Adam Frost, Scruffy Nan, Tidy Nan and a life-long love of gardening

Adam FrostAdam Frost
Adam Frost
As you will discover, it all started with Scruffy Nan and with Tidy Nan – two characters Gardeners’ World presenter Adam Frost will bring to life when he goes on the road with his show An Evening With Adam Frost this autumn.

An award-winning garden designer, Adam is promising great advice and amusing stories from a lifetime in the garden. Best known for his successes at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Adam will explore his love for the great outdoors. He will be at Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre on Thursday, September 29 and at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre on October 30.

“This was something that was suggested to me and I laughed and thought who on earth would come and see me but then slowly I started to think that yes, I have got a story to tell and eight or nine months later here we are. It's basically my life in gardening. I started my gardening with my grandparents and then I moved from north London to n orth Devon and then I left school and then I got job in gardening and I suppose I've ducked and dived over the years and I've got myself in a few pickles along the way but if you put it all together, it is a story. I've done public speaking and I suppose I've told parts of the story before and somebody who heard me suggested that we put this together.

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“I had quite a complicated childhood. I spent quite a lot of time with Scruffy Nan and Tidy Nan. I called them that in my head but I didn't call them that to their faces! But they were both gardeners. One nan and grandad were in social housing and had an allotment and straight stripes on their lawn and the smell of tomatoes. Scruffy Nan had a slightly overgrown wilderness. Come the weekends it was a slightly bohemian existence. Scruffy Nan loved poetry and growing things, and everything she did was a little bit on the wild side. They were both real characters and as you get older perhaps you start to realise the part they had in moulding how you came out.

“Initially with gardening, I left home at 16 and needed to earn a living so I needed a job, but as my career evolved and developed, the more I did it, the more I fell in love with it and the more I understood the connection with nature that having your hands in the soil gives you. And the more I realised that that connection is incredibly powerful. I now look at it as a safe space, somewhere I can go to work things out. I still get incredible joy watching seeds come up or growing things and eating them. There’s something incredibly simple about it and as you get older and especially with the things that we have lived through in the past couple of years, you realise how important that connection is. They are talking about two or three million new gardeners because of the pandemic. The pandemic made a lot of people realise that whether it is in a community park or on their balcony, that connection with nature, be it wildlife out there or growing seeds, is something that they need to connect with and are perhaps comforted by, just rediscovering the power of it. I really hope that that lasts.”