An Interview with Pamela Ballantine

Show Favourite - Pamela Ballantine

1. Do you have an interest in gardening?

I love looking at my garden but I am absolutely useless at looking after the garden myself, not that it is big, it’s just that I am useless.  I will go out and pull up weeds but that is about it.

2. Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

In gardening terms I am inspired by anyone who can look at a wilderness and transform it into a thing of beauty, be it a tiny patch to a vast landscape, just so long it doesn’t end up looking like no one is allowed to go near it.

3. Do you have an all-time favourite plant?

Clematis and Poinsettia, purely and simply because they remind me of childhood.  We had gorgeous Clematis growing round the front of our house and every Christmas my Mum was sent a Poinsettia.

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

I love motorsport so former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber would be one, actor Hugh Jackman (bit of an Australian theme going on here, and nothing to do with the fact that they are both easy on the eye!) as he always seems like he would be great craic and Graham Norton as he would be guaranteed to keep the conversation flowing.

5. What would you cook a vegan who doesn’t like nut roast or carrots?

I would ring my niece who is a vegan studying nutrition and get her round to cook something.

6. Do you have a favourite gardening gadget?

Yes … his name is Richard Graham and has his own landscape business.

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

It is that old adage “to thine own-self be true” and “treat others as you would like to be treated yourself”. I really do try to live by these.  Also if “you don’t know the answer don’t be afraid to ask,” which is why I love coming to the Garden Show as I do not know any of the answers about gardening.

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

I love to see the creativity that the schools and businesses put into their gardens. I think part of the reason I never got involved in gardening is because my parents weren’t. I am a great believer in teaching children early to love and take pride in what is around us. It is amazing how many young people do not realise that the best of our food produce comes out of the ground.

At the Show Pamela will be chairing the “The Great Debate – Ornamental versus Edible!” between Geoff Stebbings in the ornamental corner, against Mark Diacono, the edible expert!


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