An Interview with Ian Price

Special Guest - Ian Price

1. What sparked your interest in gardening?

I was always interested in getting out into the garden as a child, and remember buying seeds with my pocket money instead of sweets. My poor family had to put up with all of the window sills in the house being turned into propagation benches, and then trying to make every meal contain lettuce. I was a little over enthusiastic with sowing the lettuce seeds.

2. Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Coming home from Cubs and Scouts on a Friday night, I would always insist on watching Geoff Hamilton on gardeners world building gardens and growing plants. He was also to help me connect up the dots and show that who me that you can combine my love of growing plants with my other love, playing with Lego.

3. What is your all-time favourite plant?

This is an incredibly difficult question to ask anyone interested in horticulture and expect the same answer every time. It does change from season to season, and sometimes from month to month.  The plants that herald Spring are very firmly in my top 10. There is a certain warming of the should that comes over you when you see the snowdrops and the daffodils forcing their way up through the still cold ground and announcing that Spring is here.

4. If you were having a dinner party, who would your top 3 guests be? 

This is a random one. Someone to inspire, someone to make you laugh and someone to help you remember how far I have come. Stephen Fry, Peter Kay and my fiancé.

5. What was your most memorable Show Garden experience?

It was at RHS Chelsea in 2017, when an amazing gentleman, a Chelsea Pensioner called Paul, came onto the garden and within 5 seconds of him standing on the central pool, had me in the biggest emotional bear hug. He had read about the garden, that it told my story of what I felt like when at my worst with depression, and it resonated with him on a personal level. I also was fortunate enough to be visited by the Duchess of Cambridge on the garden as well, which was a huge honour.
I still remember back in 2011 at Garden Show Ireland burying my phone under 10 plus tonnes of topsoil after it fell out of my pocket. It was never seen again.

6. Do you have a favourite gardening gadget?

I wouldn’t really have a favourite garden gadget as such. Our garden at home is lacking in plants at the minute as we have recently moved in. The lawn mower is the only gadget that is used at the minute sadly.

7. What is the best piece of horticultural advice you have ever been given?

Work with what you have and never try and fight with nature. No mater what type of garden that you have, be it a large country garden, or small suburban courtyard, picking the right plants for your needs and equally importantly, the needs of the garden is vital. Getting to know your garden is crucial as well. There should be no need to be frightened about gardens and growing plants.  Try growing a plant and if it works, brilliant. If it doesn’t, you have still learned something.

8. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Allianz Garden Show Ireland in Antrim Castle Gardens? 

Garden Show Ireland was one of my first Show garden experiences. It will be a pleasure to come back to where it all started, and I am honoured to have been invited to create the Meditation Garden in association with Aware which is a charity that provides so many people with such vital mental health help.

Don’t miss Ian’s Mediation Garden!

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