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August 3, 2016

Around The World In 80 Gardens.

Monty Don visits the world's 80 most inspiring gardens.

Around The World In 80 Gardens - S01E01 - Mexico & Cuba.mkv

Ep1: Mexico and Cuba.
This epic garden adventure starts when Monty travels to two very different but neighbouring countries. Mexico is one of the most plant-rich and artistic cultures on the planet, from the ancient water gardens of Mexico City, to the modernist extremes of Luis Barragan and a surrealist fantasy hidden in the rainforest. Travelling to the Caribbean island of Cuba, Monty discovers that the crumbling colonial grandeur of its urban landscape is now host to a very green revolution.

Ep2: Australia and New Zealand.
This week he travels to Australia and New Zealand, two of the youngest gardening cultures in the world, but it is not just about dreamy climates and wonderful plants. Monty sets out from the aptly named Botany Bay to uncover a story of culture clash and plant invasion, where the gentle habits of the indigenous people and the extraordinary natural landscapes have been dashed aside in favour of imported plants and a surprisingly English style of garden. By the time he finds his feet in New Zealand he's soon gasping for native plants and sets off in search of the wild heart of New Zealand, where he revels in a magical rainforest garden created entirely of native plants.

Ep3: India.
In India, Monty visits the majestic tomb gardens of the Mughal emperors and the pleasure gardens of the Hindu Maharajahs. He looks at the quaintly British gardens of tea country and visits the famous architectural gardens at the Taj Mahal. Finally, Monty visits a little known rock and sculpture garden. It was created in secret by one man out of found objects and rubbish and it turns out to be Monty's favourite Indian garden.

Ep4: South America: Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
This time he is in South America, a continent twice the size of Europe and the home of more than 50,000 endemic plant species. In Rio de Janeiro, Monty visits the private garden of Brazil's most famous artist, Burle Marx. He views the ingenious floating gardens of the Amazon, a crumbling estancia (ranch) in the windy Pampas, and ends his journey on the Pacific coast of Chile in a garden that sits harmoniously in its landscape.

Ep5: USA.
Monty Don continues his extraordinary journey to see the world through 80 of its most inspiring gardens with a visit to the richest and most powerful nation in the world: the United States of America. His plan is to see how America expresses its vast wealth and incredible energy through its gardens, and at a time when the USA is grappling to define its environmental goals, Monty inevitably hopes to find a powerful movement towards sustainable gardening. Beginning in New York, where garden guerrillas are creating community gardens from derelict land, he then travels south to Virginia, to visit a garden that reflects the birth of the nation's relationship with the land. Finally, he travels west to California, to see if gardens there reflect more than the glitz of the movie industry.

Ep6: China and Japan.
This time in China and Japan, two of the world's oldest gardening cultures. In China he visits the ancient scholars' gardens of Suzhou and the awesome Yellow Mountains of Huangshang that inspired them.
He visits the Imperial Summer Palace Gardens of Beijing, and In Kyoto, Japan's city of gardens, he tries to understand the Zen garden.

Ep7: The Med: Spain/Morocco/Italy.
Monty Don continues his extraordinary journey in the Mediterranean - the cradle of European civilization. In Italy, he visits some of the elaborate high Renaissance gardens of stone and water which have hugely influenced western garden design. He also visits the remains of Emperor Hadrian's palatial retreat. Monty then looks at the artistic achievements of the Moorish culture. He travels to Marrakesh, where he visits The Aguedal - one of the oldest continuously maintained gardens in the world; and in Spain he visits The Alhambra, thought by many to be the most perfect garden in the world.

Ep8: South Africa.
At Cape Town's famous Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens he sees the King Proteus, South Africa's national plant. In the Drakensberg Mountains he sees some native flora in its natural environment. His favourite garden is a school vegetable patch in Thembisa, one of Johannesburg's townships, and Monty is intrigued by how gardening styles have changed here since the Dutch first settled in the 19th century.

Ep9: Northern Europe.
Monty is spoiled for choice in an area he knows so well. He views the floral wonders of Britain's Sissinghurst Castle and the vivid palette of impressionist painter Monet at Giverny. He enjoys the quirky individuality of the garden of one of his favourite Belgian designers. Finally, Monty goes to Norway to see what can grow 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Ep10: South East Asia: Bangkok, Singapore and Bali
Since the nineteenth century, Western gardeners have loved tropical gardens. Monty visits the archetype - the mysterious Jim Thompson's Garden in Bangkok. He seeks something more authentic in the Royal Palace gardens and the floating gardens of the canals of Bangkok. In Bali, his preconceptions are challenged again. Is the Western picture of the exotic garden a construct?

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