JUST ASK PIPPA!
Kitchen Garden|October 2021
After training as a botanist and gaining her MSc in Crop Protection, Pippa Greenwood spent 11 years in charge of the RHS Wisley plant pathology department. She is the author of countless best-selling books and is a long-standing voice on BBC 4 Gardeners’ Question Time. Here she talks with Daniel Heighes
Daniel Heighes

How has your year gone, Pippa?

I’ve been so lucky, I’ve escaped the horrors of it really, just tucked myself away from a little more than usual. For me the worst downside personally so far has been not being able to see my friends as easily as before and, on the work front, so many talks I should have been giving have had to be cancelled or postponed… and I really love the proper eye-to-eye contact of a talk at a gardening club!

Who do you credit for giving you your enthusiasm for all things gardening?

I owe it all to my lovely mother. She’s sadly no longer with me in person, but she’s still there in my heart – she taught me so much, all from a very young age, mostly just by watching, talking and getting involved.

What is your favourite veg and your favourite fruit?

With veg, most of it! If I can’t say that, then freshly picked sweetcorn. For fruit, I am a total devotee of raspberries.

What is your veg plant hell?

Cauliflowers. I just cannot grow them, they simply don’t do what they should... the only good thing is that I’m not too keen on eating them either, but I still find it frustrating!

I see you were the gardening consultant on the gardening detective TV show Rosemary & Thyme. How did that come about? What did it involve you doing?

It was fantastic fun, it came my way and I leapt at it. I spent a lot of time checking scripts for gardening/plant accuracy and logic, e.g. no picking of daffodils if there are dahlias in the background. I was also sometimes responsible for working up the gardening mystery (not the murder mystery) part... but I am now rather better informed about 101 ways to finish someone off in a garden!

And did you get a walk-on part?

No, but I did watch some of the filmings, what an amazing duo of actresses Felicity and Pam were... and a lot of fun.

Pippa, do you have a favourite season of the year?

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