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Hello and welcome to Gardeners' World, and it does seem incredible
that we have been bringing you the programme since the late 1960s,
although I don't think we're looking too bad for our age.
And what better place to celebrate our golden jubilee than here
at Gardeners' World Live,
surrounded by fabulous plants and inspirational gardens?
So join us for our big birthday bash.
On tonight's programme, Joe is looking around a garden that might
bring back a lot of memories, especially if you had crazy paving.
Alan Titchmarsh and I look back on five decades
guiding the nation's gardeners.
And we've all had our say, but you have made your decision.
Mary Berry reveals the winner of our Golden Jubilee Plant.
We're having a bit of a party,
so join us as we celebrate Gardeners' World's 50th anniversary.
THEY PLAY GARDENERS' WORLD THEME
50 years have passed and the world is a very different place than
it was from those early programmes from Oxford Botanic Gardens.
But, you know, the fundamentals of gardening have not changed so much.
It still is basically about growing things and loving your garden.
And every Friday, that's exactly what Percy helped us to do,
and what we still try and do week in, week out.
To inform, inspire and enthuse you
to get out there and enjoy your own garden.
And, of course, the same things apply here at Gardeners' World Live,
which is why we're all here today.
I'm in the very appropriately named Nostalgia Garden,
because this is set entirely in the late '60s, from the petrol pumps,
which are measured out in shillings and pence, the logos,
every texture and feel of it brings back a flood of memories.
And for me, even the little white Alison,
just a small little bedding plant,
has associations of the greenhouse that it was grown in,
the fact that it was heated with an old Victorian solid fuel stove
and we took those plants, grew them in a wooden seed box,
and then they would be wheeled up in a wooden wheelbarrow -
I remember it well, it was painted green -
and planted out along with pelargoniums, with that musty smell.
I can smell the late '60s just looking at them.
Now, the person responsible for designing all this is
the designer Paul Stone.
Was it a problem,
putting all this together, finding all the elements?
It was a fascinating project, Monty, because, you know,
there was quite a bit of information out there.
I started with people who were nurserymen in that period.
They gave me lots of advice, even lots of things to show.
So, for example, you can see
the metal cans that I'm showing the plants being sold in.
That's where we were in those days.
50 years ago, horticulture was going through a big change,
and so was society, because the post-war austerity was ending.
People were buying houses, they had gardens, and they were
starting to look for things to put in them that weren't just food.
Aubrieta and mesembryanthemums, you know,
you don't see many of those around these days.
So all of a sudden, a whole new world was out there
for people to stock their garden up with.
And it does seem to me that there was a lot more colour
that suddenly was introduced.
Primary colours were much more popular then than now,
and we've got lots of comparative elements of interest in the garden,
where we're looking at what people
think of as popular roses in the 1960s
against current ones.
Well, Paul, everybody is going to love it. Congratulations.
Now, here at Gardeners' World Live,
a very contemporary exhibition is of beautiful borders,
and this one here marks one of the rising stars of Gardeners' World.
Nigel the Dog.
It's got the colours of his coat, it's got the rounds that represent
his tennis balls, and the curved shape of a bone, and it's good fun.
During the last 50 years, gardening fashions have changed,
but there are some plants that have not only maintained
their popularity, but in a lot of cases have increased it.
This lovely stand, Barnsdale, with our
perennial favourite, Geoff Hamilton, in the centre of it,
is displaying all sorts of these plants.
But the one that's most outstanding has to be these achilleas.
Nowadays, there are all sorts of exciting achilleas on offer.
They have lots of different coloured flowers,
and some of them even have different foliage.
Achillea Moonshine has silvery foliage,
accompanied by the most gorgeous lemon flowers.
If you look at the flowers, first of all,
you're just aware of these flat heads, but look more closely.
They're actually composed of a myriad of tiny little daisies.
They belong to the family asteraceae, the daisy family,
the biggest flowering family in the world.
And each of these tiny daisies is full of pollen and nectar,
making them incredibly attractive to butterflies
and any pollinating insects.
What makes them attractive to us is that they're so easy to grow.
Just give them a sunny site and decently drained soil,
and they'll go on and on for years.
Achilleas have probably become even more fashionable than
they were 50 years ago, because they've really moved with the times,
and they reflect our interest in naturalistic planting
and prairie planting.
They really do mix and mingle with other perennials and grasses
Everybody ought to have a go.
Once upon a time, for most of us, gardening was all about flowers.
That was our main interest. That's what we wanted to do.
But in recent years,
foliage has become much more important to us gardeners,
and this stand typifies that kind of interest.
These are heucheras in their glory.
At one time, this was the only kind of heuchera you could get,
forms of Heuchera sanguinea with little dainty red flowers,
and even then, although the foliage was lovely,
they were really grown for their flowers.
And when you look at this stand, you can hardly believe
they're all the same plant.
Some of them have big, bold leaves.
Some of them have different texture.
Lots of them have different shapes, and some of them have
totally different colours, things that were unheard of 50 years ago.
They all prefer to be grown in dappled shade,
and they make wonderful ground cover between shrubs or under trees.
As long as they're on the dryish side,
during the winter they'll keep their leaves too, but it's in
the full glory of summer's show
that they really make their best display.
From foliage to the most floriferous of flowers,
foxgloves and hollyhocks.
Think of a cottage garden.
