Marking the bi-centenary of The Royal Horticultural Society, this series features the design and creation of gardens from specific periods of time, from a Regency town house garden of 1915 through to a 'Green Room' of the 1970s - and beyond.
Diarmuid Gavin and Jane Owen explore the history of British gardening, by creating seven horticultural areas based on different styles. They begin in the Regency era, when the middle classes found themselves, for the first time, with enough money to afford decent plants and workmen, and exotic new species became much sought-after requirements for plots around the country.
Diarmuid Gavin and Jane Owen explore the mid-Victorian garden, in which the style altered radically with the introduction of plants from foreign lands, along with the advances in science and technology. The invention of the lawnmower revolutionised the upkeep of the central plot, while innovations such as fake rockeries and Italianate bedding allowed for myriad differences in design and character.
3 Late Victorian
Diarmuid Gavin and Jane Owen recreate an 1890s garden, discovering how an increasingly prosperous and industrialised Britain gave rise to some very extravagant projects. Diarmuid attempts to follow in the footsteps of eccentric millionaire Frank Crisp, who built a model of the Matterhorn for growing alpine plants.
Diarmuid Gavin and Jane Owen celebrate the work of Twenties garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and architect Edwin Lutyens, whose style comprised a mixture of hard landscaping and informal planting. Diarmuid's homage to their work features herbaceous borders, a water rill and a sunken pool with water lilies, while Jane visits Nymans, West Sussex, an example of the wilder gardens favoured by the aristocracy.
Diarmuid Gavin and Jane Owen explore trends in gardens during the 1950s, when modern art and architecture became influential. Diarmuid designs his own garden inspired by Piet Mondrian, with beds of single-coloured flowers, structural plants and a picture frame motif, while Jane examines the impact of the Festival of Britain and the lingering effect World War Two had on the country.
Diarmuid Gavin and Jane Owen explore gardens of the 1970s, when 17 million households had their own plot. While suburban gardens drew inspiration from America and the Mediterranean in creating low-maintenance, family-oriented spaces, more ambitious designers led a revival of Victoriana, and historic gardens became the focus of restoration projects.
7 21st Century
Diarmuid Gavin creates a contemporary garden influenced by the six periods featured on the show. Jane Owen visits plots designed by Beth Chatto, Charles Jencks, Paul Cooper and Piet Oudolf, and considers how the British public remain as passionate about gardening as ever. However, despite changing fashions, it seems people are as likely to draw inspiration from the past as the present.