Adam Frost
Gardens Illustrated|January 2018

The Gardeners’ World presenter and seven times Chelsea Gold medallist on working with Geoff Hamilton, laver and bacon sandwiches and why he won’t be giving up coaching junior goalkeepers

Jodie Jones

Champagne problems. That’s what I’ve got,” says Adam Frost. The Gardeners’ World presenter, RHS Ambassador and Chelsea Gold medal-winning designer has a lot on his plate. It adds a little extra sparkle to the situation that his problems are, in the very best sense, of his own making.

Growing up in north London, home life wasn’t always easy for young Adam, and he spent a lot of time with his grandparents. “There was Tidy Nan, with a greenhouse that smelt of tomatoes, Scruffy Nan – who worked in the City and had a garden full of Belfast sinks and cats – and Granddad, who was an engineer and had the best shed in the world.”

When he wasn’t with his grandparents Adam was playing football, and showed such talent in goal that there was a real chance he would turn professional. Instead, when he was 15, his father uprooted him and moved to rural north Devon.

“It did knock me sideways a bit,” headmits. In quick succession, he left school, rented a room and signed up as an apprentice with the North Devon Parks Department. “I think the old boys were sorry for me. There was George, the foreman, who taught me a lot, and Jim who introduced me to the joy of laver and bacon sandwiches, and gave me a couple of canaries that I kept at the end of my bed. The first time I appeared on Gardeners’ World, George emailed to say how proud he was.”

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GARDENS ILLUSTRATEDView All

Hedges

Domestic hedges are more than just dividing lines; they can be ornamental in their own right. James Alexander-Sinclair considers the options, depending on your taste and situation

3 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
February 2018

Going Back To Her Roots

Inspired by Darwin’s theory on plant intelligence, German artist Diana Scherer manipulates the root systems of grass to weave patterns of magical beauty

3 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
February 2018

Paul Barney

The owner of the deliciously surprising Edulis Nursery on his bohemian childhood, following in Gerald Durrell’s footsteps and the ferry journey that changed his life

4 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
February 2018

Tender Loving Care

Even as winter prepares to loosen its grip, Frank finds himself worrying about the tender plants that might not survive its final blast

3 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
February 2018

Gardens Of Hope

Far from being temporary, refugee camps can provide accommodation for displaced people for many years. Gardens bring stability, beauty and dignity.

5 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
February 2018

A Nod To The Irish

Coosheen on the south coast of Ireland is a Mecca for snowdrop fans with a collection that emphasises the Irish cultivars

2 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
February 2018

Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld

Known collectively as The Land Gardeners, friends Bridget (left) and Henrietta are fast establishing a reputation for their walled garden designs and impressive cut flowers – as well as their passion for compost

2 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
February 2018

Adam Frost

The Gardeners’ World presenter and seven times Chelsea Gold medallist on working with Geoff Hamilton, laver and bacon sandwiches and why he won’t be giving up coaching junior goalkeepers

4 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
January 2018

Potagers

When is a vegetable garden not a vegetable garden? When it’s a potager of course. But does the distinction come down to anything more than pretension or French good taste?

3 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
December 2017

Time To Stand And Stare

On winter walks Frank finds himself looking at ash trees with fresh eyes, now that time could be running out for these stately natives

3 mins read
Gardens Illustrated
December 2017