 297,000 followers: “Writing garden – last walk round before leaving for a week at Chelsea.”

Social media users commented, as Pamela penned: “I hate leaving my garden at this time of year, when it’s at its best.”

Diane tweeted: “So lovely…and natural looking – it must be hard to leave. Have a great time at Chelsea – we’ll be watching.”

Annette remarked: “Looking forward to this week at Chelsea,” while Walter added: “Have a wonderful week Monty.”

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, formally known as the Great Spring Show, runs from May 22 until May 27.

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