Season 2 of the programme looking at the work carried out by the 150 gardening staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The Palm House is in need of an extensive makeover, with Emma Fox working hard to get it finished on time, as Stuart Henchi and the institutes 200 gardeners swarm over the rest of the grounds.
Disaster strikes as bad weather forces the gardens to close for the first time in 15 years. This hampers preparations for the visit of Prince Charles and Prince Turki of Saudi Arabia as they arrive to plant some new palm trees. Also, Kath King explains her feeding regimes for the carnivorous plant collection and the display team have some leaf cutter ants to deal with.
The morning after the storm the staff assess the damage, while Dave Barnes and his team manoeuvre the new palms into position ready for planting. In the Jodrell Laboratory, Mike Fay examines the DNA of the rare red helleborine.
At Kew’s country garden, Wakehurst Place, Steve Robinson is hard at work making charcoal, while Margaret Leigh prepares for the annual plant auction. In the bamboo garden, Ray Townsend answers a call for help from London Zoo and the tree gang deal with an Italian poplar that stands in the way of the Jodrell Laboratory extension.
Steve Alton travels to St Helena to collect seed of the island’s unique plant life for the Millennium Seedbank. Back at Wakehurst Place a rare cabbage plant is being transferred to Kew. The marathon pruning session begins on the rose pergola and a new recruit to the tree gang gets a lesson from Andy McClure, Kew’s oldest tree surgeon.
Head of the Arboretum, Tony Kirkham, fights to save one of Kew’s oldest trees, a Ginkgo biloba. Elsewhere the mycology department surveys the fungi of the gardens and Roselle Andrews creates a special wreath for Remembrance Sunday.
Botanist Bill Baker solves a Victorian taxonomic dispute and pays tribute to John Dransfield who is retiring. Ray Townsend gets to work creating an authentic Zen garden around the Japanese Gateway and Kew provides a home for 50 chameleons seized by customs.
Botanist Moctar Sacande returns to his native Burkina Faso to help colleagues develop their own seed bank.
Also, technical chief Jim and event organiser Laura work to install the most controversial art exhibit ever displayed at the gardens.
Arboretum manager Tony Kirkham visits Australia in search of a tree believed to be extinct for the past two million years. Keeper of the temperate house Dave Cook needs some new tubs, so he and Phil Griffiths attend a pottery lesson.
In the Jodrell Laboratory, Olwen Grace examines the chemical properties of aloes while outside a team of 300 volunteers tackle an invasive weed. Inside the Temperate house, it’s organised chaos as the final preparations for the Chihuly exhibition are under way and a bedding scheme with a difference is designed outside the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
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