Alan Titchmarsh presents a stunning series that reveals the amazing secrets behind Britain's great gardens, examining how they continue to influence gardeners, including himself, today.
The 17th. Century
In the first episode, Alan visits Hatfield House in Hertfordshire to look at the key design features of the gardens of this 17th-century stately home. This was a time when horticulture and architecture worked seamlessly together and Hatfield reflects this new love of the aesthetic. Alan examines the famous parterres which are some of the first examples of Britain's affection for formal gardening, and shows how the parterre has been brought into the 21st century by designer Tom Stuart-Smith with his designs at Broughton Grange in Oxfordshire.
The 18th. Century
ew gardening movements can match the impact of the 18th-century landscape movement, and Stowe in Buckinghamshire is one of the most important examples of their revolutionary designs. Here we find a rejection of the rigid formality of the previous century and an embracing of nature, no matter what the ecological cost. Alan demonstrates how they 'borrowed' views, manipulating the landscape to draw the eye to certain features. Creating a focal point is now a staple of modern garden design and Alan shows how it can accentuate a garden's best bits and also be used to hide things.
The 19th. Century
Alan visits Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire, a 19th-century country park that contains elements of Chinese, Italian, Egyptian and Scottish design. He explains why the Victorian age gave rise to a taste for exotic plants and bold horticultural statements, and reveals how the natural landscape gardens of the 18th century gave way to a new manufactured style that came to symbolise the era's reverence for knowledge and power.
The 20th. Century
Alan reveals how Sissinghurst gardens in Kent is one of the most influential of the 20th century. Created by two passionate gardeners, Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Sir Harold Nicholson, its development coincided with key social changes in the British garden. Last in Series
Secret Gardens with Alan Titchmarsh