A PAIR of keen gardeners are on TV this week after the Beechgrove Garden visited Tranent for the first time.

Watt and Christine Russell have been tending to their garden for nearly 50 years.

Brian Cunningham, the head gardener at Scone Palace and a regular guest presenter of the popular horticultural show, stopped off at their home in April.

Watt, who worked as a precision engineer before retirement, told the Courier: “He did seem to like it.

“I will hear his comments when they put it on the television on Thursday.

“He was quite interested.

“I grow and show plants for the Scottish Rock Garden Club and had quite a few bits and pieces to see.

“They came at about 9am and it was about 3pm before they left. We had a few re-runs and trial runs – it is not just taking a picture. They were spending quite a bit of time with the sound man, camera man, director and Brian.”

The garden caught the eye of the television show, which is celebrating its 40th year, due to its unusual size.

The garden is only 37 feet by 24 feet in the front and 37 feet by 32 feet in the back, making it one of the smallest gardens ever to have featured on the BBC show.

Seventy-seven-year-old Watt developed a love for gardening when he was at Hawick High School.

It is a love that has stayed with him since and now takes centre stage at his home.

There are no bedding plants and no lawn in his garden, which has also featured in the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society’s Caledonian Gardener journal.

Instead, there is a collection of plants and dwarf shrubs from mountainous regions of the world.

Stan da Prato, who lives in the town and is the editor of the Caledonian Gardener, also joined the couple and the television crew in the garden last week. He explained what he thought made the small space so special.

He said: “They have got so many good-quality, unusual plants in such a small space.

“The front and the back gardens are only something like 30 feet by 30 feet each.”

Watt, who played and coached rugby, helping with Ross High Colts for a number of years, confirmed he and Christine would be sitting down at 7.30pmon Thursday and switching on BBC2 Scotland to watch the programme.

He added: “Without a doubt we will be watching it.

“I can imagine getting a bit of hassle from my friends but I can give as good as I get!”