Why Alan Titchmarsh's contrary gardening advice is such a big surprise

Alan Titchmarsh has just dished out some entirely unexpected gardening advice, and talk about a u-turn!

Alan Titchmarsh smiling to the camera
(Image credit: Getty)

If there's one thing we know about Alan Titchmarsh (other than the fact he is the OG gardening guru, obviously), it's this: he hates rewilding

Or, at least, we thought he did – largely because all of his garden ideas of late have revolved around his opinion that a) rewilding is one of the laziest garden trends around, and b) a 'rewilded garden will offer nothing but straw and hay from August to March'. His words, not ours.

A wildlfower garden at Priory Farm, Surrey

(Image credit: Kayleigh Dray/Future PLC)

Imagine our surprise, then, when the author and TV personality announced that he has spent the past 10 years creating a low-maintenance wildflower meadow.

Alan Titchmarsh's wildflower meadow

'I now preside over my own wildflower meadow: two acres of it, sown by hand more than 10 years ago,' explains Alan, writing about his very own rewilding project in Country Life.

'We bought two acres of land from the neighbouring farmer, had it harrowed and I then sowed a mixture recommended to me by the wildflower-seed specialist Emorsgate as being suitable for our chalk downland.'

Describing the project as a 'wonder to behold', Alan adds that he has opted for a 'perennial meadow, rather than the annual kind, which is more spectacularly colourful with its scarlet corn poppies, yellow corn marigolds and blue cornflowers.'

It even features 73 pyramidal orchids!

Small apple tree full of apples growing in a garden surrounded by many coulorful flowers such as poppies and daisies

(Image credit: Alamy)

Currently, only 1% of the UK is in an official stage of rewilding – not enough to reverse the effects of biodiversity loss and reduce carbon emissions. Indeed, the State of Nature report revealed that in Britain, a whopping 56% of our species are in decline and 15% are threatened with extinction. 

So, yes, it's a very big deal that Alan has done a U-turn on his previous rewilding comments.

'We estimate that gardens in Britain cover an area more than twice as large as all of our national nature reserves, and with a majority of our species in decline, these garden spaces are vital in helping reverse the loss we are witnessing,' says Rebecca Wrigley, chief executive at Rewilding Britain.

Easy Wildflowers 4kg | £19 at Amazon

Easy Wildflowers 4kg | £19 at Amazon

If you are keen to try a low maintenance lawn alternative, fancy dabbling in the chaos gardening trend, or just fancy creating a wildlife friendly garden, you can't go wrong with a box of easy-to-grow wildflower seeds like this one.

'If natural environments in the UK were restored, they could lock away more than a tenth of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions a year,' adds Rebecca.

'The power gardeners have is immense in creating a difference, so we strongly encourage people to start thinking about making their gardens wilder to begin their rewilding journey,' adds Rebecca.

As if that weren't reason enough to follow in Alan's rewilding footsteps, it's worth noting that a wildflower garden is an incredibly easy-to-maintain option, which means we're guaranteed an incredibly beautiful outdoor space with very little work.

In fact, 'the only care it requires (apart from the weekly or fortnightly mowing of rides and pathways) is an annual cutting, which we undertake in early September when the ripened seed has fallen and the ground is still hard enough to take the flail mower without turning to mud,' says Alan.

Consider us sold...

Kayleigh Dray
Acting Content Editor

Kayleigh Dray became Ideal Home’s Acting Content Editor in the spring of 2023, and is very excited to get to work. She joins the team after a decade-long career working as a journalist and editor across a number of leading lifestyle brands, both in-house and as a freelancer.