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Celebrity James Wong visits Abbotsbury Subtropical gardens
BOTANIST, TV presenter and author James Wong is urging the people of west Dorset to join the Homegrown Revolution.
He visited Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens to speak on the importance of plants and how to benefit from them.
After the success of his Grow Your Own Drugs TV programme, Mr Wong’s current project, Homegrown Revolution, focuses on how to cultivate a variety of crops in the back garden.
He is urging people to try growing a completely new range of fruit and vegetables to grow and eat.
Whether it’s a window box of homegrown saffron, a kiwi vine or a mini green tea plantation, Mr Wong aims to provs that ‘growing your own’ can be more exciting than spuds, sprouts and swede. Mr Wong visited Abbotsbury as part of a national tour and spent a few hours in the gardens meeting his fans and signing copies of his latest book.
He said: “I’ve been touring the whole country, from the Eden Project in Cornwall to Edinburgh.
“It’s been a lot of fun and a bit of a whirlwind.
“It’s been great and the UK is so diverse in climate and it’s great to hear people’s stories and learn from them.
“I’ve seen a lot of interesting things and met some great people.”
He added: “Dorset is beautiful. I’ve been here quite a lot filming Countryfile, and I love the chance to come back again.
“Last time was for the nettle-eating competition which was a bit painful.”
Emma Bill and her mum Patricia, of Weymouth, have followed Mr Wong’s work for years and travelled to Abbotsbury to meet him in person for the first time.
Emma said: “I’m a really big fan. I was actually so nervous to meet him and really excited.
“I’m plant crazy so to meet someone else who is too is very cool.
“I have been into his writing ever since he started.
“I’ve got both his other books.
The pair chatted to Mr Wong about his work and got their copies signed with a personal message.
Mr Wong said: “It’s always nice to get the chance to meet people who are fans of my work.
“Emma and I are actually friends on Twitter and have been chatting online for about a year.
“It’s very strange because you know the name but not the person.
“I was just reading a review she wrote about the book online so it’s great to put a face to the name.”
After giving a presentation on botany and meeting local plant enthusiasts Mr Wong took a tour of the gardens.
John Houston, of the Sub-Tropical Gardens, said: “It’s great to have James here.
“He’s a real enthusiast and knows his subject.
“It’s the first time he’s visited Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens and we’re all really excited to give him a tour and talk plants.”