Gardeners’ World is set to return to BBC Two with a brand new series this month as Monty Don is seen back in Longmeadow for the first time in four months. Ahead of the popular horticulture show making a comeback, the gardening expert and lead presenter has spoken out about some of the changes which have been made to his back garden over the years.
Fans of the show may not know, but Longmeadow and Gardeners’ World Magazine are roughly the same age – both are sharing a 30th birthday this year.
In March’s edition of the magazine, Monty starred as the guest writer, looking back at the time spent growing and developing his garden with the help of the franchise.
He told readers he and his wife Sarah bought the house and garden in the autumn of 1991, but because of building work on the property, planting didn’t start until April of 1993.
In that year, Monty said he spent the time designing the garden and clearing the land in preparation for the Spring.
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“The garden as you see it now has evolved and there have been many changes over the last three decades,” Monty explained.
“But the layout and the basic design is substantially the same now as the plans set out on my drawing board 30 years ago.”
Monty and Sarah’s land started off as one vast space, but over time, the designated zones which were initially just drawings on a piece of paper, came to life.
“Longmeadow now consisted of 27 or 28 separate areas or gardens,” Monty revealed.
“Some are small and flow almost without a break into other areas (hence the ambiguity of the count), but most are distinct spaces or garden ‘rooms’.
“This is many more than I had originally planned,” the author said.
“Filming has driven the expansion as much as anything, as television has an insatiable appetite for new projects and dramatic transformations.”
Monty went onto list the following areas in Longmeadow were created purely for the Gardeners’ World television programme; Paradise Garden, the Mound, the Grass Borders, the Cottage Garden, the Soft Fruit Garden, the Orchard Beds, a second vegetable plot, the two ponds and the Wildlife Garden.
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Despite the show being the driving force behind these ideas, Monty says he has “enjoyed the changes” and he wouldn’t do anything that neither he or wife Sarah “did not want within what is still very much our private, family garden”.
So, what plans does Monty have for Longmeadow’s future?
“I suspect I’ve become even more radical and experimental as I’ve got older,” Gardeners’ World Magazine readers were told.
“If it were not for the weekly filming at Longmeadow – which rather restricts long-term messy projects – I would probably make some even bigger changes, such as totally replanting the Jewel and Cottage Gardens.
“Who knows? It may happen – what this space!”
In two weeks time, Gardeners’ World will return to BBC Two with a brand new series and fans are extremely excited.
“Definitely can’t wait hooray! The best programme on T.V. I just love it. Thank you to everyone involved in the making of this wonderful programme,” one tweeted.
Another said: “I am so looking forward to this. An hour of pure joy and escapism, bring it on!”
“I can’t wait! So looking forward to the new season. Welcome back Gardener’s World!” A third wrote.
Gardeners’ World 2020 is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer now.