Great Garden Detectives

Great Garden Detectives
Sunday 16 December 2007 8:00pm – 9:00pm on ITV3.

Ashridge House and Estate began its life in medieval times and was once a working monastery until Henry VIII, needing cash and a divorce, changed faith and dissolved the monasteries.

Little is left of the monks’ presence in the gardens and landscape but it’s possible to piece together their story and influence. Easier to discern is the influence of two of the world’s greatest garden designers: Capability Brown and Humphrey Repton. Both have left their mark both in the gardens and on the wider estate.

Drama: ITV’s HENRY VIII – starring Ray Winstone & Helena Bonham-Carte

Great Garden Detectives
Sunday 25 November 2007 8:00pm – 9:00pm on ITV3.

Made famous by the cult TV drama The Prisoner, Port Meirion sits in a unique location of outstanding beauty and is a curious amalgamation of managed wild woodland, native Welsh beauty and carefully constructed faux-Italianate landscape garden design. Created by the eccentric architect Sir William Clough-Ellis it remains a holiday favourite. We look beneath the surface of this well known garden to discover how and why it was created, starting first in the garden of Plas Brondanw, Sir Willliam Clough-Ellis’ ancestral home where he first put his ideas into practice.

Drama: THE PRISONER – starring Patrick McGoohan.

Great Garden Detectives
Sunday 18 November 2007 8:00pm – 9:00pm on ITV3.

The first botanic garden in Britain is small but vital and full of treasures and sits in the heart of Oxford, a city made famous by countless drama but most particularly ITV’s Inspector Morse and the spin off series Lewis.

Created in 1621 by a keen plants man and something of a hypochondriac, the Oxford University Botanic Gardens have always been full of medicinal plants but now hold up to 7,000 species some endangered, some essential for scientific research.

We uncover tales of intrepid plant hunters, past and present, who risked their necks in foreign parts to bring back unique specimens that would both bring them fame and fortune and benefit gardeners everywhere.

Drama: ITV’s INSPECTOR MORSE – starring John Thaw.

Great Garden Detectives
Sunday 11 November 2007 8:00pm – 9:00pm on ITV3.

A visual feast of horticulture, landscape, garden design and natural beauty, The Great Garden Detectives takes the viewer on an extraordinary and privileged journey through the secret history of eight British gardens all used extensively as locations for TV dramas and feature films.

Each programme is a story-telling treat, revealing the history of each garden, the horticultural excellence to be found there and the uniqueness of their location and environment.

Presenter, Chris Beardshaw, a Gold Medal winner at Chelsea with extensive horticultural and garden design expertise, takes the viewer on a journey. He meets the people who own, work and cherish these gardens, discovering the hidden tales and gardening secrets they have at their fingertips.

A French Chateau that would look completely at home on the banks of the Loire but instead sits in Buckinghamshire, Waddesdon Manor was built in the 19th century by Baron Ferdinand Rothschild as a country pleasure palace to entertain the great and the good of the day from Queen Victoria to the Prince of Wales and later Prime Ministers Mrs.Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.

Ferdinand wanted an instant garden on a grand scale and got one by cutting off the top of a hill and employing an army of gardeners to maintain his stunning parterre full of perfect flowering plants by transplanting, amongst other things, huge, mature Oak trees to create the North Walk, creating the impression the avenue of tress had been there for centuries.

Drama: THE QUEEN – starring Helen Mirren
HE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT – starring Bill Nighy

The Great Garden Detectives
Sunday 4 November 2007 8:00pm – 9:00pm on ITV3.

A visual feast of horticulture, landscape, garden design and natural beauty, The Great Garden Detectives takes the viewer on an extraordinary and privileged journey through the secret history of eight British gardens all used extensively as locations for TV dramas and feature films.

Each programme is a story-telling treat, revealing the history of each garden, the horticultural excellence to be found there and the uniqueness of their location and environment. Presenter, Chris Beardshaw, a Gold Medal winner at Chelsea with extensive horticultural and garden design expertise, takes the viewer on a journey. He meets the people who own, work and cherish these gardens, discovering the hidden tales and gardening secrets they have at their fingertips.

