21 July 2010


 Byw yn yr Ardd

Two years ago Russell Jones was a familiar face around Rhosgadfan near Caernarfon as he leisurely rode around on his bike. Today, he’s a familiar face around the whole of Wales as one of the likable presenters of Byw yn yr Ardd.

Now, his fans, young and old, can get to know the longhaired gardener better as he publishes his autobiography, Gwyrdd fy Myd, translated as My Green World. The first in a new series by publishers Gwasg Gwynedd, Nabod (Know) is a series of bright, colorful books full of photographs allowing the reader to get to know a well known personality better through their words and others.

“A kind but different and unique boy who seems to have been born in the wrong century and doesn’t belong in this technological and electrical era! A chickens man more than anything, he manages to turn any discussion to a discussion about chickens,” is his fellow Byw yn yr Ardd presenter, Bethan Gwanas’ opinion of Russell. In the book we also get a chance to hear other people’s opinion on the man himself as friends, family and old school teachers share their memories and stories about Russell.

“It’s been a privilege to have had a chance to talk to people who’ve known Russell since he was a small plant himself!” says Mared Lewis who spent many hours in Russell’s and his family’s company in Rhosgadfan before capturing their works in the book.

Today, Russell Jones’ life is very different from what it was, having had a new career, fallen in love, married, moved house and had a son! So, what better time for him to share his life story with the rest of the world?

“Why not now! There are so many people that want to know more about me, and so many who haven’t had the chance to speak to me, so it’s important for me to have something down on paper - so that anyone can read about me!” says Russell.

His infectious enthusiasm and eagerness to encourage everyone to get out into their gardens or rear chickens is clear. But this book not only offers a chance to hear about Russell’s childhood, it also offers an insight into the root of his love for everything green as well as when the seed of his enjoyment of gardening was sown. It also gives Russell a chance to go on his soapbox and voice his opinions on a range of issues. From the Welsh language to gardening, cleaning, cars, religion to hair – Russell has a strong opinion on everything! We also learn about his fondness of knitting, his love of cerdd dant and his unique habits which include having to hear the sound of a vacuum cleaner to sleep as a baby!

“I talk about things which I agree and disagree with hoping to highlight things that effect us on a daily basis. As long as I get people thinking and put a smile on their face, then I’ve succeeded in what I wanted to do. Because, at the end of the day, having fun is the main thing,” says Russell. 

Since he started presenting Byw yn yr Ardd Russell has shared his fun with a number of clubs, societies and branches of Merched y Wawr all over Wales. As well as discussing his role as a presenter and his love of gardening, he also shares his passion for chickens, many of which accompany him on his visits!

But if he had to choose between his garden and his beloved chickens, which one would win the day? 

“The chickens! It’s nice to be able to sit down at the end of the day and watch them and the little chicks that I rear. And I also love to compete with them in shows,” says Russell categorically before hesitantly adding, “But it’s also nice when you can grow something yourself in the garden. Being able to sit down for a meal that you’ve grown yourself is quite an achievement. It’s too close to call – but if I had to choose, I think the chickens would come out on top!”

The garden and the chickens get their time in the spotlight in this interesting book as we learn more about one of the warmest, friendliest characters in Wales.



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