Mention Miranda Hart’s mum and most people will think of the actress Patricia Hodge, who played the comedian’s mother in her hit sitcom. But Miranda’s real-life mum, Dee Hart Dyke, is a very talented gardener and, in a new three-part series on More4, she visits some beautiful gardens that are opening to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme, and also tries to instil a love of gardening in her famous daughter.
We caught up with Dee by the potting shed to find out more…
How did you get into gardening?
“My mum did the classic thing of giving me a packet of seeds when I was about nine, and showing me how to sow them. The excitement of seeing my first row of radishes and carrots come up has remained with me ever since. After that I was completely hooked!”
Has Miranda inherited your green fingers?
“Miranda and her sister, Alice, were mildly interested, but it never took root. But that never bothered me because you can’t force your particular passion on your children – they have to discover their own. Miranda has her own little garden in London and we do a bit of gardening there.”
When did you first realise Miranda had a talent for comedy?
“At the age of eight or nine, she was doing impressions of people, including her headmaster. Around that time she started watching Morecambe and Wise and clearly being fascinated by them. That’s when it all started.”
Are there any similarities between you and Miranda’s on-screen mum, as played by Patricia Hodge?
“Absolutely none. Apart from saying ‘Such fun!’, which I think my generation has a tendency to do. Patricia and I have often had a good laugh about it, but thankfully there is nothing about the character that resembles me at all!”
What did you make of the rumours in the press that you and Miranda were going to present The Great British Bake-off?
“That was quite extraordinary – I can’t imagine where it came from! It was absolutely never a possibility.”