From Brideshead Revisited to Oscar-winning film The Queen, and Sherlock Holmes to The Darling Buds Of May, the series looks at how Britain’s wealth of historic gardens have been used to conjure up some of our best-loved films and TV dramas.

In programme three we visit the stunning county of Kent. Known since Tudor times as ‘the garden of England’ and immortalised in the TV drama The Darling Buds of May, Kent is an extraordinary county.

To some it’s the suburban garden of England, while for others it may simply be the place you drive through to get to France, but however people see the county it still has a wealth of horticultural riches and wonderful stories to tell from the Hop fields, to the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale, to Gravetye Manor created by William Robinson, an unsung horticultural hero and creator of the ‘cottage garden’ style much beloved today by gardeners everywhere.

The Great Garden Detectives
Sunday 28 October 2007 8:00pm – 9:00pm on ITV3.

A visual feast of horticulture, landscape, garden design and natural beauty, The Great Garden Detectives takes the viewer on an extraordinary and privileged journey through the secret history of eight British gardens all used extensively as locations for TV dramas and feature films.

Each programme is a story-telling treat, revealing the history of each garden, the horticultural excellence to be found there and the uniqueness of their location and environment. Presenter, Chris Beardshaw, a Gold Medal winner at Chelsea with extensive horticultural and garden design expertise, takes the viewer on a journey. He meets the people who own, work and cherish these gardens, discovering the hidden tales and gardening secrets they have at their fingertips.

From Brideshead Revisited to Oscar-winning film The Queen, and Sherlock Holmes to The Darling Buds Of May, the series looks at how Britain’s wealth of historic gardens have been used to conjure up some of our best-loved films and TV dramas.

In programme two, we get taken to Arley Hall – a small but perfectly formed country house in Cheshire with a stunning estate and garden. This is a family run place where a love of gardening runs through the veins of generations the Ashbrook family, who still own the breathtaking house and gardens today.

We focus on a number of unusual and stunning aspects of the garden, including the Ilex Avenue, the Shrub Rose garden and the Furlong Walk. All have fascinating stories to impart that unlock the secret history of the development of this garden and those who have cherished it through the centuries.

The highlight of Arley Hall for many visitors is the spectacular herbaceous border: an extraordinary ever-changing display of colour that remains a horticultural feast from May through to September. It is the first herbaceous border created by the Arley Hall’s first and most devoted gardeners in the 19th Century, Rowland and Mary Egerton-Warburton. The famous gardener, Gertrude Jekyll took her inspiration from what they created.

Arley Hall will be familiar to many from ITV dramas Sherlock Holmes starring Jeremy Brett, and The Forsythe Saga with Damien Lewis, Rupert Graves and Gina McKee.

Great Garden Detectives
Sunday 21 October 2007 8:00pm – 9:00pm on ITV3.

A visual feast of horticulture, landscape, garden design and natural beauty, The Great Garden Detectives takes the viewer on an extraordinary and privileged journey through the secret history of eight British gardens all used extensively as locations for TV dramas and feature films.

Each programme is a story-telling treat, revealing the history of each garden, the horticultural excellence to be found there and the uniqueness of their location and environment. Presenter, Chris Beardshaw, a Gold Medal winner at Chelsea with extensive horticultural and garden design expertise, takes the viewer on a journey. He meets the people who own, work and cherish these gardens, discovering the hidden tales and gardening secrets they have at their fingertips.

From Brideshead Revisited to Oscar-winning film The Queen, and Sherlock Holmes to The Darling Buds Of May, the series looks at how Britain’s wealth of historic gardens have been used to conjure up some of our best-loved films and TV dramas.

In programme one, Castle Howard in Yorkshire: a house, garden and estate on a grand scale built to make a public statement of wealth, confidence and spectacle. It survives today, still owned by the Howard family and paying its way by opening its doors to the public and to film crews.

Famous as the location for the Granada production of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited where it became a character vital to the series in its own right. We go behind the scenes not of the production but of the garden itself, visiting the famous Atlas Fountain, Ray Wood, the demolished Temple of Venus built by Hawksmoor, the kitchen gardens and the vast waterway system that threads its way through the entire estate and garden. We meet along the way the gardeners and custodians responsible for maintaining the past and building for its future.

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