Immediately your mind springs to hollyhocks growing
by the front door.
They used to be immensely popular, but their popularity
has waned in recent years because lots of them have had rust.
It's very prevalent amongst almost all hollyhocks.
But now along comes the halo series,
which are far less likely to develop rust.
They have lots of species, hollyhocks,
in their genetic make-up, and this
has made them less susceptible to the disease,
and what a delight they are.
Just look at these colours.
They almost remind you of toffees and sweeties of all descriptions.
And each of them has this very dark centre.
I love the colours.
I think they're really arty and they would be
so easy to incorporate into a modern garden.
Although hollyhocks are a perennial favourite,
they're actually biennials.
That means in their first year from seed, they'll just make
a big rosette, and in the second year,
they'll produce these tall stems
of beautiful flowers.
Sadly, after that, they'll die, but by then,
you'll have planted your next batch of seed.
Because who wouldn't want to have hollyhocks in their garden?
They've always been perennial favourites and I'm sure,
like so many plants in the Floral Marquee,
they're going to go on being just as popular for decades to come.
David Stevens has been designing gardens for nearly as long
as Gardeners' World's been on air and is the proud owner
of 11 Chelsea gold medals, so he's the perfect man to design
a space that reflects the changing trends in our own back gardens.
Well, I've been designing gardens now almost 50 years.
I started in the mid-1960s, and I've designed all kinds of gardens.
Gardens for the rich and famous, gardens for people,
because the majority of clients really are people that want
a lovely garden created for them, but they may not have the expertise.
The show organisers asked me to design this garden for the BBC
and for Gardeners' World, obviously, with the 50-year timespan.
Well, that made me scratch my head a little, it really did.
But I thought in the end, we'd come up with five vignettes,
five miniature gardens that would trace the development from
the '60s right the way through to the noughties.
And the '60s gardens, people tend to forget,
it was a time of austerity, and there were no garden centres,
so people used materials that were very much to hand.
They nearly always had a vegetable plot still growing from
the war years. The classic shed was always there.
Annual plants dominated, bright colour,
and really vibrant schemes.
One of the great things about the early gardens in the 1960s
was that wonderful material - crazy paving.
And here it is, in all its glory. Now, it's not so easy to lay.
It actually takes a lot of care.
There are a lot of shapes to fit together.
Each one of those has got to be pointed in, so what may look
like a pretty unassuming material really takes a bit of skill.
In the '70s, things started to change.
Garden centres came along,
and with garden centres came a huge choice of materials,
both of paving and the plants,
and planting, that got a lot more diverse.
Heathers and conifers came in.
Hardy perennials started to come in, so you had a backbone of
shrubs and the herbaceous plants started to soften that all up.
And how about that wonderful material screen block walling?
Now, again, people are pulling them down by the thousands these days,
but in the '70s, wow, that was the thing to have.
In the 1980s, there was change again.
The outside room really came in, so the garden lost the grass,
more hard landscaping, room for sitting and dining,
built-in barbecues, soft planting,
but very much somewhere to relax, entertain, and not work too hard.
People often underestimate really what the contractor does.
It's not just the designer.
And Peter Dowle and I go back a long way.
In fact, I worked with his dad before then.
I think the '80s for me, it sums up the use of perhaps
bolder plants, the strong purples of the Heuchera Palace Purple.
Having said that, towards the latter part of the decade,
there was a definite resurgence in cottage gardens,
and this is reflected with this one here,
with the mixture of delphiniums, the catmint,
this lovely pink penstemon.
All in all, I think the '80s was a really exciting decade.
In the 1990s, the decking and gravel. Remember?
So things are changing, things are moving on,
and from the outside room,
we move into something much more relaxed and much softer.
One of the classics, of course, was the foxglove.
Fabulous to watch when the bees enter it.
You can hear almost vibrating as they open the flower.
Another stalwart of the '90s, of course, was the lupin.
Great spires of white flowers, will always remain a classic.
Towards the latter part of the '90s,
it is loosely termed prairie planting,
where you are using grasses for movements,
the introduction of colour, and lots of forms.
You've got this beautiful one here. This is the Stipa tenuissima.
It's a very soft, floaty grass.
Always a popular group of plants,
and I think they will remain in our gardens for decades to come.
The 2000s really bring us up to date.
Gardens have become fashion statements.
Design is the order of the day.
Hard, crisp materials, but very soft herbaceous planting around it,
with grasses coming to the fore.
Again, something that wasn't used in the earlier days.
Show gardens, and I always call them ideas factories
for the public, because the public are the people that really
gain from the shows, and of course Gardeners' World
has traced that development all the way through it's 50 years as well.
So has it brought back memories,
going through this process of designing and making these gardens?
Not half, and it's lovely, people just walking past,
saying, "I remember that decade." And it brings back specific times
-in people's lives.
-But for you?
-Yes, it has.
I started landscaping in the '60s and each decade's taken us into
a different fashion or different materials or different plants.
The first garden in the 1960s, it's so nostalgic.
My next-door neighbour had exactly this garden.
I remember. Crazy paving.
They were just all broken paving slabs, basically.
And, of course, it was always a riot of colour.
-We've even got Norman down the back there.
-Yeah, yeah, I can see that.
-But here we are in the '70s.
-This is the birth of garden design.
Exactly. In the '70s, the garden centres came in
and all of these materials started to appear,
and often too many materials, so gardens did get a bit busy.
