Helen Lederer on Growing her Own – Strawberries and Champagne

6a01156fa075f4970c013485852e12970c-800wiFabulous funny woman, Helen Lederer immediately admits her gardening experience is rather limited, “We were semi-posh growing up and had a big garden and a gardener, though I suppose it was more normal then than now.  We had an enormous veg patch and I vividly remember watching the gardener dig up potatoes and trying to guess how many potatoes would be on each plant.  And I remember him growing rhubarb in chimney pots,” she recalls.

“My husband Chris is quite good in the garden.  He’s cleared quite a big overgrown area, which was a miracle in itself and grown a bit of veg.  I think we’ve had about 4 mange tout so far, so we’re not growing our own on a big scale!  We also put a vine in and although it didn’t do anything for ages we’ve got some green grapes this year so we might try to make some wine.  And we’ve got strawberries in pots.  Actually that sums up my gardening theory nicely, growing my own strawberries and champagne,” she laughs.

I love being outside and love the fresh air, it’s so good for you.  Not in London though.  We recently went to France and although it rained we spent a lot of time eating outdoors under cover;  I just love feeling the fresh air on my skin.  I used to enjoy camping but I’m too old for all that now.  My daughter Hannah and I camped out in the desert in Tunisia and although it was a big tourist trip, being under the stars and next to a campfire was wonderful.   I love being outdoors and looked after these days.”

The Queen of alternative comedy continues her gardening stories,” I aspire to a large garden; we hired a huge marquee for a teenage birthday party but it was far too big for our little garden.  Far from being the glamorous event I imagined, it just swamped everything,” she laughs, “my aspirations and reality are quite different, particularly in the garden.”

She may not be a big fan of gardening but Helen is in fact Welsh and a big fan of Wales. “I was born in Llandovery.  My Dad was a civil engineer and worked on the Usk Dam” she recalls, “I love Wales and do get to visit a cousin in Barry now and then and no, I don’t camp!” she adds quickly.


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