The joy of gardening

See how three very different gardening stars cope with the changing seasons as they open their gardens to the cameras.

With winter truly in charge, now’s the perfect time to enjoy the garden from a cosy, warm living room. Fortunately then, the second instalment of the Joy of Gardening, which reviews the gardening year, is on BBC 2 at Christmas. This time it focuses on the changing seasons. Director Anna Gravelle explains, “It should be a joyous look back at a year in the garden, with experts talking about their favourite seasons and revealing some of their stories, which they fondly associate with different times of the year.”

The main focus of this hour-long programme is on the visits to the gardens owned by wellknown experts Diarmuid Gavin, Kim Wilde and Ivan Hicks. “During the year, we made three visits to each of these gardens with the result that we were able to get a very personal view of both the gardens and their owners”, says Anna. “Diarmuid’s new garden, in particular, was a surprise”, she continues. “It’s not as cutting edge as you might expect. In fact, the structure is quite simple. As the garden was just being finished, w eactually got to watch him plant it too. Again, it’s more traditional than his usual designs, but it did make him recognise the skill of another notable garden designer, as he remarks that, “Gertrude Jekyll really rocks.”

In contrast, Ivan Hicks is using the most surreal ideas in both his and a client’s garden. For instance, he’s creating a butterfly garden in the shape of the insect’s proboscis, or feeding tube. However, in Kim Wilde’s garden, the style is very relaxed and natural.

“We’ll also be meeting other celebrities, including Alan Titchmarsh and Rachel de Thame, to find out their thoughts about the season”, enthuses Anna. But to discover what they said, you’ll need to tune in.

The Joy of Gardening, BBC 2, December 27 at 9pm.