We welcomed Monty Don to the Royal Norfolk Show on Wednesday 29 June where he added his growing produce experience to our Grow it, Cook it, Eat it theme.
Monty is a renowned writer and television presenter and the UK’s favourite Gardener.
Monty was born in 1955, brought up in Hampshire where he gardened from a young age, and educated at a variety of schools and at Magdalene College, Cambridge.From the early 1980’s Monty and his wife Sarah set up and ran a jewellery business which enjoyed a great flurry of success in the mid-eighties but folded in 1990 just as Monty’s television and writing career was taking off. But he says “I learned much more from the failure of our business than I did from its success”.
Monty first appeared on television in 1989. He became the lead presenter for the BBC flagship programme Gardeners’ World between 2003 and 2008 and then again from 2011 when Monty began hosting Gardeners’ World from his home Longmeadow in Herefordshire. He is also the main presenter for the Chelsea Flower Show coverage for BBC2.
His other TV credits include, Tomorrow’s World, Fork to Fork, Real Gardens, Lost Gardens Around The World In 80 Gardens, Growing Out Of Trouble, My Dream Farm and Mastercrafts. Monty presented a series on Italian Gardens on BBC2 which was followed by another on French Gardens. In 2014 presented a series called Real Craft for More4 and Big Dreams Small Spaces for the BBC. Monty’s latest series for BBC2 The Secret History of the British Garden was broadcast in 2015.
He is a prolific journalist and was the Observer’s gardening editor from 1994 until 2006 and now writes a regular column for the Daily Mail and Gardeners’ World Magazine. He has written over 20 books including the best-selling Fork to Fork, The Sensuous Garden, The Jewel Garden (with Sarah Don), The Complete Gardener and most recently, The Road to Le Tholonet.
Monty is a committed organic gardener and was for many years the President of the Soil Association. He has worked with schools and groups of drug addicts to build respect and reward from working with the natural world and has a strong belief in the importance of communities working together through an understanding and love of the land.
“The real importance of gardening is the empowerment that it gives people, however small or seemingly insignificant their gardens might be. It is surprising how liberating it is, if you can grow anything at all – and there is as much pleasure in a snowdrop as in a successful career”.