This wonderful block wall as well.
Californian screen block walls were the business, weren't they?
-The preformed pond.
-Little fibreglass pond.
And you always saw the edge,
-cos you couldn't disguise the flipping thing.
-Yeah, yeah, sure.
OK, now, this is when I started landscaping professionally,
laying Yorkstone and doing all these little brick patios,
built-in seating, and railway sleepers.
-Very popular material.
-And you must have a built-in barbecue.
-Yeah, yeah, sure. OK, now, this is the '90s.
And there was a huge explosion of television programmes,
Ground Force, Home Front in the Garden,
and design was really playing a big part in gardening.
It was. Decking, gravel, clean lines, and more design,
setting things at an angle. People hadn't thought of that.
But in a little small garden, the diagonal is the longest line.
-Makes the garden look bigger.
-Here we are.
This is the modern-day garden, pretty much,
and it's gone back to rectilinear.
-Very much so.
-Working with the boundary.
Could be a little roof garden in the centre of Birmingham
or Manchester or London. Perfect.
So if there is one plant that has endured all 50 years
of these gardens, what would it be?
It's a good question, isn't it, really?
But I think one of my favourites is this beautiful delphinium.
Spires that just come up,
they'll look good in an architectural garden,
they'll look good in a cottage garden,
they'll even look good in a wild garden. We should grow them more.
You know, we've looked back 50 years.
What about looking forward 50 years?
What do you think is going to happen to our gardens?
Well, we're moving on, but I think...
You know, I've seen that great film Avatar.
I'm a freak for that sort of stuff.
But think of the special effects in there.
These wonderful fibreoptics and the lighting.
The English are mad on plants and quite rightly so,
but I think that's going to mix with technology, computer graphics,
special effects, and I think that will bring
a totally different dimension to the garden and take us on
-through the next 50 years.
-Exciting times. We're going to have
to go back to garden design college for all of that stuff.
I've forgotten all that stuff already.
Still to come, Alan Titchmarsh and I will be discussing what
it's like to have the best job in television.
Joe will be discovering the brightest new talent here at
Gardeners' World Live, and we shall be announcing the winner of
our Gardeners' World Golden Jubilee Plant.
Through changing horticultural fashions,
there's been one constant on Gardeners' World.
The role of head gardener.
From plants women and vegetable experts
to gold-winning designers, Gardeners' World has been presented
by some of Britain's best-loved and most knowledgeable gardeners.
But despite half a century on air,
only a handful can claim to be the nation's head gardener.
Good afternoon and welcome once again to our gardening club.
Already a familiar face on the BBC's Gardening Club,
Percy Thrower was our first main presenter, and started
the tradition of presenting the show
from his own garden.
September. The sun is still shining.
He wanted to teach everyone the correct way to garden.
One, two buds like that.
When Percy left, Arthur Billet carried on.
He was joined by Peter Seabrook and they became a presenting duo.
I leave you, I think,
Arthur, to go and get ready for spraying roses,
because I'm going to go into the greenhouse and have
a look at one or two annuals that need to be sown.
But just catch a sight of that. Isn't it magnificent?
Next up was Geoff Hamilton, who was to hold the role for 17 years.
My asparagus bed's really looking good, even at this time of the year.
Geoff wanted to be less of a teacher,
more of a friend sharing tips and experiences.
When you are digging, take it nice and easy
and just as soon as you feel a little bit tired,
go and have a cup of tea.
And he also wasn't afraid to share his failures.
But there's one lot of plants that are an unmitigated disaster
in my garden, and that's the garden pinks.
He was a true pioneer for the organic movement.
The organic plot, well, it speaks for itself.
So it certainly is a viable alternative.
But if there's one thing Geoff will be remembered for,
it's his penny-saving gardening tips.
I saw one of these in an upmarket garden centre and just copied it,
and that is the plastic ball from a lavatory cistern.
Alan Titchmarsh picked up the baton in the late 1990s.
A new beginning, a new gardener and a new garden.
This is Barleywood in Hampshire.
Alan had a keen eye for design.
This is outside my writing pavilion and I've taken two hours a day
every day this week to make this, and I'm dead chuffed with it.
But he also started trends too.
Over this plank bridge to the deck area
that we started last week by laying these joists.
And that brings us to the current holder of the title, Monty Don.
I'm very proud to be leading gardening's longest-running series.
Do you know, it's now in its 36th year.
He was filled with ideas for his first garden at Berryfields.
One of the things I would like to see is a really big pond in there
which will pull in lots and lots of wildlife.
When Monty fell ill, Toby Buckland stepped into his shoes
in a new garden, Greenacre.
I passionately believe that gardening is for everybody.
There is no right or wrong way to do it and you don't need
a lot of money or a lot of space to do it either.
We're all born gardeners
and we're all born good gardeners at that.
When Monty returned, like his predecessors,
he welcomed us into his own garden at Longmeadow.
This is a new chapter for Gardeners' World
but, obviously, it's my home, and we've been here 20 years
and my wife Sarah and I have made this garden during that period.
And, of course, we can't forget Monty's able assistants,
his dogs Nigel and Nellie.
MONTY DON: Being the nation's head gardener is a wonderful privilege
but the opportunity to meet a predecessor is extremely rare.
