Start with varities that are well suited to your region. Contact your county coop extension agent for advice. Ensure your garden plot gets 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. Ideally it should be located close to a water source to minimize carrying the hose across your yard. Plant in nutrient rich soil. Consider adding flowers like marigolds that discourage pests and attract pollinators.
Adrian Edmondson is a 66-year-old actor, writer and musician. He has appeared in anarchic TV comedies The Young Ones and Bottom, and latterly in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi and as Scrooge in the RSC’s 2022 production of A Christmas Carol. He has recently completed his autobiography, Berserker!, and next month starts a podcast, Out to Lunch With Ade Edmondson, where he interviews a celebrity guest over a meal. Edmondson lives with his wife, Jennifer Saunders, mainly in Devon.
Why did you call your autobiography Berserker!?
I’ve always had a weird notion I was a Viking: I lived near York, or Jorvik as the Vikings called it, and my name is Edmondson, so it has obviously got a slight Scandi root. But the definition of “berserk”, as someone who’s wild and frenzied and off their tits on alcohol and henbane, seems to be a version of what I was in my youth. I was desperate for excitement.
Until reading the book, I hadn’t realised how many genuine injuries you and your comedy partner Rik Mayall sustained in your act…
When we used to perform at the Comic Strip club, my entrance would be to run on and head-butt the microphone from the stand into the audience, which always left this grid on my forehead. And there was a point when my character, Adrian Dangerous, got really frustrated and used to head-butt the wall. And it was just a proper wall, an actual brick wall. But I discovered that the harder I hit it, the bigger the laugh. So I would hit it very hard. Which is kind of berserker, isn’t it?
What was the hardest part of the autobiography to write?
It was writing about The Young Ones, because I’ve never watched it since it went out. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just too big a thing and it’s a huge bit of baggage. So I had to look at it academically because it doesn’t really mean anything to me. Bottom is much closer to my heart, just because I didn’t write The Young Ones. I spent 14 weeks making it and 14 weeks is a very short time.
You don’t go too deep into your relationship with Jennifer and your kids in the book. Is that because that’s their story to tell?
Don’t shit on your own doorstep. That’s the rule. Jennifer has her own autobiography, so if you want to hear her side of the story, read that. I’m not going to put words in her mouth. And yeah, I think my kids have had enough – they get a lot of accusations of nepotism whenever they raise their heads.
You do, though, tell a very funny story about going to dinner with Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger, when Hall wanted a part in the American TV version of Absolutely Fabulous…
There are only two stories in the book where the characters don’t come out in a good light. I didn’t want to score points off people, but it was a very funny evening in Jerry’s house. And I tell it to people around the table, so I thought I should tell that.
Do you and Jennifer have lots of weird encounters like that?
No, that’s an unusual one. We spend most of our time watching shit telly and eating off our knees.
In your new podcast, you go out to lunch with the likes of Reece Shearsmith, Bridget Christie and Chrissie Hynde. How do you pick the guests?
I’ve got one rule: I have to really like them. I can’t do the pretend-liking thing. It has to be a love-in.
Has anyone surprised you?
I love Bridget Christie and we got into a conversation about Bottom and I was shocked because she was so complimentary. There has been a revision of Bottom: when it came out it was so badly reviewed, and all the intellectuals daren’t like it because it had fart jokes in it and frying pans.
Didn’t that happen with Star Wars as well, when director Rian Johnson cast you because he really liked Bottom?
Yeah, [although] I didn’t realise when I got the job. I just took the job because I thought my grandkids would love it. [Whispers] I’m not really a fan. I mean, it’s all right, but it’s not really my sort of stuff.
It sounded like a surreal experience on set…
Absolutely bonkers. The level of security and paranoia about people doing spoilers was insane. So I read my scenes redacted on an iPad with a guard looking over me about a week before we shot, and everyone else’s lines were blacked out. And then I went to the premiere and one of my lines was the first line in the film. If I’d known that, I don’t think I’d have been able to do it!
Is it true you are a champion vegetable grower these days?
I do veg and Jennifer does all the other gardening, the things that look nice. And yeah, I entered the local produce show once and won second prize for my cucumbers and third prize for “unspecified vegetable”, which isn’t as bad as it sounds: it’s just one that isn’t on the schedule. So my spring onions won third prize. I’ve won more prizes for vegetables than I have for comedy.
Your character Vyvyan had a famous rant in The Young Ones about cosy TV show The Good Life. Have you come full circle?
Yeah, we did set out to be the antithesis of The Good Life. Because we were young, thrusting people in our early 20s, we perceived it as staid. And that’s what I’ve become. Part of it is coming to terms with yourself, isn’t it? When I was young, all my happiness seemed to come from being wild and frenzied, both in work and socially. We used to get pissed all the time, just because we could and it was fun. And I still get pissed now, but there are other things to enjoy.
Out to Lunch With Ade Edmondson launches on 3 October on all podcast platforms. His new play, It’s Headed Straight Towards Us, is at Park theatre, London N4
Berserker! An Autobiography is published by Pan Macmillan (£22). To support the Guardian and Observer order your copy at guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply