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The south-facing garden, which complements her elegant Victorian home in west  London, was lovingly created with the help of her garden designer pal, Sue  Gernaey. Emilia says that if she could change her own career, she would become a  gardener.

"I’m constantly begging if I can come and work for her (Sue), so I can give  everything up and become a gardener,"

"When I first moved in, the garden was full of rocks and stones and lots of  odd protruding wood, but it had a lovely, huge bay tree and I’d always dreamed  of having my own proper English country cottage garden. I’ve always found  cottage gardens very romantic and I’m probably a bit of an old romantic.

"So, we took the whole thing out and started from scratch. It’s the most  rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

"I’m a trial and error gardener so I always knew that the best thing to do  would be to put in the things that would come up each year. Sue laughed at me  because when it came to bulb planting time she asked how many I wanted to order  and I just said, cram it full, and they’re all coming up now - all the tulips.  It’s like a floral revolution out there. There are pinks, whites, and almost  black tulips."

"I also wanted there to be a lot of roses because when I moved in I was  having my little girl, who is called Rose. So, where you sit outside to eat,  there are a lot of roses. There’s also a wall of lavender by the table, leading  on to a traditional lawn which is curved at the top and then surrounded by beds  of roses, clematis and herbs, passion flowers and myrtle, all the things that  make it smell delicious in summer.

"My favourite plant is the Natasha Richardson rose, a beautiful light pink  rose with an old-fashioned scent. My sister got it for me in memory of Natasha  [who died in a skiing accident in 2009] and it’s just outside the back door  underneath the lavender wall."

"When I lived in Los Angeles, everywhere you went there were delicious smells  at night. I knew I couldn’t recreate the same thing but I wanted a similar  feeling of every sense being stimulated when you go out into the garden."

"My mum has incredibly green fingers. My childhood memories are of hyacinths  and paperwhites up the stairs, while the table was always full of wild flowers  and sweet peas. Now, I buy a ridiculous amount of flowers and put them outside  as well, so what you look out to at the moment is lots of beautiful burgundy  ranunculas and tulips and tuberosas in those old-fashioned enamel jugs.

"I’ve always felt that wherever you go, if you’ve got flowers it will feel  like home."

"It’s probably one of the most rewarding things, because you get to see the  results."
"It’s key that we care about the environment as much as we care about how  beautiful our gardens are," 


Emilia Fox interview: ‘Being a single mother is the toughest thing ever’

 Her uncle Robert’s first nights were “always very glamorous” and   she remembers Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston at his flat when she was   little. “They turned up wearing sunglasses at night. I’d just seen Room With   a View and Julian Sands was there, and I remember tripping and dropping all   the canapés at his feet. But, although now I look back and think ‘Oh my   goodness, that would be really fun’, at the time it was just a gathering of   grown-ups and I was handing around sandwiches.”Her mother is Joanna David, while her father, Edward, and   uncles, James and Robert, are from the Fox showbusiness dynasty. Emerging   from such a background was not easy. “It becomes much more of a challenge to   be seen in your own right. That’s why I always liked going to America,   because there were no preconceptions of who you were. People weren’t   expecting your mum or dad to walk through the door. You were just taken at   face value.”…..

Only at Bryanston did she become aware that people had opinions about her   parents. It was assumed she lived a moneyed lifestyle. “But that was not my   upbringing at all. People were quite surprised when Mum and Dad would turn   up in a clapped-out Volvo. They were expecting limousines.”

Growing up, there was no little voice in her ear whispering: “I’m going to be   an actress.” Instead, there was a loud voice saying: “Don’t do it.”

“I’d seen the highs and lows of the profession. I’d seen the great times when   Mum and Dad were working and having a really good time, but I’d also seen   the times when they were not working and waiting for the phone to ring. The   rose-tinted spectacles about the profession were truly off and I didn’t want   to do the same thing as everyone else.”

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How did they meet? “At the Comedy Store in LA, a mutual friend was doing a   comedy show and sent out an email saying ‘come and support me’. We had a   good chat but nothing significant happened. She was at the tail end of a   relationship and I was going through a horrendous divorce. Neither of us   were looking for somebody. And it was seven months later that we reconnected   and went out on a date.”

The horrendous divorce was from the actress Emilia   Fox, star of Silent   Witness. She comes from an acting dynasty too; did they compare   notes on what that was like? “No, no.” It didn’t come up? “I think it was   something we had in common and it created some level of understanding,   maybe. But we didn’t discuss it.” Is he still in touch with her? He shakes   his head and mouths the word: “No.”

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