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,"
The guess list
"How lovely to be this close to a fox and not worry it’s going to sniff round your bins,"
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.”
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.”
The Guess list : Sat 12th April 2014 ..9:30pm on BBC1
Dame Judi Dench, Michael Ball, Geoffrey Palmer, Emilia Fox at Shop with the Stars at Fenwick on April 10, 2014 in London