Alan, I didn't know about a meeting that Geoff had with Percy,
which was actually captured on television, the only time
that the two main presenters of Gardeners' World
had actually talked about it over 30 years ago,
so I think it's about time we shared our experiences.
-We have an anniversary?
-Yeah, we do.
-So you took over from Geoff?
What was the job description to you?
Well, it was just the anchor man of Gardener's World
which was a great responsibility.
Having watched Percy Thrower when I was a boy, it was,
"Crumbs, really? Me?" It was that.
And the other sadness was, of course,
I was due to take over from Geoff the following Easter.
Geoff died in the previous August.
I had to leap in and do the last six programmes.
Aside from the fact that he was a friend and I'd lost a mate,
to pick up the reigns of his programme was really difficult
for that first section, which was autumn.
I sort of managed to get through somehow and keep the viewers there.
I thought when I started the following February,
"Right, it's got to be me now.
"I can't pretend to be Geoff," and that was quite scary.
Sort of hold your nose and jump.
You probably found it was the same.
Well, I was going to say,
that obviously the circumstances in which you took over from Geoff
were incredibly difficult,
but taking over from you wasn't easy.
You know, because half the audience at least doesn't want you.
They want what they knew and they loved
and so you do have to say, "Well, I can't be you. I've got to be me.
"I'm not quite sure what that means or how I do it
"but I'm going to try."
-And you find your way, don't you?
-It's only by doing it...
I remember every February when we'd start again, we'd turn up,
tiny production crew, half a dozen of you,
and say, "How do we do this?"
At the end of it you think,
"Oh, yeah, probably can remember how to do this."
-Of course, you and I do this from our own homes...
..and we know that that's sort of an interesting set-up.
Well, it cuts two ways, doesn't it?
One, it's yours and therefore you can be totally owning of it
cos it is yours, but, of course, then the world and his wife,
X million are coming in every week and you are sharing it.
The great thing is they don't leave any footprints.
No, I remember the story of Percy Thrower opening up his garden
to the public for the church fete, that sort of thing,
and 10,000 cars came.
-In a day?
The motorways were blocked and police were diverted
-and so on and so forth.
-But you still get that joy of sharing it.
You must get pleasure.
I always used to start the programme with plant of the week,
something that was flowering in my garden, and I'd go around
and it's, "Come and look at this. Isn't this great?"
That's the thing that you did brilliantly
and I always try and do.
When you and I go out in the morning,
-you're looking for that little gem that celebrates that day.
I'm always thinking, why don't we just go and look at that
or just revel in it, just be there?
But, of course, television is a great driver. It needs stories.
And I think also what one has to be aware of
is styles of television move on.
Percy was a tremendously good broadcaster.
-He had this way with him. He had this sort of ease.
-AS PERCY THROWER:
You couldn't do that now. People need it that bit faster.
And yet gardening is, of its nature, not rapid.
I guess all this leads to...
The point is where do you think it's going?
Do you think Gardeners' World will go on for another 50 years?
I hope to goodness that Gardeners' World continues because
a lot of fuss is made about climate change, global warming,
looking after the planet.
Gardeners' World, along with other gardening programmes,
is the figurehead leaning out the front of the ship,
often rather scantily-clad...
-Speak for yourself, Alan.
-It's the vanguard movement.
Looking after that little bit outside your door
is the best you can do.
You think, "How can I make a difference?"
You can make a difference here and there.
It makes you feel good. You can eat it.
Yes, there are frustrations, but, for me,
it's the stuff of life and it's desperately, desperately important.
-Thank you very much indeed.
Nice to see you again.
For 25 years, Gardeners' World Live
has featured many experienced designers and exhibitors,
but what's nice about this show
is it encourages plenty of emerging talent too.
Now, there are ten beautiful borders here this year.
I like the way they've laid it out and there's real variety here,
which is what we want,
and this is where some recent graduates do their thing
and they're quite experimental.
I was drawn to this one. This one is called 50 Years of Colour.
What strikes me is that 50 years go,
I don't think you'd see colour combinations like this,
but we've become more adventurous about putting colours together.
So, here we've got fabulous oranges of things like the primulas.
We've got the astilbes.
A lovely dianthus here, this pink dianthus.
And they are sort of melded together by the green
and all those different foliage textures bringing them together.
Now, long-term, this planting wouldn't really work.
We've got plants that like moisture
next to plants that need a drier soil, but, as a bedding scheme
and for a show like this, well, it feels as if it's of its time.
All the gardens along this avenue are made by
members of the Association of Professional Landscapers
and their brief is to design
ingenious solutions for small spaces.
Now, last year Martin Lyons won Best Beautiful Border
and this year he's done a garden here, so he's really stepped up.
Now, his background is landscaping
so he's a landscaper-turned-designer,
a little bit like myself, and he's created a great little garden here.
The finishing is immaculate, as you'd expect, and he's walked off
with the Best Construction award, which is really nice.
It's a classic outdoor room.
We've got two seating areas, an outdoor kitchen in the middle,
but I really like the Japanese moss wall art effect on the back.
That's very, very successful.
Now, the planting has been beautifully put together.
If you like purple and silver
then it's definitely going to be a garden for you.
I think Martin's got a wonderful future ahead of him.
Maybe we'll see him at Chelsea one day.
He's definitely an emerging talent.
Many of the exhibitors in the floral marquee
have gone out of their way to help us celebrate our golden jubilee,
but one exhibitor in particular has gone that extra mile
to put the icing on the cake.
