Each episode is hosted from an iconic public garden which is home to an extraordinary display of the species being featured. Each expert will champion a particular flower or plant they feel passionately about and investigate the reasons behind its decline. They’ll meet innovative commercial growers and passionate amateurs whose love of a particular species has seen it take over their gardens. In addition the expert presenters will offer hands-on, practical advice to viewers on how they can restore and look after their gardens. The series will feature episodes on tulips, blossoms, lilies, lavender, knot gardens, peonies, daffodils, bog gardens, carnations, conifer, climbers & creepers and irises.
EPISODE 1: Roses (Rachel de Thame) & Climbers and Creepers (Joe Swift)
Tuesday 6th January 7pm on BBC Two
In the first show RACHEL DE THAME shares her love of old roses. In her revival she meets a nurseryman in Oxford involved in the restoration and conservation of old rose gardens; takes to the streets of Solihull with her pop-up rose garden and visits the most famous rose nursery in the UK, where a father and son team are at the cutting edge of rose breeding. Rachel guides us through the best old roses to grow in our gardens and shares her tips on how to plant a rose shrub.
Also in the show, JOE SWIFT wants to dispel some of the myths which have grown up around climbers and creepers and shows us that with the right selection and a little bit of maintenance, they will suit any style of garden. On his revival he meets a university research team investigating the effects that climbing plants can have on our buildings; sizes up the longest wisteria in the country and finds out that climbing plants can also be productive on a visit to a co-operative vineyard in London. Throughout the show Joe guides us through some of his favourite climbers including clematis, honeysuckle, passion flowers and roses and demonstrate an easy and simple way to support climbing vegetables.
EPISODE 2: Daffodils (Carol Klein) & Blossom Trees and Shrubs (Chris Beardshaw)
Wednesday 7th January 7pm on BBC Two
In the second episode of the new series, CAROL KLEIN reveals that she is daft about daffodils. On her revival she uncovers the history of the UK daffodil industry on a visit to Cornwall’s Tamar Valley; takes to the streets of Falmouth and paints the town yellow; and meets a specialist bulb merchant in Somerset for a bit of daffodil hanky panky. Throughout the episode Carol shares her tips and advice on how easy it is to plant, grow and care for this wonderful spring flower.
Also, CHRIS BEARDSHAW is on the blossom campaign trail. On his revival he visits a man in the Scottish Borders who has restored a walled garden and created a living library of heritage fruit trees; takes to his bike on the blossom trail in Worcestershire and meets a woman in Edinburgh who has been campaigning to save the flowering cherry trees on her street from the chop. Chris gives his guide to the best blossoming trees and shrubs; shares his tips on how to plant a magnolia tree and shows us how a spot of pruning can keep blossom returning year after year.
EPISODE 3: Rhododendrons (James Wong) & Carnations (Christine Walkden)
Thursday 8th January 7pm on BBC Two
In tonight’s show JAMES WONG wants to revive a plant which has fallen deeply out of garden fashion – the rhododendron. On his revival he visits the Lost Gardens of Heligan to see species of rhododendron which have been saved from the edge of extinction; he meets a scientist who is bringing Victorian species back from the dead; and attempts to win over the people of Truro with dwarf varieties suitable for any garden. Throughout the show James shows us how we can grow rhododendrons even if we don’t have the right soil conditions, gives his guide on how to recreate the magic of Himalayan planting at home and shares his tips on growing rhododendrons from cuttings.
Also tonight, CHRISTINE WALKDEN wants to revive a garage forecourt favourite – the carnation. On her revival she visits a specialist nursery who have been growing carnations for over a hundred years; she heads to Gravetye Manor the former home of the esteemed botanist, gardener and champion of naturalistic planting – William Robinson and hits the streets in an attempt to bring back a forgotten tradition, the gentleman’s buttonhole. Christine also shows how to recreate the drama of the Alps by planting up a container with her favourite alpine species and shares her tips on how to grow carnations from seed.
EPISODE 4: Scented Gardens (Toby Buckland) & Tulips (Tom Hart Dyke)
Friday 9th January 7pm on BBC Two
This Friday, TOBY BUCKLAND wants to bring back scent to our gardens. On his revival he visits a scented garden at Kenilworth Castle which was originally created to win the heart of a queen; he holds the country’s first ever scented flower competition and gets behind the science of scent when he meets a chemist and perfumer in the Cotswolds. Throughout the show Toby shares his passion for fragrance when he pots up an aromatic window box and also shows us how to grow scented flowers from seed.
Then TOM HART DYKE wants to convince us all to grow tulips. On his revival he visits Spalding, which used to be the heart of tulip growing in the UK; he discovers the turbulent history of one particular tulip – the broken tulip – which four hundred years ago brought an economy to its knees and lends a hand to one of British last large scale commercial tulip growers in Norfolk.
EPISODE 5: Lavender (Diarmuid Gavin) & Knot Gardens (Alys Fowler)
Monday 12th January 7pm on BBC Two
In Episode 5 DIARMUID GAVIN wants us to rekindle our love for lavender. On his revival he learns about its popularity and decline, when he visits what was once one of the major lavender growing regions in the UK; he meets a fellow lavender enthusiast and breeder in Kent, who is on a mission to create the ultimate lavender; and gets a taste for lavender’s surprising culinary uses. He shares his tips on how to grow the perfect lavender hedge and how to increase lavender stock in your garden by taking cuttings.
