Monty Don’s Real Gardens episode 16: Monty is with Liz Collentte in Guernsey, garnering seaweed to fertilise her lakeside garden. Ann-Marie is building a dry stone wall in a Cotswold garden with Dilys Wilson.
Three green-fingered experts help amateur gardeners to transform their rundown gardens into small patches of paradise. Monty Don, Carol Klein and Ann-Marie Powell follow a group of amateur gardeners through the horticultural year.
Monty Don’s Real Gardens episode 16
Montagu Denis Wyatt “Monty” Don OBE (born George Montagu Don; 8 July 1955) is a British broadcaster and writer on horticulture who is best known as lead presenter of the BBC gardening television series Gardeners’ World since 2003.
Born in Germany and raised in England, Don studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge where he met his future wife. They ran a successful costume jewellery business through the 1980s which ended in almost complete bankruptcy. Don made his television debut in 1989 as a regular on This Morning, which led to further presenting work across the decade, including his own shows for BBC Television and Channel 4. Don began his writing career at this time and published his first of over 25 books, in 1990. Between 1994 and 2006, Don wrote a weekly gardening column in The Observer.
In 2003 Don replaced Alan Titchmarsh as the lead presenter of Gardeners’ World, only leaving the show in 2008 due to illness before he returned to host from 2011. Since then he has written and produced several garden series of his own; the most recent being Monty Don’s American Gardens which was aired in 2020.
Don is also known for writing and presenting his own series. In 2005, he setup a 6-acre (2.4 ha) smallholding in Herefordshire so a group of young drug offenders could work the land. The project was documented for the BBC series Growing Out of Trouble, airing in 2006. This was followed by the ambitious BBC series Around the World in 80 Gardens in 2008, where Don visited eighty gardens of a variety of styles worldwide. In 2010, Don presented My Dream Farm, a Channel 4 series which helped people learn to become successful smallholders, and Mastercrafts, a BBC series which celebrated six traditional British crafts. Monty Don’s Italian Gardens aired on the BBC in 2011, which was followed by Monty Don’s French Gardens, in 2013. Later that year, Don presented an episode of Great British Garden Revival. In 2014, Don became the lead presenter for the BBC’s flagship Chelsea Flower Show coverage, again replacing Titchmarsh.
In 2015, Don presented the four-part BBC series The Secret History of the British Garden, charting the development of British gardens from the 17th to the 20th century. Since 2014, Don has presented three series of Big Dreams, Small Spaces, where he helps amateur gardeners in creating their own “dream spaces” on a domestic scale. Don’s next series was Monty Don’s Paradise Gardens in 2018, travelling across the Islamic world and beyond in search of paradise gardens and considering their place in the Quran. This was followed by Monty Don’s Japanese Gardens in 2019, and Monty Don’s American Gardens in 2020.