Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Arms, legs and naked gardening!

It's a lovely sunny morning out there, and the forecast is for a warm afternoon. I'm in the mood for clipping two large shrubs in my back garden. And I hope to get some sunshine on my arms and legs, especially the legs. They have become pallid appendages over the long winter, and badly need a tan. So despite the risk of scratching them to death on the bushes, I will set about my gardening duties very lightly clad.

And I will do so all summer if possible. Those arms and legs need the kiss of the sun pretty badly.

And I won't be presenting the neighbours with an eye-popping spectacle. My rear garden is quite private. I could actually prance about in the nude if I liked. But I won't, just in case a neighbour pops in, or roofers suddenly start work nearby. I imagine that roofers are always on the lookout for sunbathing housewives. Anything female with the right bits to leer at. I've no intention of satisfying their base animal intincts.  

So no nudity in my back garden. But I know that casting aside all clothing, and taking a natural approach to gardening, has much to be said for it. You may in fact have heard of Ian and Barbara Pollard, the Naked Gardeners of Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, Wiltshire - a little town just off the Cotswolds. On 'Clothes Optional' days, they may be observed planting, weeding and clipping in their birthday suits, and why not? Here they are:


Well, that's a bit of a nudefest! Of course, there's nothing wrong with any of this public skin exposure - of course not - but what exactly would one say if one walked innocently around a giant shrub - or through a gap in a tall hedge - and were then suddenly faced with a Naked Gardener? Perhaps: 

'Oh, hello! Lovely weather today! Isn't the sun so marvellous! God, it's warm! Don't you feel stiflingly hot, without any clothes on...?' (blushes and faints)

'Oh, sorry, I didn't know you were there! I love your hat! What a fabulous toolbelt you're wearing!' (blushes and faints)

'Oh, I hope I didn't interrupt anything! I can see you're really busy! You must be doing this all day! Um, aren't you worried about these bees stinging your...?' (blushes and faints)

'Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry, I didn't mean to intrude! I'm sure you don't want people looking at...Oh, what lovely gardens! What lovely plants! What an amazing bush you've got there!' (blushes and faints)

But then I'm completely inhibited, and so easily embarrassed. I will blush horribly at anything, including myself. Of course, most people take this kind of everyday sunworshipping in their stride, and indeed coachloads of garden-loving tourists visit these famous gardens every day during the sunny months of the year. To my credit, when last staying on the Cotswolds, I dared myself to go to Abbey House, and nearly did, but would you believe it, they weren't open? I had to visit the American Museum at Claverton instead. (Phew)

It's well known that men, if keen naturists, will pose around unabashed, but I have to admire the bottle that Barbara shows (if the camera does not fib) by revealing so much of herself to the public gaze. That said, you'll notice that the photos all have pot plants, arms, elbows, toolbelts and saucers placed just so, to conceal the naughty bits.

Barbara isn't shy about her breasts, however, and good for her. Actually, I don't suppose I would be, in the right circumstances. Nor complete exposure, if a thousand other people were doing it, and you'd look an idiot if you didn't join in. There, I'm not afraid to admit that I'm Pure British when it comes to Revealing All. And, of course, if we all went around naked, there would be no point in going to the Abbey Gardens at Malmesbury. Except to see the plants. I just hope the National Trust doesn't copy the idea.


  1. Lucy, you should have made clear that anyone can join in on those clothes optional days...

    Our garden is mostly surrounded by high walls and before a few trees had to come down was completely hidden from all but occasional window cleaners next door. I took advantage of this and gained a stripe less pale tan on our few warm sunny days of summer, there is nothing quite like being free of clothing.

    On my favourite beach it is only the few who feel that they need a small rag of cloth to cover bits who draw any attention!!!

  2. Perhaps I'm not truly a connoisseur of the human body, but I think people look more attractive with a little clothing on - it leaves more to the imagination. When you're tending the roses, it's also a lot more practical!

  3. Well I'm no prude in the bedroom so to speak but that doesn't matter any more as I no longer have an interest in sexual activity. However I do think, and I have always thought that outside of the bedroom one should be dressed even if only partially. If people wish to gallivant around in their birthday suits that is up to themselves but I think it shouldn't be done in a public place. As for doing the gardening in the nude, that's got to be a little precarious.......at least wear something on the feet!

    Shirley Anne x

  4. Judging by the photos, I think the Pollards do wear wellies and gloves, and certainly hats.

    I hacked at my shrubs in a vest top and short skirt, with wellies below. And had I bent over, there really was a roofer to see my knickers two houses down the road - I made sure he did not.

    Clearly nudity still has the power to shock and embarrass, at least in the British Isles. It is not so in, say, France, where you can see bronzed folk on beaches sans clothing all over the place! Oo la la!



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