Peonies are amazing because of the sheer size and beauty of the flower
and there are just so many colours, so many shapes, even,
and, of course, they're fragrant too.
In fact, I love peonies so much, I now have over 6,000 in my nursery.
But the truth is, my love of gardening started a long time ago.
My grandfather taught me an awful lot about horticulture
and gardening and, in particular, exhibiting and showing,
but he used to show me how to sow seeds,
how to grow the vegetables with the chrysanthemums,
how to pinch them out,
how to curl the petals to get the perfect bloom just for showing.
An awful lot of what I learned from him I use today with my peonies,
but, of course, the biggest thing he left me with
was his love of gardening and his passion.
My after-school job was watering the hanging baskets
at our local garden centre and I absolutely loved it,
even though I got drenched every single day.
But it meant that I got to spend time in the nursery with the plants
and with people who loved the plants.
So when the time came to choose A-levels, I really wanted to
study horticulture and botany, but my careers advisors, teachers, said
that really I needed to do something that was a bit more sensible
in terms of a future career, so I ended up studying law
but, fundamentally, it wasn't what I wanted to do.
I was always looking for ways to grow plants and be outside and
so I was delighted about ten years ago
when I got the opportunity to buy this nursery.
This is a peony Red Charm. I absolutely love it.
It's got a really deep blood-red colour.
When it gets older and more mature, the flower turns to deep purple,
and it can get huge.
This one's about to shatter, but you can see how big it really gets.
It's quite early to flower,
but it's definitely a stunner and definitely one for the garden.
This is a patio peony called Madrid.
It's one of my favourites.
It's a gorgeous soft pink with a crimson ruffle round the top
and it's gorgeously scented.
It's ideal for containers and pots.
Ideal for balconies even, because it doesn't get too big.
It doesn't have a very big root ball,
so you can keep it in a container much more successfully
than some of other varieties, but they are covered in flower.
Masses of flower. Maybe 20, 30 heads on each plant.
So if you've got a small patio and you really want to inject
a bit of glamour, this is the peony to have.
This is another firm favourite of mine.
This is a peony Krinkled White.
It's a really solid and reliable peony.
It doesn't get too tall.
With these lovely crinkled white flowers, very delicate.
Flowers for a very long time in peony terms, a couple of weeks.
So, here we have Lady Alexandra Duff in its soft bud form
and that's really if you were going to pick it as a cut flower,
that's when you'd want to pick it, when it's as soft as a marshmallow,
because you've then got just a day or so before it opens.
And then you have these huge semi-double flowers.
Beautifully pink cerise colour on the outside
with flairs of white petals in the centre.
The first thing to think about when planting the peony
is where are you going to put it
and anywhere will do, provided it's in full sun.
The other thing that you need to think about is the soil.
Any kind of soil will be fine.
Peonies are not too fussy, but it must be free draining.
They just won't tolerate having wet feet over the winter.
People often plant their peonies too deep.
The thing to remember is to make sure it's not more than an inch,
inch-and-a-half below the surface.
Any deeper and your peony will just never flower.
One of the few things you'll have to do,
certainly with some of the herbaceous peonies,
is to make sure you put a plant support in or stake them.
Some of the heads are just so big they just fall over,
so you will need to support some of them.
To celebrate the golden jubilee of Gardeners' World,
we've decided to build a big birthday cake.
It's a three-tiered structure made out of peonies.
One of the ideas is that the peony flowers, with all of the petals,
is going to mimic the look of icing on the cake,
so we're using over 3,000 peony heads in this cake,
all different colours. It's going to be a riot.
So, in order to pull off this idea of mine,
I've enlisted the help of my dad.
Dad worked behind the scenes mostly, building most of the exhibits
and he's here making up the basis of the cake.
We've only got three days to build this exhibit
that's seven feet tall and eight feet wide.
I'm feeling a little bit nervous and apprehensive,
but I know that we'll pull it off. We always do.
So, Alec, did you pull it off?
Well, Carol, I think we just about got away with it, didn't we?
Well, I don't know about that. It looks magnificent.
We're very pleased. We had a few hiccups on the way.
We had to stabilise it.
It was the leaning tower of cake at one point
and the hot weather we've had the last couple of days
has really put the peonies under pressure.
But they've responded brilliantly well under your expert care.
I just want to say thank you on behalf of everybody.
What a wonderful way to celebrate 50 years.
So it's not just about looking back to the last 50 years of gardening.
Gardening is all about looking to the future as well
and there are all sorts of newcomers around the floral marquee.
Here's one in plant form.
It's an absolutely gorgeous triteleia called Foxy
and it's brand-new, first time at the show.
I just adore these beautifully disposed flowers,
each on its own slender, wiry stem
and I love the colour, don't you?
They come from California,
so you can imagine the sort of conditions they adore -
hot, dry, sunny -
but they're not tender. They'll go on from year to year.
Plant them in the spring, up they'll come with these glorious flowers.
Well, I'll tell you what, if this is the shape of the future,
we've got lots to look forward to.
Well, Robert, you're hardly a newcomer, but over the years
you've introduced me and loads of other people
to all sorts of new plants. What's new here this year?
We've got a pink snowbell tree - Styrax japonicus Pink Chimes
from Japan and China, where it's a woodlander.
It grows very much the same place you'd find a Japanese maple.
