Gardeners' World expert Adam Frost's emotional turmoil after health worries, his wife and how he grew to love gardening

Adam Frost -Credit:BBC/Richard Hanmer
Adam Frost -Credit:BBC/Richard Hanmer

If you are a keen viewer of BBC's Gardener's World, you will already be a big fan of Adam Frost and his expertise. Adam first appeared on the show in 2016 as a co-presenter alongside Monty Don and has loved gardening since he was a child. Speaking to Lorraine last summer he opened up about how he fell in love with gardening.

He said: "I spent a lot of time with my grandparents...classic 70s lawn, greenhouse at the end, run down in the morning, open up and get the tomatoes...from the moment it was light and you could get your trousers on to the moment it was dark, I was out."

While he is known and loved for his gardening skills on the popular BBC show, Adam Frost has also been incredibly open about his physical and mental health battles and that of his family's too. Here, we take a look at how Adam Frost came to be in the gardening spotlight and his journey along the way.

READ NEXT: Charlotte Church says 'we're not afraid' as she talks new venture with family

READ NOW: Huge noughties pop star Daniel Bedingfield reveals where he’s been for 20 years

Who is Adam Frost?

Adam Frost is a British garden designer who is best known for his successful work at the Chelsea Flower Show - he's won seven gold medals - and appearances co-presenting BBC's Gardener's World.

He began his gardening career after a difficult teenagehood, which saw him living on his own above a pizza parlour. In an interview with The Times, having left school at 16 with CSEs, he said it seemed he had the choice of becoming a chef, joining the army or a gardener - he chose the latter because he recalled a happy childhood playing about in his grandparents' garden and allotments.

He began his first gardening role as an apprentice at the North Devon Parks Department before moving to Barnsdale Gardens in Rutland to serve as landscape manager to former Gardener's World presenter Geoff Hamilton, who fronted the show in the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, he built and tended to many of the gardens seen in Gardener's World.

After his debut at the RHS Chelsea Garden in 2007, he has gardened for the likes of Land’s End, QVC, Honda, Volkswagen and even designed the Homebase garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013.

He has previously appeared on shows like The Alan Titchmarsh Show and The One Show as well as being a constant face on BBC's Gardener's World alongside Monty Don.

Adam is also an author and has released several books - Gardener’s World: How I Garden - a book full of "easy ideas and inspiration for making beautiful gardens anywhere"; RHS How to Create your Garden: Ideas and Advice for Transforming your Outdoor Space; RHS The Creative Gardener: Inspiration and Advice to Create the Space You Want; Real Gardens: Seven Amazing Chelsea Gold Medal-Winning Designs.

The landscaper also has his own garden design company called Adam Frost Design, based near his home in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Adam Frost's health struggles

Most viewers will know and love Adam Frost for being a positive and upbeat presence on Gardener's World regularly, but recently, the landscaper has opened up about his struggles with his physical and mental health.

In an interview with The Times in 2022, the 53-year-old spoke about his experience with Covid (which saw him locked in a room) which lead to the discovery that he had burn-out and depression.

He told the publication: "I was sat in front of a psychiatrist and a doctor and said, 'You know, I've got burn-out and depression,' which was a surprise as I only went into the room with Covid. The wheels came off a little bit."

And while he was suffering with Covid, Adam wasn't the only one in the family going through a rough time. His wife, Sulina - with whom he shares four children - had been ill in hospital where she developed sepsis - and then, his daughter, who was only 15 at the time, was diagnosed with an eating disorder.

He told The Times: "Her mum was in hospital and she ended up really poorly. She ended up with an eating disorder, like a lot of 15-year-olds, she had friends going through it at school. So that took its toll. Then I got Covid and was locked in a room."

After the three of them fell gravely ill, it became a "stark reminder that there are other things in life" and so they moved home, downsizing to a smaller house. Adam had been seen tending to the beautiful garden at Villa Farm on television in the five years prior, and while "it was great with the house and the garden", he said: "Actually, what we realised was that it was great when everybody was well."

After this family turmoil, Adam became a contributor to a podcast series for Gardener's World Magazine that featured conversations with psychologists over how beneficial gardening is for your mental health.

Speaking about this, he told The Times: "For somebody who's always used a garden as a safe place, somewhere to escape to, when my head was all over the shop I couldn't find the garden as a place of solace, which is really weird.... now we've moved, I'm back in creation mode."

Who is Adam Frost's wife?

Adam met his wife Sulina in the 1990s when she was working as a manager at John Lewis. The pair share four children - two sons called Jacob and Oakley and two daughters Abi-Jade and Amber-Lily.

Gardener's World airs on BBC Two at 7pm on Friday, July 21.

You can keep up to date with the latest TV and showbiz news by signing up to the newsletter here.