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April 9 2022

HEAD GARDENER ALEX RETURNS TO BBC RADIO SHROPSHIRE

As promised, BBC Radio Shropshire invited Head Gardener Alex back to appear on the airwaves of the Jim Hawkins show on Friday afternoon, with the two chatting their way through a brilliant segment which hopefully inspired gardeners throughout the county and beyond! 

To catch up on BBC Sounds, please click here 

You’ll find Jim and Alex’s chat approximately 2:07:30 into the programme 

The conversation opened with Jim asking what drew Alex to becoming a gardener, which led Alex to reveal that it wasn’t until he left London for Shropshire that he realised his passion for gardening. Having spent 10 years pursuing his varied interests in the capital, it was obtaining an allotment that prompted him to make his career change. 

Unsurprisingly, he’s never looked back. With the artistic elements of gardening appealing to his creative nature, Alex began volunteering and learning however he could in order to reach his goal of becoming a professional horticulturalist. As he reassuringly shares, almost everyone goes on a journey to finding what it is they want to do and it’s never too late to change direction! 

To catch up on BBC Sounds, please click here 

You’ll find Jim and Alex’s chat approximately 2:07:30 into the programme 

The talk then turned to Horatio’s Garden, with Alex explaining how the charity has been creating and nurturing beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres to support people affected by spinal injury for ten years.  

Together, the two discuss the subtle accessibility of Horatio’s Garden and how the sanctuary is thoughtfully designed from the perspective of people who have experienced life-changing injuries, something making each Horatio’s Garden rather unique. 

Alex also recognises his experience as Head Gardener as something rather singular, sharing that he was attracted to the role purely because it gave him the opportunity to contribute to people’s lives in a positive way through gardening. Having long felt the wellbeing benefits of gardening, growing and generally being outside for himself, being able to share these and see the impact all great green things have on people’s moods is something he considers a real privilege.

 

To catch up on BBC Sounds, please click here 

You’ll find Jim and Alex’s chat approximately 2:07:30 into the programme 

As Jim and Alex agree, gardening is all about investing in the future. It’s part of a healthy lifestyle, it cheers you up, it gets you socialising and working with others, whilst it also enables you to appreciate nature, the changing seasons and much more. All are life-affirming learnings Alex frequently shares with patients, their loved ones and NHS staff, but they’re also lessons people can easily adopt at home. 

For anyone wondering where to start, Alex advises simply going outside with a tea, coffee or G&T (depending on the time of day!) and paying attention to the space you have. Note where the sun comes into your garden, balcony or allotment; consider what wildlife you’re attracting and how you could encourage more; seek inspiration from other gardens. Just let the ideas percolate and give it a go! The space will reveal to you what you want it to do and what you can do. 

  

To catch up on BBC Sounds, please click here 

You’ll find Jim and Alex’s chat approximately 2:07:30 into the programme

As Jim and Alex’s conversation comes to a close, Jim reveals that he’ll not only be getting out in his garden at the weekend, but that he also intends to have a good read of the charity’s website, something which we certainly hope he enjoyed! 

We really appreciate the support of Jim and the BBC Radio Shropshire team, whilst we’re grateful to Alex too for giving such a brilliant interview. 

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