A small tree.
Tens of thousands of delicate pink flowers which are actually fragrant.
I don't know if you can get that.
Ooh, it's exquisite. It's sort of orangery, isn't it?
An established plant fills the whole area with perfume. A lovely thing.
In the autumn, it's followed by really pretty fruits.
They're like jade pearls, like the most lovely earrings.
-They'd suit you actually.
We've also got a chocolaty foliage form,
Styrax japonicus Purple Dress.
That's out of this world.
Chocolaty foliage and the palest of palest pink, little white flowers
which again have the really nice fruits in the autumn.
It's so beautiful.
Do you know what?
Your whole stand is just packed with treasures and I'll tell you what,
over the years to come,
I hope you'll be introducing us to lots more new plants.
I'm certainly planning to.
This is one of the gardens designed by the members
of the Association of Professional Landscapers
and it is a really cool space.
If you set the scene, it's for a couple that love their bars
and trendy night clubs and they want to bring a little bit of that home.
But they also love this passion for reclaimed materials
and this angle that works all the way through,
imagine that going into the house and this movement that's created.
But above me is simple scaffold boards with scaffold poles
and that, then, is picked up in this lovely table.
And then you look at the deck, it's all reclaimed boards,
but that runs all the way through and then, bang,
you're down into another space, and the angle works well.
But here's the bar. Lovely little element of surprise.
Somewhere to cook.
Imagine that party and it all calms down at the end of the day
and you move to the back of the garden.
This big industrial steel holds up this deck that sits over planting.
Talking about the planting, it's simple but it's clever.
It's shrubs and it's herbaceous, but there's herbs in there
and there's even some veggies in there.
I love the way that they're growing veg in hessian sacks.
Even the thyme wall grows up.
Beautiful scent to walk past,
but also you can pick that and use that in your cooking.
Do you know, at the end of the day, I wouldn't mind coming home to this.
From party animals to a garden for wildlife.
This space is designed to provide
both food and shelter for wildlife species.
The plants have been very carefully selected to give
a long run of pollen and nectar.
One particularly useful plant is this,
centranthus ruber, and it's absolutely loved by our native
Over on this side of the garden
are some nicely constructed wildlife hotels.
This whole upcycling idea really reminds me
of the late, great Geoff Hamilton
and how he made do and mended everything he possibly could.
I think the other great thing about this front garden is that
it's gravelled, so it's free draining and gets away from
all of those problems that so many urban front gardens have.
This garden puts a real smile on my face.
I feel like I've arrived in a fairy tale.
It reminds me, I suppose,
of my grandparents, and that's what the designer's done.
He's took his inspiration from time spent with his grandfather
and the lay-out's lovely.
You've got the lupins, the delphiniums, geraniums,
but also the lavender which comes up the path,
and that's quite a clever idea.
As you walk up, you brush the edge and the scent comes up.
I looked at the materials and first of all I thought,
"Maybe he's over-egged it," but you look closer and no.
Because he's used the colour in the paving,
picked it up in the paving detail in the front,
and then you come in and I've got a brown in the stone,
but it's picked up in the rock,
so it actually starts to pull it all together,
and he's even got a little tucked away space in the corner
where you could just sit and enjoy a bit of time with the kids.
This garden manages to cleverly put together modern design with
plenty of wildlife plants, wildlife species.
Now, looking round the garden, there's a particular flow and
continuity to the planting.
There's umbels all over the place.
One that I note over here is Angelica Vicar's Mead.
You don't see it grown very often, but it's a lovely umbel
and that theme runs across the site.
And this works so well, this transition out of aquatic planting
into more meadow planting over on the other side.
The colours and textures pull it all together.
Now, this island in the centre of the garden
is all about looking after people,
but tucked away in the floor here
are these cleverly designed recliners which simply pop up.
What nicer way to relax on a summer's day,
in a modern landscape,
surrounded by plants suitable for wildlife?
Now these gardens are of such a high standard,
I'm sure in the next few years we'll be seeing these designers
and these contractors at RHS Chelsea.
Let's step away from the celebrations for a moment
and have a look at some good old garden design.
Claudia de Yong set out to create a romantic garden
but she ended up with a bit of a ruin.
Frances Tophill went off to meet her to find out how she got here.
Inspiration for a garden design can come from anywhere,
whether it's literature or art or countries that you've visited.
Award-winning garden designer Claudia de Yong
has a passion for ruins and castles.
Beeston Castle stands on a rocky crag high over Cheshire.
Its stone walls have lasted more than 700 years.
So, we've come to Beeston Castle to get inspiration
for your Gardeners' World Live Show Garden.
But what is it about this place that means so much to you?
This castle is absolutely stunning.
The setting, the romance, the history.
It's built upon this wonderful hill surrounded by trees, all around it.
These round turrets we have here with this archway and the stone,
if you look at the walls,
-you've all got the same size stone in them...
..and that's the sort of feeling I'm going to recreate
in my turrets at the Show Garden.
I mean, castles aren't places you typically think of
as being particularly planty,
especially Show Garden quality plants,
so how are you getting the inspiration?
No, exactly, I mean,
not everybody will want to recreate this sort of look, obviously.
I mean, it's very wild and things growing out from rocks
and all the rest of it.
But just looking at the plants we've got here,
I mean, we've got some of the trees,
I'm going to be using rowan tree, sorbus,
which is down there in the middle,
which has fantastic red berries for the birds.
