The secret gardener - Kate Garraway

The TV and radio presenter has talked about how her garden has been a great comfort, while her husband Derek Draper continues to suffer the effects of Covid 19.

Their large London garden with its mature fruit trees and roses, swathes of ox- eye daisies and yellow flag irises (Derek’s favourite) was the reason the couple bought their house.  The whole lawn was covered in brambles, but the coupled cleared it, making a lovely big lawn for their children Darcey and Billy who are now 15 and 11.

The garden has proved a lifeline over the last year.  ‘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,’ Kate said in a moving interview on Gardeners’ World.

During the first lockdown when Derek was taken ill, the family planted fruit and vegetables together, giving the children a chance to discuss their feelings whilst engaging in an activity.  Kate also came out into the garden alone when she felt overwhelmed to ‘focus on the movement of the leaves’ and feel calmer.  Above all Kate described how her garden has been a source of hope.  ‘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,’ she told the programme.

After a year in hospital, Derek is back in their newly-adapted home.  This includes a large window in his new ground floor bedroom so that he can watch his children in the garden.  Hopefully Derek will also be able to appreciate the bulbs the family planted so that the garden would be full of colour when he came home.