Monty Don has become a gardening and broadcasting legend. For 17 years he has transported the best tips and tricks of the trade to the living rooms of Britons across the country via his presenting slot on BBC’s ‘Gardeners’ World’. Since 2011, Monty has presented the show from his sprawling Herefordshire home, with regular cameo appearances from his beloved golden retrievers.
A self-confessed workaholic, Monty took on the additional role of becoming one of the main hosts of the famous Chelsea Flower Show in 2014.
His commitment to work, however, has often led to physical and mental strain.
This culminated in his having a mini-stroke in 2008.
It came shortly after toiling away at 12-hour working days while filming ‘Around the World in 80 Gardens’.
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Monty revealed how he knew something “funny” was going on with his health just moments before having a stroke, during a 2009 Guardian interview.
He explained: “I was so exhausted I did not know whether I was coming or going.
“I remember waking up feeling strange and dizzy and saying to Sarah (his wife), ‘God, something funny is happening; I may be having a stroke’.”
He tried to get out of bed and “collapsed completely”.
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After two hours he struggled to his feet.
He didn’t go to hospital at once.
“We weren’t thinking: this is a disaster. I said: ‘Hang on, I can move my fingers.’ I remember thinking: ‘Oh, get a grip, you’re fine,'” Monty said.
The intense feeling of illness continued, and he admitted that his balance still isn’t up to what it once was.
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It wasn’t until Sarah’s father, a qualified GP, asked: “Are you alright? You look really strange”, and insisted Monty see a neurologist that it was confirmed he had had a minor stroke.
Monty said: “Fortunately the damage was slight and the brain can repair itself to a degree.”
It wasn’t the first time Monty’s work had got the better of him.
Earlier on in the interview, he admitted that his worst trait was in his “yes man” attitude and how it had niggled away negatively at his life over the years.
It came as Monty lingered on how his work had impacted upon Sarah and his children.
He said: “Ask Sarah what the worst thing is about living with me and she would probably say that I always put work above everything else, to the detriment of my children, my wife, my health, my life.
“And what I am really bad at is saying no.”
Monty has, in the past, described himself as a “bully”, “egocentric”, and “impulsive” – traits in which he claims have put considerable amounts of strain on his relationships.
However, his tenacity and commitment to his work has resulted in an exceedingly successful and lucrative career.
Monty’s newest book, ‘My Garden World: The Natural Year’, follows his horticultural journey through the seasons.
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