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How Monty Don became the nation’s gardener

Critics have declared him too posh and too dreamy. But the host of Gardeners' World has come to soothe and inspire a nation—and he's as outspoken as ever

By Alice Vincent   July 2020

The fine, dry April that passed earlier this year, in a surreal blaze of lockdown, was the first that Monty Don has spent at home in five years. One of the great ironies of being the nation’s favourite gardener is that there is often not the time to luxuriate in one’s own garden. But the presence of Don, who will be 65 in July, is reliably felt in millions of others. His 21 books, published over the past 30 years, have frequently been at the top of horticultural bestseller lists—this spring his Down to Earth is in pole position on Amazon’s UK sales list. He has more than 600,000 social media followers. He is…

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