One of Eastbourne’s leading businessmen has attacked TV motoring host Jeremy Clarkson who said this week that gardening is only for OAPs.
Bob Beevis – managing director of ESK Superstore in Courtlands Road which includes ESK Plants – says nothing could be further from the truth.
And he has backed gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh who has also gone on the offensive saying that gardening is energising and broadens the mind.
In a new book Clarkson described gardening as ‘a pointless way of passing the time until you die’.
But Bob Beevis says Clarkson should come to Eastbourne one Bank Holiday weekend and watch the people who come into his store for gardening products.
“Gardening is the number one hobby in the country, and it’s clear that it is popular with people in Eastbourne of all ages,” said Mr Beevis.
“Naturally we monitor who comes into ESK – whether it be for the plants, the pet services, the cafe, or the general shop itself – or indeed a combination of them all.
“Our plants section with green-fingered Fred is amazingly popular and so too is our Gardening Club. We have a large membership – and it’s literally all ages.
“I know of children who help out with the gardening in the family home, it really isn’t an ageist thing, it can be from 10-80.”
The Gardeners Club runs every Thursday night between 5.30pm and 7.30pm and there are special speakers, including, in the past, TV weatherman Michael Fish, who has a home in Eastbourne.
“It might do Jeremy Clarkson some good to come to one of the meetings then he would see so many enthuastic gardeners – of all ages,” said Bob.
“Last weekend was Easter weekend, and with the current dry nice weather, people poured into ESK Plants.
“We’re pleased that is the case and pleased that contrary to what Clarkson says, gardening can be for everyone – and that’s the reality.”
Clarkson wrote in his new book that the pastime was “a pointless way of passing the time until you die”.
Titchmarsh responded by saying gardening was an “energising” activity that helped “broaden the mind” – in contrast to the “fleeting thrills sought by petrolheads”.