Angela Scanlon on the importance of our green spaces

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Angela Scanlon On The Importance Of Our Green Spaces Angela Scanlon On The Importance Of Our Green Spaces
Angela Scanlon
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By Gemma Dunn, PA

If you’re contemplating an outdoor makeover, the return of TV’s Your Garden Made Perfect could well plant the seed of inspiration.

For those unfamiliar with its concept, the BBC Two makeover series – presented by Angela Scanlon – sees skilled designers use cutting edge virtual-reality technology to compete to transform a participant’s back yard into the garden of their dreams.

The idea: to showcase how the space could look before it undergoes an often-costly renovation in real life.

But it’s not all sweeping lawns and manicured hedges; the six-episode run (a green-fingered spin-off of Your House Made Perfect, also presented by Scanlon) looks at how we can extend the indoors outside, whether that’s a shared community garden, a budding wildlife haven or a small-space expert guiding a tiny concrete yard.

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And with the pandemic underlining the importance of outdoor space for us all, the second season couldn’t come at a better time.

“I am the woman of the people,” exclaims Irish star Scanlon, 38, who’s also known for hosting The One Show and Robot Wars. “We’ve got the designers who know everything that anyone needs to know about gardening. I can be the dummy and ask the questions that hopefully, if I’m thinking them, somebody else at home is thinking them. I’ve certainly learned (along the way) but I wouldn’t say I’m into gardening. I love being outdoors and I have managed to keep a cheese plant alive for seven years, so there’s definitely an interest there!

“Over the past couple of years, I have a newfound appreciation of garden spaces, whatever they are. I think that’s why Your Garden Made Perfect worked so well the first time around; we’re not just with a traditional gardening audience, but with people who have suddenly gone, ‘Oh my God, my little balcony was my refuge during lockdown. It offered so much to me that I never considered before’. So yeah, gardening to my mind has opened up massively. It’s not just about sweeping country lawns, it’s about urban spaces and shared gardens in flats, courtyards and miniscule balconies that still feel like joy.”

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Scanlon notes we often have real confidence in our interior style, but when it comes to gardens, we’re suddenly clueless. There’s more vulnerability and less control, which is where virtual reality comes into its own, because you can see how something is going to look in two years’ time.

But for now, the presenter is looking forward to some downtime in her own garden, as she’s heavily pregnant with her second child. “I’m definitely feeling it more than I did the first time around, and I’m groaning like an old lady as I bend down to the oven or roll in the bed. Really attractive. But yeah, I’ve had quite a busy year, so I’m quite looking forward to, I naively say, some quiet time… with a four-year-old and a newborn.”

Your Garden Made Perfect returns to BBC Two on Friday, February 4th.

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