The idea of celebrities and gardening does not exactly go hand in hand. But these days, with the wave of organic living that is sweeping not only Hollywood, but the entire world, a large group of celebrities have jumped on the gardening band wagon. Celebrity gardens come in many shapes and a variety of sizes. Some gardens are vibrantly colored with flowers and bushes, while others are simply designed for growing rows of vegetables. What’s more, the sizes of celebrity gardens range from small vegetable containers to several expansive acres of lush vegetation.
Whether celebrities are growing wildflowers or cabbage, one thing that remains true is that celebrities are using organic methods to maintain and grow their gardens. They are keeping their vegetables, fruits, and flowers free of pesticides and chemicals and instead using natural horticulture methods. And they’re turning to organic gardening for good reasons. Some are aspiring to bring awareness to the poor diets of children in America, while others are striving to create a fun and educational family experience with their children and loved ones. Whatever their reason for finding their green thumb, these 10 celebrities have caught the gardening bug.
After winning many different awards for her work in film, Julia Roberts has found her most important role is being a mother. With three children to care for, Roberts makes good nutrition a family priority. Not only does the star strive to feed her children an organic, healthy array of food, she also makes it a point to educate her children on the origin of food. According to Julia Roberts, “…when children know their food sources they’re more inclined to eat what they’re growing because they’re so proud of it.” To ensure that her organic garden is getting all the necessary nutrients required to grow her family’s food, Julia Roberts even uses leftovers from her kitchen as compost for her garden.
Elegant clothing designs for both men and women are the signature of Nicole Farhi’s label. The same elegance can be seen in the designer’s North London garden. The entire garden area consists of various tones of green shrubs and pale flowers. Rather than keep the garden borders neat, Nicole Farhi allows her shrubs to grow freely, creating an overgrown and full garden. Farhi’s garden is so gorgeously designed, that in the early 90’s a movie scout chose her garden to be the setting for the film Damage.
Some celebrities garden for enjoyment. Others, like Jake Gyllenhaal, garden for a good cause. In 2011, Gyllenhaal added his star power to the Edible Schoolyard Project – a program that teaches children to grow and cook their own food in order to prevent childhood obesity, diabetes, and other diseases caused by a poor diet. In an interview with the Today Show, Gyllenhaal said “The essence of the idea of these gardens is that the kids can come and experience what it’s like to grow something and see something grow. And then, once they do see it grow, they have a different relationship with what they eat.” Gyllenhaal did more than just talk about the importance of The Edible Schoolyard Project, he demonstrated its importance by joining in with the children of the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, California to plant a garden. Gyllenhaal’s enthusiasm toward gardening and his partnership with the Edible Schoolyard Project wasn’t his first experience with gardening. When asked about his gardening experience Gyllenhaal said, “I grew up around gardens, growing my own food. My family did that a lot. That was a real source of community growing up.”
Gardening is a far stretch from the world of London high fashion. But for Savannah Miller, gardening is just as fashion forward as her fashion collection “Savannah.” That’s why she has devoted so much time to developing and maintaining the gardens of her Gloucestershire home. Miller’s three-quarter of an acre garden is a colorful compilation of roses, lavender, and alliums. She has also created a child friendly atmosphere for her three small children within the garden. There is a sandpit, a pond filled with fish, and a willow house where her children can play. With the addition of an organic vegetable garden, Miller has turned gardening into a family affair. The garden contributes to Savannah’s desire to maintain an organic lifestyle for herself and her family.
Much like her sister, Savannah, Sienna Miller is striving for an organic lifestyle. A devoted vegetarian, Sienna Miller makes a healthy lifestyle one of her top priorities. While the young actress is known for her relationship with Jude Law, behind the scenes she is a huge gardening fan. While filming the movie, G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, Sienna said, “I’ve got a cottage and a garden at home in London that I’m planting and I’m growing vegetables for the first time in my life. I can’t wait to get back to my garden…I love my garden, my home and my dog, so it’s hard to be away.”
