Getting to know Silchester’s Alys Fowler

Talking all things gardening with the former Gardeners’ World presenter Alys Fowler.


Born in Silchester, Alys Fowler is a British horticulturist, published author, journalist and the former presenter of the long-running BBC television programme Gardeners’ World.

Despite us now being in full swing of the garden season, Alys was able to take a quick break from planting and speak to us about her fantastic career including major highlights and upcoming projects.


What are your earliest memories spent in a garden and what was the influence behind you pursuing a career in horticulture?

Being put in a raspberry cage, presumably, so I wouldn’t go wandering off as a small child and gorging on all the fallen fruit.

My mother is a great gardener and she is instrumental in my taking up the subject.

I get my love of plants in particular from her and for the wider landscape from my dad, they both love being outdoors looking at things.


What would you say have been your most memorable career highlights to date so far?

Every time I harvest pumpkin I feel like I am winning at life. I don’t really care for having a career as such, I’m not very interested in that, I just ruthlessly pursue anything that means I get to spend time in my gardening. It’s all a bit of an accident really that I write for a living.


What did you enjoy most about growing up in Silchester?

The Roman Wall, I spent so many hours exploring every inch of that wall.


For gardening lovers reading this, what is the best thing to do in the garden during the April and May?

Sow seeds, like mad. It’s the best time so most vegetables are direct in the soil.


From a personal perspective, what do you enjoy most about gardening?

Being in and with the soil. I think soil is really marvellous stuff both physically, scientifically, and spiritually. Ultimately we are our soils.


What is your favourite thing to grow in the garden and why?

Brassicas, I am mad about kales. I never met a kale I didn’t like.


Are there any exciting projects you’re working on this year?

I am writing a book about bogs and why peat is so important to us, our environment and the planet. (Please don’t use peat to grow petunias, it doesn’t make any sense).


Alys Fowler has published several brilliant books on gardening that you can purchase online via You can read Alys’ latest article with The Guardian online via, and follow Alys on Instagram @alysf.

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