Monty Don is considered by some as the godfather of the garden. After 17 years fulfilling the main presenting slot on the BBC’s ‘Gardeners’ World’, the 65-year-old has made a place for himself in the hall of horticultural fame. And despite the coronavirus pandemic, his work hasn’t stopped at ‘Gardeners’ World’.
On top of a presenting job he took at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show in 2014, Monty has also commissioned a string of his own spin-off shows.
Last year, he travelled around Japan in search of the perfect Oriental park.
Many times Monty has admitted that gardening was his calling.
Even before he found work in TV gardening, he would relentlessly work on their Herefordshire home’s plot of land.
Sarah, his wife, once described him as having been so committed to their garden, he was “married” to it.
However, during a Financial Times interview earlier this year, Monty revealed what he had expected to become when a child: a butcher.
When asked what his childhood or earliest ambition was, Monty replied: “To be a butcher.
“Shopping with my mother, I loved going to the butcher.
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“I love every tool that cuts, from garden shears to knives.
“I loved the wood of the chopping block, the sawdust on the floor.”
His true passion, then, came on later in life.
He did, however, admit that “from the age of 10, all I want to do was write”.
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Monty has since gone on to publish 29 books.
They have all in one way or another detailed tips and tricks for the garden, as well as how the natural world has shaped and carved out Monty’s life, and influenced him in ways beyond belief.
Yet, he didn’t always have non-fiction in mind.
In his younger days, Monty actually wrote a couple of novels.
But he soon “destroyed” them because they were “excruciatingly bad” as he described to Prospect Magazine this summer.
Monty’s most recent book ‘My Garden World: The Natural Year’, follows his horticultural journey through the seasons.
Despite all of this success, Monty has become known for his self-deprecating nature.
In 2009, during a Guardian interview, he explained that his “yes man” persona had taken its toll on his life outside work.
It came as Monty reflected on his relationship with Sarah and his children.
He said: “Ask Sarah what the worst thing is about living with me and she would probably say that I always put work above everything else, to the detriment of my children, my wife, my health, my life.
“And what I am really bad at is saying no.”
Monty has, in the past, described himself as a “bully”, “egocentric”, and “impulsive” – traits in which he claims have put considerable amounts of strain on his relationships.
Despite all of this, he has been happily married for nearly 40 years.
The pair have three children.
The newest addition, Monty’s grandson George Jack Don, was born in May 2019.
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