The Herbarium at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is a vast, Victorian archive filled with arcane books, learned scientists, and cabinet after cabinet of catalogued plants. This elegant short explores the evolution of florae with intelligence and flair.
The British back garden is a familiar setting, but underneath the peonies and petunias is a much wilder hidden world, a miniature Serengeti, with beauty and brutality in equal measure. In this documentary, Chris Packham and a team of wildlife experts spend an entire year exploring every inch of a series of interlinked back gardens in Welwyn Garden City. They want to answer a fundamental question: how much wildlife lives beyond our back doors? How good for wildlife is the great British garden?
Through all four seasons, Chris reveals a stranger side to some of our more familiar garden residents. In summer he meets a very modern family of foxes – with a single dad in charge – and finds that a single fox litter can have up to five different fathers. In winter he shows that a robin’s red breast is actually war paint. And finally, in spring he finds a boiling ball of frisky frogs in a once-in-a-year mating frenzy.
The secret lives of the gardens’ smallest residents are even weirder. The team finds male crickets that bribe females with food during sex, spiders that change colour to help catch prey, and life-and-death battles going on under our noses in the compost heap.
So how many different species call our gardens home? How well do our gardens support wildlife? By the end of the year, with the help of a crack team from London’s Natural History Museum and some of the country’s top naturalists, Chris will find out. He’ll also discover which type of garden attracts the most wildlife. The results are not what you might expect… You’ll never look at your garden in quite the same way again.
Las Pozas (“The Pools”) is a subtropical garden established by twentieth-century British poet Edward James. Soaring out of the Mexican jungle near the town of Xilitla, the gardens are home to enormous concrete works of art that live alongside the tropical landscape.
(Google translate available on TuinenStruinen)
17th Century ~ Alan visits Hatfield House to examine the famous parterres and the use of perspective.
18th Century ~ Alan Titchmarsh looks at the 18th-century Stowe landscape gardens in Buckinghamshire
19th Century ~ How the Victorians gave us a taste for exotic plants and a love of bold statements.
20th Century ~ Alan reveals how Sissinghurst gardens in Kent was one of the first lifestyle gardens.
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Friends of the Arboretum Lecture presented by John Elsley, Horticultural Consultant.
Visiting gardens has been a stimulating element, both professionally and personally, throughout John’s career. Unique in both design and creativity at plant selection, each garden offers the visitor an unparalleled educational experience. In his presentation John will show some of his favorite gardens, emphasizing their personal appeal.
Presented by Andrew Bunting, The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College
This lecture illustrates the transformation on Andrew Bunting’s garden in Swarthmore over a 15 year period. Andrew will cover the design principles he used to develop the garden and he will cover many of the interesting plant choices he made a long the way. The lecture also included his latest project, Vassar Farm, which is a joint project between he and his neighbors which was featured in the Wall Street Journal.”
Presented by Jimi Blake, Hunting Brook Gardens.
Have a Good Day
How can we turn our front gardens green again? An expert panel met at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show to discuss this crucial issue.
The RHS brought together policymakers, developers, planners, garden designers and landscapers to discuss creative, inspired solutions – so everyone can all start working together to make a difference, one plant at a time.
Find out more at http://www.rhs.org.uk/frontgardensummit