Published: 00:00, 06 July 2017 |
Updated: 08:29, 06 July 2017
An avid birdwatcher and conservationist, Bill Oddie is a former Springwatch presenter and star of Seventies comedy series The Goodies. He admits his outdoor haven, the size of half a tennis court, is a space his wife describes as ‘ludicrous’.
The plot is now highlighted in his latest book, Tales Of A Ludicrous Bird Gardener.
“I had nothing to do with gardens for a long time. When we moved here 25 years ago, there was a lawn and that was it. We labelled certain corners, the inspiration being Disney World. The main point is to keep me amused. I cannot go through a day without having at least an hour in the garden.”
His stash of unusual knick-knacks includes a resin gorilla, fake spiders, a clutch of model animals and birds, a Borneo corner and around 100 gnomes of all shapes and sizes.
The planting, too, is as random as the riot of fake dinosaurs, birds and themes. It features an experimental area, where he plants random herbs and wild flowers, a large pink mallow sitting in front of a yellow hypericum (rose of Sharon) and an assortment of trees. A palm and a willow rub shoulders, a self-seeded sycamore flourishes, while birds shelter in a horse chestnut and a silver birch.
Oddly-shaped old tree branches, which he has picked up from Hampstead Heath, serve as perches and hideaways for some of his green-fingered objets d’art.
He’s created a spooky corner and says: “I haven’t the faintest idea how that came about. Everything has to be sprayed white. There are two skulls on juju sticks, which my daughter brought back from a music festival and are traditionally used in black magic rituals.”
And there are an awful lots of gnomes.
He says: “I have nearly 100 gnomes. I remember going to Chelsea Flower Show one year and someone asked me what I thought of it. I said, ‘Not enough gnomes’. When we got married, we were going to have a party here and we said to the guests, ‘We don’t want any normal presents. Please just bring a gnome.’ Some of them couldn’t bring themselves to do it, but most people did.”
Tales Of A Ludicrous Bird Gardener by Bill Oddie is published in hardback by Reed New Holland, priced £16.99. Available now
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
We have four editions of our Kent Homes, Gardens and Interiors magazine for you to read. Click here to view them all.