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Alan Titchmarsh reveals why he's been working with his wife for the first time in 45 years

Alan Titchmarsh in his garden ready to film
Think your salad days are over? Think again! Alan Titchmarsh is here to help us put down roots

Alan Titchmarsh on how anyone can grow fruit and veg in ITV show Grow Your Own at Home with Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is on a horticultural mission. With health, well-being, and food high in most people’s thoughts at the moment, the perennial favourite has decided to return to his roots for a new ITV series to show us how we can grow our own fruit and vegetables.

Filmed in his Hampshire garden during lockdown, with his wife Alison on camera duties, Grow Your Own at Home with Alan Titchmarsh sees him share his tips for producing our own food, whether we have a big garden or just a room for a single plant pot.

Over three episodes, Alan will virtually visit his Love Your Garden teammates – David Domoney, Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill – who are also busy turning their very different green spaces into productive wonderlands, with highlights set to include an indoor pizza-themed herb garden and a traditional potager featuring root vegetables and fruit trees.

Here, Alan, 71, chats to TV Times about why he hopes Grow Your Own at Home will help us flourish…

Is the series suitable for everyone, from novices to experienced gardeners?

Alan Titchmarsh: "Yes, it’s for every level of gardener and every type of space. It’s going to be food that anyone can grow, no matter how small their patch – including those who haven’t got a garden. If you can get hold of a bag of compost, you don’t need any pots. Just lay it flat on the ground, cut a panel in the top and sow seeds inside it, whether it’s salad leaves, onions, carrots or tomatoes. Keep it nice and damp and in the sun, and you’ll have a crop. Anybody can do it!"

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Tell us about the fruit and veg featured in the series…

Alan Titchmarsh: "There are strawberries in pots and tomatoes in grow bags. I will also be sowing radishes, raspberries, lettuces, and planting beans and sweet peas. If you’ve never grown anything before, hopefully you’ll have a go. Seasoned gardeners can try asparagus and heritage tomatoes, which are exciting and enjoyable to grow."

In which part of your garden will you be filming the series?

AT: "I’m on the veg patch, it’s all outside, and my wife Alison is wielding the camera! We couldn’t have a cameraperson because we’re over a certain age – ahem! – and in solitary confinement. It’s a proper shoulder-mounted camera – ITV sent the kit to us. We sometimes use the tripod, but for the majority of filming Alison is carrying it and moving about. She has been amazing – I think she has another career coming! We’ve been married 45 years this year and this is the first time we’ve ever done anything professionally together. Hopefully we’ve cracked it!"

Lights, camera, Alison! Alan Titchmarsh's wife holding camera in garden

Lights, camera, Alison! Mr and Mrs Titchmarsh make everything look easy-peasy

Have you had any technical problems during filming?

AT: "I thought the first day might be terrible because it was really windy. It’s easy to get irritable when it’s windy because things move about and blow over! Afterwards Alison and I thought, ‘If we can do it under those circumstances, we can do it under any!’ After shooting that first day, we were absolutely shattered and went to bed with aching backs. We sent in the footage with bated breath, but were buoyed by the feedback from ITV the next day."

Your Love Your Garden co-stars are joining in…

AT: "Yes, we’ve been having meetings on Zoom and it’s like a reunion because it’s the first time we’ve met in ages! They have their families filming them from their homes. We’re all quite enjoying it. We want this to be inclusive and show that anyone can grow fruit and veg, and there’s nothing to be intimated by. I hope people watch and think, ‘I could grow something to eat!’"

For the full feature and superb top tips from Alan Titchmarsh see this week’s TV Times!

Grow Your Own with Alan Titchmarsh starts on Monday 25 May 2020 at 8.30PM on ITV