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How Gardeners' World star Monty Don's marriage was affected by illness

Monty and his wife, Sarah Don, have both suffered ill health which impacted their marriage  

Monty and Sarah Don in casual clothes on the beach
Melanie Macleod
Melanie MacleodWellness Editor
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Monty Don has always spoken openly about his health battles, from being "utterly exhausted" when he had Covid, to sharing details of his childhood cancer battle.

While Monty's ailments are well documented, it transpires his wife of 40 years, Sarah Don, has been equally plagued by ill health, with the couple sharing details in their book, The Jewel Garden. Sarah also explained how their combined ill health caused issues in their marriage.

"I was ill for months after our daughter was born despite having had a supposedly film-star birth at an enormously expensive private London hospital," Sarah wrote. "I had a slipped disc, a result of the bodged delivery, and was so anaemic that I needed a blood transfusion.

Sarah and Monty Don in smart clothes in 2017© Jabphotography/REX/Shutterstock
Sarah and Monty Don have been married since 1983

"My injuries were not acknowledged and as we tried to leave the hospital I had to walk down three flights of stairs because the lift had broken. I was unable to walk or stand properly for over a year," she shared.

Being bedridden put a strain on their marriage, with Sarah candidly writing: "When it came down to it, Montagu was a loony and I was ill all the time.

READ: All you need to know about Gardeners' World star Monty Don - wife, net worth, illness and more 

"I suppose the lowest point for me was when I was hidden away on my sickbed while potential buyers traipsed round the house," she wrote about a time when their home was on the market.

Monty wrote a book about the garden of their home at the time, with the tome titled The Prickotty Bush, and Sarah was surprised at the content of the book.

Monty Don and Sarah Don smiling sitting on a bench© Maggie Hardie/REX/Shutterstock
Monty Don and Sarah Don have both had health issues over the years

"I found it astonishing that Montagu never mentioned my bedridden weeks in The Prickotty Bush. I can only assume that he was so obsessed with making the garden that I was, during that time, peripheral."

Both Sarah and Monty have happily come out the other side of the illnesses now, with Monty even speaking openly about his mental health, sharing how SAD lamps and gardening have helped him overcome SAD.

Speaking to The Guardian in 2008 Monty, 67, shared: "I'm on record as being depressive. It is related to winter. I have used antidepressants in the past, but I gave them up 10 years ago when I started to use a lightbox on my desk. It's certainly helped."

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