Tom Allen opens up on how gardening helped him grieve for his dad

The comedian appeared at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show where he said getting into vegetable growing helped him feel closer to his late father.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Tom Allen attends The RHS Chelsea Flower Show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 20, 2024 in London, England. All the main garden categories return to the Royal Hospital Chelsea this year.  The Show Gardens along Main Avenue, Sanctuary and Feature Gardens explore themes through horticulture, while the All About Plants area in the Floral Marquee focuses on planting. This year is billed as the most sustainable to date. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Tom Allen is a huge fan of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. (Getty Images)

Comedian Tom Allen has told how getting into vegetable growing has helped him to process his grief over losing his father.

He appeared on BBC Two's RHS Chelsea Flower Show coverage, where he opened up to Sophie Raworth on the healing effect that gardening had had on him.

Allen also spoke about his fondness for drunk gardening and how he has been embracing his garden failures.

Tom Allen is a big fan of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and he stopped in to this year's event to tell Sophie Raworth how getting into gardening had helped him to grieve for his father.

The comedian appeared on BBC Two's coverage of the show, where he spoke about his own attempts at gardening and how he had been inspired to grow vegetables because his late father had always grown them.

May 20, 2024, London, United Kingdom: Tom Allen seen attending the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 Press Day in London. (Credit Image: © Brett Cove/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire) EDITORIAL USAGE ONLY! Not for Commercial USAGE!
Tom Allen says gardening helped him during grief for his dad. (SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/PA)

He said: "He died about two and a half years ago. If you lose somebody close to you, it's difficult to process sometimes and I thought actually, spending time in the garden just gave me space to remember him in a way that was active."

Allen added that he had been sowing his vegetables in alphabetical order so that he wasn't confused about what they were when the plants came through.

"I've been embracing failure," he added of his gardening efforts. "I've been enjoying putting it on my social media and I like to play a game of 'dead or not'. It looks like it's mainly a stick but maybe it'll come back to life. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

"It doesn't matter if it works out or it doesn't. If you have a go with gardening, that's the joy of it and a lot of the time it's the way it makes you feel."

Allen also shared his love of gardening after enjoying his favourite tipple.

He said: "I've done a bit of drunk gardening. I don't know if I've coined (the phrase). I've done various bits of gardening when drunk, but most recently I was at an awards ceremony and ended up stealing the table centrepieces and brought those home."

Raworth asked: "And are they still alive?" but Allen admitted: "Well, no, they're dead. It's nice to look at foliage and enjoy whatever nature's delivered, and sometimes a glass of wine helps me do that."

He added: "It is easy to get overexcited (at Chelsea). I did buy an urn but I didn't check the measurements. It's enormous and it makes my garden look rather like a cemetery.

"Do be careful not to get carried away, because it might look wonderful in Chelsea but it might not look quite so good in suburban Bromley."

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show coverage airs on BBC Two at 8pm.