The unexpected gardener - Mary Berry

Much-loved food writer, TV presenter and former Great British Bakeoff judge Mary Berry may be renowned for her baking, but less well known is her love of gardening.  ‘In another life I may have been a gardener’ Mary once said in a Telegraph interview.

She and husband Paul Hunnings have an exciting new garden project on their hands having recently moved to Henley.  They’re leaving behind their established 4.3-acre garden in Buckinghamshire with its beautiful pond surrounded by red and yellow primulas and irises, a rose walk, tennis court, meadow, herbaceous borders and large kitchen garden, which they opened in aid of the National Gardens Scheme over many years.  But despite being smaller, the new garden is sure to be stunning with the couple reportedly having employed garden designer Bunny Guinness to help with plans, said to include a circular bench around a tree, raised beds, ‘easy fruit trees’ and a bespoke greenhouse.

Plants most likely to feature in Mary’s new garden are roses, which she calls her greatest extravagance- she’s reported to have named Rosa ‘Chandos Beauty’ as a favourite.  The colours are also likely to be soft, which Mary prefers to bright multi schemes.  She isn’t ‘one for orange,’ she once said. As well as herbs, fruit and veg, Mary enjoys cut flowers naming alstroemeria and sweet peas as favourites. So there may well be a cutting garden too.

It wasn’t until the children were older and the lawn stopped being a football pitch that Mary started gardening in earnest.  And although she admits to being a bit of a fair weather gardener, she finds it a soothing hobby.  ‘It’s just so relaxing,’ she said.  ‘To be able to walk out the door when you come home from a job and wander into the garden to do a bit of watering gives you time to be creative in your mind.’