After this, ALYS FOWLER wants to bring back an important part of our gardening heritage – the knot garden. On her revival she visits Hampton Court Palace to learn about one of the earliest knot gardens created; she helps out with a knot garden community restoration project in the Midlands and meets a man whose knot garden has turned into a real labour of love. Alys shows us how easy it is to create a contemporary take on a knot garden using herbs and other edible plants.
EPISODE 6: Irises (Rachel de Thame) & Ornamental Grasses (Toby Buckland)
Tuesday 13th January 7pm on BBC Two
Tonight we welcome back RACHEL DE THAME, who is here to tell us that she thinks irises aren’t getting the attention they deserve. On her revival she uncovers one woman’s mission to save a unique collection of heritage irises and she gets creative with floral art using irises for inspiration. Throughout the show she shares her tips on how to successfully grow and propagate irises, as well as demonstrating how to extend their season of interest.
Later, TOBY BUCKLAND reveals there is so much more to grass than meets the eye. On his revival he discovers the Victorian’s passion for ornamental grasses with a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew; he attempts to rebrand grasses to deal with their complicated, tongue twisting Latin names which often put gardeners off; and meets a modern day plant hunter who travels the world in search of unusual and exotic grasses. Toby also shares his design tips on how to make grasses the stars of the border and demonstrates how to contain bamboo and prevent it from running rampant in your garden.
EPISODE 7: Conifers (Carol Klein) & Pelargoniums (Tom Hart Dyke)
Wednesday 14th January 7pm on BBC Two
In Episode 7, CAROL KLEIN flies the flag for conifers. On her revival she visits the Pinetum at RHS Garden Wisley, to learn how we first became obsessed with conifers; she drops in on an old friend in the Peak District who has an extraordinary collection of dwarf conifers; and she tries to convince the people of Matlock about the joys of conifers, by creating an amazing island installation in a local park. Throughout the show Carol shares here expertise and passion for these misunderstood plants. She gives us a roundup of her favourite garden conifers and shares her tips on how to keep a conifer hedge in tip top condition.
Then TOM HART DYKE wants to give pelargoniums – often incorrectly called geraniums – back their rightful name. On his campaign he visits a garden centre in an attempt to re-educate the public about pelargoniums; he visits the biggest pelargonium collection in the world; and spreads the word when he hits the campaign trail for his pelargonium referendum. Tom demonstrates how easy it is to propagate new plants by taking cuttings and plants up the perfect pelargonium container.
EPISODE 8: Lilies (James Wong) & Woodland Gardens (Christine Walkden)
Monday 19th January 7pm on BBC Two
In the first of the final 3 episodes of the series, JAMES WONG is convinced we should all be growing lilies in our gardens. On his revival he unearths the history of the lily; meets expert lily growers as they prepare for one of the country’s biggest flower shows at Tatton Park and gets intimate with the insect associated with the decline of lily growing in the UK. James shows us his simple maintenance techniques to keep lilies performing year after year and carries out propagation by scaling to grow new plants from scratch.
Also on the show, CHRISTINE WALKDEN thinks woodland plants have been left in the shade in favour of sun loving, bigger, blousier flowers. On her revival she shows the people of Brentwood that the only way isn’t Essex, as she converts them to the joys of bluebells; she finds out that one of our favourite woodland flowers – the English bluebell – is under threat; she puts some common slug and snail deterrents to the test, on a specially constructed slug assault course; and meets a couple in East London who have transformed their shady city garden into a woodland paradise.
EPISODE 9: Bog Gardens (Joe Swift) & Soft Fruit (Alys Fowler)
Tuesday 20th January 7pm on BBC Two
Tonight JOE SWIFT campaigns for the return of the bog garden. On his revival he visits a Victorian bog garden in Warwickshire which is well adapted to flooding; he reveals how fantastic bog gardens are for attracting wildlife and learns about the latest innovation in this style of gardening designed to deal with higher rainfall and reduce the risk of flooding – the rain garden. Across the programme Joe shows us how to plant up a bog garden with a selection of his favourite bog loving plants and he gets to grips with the maintenance of some supersized bog garden specimens.
Later on in the show ALYS FOWLER believes that soft fruit are ripe for a revival. On her campaign she uncovers the history of kitchen gardens and the importance of growing berries in the UK; she visits a nursery which specialises in rare and interesting soft fruit that can be grown easily at home; and heads to the Kent County Show in search of some prize winning berries. Alys shows how to build a simple fruit cage to protect precious berries and shares summer pruning tips, which will keep your soft fruit plants both productive and beautiful.
EPISODE 10: Wildlife Gardens (Diarmuid Gavin) & Peonies (Charlie Dimmock)
Wednesday 21st January 7pm on BBC Two
In the last episode of the series, DIARMUID GAVIN wants our gardens to become havens for wildlife. On his revival he visits an RSPB nature reserve in Yorkshire to understand how important our gardens are to Britain’s wildlife population; he meets a group of gardeners at one of the country’s only chemical free community wildlife allotments; and encourages the people of Sheffield to grow wildflowers in their gardens to attract pollinators, by giving them a taste for flower flavoured honey. Throughout the programme Diarmuid creates a mini wildflower patch, gives his guide on creating the ideal wildlife habitats and shows how to construct a nifty pond in a pot to bring in birds and insects.
And finally, CHARLIE DIMMOCK is determined to make the peony the star of our beds and borders again. On her revival she visits a nursery in Somerset – one of the oldest in the UK – which has been championing peonies for over 150 years and she sets up a pop-up peony stall in a Bristol market to spread the word about her campaign. Throughout the programme Charlie shares her tips on how to get the best from peonies – she shows us how to plant a tree peony and tackles the issue of maintenance, as she gives us her pointers on pruning.