Gardening hero - Danny Clarke (aka The Black Gardener)

Garden designer and television presenter, Danny Clarke is passionate about transforming gardens, and can be seen on our screens as part of Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Garden team on ITV and the Channel 5 series Filthy Garden SOS.

Danny was born in Oxford in 1960 to parents who were originally from Jamaica.  His father was a British Army Officer and Danny spent his early years moving around the world.  ‘I went to 13 different secondary schools but it was great and really broadened my mind,’ he said in on online interview. 

After travelling and then setting up a sales business, the seed of a career change began when a friend was looking for a gardener.  ‘I ended up working for her for three years and she was incredible and a fountain of knowledge,’ he has said.

In 1997 Danny started his own gardening business after completing a garden design course at Hadlow Horticultural College.  He’d always had a huge interest in gardens from cutting his parents lawn as a child and never looked back.  ‘It changed my life and now I design and build gardens and it’s honestly not a job but a way of life!’, he has said.  He loves the planting aspect most and his favourite plant is the agapanthus.

Danny started calling himself the Black Gardener as there were not many black gardeners around.  His new name got him noticed and he was asked to screen-test for a gardening show.  Although initially sceptical, he rang back and ended up presenting BBC’s Instant Gardener - a show offering accessible garden transformations.  In 2019 he presented creative garden make overs on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ before joining ITV’s Love Your Garden’ with Alan Titchmarsh.

Passionate about making a difference to the environment and the community, Danny supports various charities including Grow2Know, set up following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, to use horticulture to help young people and disadvantaged communities.  He is also patron of the charity Brain Tumour Research following the death of sister to the disease.

Danny admits he still has the travel bug and his ambition is to travel the world, building gardens and getting all of the influences on his own design.