How Does Your Garden Grow?
Ahead of the channel premiere of Great British Garden Revival, we look at how you can help the environment by starting your own garden revival.
Britain’s proud gardening heritage has taken a knock in recent years. Although our grand gardens continue to thrive, across the country we’re in trouble. A stroll along any residential street paints a worrying picture. Where there were once lovingly cultivated gardens, we now see a drab promenade of pavement and patios.
Great British Gardening Revival aims to put you at the centre of the fight to restore our horticultural heritage. The series ranges from breath-taking estates to urban rooftop gardens, ensuring that experienced gardeners and novices alike are informed and inspired to participate in a garden revival. Established figures like gardening doyen Monty Don are joined by a younger generation of innovative horticulturalists, such as James Wong. Such grand traditions as topiary – the art of forming shrubs into elaborate sculptures – are presented as part of our gardening heritage alongside simpler practices like cultivating attractive and practical gardens that can keep your kitchen stocked with fresh fruit, herbs, and vegetables.
Monty Don is on a mission to rescue Britain's endangered species of wild flowers.
The first episode of Great British Garden Revival also looks at how getting into gardening can help remedy some serious environmental issues. It’s estimated that we’ve lost about 98 per cent of our wild meadows, many of which were converted into arable land in the Second World War. The resulting decline in Britain’s wild flower population is alarming. Many species are on the brink of extinction, threatening us with the loss of a wonderful source of natural beauty. In addition, losing these flowers harms the insect populations that we rely on to pollinate our plants and crops. Monty Don looks at the scale of this problem, and provides practical tips and creative ideas for how you can start cultivating wild flowers.
It falls to Joe Swift to examine how the decline of gardening is harming our urban environments, too. Paving over gardens makes our towns and cities far more susceptible to flooding. Scientific research also suggests that growing plants in a front garden provides a substantial barrier that reduces the impact of roadside pollution. The ease with which you can add some greenery and vivify your garden is surprising, as are Joe’s tips for how you can have a practical driveway without resorting to turning a lively garden into a drab driveway.
We’re delighted that the launch of Great British Garden Revival also ties in with how we’re working with charities that can help you make a difference in your life and the lives of others. If you're inspired to help revive Britain’s breath-taking wild flowers where you live, you’re in luck! We’ve partnered with Grow Wild, the outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. Each year, Grow Wild distributes seed kits to people who want to use wild flowers to transform a neglected community space. And, our friends at Project Dirt host a range of community gardening projects across the country. Project Dirt is the UK’s largest network for connecting and resourcing community projects, and offers a wealth of opportunities to start gardening for good, whether you’re a veritable green-fingers or a total novice, wherever you live.
So watch, be inspired, get involved. Together we Do More!
The first episode of Great British Garden Revival airs at 10pm on Thursday 18 January, with a new episode following at 10pm every Thursday.