Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail

BBC Gardeners’ Question Time

I was delighted to be invited to go on a walk with Peter Gibbs for BBC Gardener’s Question Time recently. We went for a potter around Petworth Park and tried not to disturb the fallow deer as they went about their rutting.

The programme is being broadcast on Radio 4 on Friday 24th October at 3pm and Sunday 26th October at 2pm. But if you missed those you can catch up from this page:

It has always struck me that gardening and natural navigation with plants are two sides of the same coin. As a gardener, you learn about the environment, including aspect, and select plants to thrive in that area. As a natural navigator, you look at which plants are thriving in an area and use that to work back to what the aspect and environment must be.

If you look closely at the picture of the anthill below, which I took during our walk, you may spot that the left side of the hill has a pink tinge to it, but the right side doesn’t. That pink colour is coming from the wild thyme flowers that are thriving on the southern side of the hill, but which are absent on the shaded north side.

Hundreds more clues like this, including 19 ways to navigate using trees, are in The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs.