There is trouble in the Garden of Eden. The wife of the 'Naked Gardener' is divorcing him for being a 'womanising alcoholic', he has revealed.
Green-fingered naturalists Ian and Barbara Pollard bought a Wiltshire stately home in 1994 and maintain the house and garden as a successful tourist attraction. The pair host 'clothes optional' gardening days in the extensive grounds of the 16th Century property.
But the split means that the pair will sell up, with Ian hoping to make "quite a lot" when the estate goes on the market.
Barbara first suggested a divorce just 11 days after their wedding five years ago but the couple made a go of things until she moved out three months ago.She accused him of being a "womanising alcoholic" in their divorce papers - which he denies.
The couple met when Ian hired Barbara as a PA to his Wiltshire-based property development company 30 years ago, after his first wife declared their marriage was over.
They bought Abbey House from a group of nuns in 1994 and spent four years transforming the home and gardens, before opening the grounds to the public.They got married five years ago after Ian was told he might not survive an operation to replace a defective aortic valve.
He pulled through but said just 11 weeks after the wedding, his new wife said she wanted a divorce eventually accusing him of being a womaniser and drinking too much.
Ian said soon Barbara moved into another area of the house but they made a go of the marriage until last July when she attended a course at Glastonbury on 'family healing'.
He added: "After coming back she walked out on me, the three kids - who are 18, 22, and 27 - and her own mother, who is 89. She lives in a flat upstairs."
According to Ian, Barbara moved out, filed for divorce three months ago, but then moved back to the 12-bedroom property ten days ago when the lease on her rented home ran out.
When asked the reason for the split, he said: "I'm a womanising alcoholic [according to divorce papers].
"To all parties concerned it is 'where the hell did she dream that one up'.
"To call me a womaniser is ludicrous. Also an alcoholic - I like drinking like 80 or 90 per cent of the country. Her idea is that you shouldn't drink at all, you should abstain from alcohol completely."
Mrs Pollard is currently living in the house and has apparently spoke to the "garden fairies" on her return.
"She came back interested in garden divas - fairies to you and I," said Ian.
"She needed to talk to the flower divas, she said. It was one of the things that she said she was going to do when she came back. Scary stuff," added Mr Pollard.
Abbey House Gardens has attracted nearly half a million visitors since it opened its doors in 1998.