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Thursday, June 25, 1998 Published at 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK


Want to celebrate the joys of nature? Try nude gardening

Nude ways of working in an English country garden

Gardeners' Question Time, the BBC's long-running radio show, is well used to helping people get close to nature. But it's never had a challenge like this.

For when the panel of experts are asked for advice on pelargoniums and delphiniums at the show's recording in Orpington, Kent, their questioners could be in the nude, weather permitting.

The dangers of cacti, roses and brambles might well be more fertile ground for questions from the 200 members of the Naturist Foundation in St Mary Cray, which is hosting the recording.

Producer Trevor Taylor said the inspiration to record the show at the nudist camp came from one of its listeners, who pointed out that the foundation had many keen gardeners among its members.

"It seems an ideal time for Gardeners' Question Time to celebrate all the joys of nature, fully clothed or not", he said

Rising to the occasion

Dress code for the event will be left to nature, the Foundation's General Secretary, Christine Ashford, said. "What we wear will depend entirely on the weather that day. Certainly if it's sunny and warm, we will be dressed in normal naturist fashion," she said.

The programme's presenters, Pippa Greenwood, Nigel Colborn and Bob Flowerdew, are also free to expose more than their gardening knowledge, said Mr Taylor.

"There is no obligation for any of the team to keep their clothes on, but whether they will or not, remains to be seen," he said.

However, Mr Taylor does expect a variety of queries from the Naturist Foundation to be uncovered. "Not all keen gardeners belong to gardening clubs and naturists have all the usual problems other gardeners experience, plus a few of their own," he said.

"On their 50-acre site in Kent they are keen to enjoy the delights of plants, flowers and shrubs but wish to avoid spikey plants and those which sting. Those and other questions are expected plus some which might just bring a blush to the cheeks of Britain's best loved gardening team," he added.

The programme will be broadcast on Sunday 12 July and repeated on Wednesday 15 July on BBC Radio 4.

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