GARDENING guru Alan Titchmarsh has filmed a reading from his new poetry book, Marigolds, Myrtle And Moles for the Ilkley Manor House’s virtual programme of online activities.

Ilkley-born Alan, who is patron of Ilkley Manor House Trust, read his poem ‘Why does the Willow Weep?’ for the Ilkley Manor House at Home series of online poetry and story readings.

Written to be read aloud Alan recorded the poem in the garden of his home.

It will be published on Wednesday, June 3 across the Manor House’s social media platforms.

Sarah Thomas, Chair of the Ilkley Manor House Trust said: “The Ilkley Manor House at Home programme has been very popular, especially the spoken word videos from poets and authors, so we were thrilled when Alan agree to be involved.

“Although lockdown has meant that the Manor House is unable to physically open our doors, we have continued to grow and develop our online offer for our ‘visitors’.

“Alan has always been a keen supporter of the Manor House, and so, his poetry reading is a wonderful addition to our programme.”

Described as “The perfect bedside book for the green-fingered” Marigolds, Myrtle And Moles, is Alan’s first book of poetry aimed at the green-fingered.

To see Alan reading his poem from Wednesday and to find out more about Ilkley Manor House visit or Facebook @ilkleymanorhouse Twitter @manorhouseilk Instagram @ilkleymanorhouse

* Marigolds, Myrtle And Moles by Alan Titchmarsh is published by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £12.99

* The lovely mid-14th century stone Ilkley Manor House and courtyard sits within the footprint of the Roman fort, Olicana and was opened by patron, Alan Titchmarsh in April 2018.

The Trust’s vision is to create an ambitious heritage and creative quarter for the town. For further information, visit

Ilkley Manor House always welcomes new volunteers. Anybody interested in getting involved should email