On The Box – Return of The Great British Garden Revival

Viewing highlights to come in January include: Charlie Dimmock’s anticipated return to TV screens and episodes featuring popular TV gardeners including Diarmuid Gavin, Alys Fowler and Sarah Raven.

In her revival, Rachel de Thame investigates the decline of Britain’s cut flower industry. On her campaign she visits New Covent Garden and discovers that 90% of our cut flowers are imported. She also meets a man in Cumbria who has dedicated his life to growing sweet peas. Cut flowers are big business and £120 million a year is forked out on wedding flowers.

This is something close to Rachel’s heart, as she recently arranged the flowers for her daughter’s wedding and showcased the flowers she is passionate about bringing back into all our homes. She meets a florist who is dedicated to British floral heritage and who has some surprising additions to the wedding bouquets she creates. Rachel’s cut flower HQ is the walled garden at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire and throughout the show she give us her tips on how to grow, cut and arrange flowers from the cutting garden.

In his revival Joe Swift discovers that today only 2% of Britain is covered in ancient woodland and in our gardens we’ve fallen out of love with trees. He loves them and as a garden designer, trees are the first things he considers when laying out a garden. On his campaign, Joe visits Brighton to see the magnificent elm trees, which didn’t fall victim to the devastating Dutch elm disease, as it swept through the UK in the 1970’s.

He marvels at the national collection of birch trees in Devon, the legacy and passion project of one man who started collecting and planting seeds in 1971. In a poignant moment, his widow recalls how whenever she wanders through the woods, she can often sense her late husband, who dedicated 40 years of his life to this incredible collection of birch trees.

Basing his revival at Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Joe shows us three of his favourite small trees for gardens, guaranteed to breathe life and interest into any garden. He also gives us his top tips on how to plant a tree and prune a tree once established.

The Great British Garden Revival will return on Monday 6th January at 7.00pm on BBC Two with Rachel De Thame championing Cut flowers and Joe Swift hoping to revive the nation’s interest in Trees.