Of all the celebrities who garden, His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales has devoted the largest amount of years and space to his gardens. In fact, Prince Charles has devoted so much time and space to his gardens that they have become a showcased area for groups to tour. Begun in 1980, the Highgrove House – Prince Charles’ country estate– consists of 37 acres of organic gardens. Each garden is unique in its own way. Over four acres of the garden is a wildflower meadow. There are around 32 different varieties of endangered native plants within the wildflower meadow. In addition to the meadow, there is a Thyme Walk, a variety of themed flower gardens, and the Walled Kitchen Garden. There are enough fruits and vegetables grown in the Walled Kitchen Garden to allow the house to achieve full self-sufficiency. The Prince’s most loved vegetables, such as Charlotte potatoes, leeks, spring cabbage, brussel sprouts and carrots are grown alongside strawberries and a wide variety of apples. While the large size and beautifully maintained gardens are impressive, what’s more alluring about the gardens is that they are one-hundred percent organic. The wildflower meadow is maintained by grazing sheep, cows are brought in to eat the overhang branches of over 10,000 trees, all of the water used on the gardens is recycled, and only organic materials are used to maintain the lush vegetation.
During her first pregnancy, Nicole Kidman found her passion for gardening. While relaxing at her and former husband Keith Urban’s Tennessee farm, Nicole Kidman made her first gardening endeavor; an organic vegetable garden. The Australian actress may be new to gardening, but her family is not. Both her mother and her sister are avid gardeners. According to Kidman, her organic vegetable garden is just a hobby she enjoys. In her interview with Vogue magazine, Nicole Kidman beamed about the Tennessee landscape and the variety of wildlife, including deer and wild turkeys that inspired her new gardening hobby.
After decades in the celebrity spotlight, Suzanne Somers’ bout with breast cancer was what started her on a road to organic living. Part of her journey to a healthier life is growing her own chemical and pesticide free food at her home. The star says that she looks forward to walking through her garden each morning and choosing which vegetables she’ll cook with that day. And Somers has a good selection of vegetables to choose from. Lettuce, cauliflower, corn, broccoli, fennel, cucumbers, kale, and artichokes are just a few of the organic choices she has available.
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has taken gardening to the next level. In between running O The Oprah Magazine and The Oprah Winfrey Network, Oprah found the time to turn 16 acres of her Maui estate into a fully functional garden. She currently grows 100 species of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. But she’s not gardening as just a hobby. She’s growing enough food to feed the small island. According to The Color Purple star, “About 90% of the food on the island is flown or shipped in from outside, which makes it very expensive to buy – not to mention the carbon footprint involved in getting it here. We realized if we could grow delicious food ourselves, we could share it.” And that’s just what Oprah’s doing.
With the help of friend Bob Greene, Oprah is changing the way she eats and the way much of Maui receives food. After testing several varieties of planting methods to ensure that each vegetable was rich with vital nutrients, Oprah and Greene have found a farming method that is quickly creating results. The rich Maui soil now allows Oprah’s farm to produce 145 pounds of food each week! While Oprah says she is still figuring out how to distribute her produce, the star has found that gardening is somewhat of a metaphor for life, saying “In life, as on a farm or in a garden, we get out of it what we put into it.”
Not surprisingly, Martha Stewart may be the most accomplished celebrity gardener. From her books, videos, and websites dedicated to teaching others about home living, Stewart has made a living creating and maintaining a variety of gardens. And she makes good use of her knowledge. At her Cantitoe Corners home in New York, Martha Stewart has created a fully functional vegetable garden. The 90 by 150 foot garden is encased by a seven foot tall metal fence to keep large and small animals away. Within the metal fence are vegetables ranging from kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, pumpkins, onions, several varieties of lettuce, and potatoes. Being the queen of tips and tricks gives Martha a gardening advantage. She utilizes salt hay for mulching because it minimizes weeds and retains moisture, mustard greens are planted alongside kale, cabbage, and broccoli to trap flea beetles, and patches of hay are placed below pumpkins to prevent early rotting and bruising during growth.