But also the red was apparently to ward off the witches
so we've got that mystery again, that intrigue going on
with all the sort of history of the castle.
And then we've got some dog roses
just jutting out over there on both sides.
And we're going to have roses
in our Show Garden as well.
They won't be dog roses but they'll be beautifully scented roses
which will give that sort of romantic feel again.
So you're taking the species but using cultivars
-and refined versions of those plants?
-Wow, look at that view.
-Isn't it stunning?
It's just amazing.
And then the whole thing's surrounded by this beautiful wall.
I'm recreating something like this, to a degree.
You know, it's that wonderful, mysterious sort of romantic feel.
Yeah. And I can see those walls being reclaimed by nature.
I always find it incredible how nature finds a way of coming in.
You just would not expect to see a birch growing in the rock
-up this high.
-Isn't it wonderful?
I'm going to have a birch in my garden
a river birch next to the water,
but just looking at that coming out of the crack.
And all these ferns in all these little cracks here,
-I know, and it just softens everything, doesn't it?
Otherwise this would just be sterile.
A very underrated plant, I think, the ivy,
-which is fantastically...
-..good for wildlife.
I'm going to be having ivy in my Show Garden,
a lot of the walls will be covered in ivy.
But I just think it's a wonderful underrated plant for wildlife.
Is that a big passion of yours, then, wildlife?
It is, I absolutely adore wildlife. I mean, if we can bring...
The more and more wildlife into our gardens, the better.
And I'm going to be growing a lot of plants
which are absolutely wonderful for bees in the Show Garden
to attract nature.
So all this wonderful stuff that you've shown me
-will be at Birmingham NEC, are you excited?
-I'm so excited,
all the months of planning have finally come to fruition.
-I'm sure it will look lovely.
-Thank you so much.
Well, here we are in Romance In The Ruins garden
and, Claudia, I mean,
you've really encapsulated that whole romance feeling.
How did you go about it?
I mean, you know, trying to recreate these tumbling stones and ruins,
-that must have been some feat.
-It was quite a feat,
choosing the stone to start with was quite something.
You know, finding the right stone to build the towers with.
Well, you've done it really, really well.
And I also love the way that you've also planted
-within the stone as well.
-In the little pockets? Yes.
That's it, you've put little ferns and then there's like a,
is it a buddleia?
A buddleia coming out of the top of the tower.
When we went to Beeston Castle,
we noticed that there were little trees,
like, silver birches and things
coming out of the top of the turrets. So I thought, "Why not?
"Let's try a buddleia on the top."
Absolutely, and then you've got all these plants
-and wonderful ivy as well.
-Little ivies, some big ivies,
really trying to get that feel into this garden.
And how have you sort of aged the stone?
Well, that's quite interesting.
A very good friend of mine, on this site,
had a very nice recipe of cow manure, milk and water,
so I wouldn't get too close to my towers.
No, I'll stay this way where the scent is a lot better.
-Especially when the wind blows.
And, of course, you've brought in wildlife, haven't you,
-into this garden?
-I have. I mean, wildlife is very important.
It's important to everybody and especially to me.
And this garden offers so much for wildlife, for bees,
butterflies, there's everything here.
I've even introduced a few little creatures around,
which I'd like people to spot.
-I can, I can see a few from where I'm sitting.
And then, of course, you've got the wonderful rowan tree as well.
Exactly, I mean, rowan is a very important tree,
gets found a lot actually around the area of the castles I've visited
and it offers so much for wildlife and we forget about that,
we always think of plants and flowers for our insects
but we forget about the trees.
And, of course, rowan's got that wonderful magical,
-mystical thing, hasn't it?
-It has, yes.
-About keeping the evil
-and that sort of thing away.
-Keeping evil away, yes.
Well, I mean, by doing that,
you've already created this most beautiful, romantic stage.
I mean, I just want to come here with someone who I love
and just be surrounded by the romance,
the sound of the water, the scent, the flowers.
It's just a beautiful garden.
That's lovely to hear because that's the feeling I wanted to create.
I just had this vision of people even getting married in here,
you know, walking down as if it was an aisle.
I mean, there's even an old font in the middle of the walkway here,
under the scented roses which would be lovely.
Well, you've certainly created that and it is a beautiful garden.
Thank you so much. Thank you.
A lot of Gardeners' World Live this year celebrates its history,
but there's one section that's all about looking to the future.
Meal In A Wheelbarrow challenges schoolchildren to get planting,
and over 40 schools have put their favourite recipe in a barrow.
This one's called Afternoon Tea.
There's some strawberries there, there's some chamomile, some mint.
I might make myself a cuppa.
At Our Lady of Fatima School,
they've created a Golden Anniversary Salad.
You seem to have crammed this barrow full of food.
Adele, what did you enjoy about this project?
Well, everyone pitched in to help,
each year did their bit planning
and helping to water the wheelbarrow
and make sure everything was OK with it.
Rhys, tell me about some of the things you've planted.
-We have got carrots, mixed salad leaves...
garlic and onion, and I think that's it.
Cesca, your recipe has a special name.
It's the Golden Anniversary Salad of our school
because we've had 50 years that our school has been opened.
-And it's like Gardeners' World today
because it's 50 years old as well.
50 years, I think, is a real cause for celebration, don't you?
