Alys Fowler

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Alys Fowler (born c.1978)[1] was a presenter for a short period on the long-running British TV programme Gardeners' World[2] and lives in Birmingham, England.[3]

Fowler was born in Silchester, and had a rural childhood. [4] Her father was a doctor, and her mother ran various cottage industry businesses – she had 200 chickens and sold their eggs, trained gun dogs, and would dog-sit for wealthy Londoners. [4] After completing her education in 2002, Alys Fowler began working as a journalist for Horticulture Week, and Landscape Review. In 2005, Fowler worked for BBC Gardeners' World and Parks as a horticultural researcher. In 2006, Fowler became Head Gardener of the BBC garden at Berryfields in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and created features at the Gardeners' World Live shows. 2007 saw the publication of Fowler's first book, The Thrifty Gardener: How to Create a Stylish Garden for Next to Nothing.[5] In 2008, after appearing occasionally in her Berryfields role, Fowler became a regular presenter on Gardeners' World, and continues to write a monthly blog on the programme's website.[6] She was dropped by the BBC for the 2011 series, at the same time that Toby Buckland's contract as main presenter was not renewed. [7]

Fowler continues to publish prolifically in newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian,[8] Gardeners' World Magazine, Gardens Illustrated, Amateur Gardening,[9] Country Living, and The Daily Mail.

Filming for Fowler's BBC series, The Edible Garden - a.k.a. A Home-Grown Life - began in mid-2009, and the series aired on BBC 2 in April 2010. In this programme, Fowler explores the possibilities and limitations of community self-sustainability in the urban environment of South Birmingham. Fowler's second book, The Edible Garden,[10] was published in March 2010 by BBC Books to accompany the TV series.


From an early age, Alys Fowler was smitten by her mother's gardening talents and the degree of self-sufficiency it afforded the family. After leaving school in 1996, Fowler studied at the Royal Horticultural Society, and the world-renowned Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London. Even while studying in the epicentre of the British gardening establishment, it was clear Fowler had an early interest in loosening the confines of contemporary landscape gardening to include a more organic and accessible aesthetic. Fowler's superiors were quick to recognise her talent and passion. In 1998, she was awarded a Smithsonian Scholarship to study at the New York Botanical Gardens based in the Bronx.[11]

Fowler moved to New York in 1998 to complete her apprenticeship. Driven by the ultra-urban environment, she was forced to find new ways of experiencing and creating green space. Fowler maximised her apartment's fire escape by growing plants and vegetables, and she quickly found a community making gardens in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Exposure to their collective ability to create beautiful and inviting gardens out of objects found in New York's streets and dumpsters chimed with her existing interest in accessible gardening. This became a highly influential period of her training, and spawned the idea for her first book in 2007, The Thrifty Gardener.[12]

Fowler returned to the UK in 1999. Following her interest in grass-roots environmental work, she attended the University College London to complete a Master's in Society, Science, and the Environment.[11] Continuing her passion to fuse traditional gardening with modern eco-friendly culture, Fowler focused her work at this time on the benefits that allotments bring to the environment and those who work on them. In 2013, she presented an episode of Great British Garden Revival.


Fowler lives in Birmingham with her artist husband, Holiday. [4]

Her dog's name is Isobel.


  • Fowler, Alys (2007). The Thrifty Gardener: How To Create a Stylish Garden for Next to Nothing. Kyle Cathie Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85626-777-9. 
  • Fowler, Alys (16 May 2013). Abundance: How to Store and Preserve Your Garden Produce Growing Harvesting Drying Pickling Fermenting Bottling Freezing. Kyle Books. ISBN 978-0-85783-078-4.