Alan Titchmarsh confession: How Ground Force hero admitted taboo gardeners must carry out

The gardening legend claimed “too many of us shy away from touching the flowers we grow” before saying it “was time to end that”. He said the “fifth sense of touch is rarely celebrated” when creating our gardens and that we should all use our ability to feel once the flowers blossom. Mr Titchmarsh is a household name thanks to his charming manner and insightful knowledge of gardening.

He rose to prominence in the Nineties on BBC talk show ‘Pebble Mill at One’.

His stock continued with appearances on much loved TV shows ‘Gardeners’ World’ and other makeover shows.

But it was his work engaging the public in getting green fingered while on the iconic BBC show ‘Ground Force’.

Such was the show’s significance, he and ‘Ground Force’ costars Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh would be invited to transform ex-South African president Nelson Mandela’s garden.

And last year, Mr Titchmarsh wrote for Country Life about the taboo which needs halting.

He wrote: ”Perhaps it’s because, since we were children, we’ve been told ‘Don’t touch’ that tactility is the least used of our senses in the garden.

“We admire the view of beds and borders, sweeping lawns, towering cedars and individual blooms. 

“We listen to the susurration of the trees when their foliage is disturbed by a passing breeze. 

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“We inhale the perfume of roses and sweet peas and turn up our noses at the aromatic fermentation of a compost heap and we revel in the taste of home-grown fruit and vegetables.”

However he questioned how often we actually touch our plants “simply for pleasure”.

He added: “Lest you should think I’ve completely lost the plot, go out into your garden and gently pat the rounded inflorescence of a mop-headed hydrangea. 

“Admire its surprising coolness, regardless of the heat of the sun, and the firmness of its construction — except for Annabelle, whose blooms have a delicate softness.

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“Lowering one’s hand onto a series of hydrangea panicles, as if bestowing an ecclesiastical blessing, is every bit as pleasurable as simply gazing upon them.”

Last year, Mr Titchmarsh revealed that he had turned down appearing on reality shows such as ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’.

Despite some TV snubs, Mr Titchmarsh’s success has continued through the 21st century, with ‘The Alan Titchmarsh Show’ on ITV charming viewers every day until it was axed.

He also presented reality show ‘Popstar to Operastar’ alongside former Hear’Say singer Myleene Klass.

And although he still is a regular on TV screens across the nation, Mr Titchmarsh confessed he was considering slowing down.

He added: “I keep thinking I have to ease off a bit.

“My wife says I should cherry-pick more, I say I get offered a lot of cherries. 

“I like being stimulated so it’s vital to me.”

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