Victoria School have concocted a barrow
inspired by a pizza with toppings.
Girls, we've got a wonderful display here
of all these things that you've planted.
I can see you've got some tomatoes, you've got some oregano,
you've got some chillies, and these gorgeous little models of you all.
Habiba, I can see a model of you there. Do you like pizza?
And Becky, what did you enjoy?
-You like growing the plants from seed, Becky?
Kate, tell me, what have you and the students got out of this project?
The children have really enjoyed learning about where our food
comes from, and they can actually take the chillies
and the oregano and actually put that on their pizza.
So, that's our next thing,
we can make some yummy pizzas, it's very exciting.
I want to come and have pizza with you guys!
Over the last few months,
all the Gardeners' World presenters have put forward the one plant
that they think has had the biggest impact on gardening
over the last 50 years.
Now, having seen all these ten plants, you have had a chance
to vote on which single one you think is our Golden Jubilee Plant.
Now, in a minute or two,
Mary Berry is going to announce which one of those has been chosen,
but before we start, here's a reminder
of what these ten plants were.
Back in March, I kicked things off by proposing bedding plants.
Next was Nick Bailey, who championed dahlias.
Rachel's favourite was aquilegia vulgaris,
Whilst Mark Lane's choice was echinacea.
Joe Swift nominated Stipa gigantia,
and chillies were chosen by Frances Tophill.
Flo Headlam picked the climbing jasmine,
whilst Alan Power plumped for the Japanese maple.
Adam Frost chose the rose,
and finally, Carol's Jubilee Plant was Geranium 'Rozanne'.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Well, I've got a very, very special guest here for you,
who is going to announce the winner of our Golden Jubilee Plant.
Which you have all voted for, and I can only hope you voted for
the one I put forward, if you've got any sense! But we will find out.
Before we do, Mary, we've got all ten plants here,
chosen by a team over there, sitting waiting expectantly.
If you had to choose three for your garden,
which would you choose and why?
Well, here are the ten in front of me.
First of all, I would certainly choose the rose.
I would go for smell, I would look at the foliage,
so it's beautifully green and that means it's disease-free.
So, the rose would be one.
Geranium, that is called Rozanne,
I just had such success with. I know it's new,
but it flowers and it flowers until the frost comes again, and it
covers a lot of space as well, and not too fussy about the ground.
And then, of course, bedding plants, because you can put them anywhere.
I mean, something like pelargoniums, you need a window box and it will
fill it, and with care, they will flower and flower.
OK, which plant has been chosen by the British people
as the most influential plant of the last 50 years?
Shall we see?
I'm delighted to reveal that
the winner of the Gardeners' World Golden Jubilee Plant is...
And that was nominated by Adam Frost.
Adam, come up here, come on.
Here we go.
-Hang on a minute.
-I'm not going to congratulate you...
-I was going to kiss you!
Oh, well, we can...
Tell me, what was it about the rose
that you think has been so influential?
I think in reality, it's come with us for the 50 years,
it's dipped a couple of times in fashion, you know,
but it's been there, it's been thereabouts,
and also for me, it's the plant that we celebrate so much with,
we mark so many important occasions in our lives with roses.
And it's got me out of an awful lot of trouble with Mrs Frost
over the years as well!
So, you know, I think that's why, mate.
I don't think I can say anything more after that, can I? No.
Well, listen, let's have a big round of applause,
not so much for Adam, but for roses all over the country.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Happy golden jubilee, Gardeners' World.
Happy 50th anniversary.
Happy 50th birthday.
50 years, who'd have thought it?
I've learnt so much from watching Gardeners' World,
in particular Monty Don, so happy birthday.
Happy 50th birthday.
You share it with some stellar company -
Sgt Pepper, the Summer of Love, Radio 2!
Happy 50th anniversary to Gardeners' World.
I never have you off!
With lots of love from me, Joanna Lumley.
That nearly rhymed.
A very happy golden jubilee.
Thank you for inspiring me over the years, even as a very small child.
Happy 50th anniversary.
Happy golden jubilee to Gardeners' World.
You don't need any pruning at all. Congratulations!
Thank you, Gardeners' World, for being who you are.
Can I just say one thing?
Personally, I feel incredibly proud to have been part of
Gardeners' World, and as well as being passionate gardeners,
I know that we love it and we are really lucky to take part in it.
It creates this space in millions of people's lives
that is true and decent and peaceful,
and at times like this, that really matters.
Long may it last.
So, to the next 50 years!
-The next 50 years! Cheers!
Well, that's it from Gardeners' World Live.
I'll see you next week back at Longmeadow,
but of course, the show still goes on.
Cheers, there we go.
Gardeners' World celebrates its 50th anniversary with a full hour of gardening from Gardeners' World Live at the NEC.
Monty kicks off the party and is joined by the whole team, who will be bringing you all the show has to offer. Joe Swift and Adam Frost take a look at the show gardens and we meet garden designer David Stevens, who has created a garden showcasing 50 years of changing trends in our back yards.
Carol Klein is in the floral marquee looking at the plants which have defined the decades, whilst Rachel de Thame, Flo Headlam, Alan Power, Nick Bailey and Mark Lane explore the show features including the Gardeners' World-themed borders and other floral displays.
Monty and Alan Titchmarsh meet to talk about their experiences as the nation's head gardener and Mary Berry reveals the winner of the golden jubilee plant award.