Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and a panel of greenfingered experts continue to scrutinise some of the country’s most extraordinary gardens. At the end of the series, the garden deemed the best will win one of Britain’s most prestigious horticultural accolades – the National Gardens Scheme Gold Medal Award. This instalment features a pretty stable yard in Hampshire and an elaborate fantasy garden in Wales.

From the cosiest example of cottage planting to a wild and wonderful exotic jungle; from a serene urban haven to a green eco Eden, this six-part series examines the very best gardens that Britain has to offer. In each episode, the judges explore two gardens, focusing on their unique identities and explaining how they suit their owners. Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen – well known for his extensive work on television – spends a day in each home and garden, getting to the heart of the owner’s story and learning how they created their own personal Eden.

The yards are then handed over to the mercy of the three judges – straight-talking garden writer Anne Wareham, esteemed RHS Chelsea judge and medal winner Mark Gregory, and Laetitia Maklouf, author of ‘The Virgin Gardener’. These respected judges will assess the gardens according to their own horticultural bugbears – whether it be the declining standards in basic gardening knowledge, the lack of boldness in British design, or the failure of gardeners to create spaces that reflect their personalities. Once the judges have examined the entrants and offered their opinions, viewers are given tips on how to create the designs at home.

In a nail-biting conclusion to each programme, the two medal contenders must defend their gardens against the judges’ criticisms and argue their case as to why they are a worthy winner of the NGS Medal, before the final victor is announced. First to be examined this week is a stable yard in Hampshire. When Sarah moved into the old coach house 27 years ago, there was no garden at all – just a former cattle yard full of rubble. It was not until some years later, when her children had grown up, that Sarah could devote the time and energy necessary to transform the wasteland into the garden of her dreams.

Sarah has made a virtue of the poor, chalky soil to create a space full of easy-to-maintain, self-seeding grasses and perennials. Towering shrubs disguise the narrowness of the plot, while wild, chaotically planted areas contrast with more serene formal lawns. Quirky touches – including an antique olive jar which appears to be growing out of a box, and a carefully tended patch of turf salvaged from Highbury, Arsenal’s former stadium – make this an extremely personal garden. But what will Laurence and the judges make of it?

Next up is a fantasy garden in Powys designed by Wolfgang and Kingsley. This somewhat eccentric couple have been living in their 15thcentury Welsh long house for 20 years and have spent much of that time making considerable alterations – both inside and out. Set within beautiful woodland and bluebell meadows is their 2.5-acre garden, encompassing a grotto, a bat cave, a faux mountain spring and a fake alpine scree slope – plus an area called the Grave, where Wolfgang and Kingsley wish to be buried. There can be no doubt that the couple have achieved quite a spectacle in realising their surreal flights of fancy, but will it be too much for the judges?

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