BBC Wales’s newsreader Jayne James has recently called it a day on her news career after deliberating long and hard about her decision. While enjoying the lie-ins, but missing a busy newsroom-atmosphere, she’s been helping with plans by her husband’s family to rejuvenate and relaunch Pyle Garden Centre in Bridgend. As part of her husband’s research, Rob took Jayne to a number of garden Centres across the UK for inspiration. “We could see that people appreciate the personal touch and Rob’s aim is to find friendly staff who could advise and show an interest in the customers. The ethos for Pyle will be able to offer a bespoke and individual service as an independently-run garden Centre. There are future plans in the pipeline too for an-house cafe, concessions and even workshops held by gardening experts.”
“I am still deciding on my next career move, but this has been hugely fulfilling, to watch people’s interest grow as the refurbishment takes shape.” Always having a keen interest in watching her own garden mature, she explains, “My garden is only about eight years old. We have nearly an acre at the moment, with formal topiary and lighting in the front area, which looks effective at night and Rob has planted lots of azaleas in the back. For our wedding we suggested to friends , they could buy us shrubs as presents which gave us a good leg up. We now refer to the shrubs as the people who bought them,” she laughs. “I haven’t had much time recently but want to develop our own garden now that I have time on my hands and on my wish-list is a greenhouse or potting shed and perhaps some chickens.”
Self taught (my parents were absolutely not gardeners) Jayne is also hands on. “I don’t maintain the garden alone. We have three lawns so we have a part-time gardener who comes in and does the maintenance but I enjoy helping and plan to do a lot more now that I have retired from the day-job! I’m not afraid to cut things back, just unsure when to do it , so I’ll be popping down the Garden centre for advice now.” she adds.
“I know what I like and am quite fussy in the garden. When we built a rockery at the back we had huge stones lifted into place with big machinery. I was a bit of a nuisance, asking him to move the boulders back and forth until I was happy!. I do get teased about it.” she adds.
“I love tall elegant plants, lillies with phormium in the background are always impressive, but the giant alliums are my favourites, and I am quite a big rose fan now. I prefer mine grouped together, I don’t like them just dotted around. They are also great for cutting and using in the house.
It seems the good-humoured gardener’s eye for detail extends into the home in other ways, “We have got a Jack Russell x Pug called Tiggy and a Siamese cat called Thai, and my children both joke that they are colour co-ordinated and I chose them both to match the colour of my kitchen.”