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April 11 2022

CELEBRATING 75 YEARS OF GARDENERS’ QUESTION TIME WITH HEAD GARDENER ASHLEY

Unbelievably, Gardeners’ Question Time celebrated its 75th Anniversary on Friday and fantastically Head Gardener Ashley Edwards was part of the action, marking the occasion with host Kathy Clugston and fellow panelists Pippa Greenwood and James Wong! 

To catch up on BBC Sounds, please click here 

Despite being the newest team member, Ashley sounded right at home alongside seasoned Gardeners Question Timers Pippa, James and Kathy. Together, the four reminisced about their time on the programme, whilst listeners were also treated to some recordings from the archive; some dating back to the programme’s very first episode, broadcast in 1947. 

Since then, the team has answered over 40,000 questions, with those appearing on the special episode agreeing that getting advice from a conversation with a gardener will always be popular! As Ashley shares, whilst searching online is great, talking to someone means you can really enthuse and inspire, whilst you’re also able to consider all the factors before giving an informed answer. 

To catch up on BBC Sounds, please click here 

Remembering various funny moments on the programme, as well as tracing how conversations around pesticides, sustainability and chemicals have changed over the course of its history, the episode is the perfect blend of nostalgia and looking forward to the future. 

Aptly, the gathered group also discuss how the positive impact gardening holds for people’s mental health and wellbeing has become a much greater part of public consciousness. With thousands of people taking to gardening in lockdown, there’s been an explosion of interest in both gardening itself and in the benefits it holds. Whilst these have always been felt by gardeners across the country, the fact that they have become seen and appreciated by so many more people can only be a wonderful thing, not least thanks to the work of charities like us and Gardening Leave, both of which are mentioned in the programme. 

To catch up on BBC Sounds, please click here 

As gardeners, the team have naturally been busy planning for the coming season too, with Kathy sharing the exciting news that the GQT team will have their very own garden at RHS Chelsea for the first time this May! Designed by Matthew Wilson, the garden will encapsulate in horticultural form the last three-quarters of the century, whilst visitors will also have the opportunity to ask their burning gardening questions too. 

Here’s to another 75 years (and many more!) of Gardeners’ Question Time and its fantastic work! 

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