Monty Don’s Adriatic Gardens episode 2: Monty begins in the city of Trieste, close to Italy’s border with Croatia, to visit a public garden first created by an obsessive royal plantsman more than 150 years ago, which is now being carefully restored. He then heads down the Adriatic coast through Croatia to pick up the trail that the Venetians followed, ending his journey on the beautiful island of Lopud, near Dubrovnik.
Along the way, he discovers spectacular natural lakes and wildflowers, is given a tour of ancient olive groves, discovers a nursery where over 200 varieties of Iris – the national flower of Croatia – can be found, and is allowed into one of only two monastic gardens in the whole country.
Monty Don’s Adriatic Gardens episode 2
TV gardening legend Monty Don will be presenting a new show on BBC Two called Monty Don’s Adriatic Gardens. The series will take place in three parts and see Monty travelling to different countries to discover how Venetians on the Adriatic coast have influenced a range of public and private gardens. On his journey, he will uncover the impact that “history, climate change and culture have had on the people who live there,” according to a release. Each episode will focus on a different country, beginning with Venice which he explores by barge.
Monty Don was born in West Berlin to British parents Denis Thomas Keiller Don, a career soldier posted in Germany, and Janet Montagu (née Wyatt). Both of his paternal grandparents were Scottish, through whom he is descended from botanist George Don and the Keiller family of Dundee, inventors of a brand of marmalade in 1797. On his maternal side, he is descended from the Wyatts, who were a prominent dynasty of architects. Both parents died in the 1980s. Don has a twin sister, an elder brother David, and two other siblings. His twin suffered a broken neck and blindness after a car crash, at the age of 19. Don describes his parents as being “very strict”.
Don was educated at three independent schools: Quidhampton School in Basingstoke, Hampshire, Bigshotte School in Wokingham, Berkshire, and at Malvern College in Malvern, Worcestershire, a college he hated. He then attended a state comprehensive school, the Vyne School, in Hampshire. He failed his A levels and while studying for re-takes at night school, worked on a building site and a pig farm by day. During his childhood he had become an avid gardener and farmer. He was determined to go to Cambridge out of “sheer bloody-mindedness”, attending Magdalene College, where he read English and met his future wife Sarah (née Erskine). He was a Cambridge Half Blue for boxing.