February 23, 2015

The Armchair Gardener

The Armchair Gardener   by Lynne Dundas

When you live in a climate where winters involve heavy snowfall followed by fluctuating temperatures bringing about rain and sleet,  covering roads and walkways with ice, you tend to remain indoors waiting for conditions to improve. What better thing to do than enjoy quiet relaxing moments dreaming about gardens and creating plans for spring.
The internet is an invaluable tool for providing education and entertainment for gardeners. Just go to the search engine and type in anything of interest to you and you are given millions of sites to choose from to explore your topic.
If you are a visual learner, like myself, you will love the sites with lots of photos and and videos. I often type in a name of a plant and then go to "Images" to view the many photos of the plant - not only discovering  how it looks but also how it is used in the landscape.
When you prefer to sit back and relax,  and be entertained, go to YouTube and type in the topic of interest and view some videos. Following is a list of shows that I have been enjoying. Go to YouTube.com and type in the title of the show. The following are 30 and 59 min shows. If the title on YouTube selection is only a few minutes, it is not the full show.

Around the World in 80 Gardens was a television series of 10 programs in which British gardener and broadcaster Monty Don visited 80 of the world's most celebrated gardens. The series was filmed over a period of 18 months and was first broadcast on BBC Two on successive Sundays from 27 January to 30 March 2008. A book based on the series was also published. Following is a list of the episodes:
1. Mexico and Cuba
2. Australia and new Zealand
3. India
4. South America
5. United States of America
6. China and Japan
7. Mediterranean
8. South Africa
9. Northern Europe
10. South-East Asia

Gardeners' World is a long-running BBC Television  program about gardening, first broadcast in 1968 and still running as of 2014. Its first episode was presented by Ken Burras and came from Oxford Botanical Gardens. The magazine BBC Gardeners' World  is a tie-in to the program. Most of its episodes have been 30 minutes in length, although there are many specials that last longer. The 2008 and 2009 series used a 60-minute format.

Gardeners World - Heaven Scent with Carol Klein

Chelsea Flower Show 2014  BBC Gardeners World
If you ever wondered what this flower show was about, you will be amazed at the size and caliber of this British competition.

Highgrove: Allan meets Prince Charles
Alan Titchmarsh tours Highgrove estate gardens with Prince Charles and some of his gardeners.  Prince Charles has always been keen about organic gardening. He purchased the Highgrove property 25 years ago and the flat land was a blank slate for the prince to work with. The Gardens at Highgrove embody HRH The Prince of Wales’s environmental philosophy:  "it is better to work with nature than against it"

Love Your Garden is a British lifestyle gardening program that was first broadcast on ITV on 10 June 2011. The show is hosted by Alan Titchmarsh alongside co-presenters David Domoney, Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill and sees the team visit locations around the United Kingdom helping people to transform their gardens. The first series saw Alan visiting themed gardens around the United Kingdom, specific to the topic of the episode, and advising viewers on how to transform their gardens. However, since the second series Alan and the team have transformed the gardens of people who are described as "deserving them the most".

The Big Allotment Challenge is a British game show that has aired on BBC Two since 15 April 2014. It is hosted by Fern Britton and is about gardening in Britain. The contestants are provided with a garden plot (allotment) with small greenhouse and gardening tools to grow their gardens. Three challenges are involved - the "Grow Challenge", involving fruit and vegetables; the "Make Challenge" involving flowers; and the "Eat Challenge" involving food. There is a judge for each category.

Great Gardens of England ( 1hr 7 min)
published by TravelVideoStore on Jul 23, 2014
- the Gardens at Hidcote Manor, Mottisfont Abbey, Sissinghurst Castle

Hidcote - A Garden for all Seasons (59 min)
Documentary telling the story of Hidcote - the most influential English garden of the 20th century - and Lawrence Johnston, the enigmatic genius behind it. Hidcote was the first garden ever taken on by the National Trust, who spent 3.5 million pounds in a major program of restoration. This included researching Johnston's original vision, which in turn uncovered the compelling story of how Johnston created such an iconic garden. Until recently, little was known about the secretive and self-taught Johnston. He kept few, if any, records on Hidcote's construction, but current head gardener Glyn Jones made it a personal mission to discover as much about the man as possible to reveal how, in the early 20th century, Johnston set about creating a garden that has inspired designers all over the world. 

English Cottage and Country Gardens (44:33 min) Published by TravelVideoStore on Jul 23 2014
These are England's captivating Cottage and Country gardens: old fashioned perennials antique roses, aromatic herbs, and vines climbing old walls and rustic arbors. This video explores eight such private gardens.