Celebrity astrologer Russell Grant refers fondly to his 44 acre Victorian Estate near Portmeirion; “We have the most wonderful primrose lawn, a tennis lawn, a croquet lawn, greenhouses, vegetable gardens, herb beds – And”, he adds, excitedly, “an acid oak forest. There are only a couple of those in the world.”
The popular media personality continues enthusiastically, “I am a great lover and admirer of the garden but I’m afraid to touch anything as it’ll almost certainly die. I am the most useless gardener but thankfully I have two wonderful helpers, Graeme and Phil, who have made the gardens look wonderful again.”
“I don’t do anything strenuous,” the charismatic author tells me. “I supervise the water features and ponds and I want to get the natural waterfalls flowing again in all of their Victorian glory – if you know any landscape gardeners up here?” he adds cheekily.
“I love walking around the garden. I love the herbs and I love the veg as I love to cook. And seeing the Lupins today with about 20 bees buzzing around them was just wonderful. I always ask Phil and Graeme to plant things that will attract the wildlife,” Russell adds cheerfully.
“But I don’t like slugs and I don’t like the rabbits, they have eaten everything; I wish they would just bounce off somewhere else.”
I wonder what stars signs make the best gardeners? “Well, every sign can do something,” he insists, in his well known flamboyant manner. “ Leos and Pisces are creative and even the intensity of Scorpio could see them starting a vineyard but I think the best gardeners are the Earth Signs, as you would expect; Graeme is a Taurus and Phil is a Capricorn.” He makes his point passionately and explains, “Astrology is a guide to your potential. It can help you make choices that lead to a better life. It’s not about fortune telling or the paranormal,” he snorts in disgust. “In these modern times it’s more of a psychological tool helping you to discover potential and possibilities. I have just released a new Nintendo which is appealing to a whole new audience,” he shrieks with delight. “It’s so sexy, so cool and so contemporary. Darling, you must have a look and whilst you at it, have a look at your birth chart – it’s free,” he adds without drawing breath. How can a girl refuse.