Monty Don and Gardeners’ World will be back in time just as Spring officially settles in. Over the next seven months, the horticulture expert, as well as the rest of the BBC Two show’s team will be on hand to guide new and returning viewers on how to make the most of the great outdoors. But, what fans might not know is the one thing Monty struggles to grow.
With a career in gardening spanning 30 years, Monty has fine-tuned his skills to produce the biggest blooms, huge harvests and a beautiful oasis which he calls his back garden.
The two-acre space which is called Longmeadow is comprised of several sections, from The Jewel Garden which Monty describes as “the physical and spiritual centre” of the entire landscape because “everything revolves around it,” to The Cottage Garden which spent the first 20 years of its existence dedicated to growing vegetables due to it’s close proximity to the kitchen door.
The Paradise Garden, on the other hand, is based upon the influences Monty has seen across the Islamic world, whereas The Mound is a peaceful place that offers a chance to reflect under a wooden pergola.
The writing garden is a space where Monty feels at home putting pen to paper; creating novels about his garden and others around the world, as well as his beloved gold retriever, Nigel, who passed away last year.
READ MORE: Monty Don: Gardeners’ World host unveils major changes to Longmeadow
It’s wasn’t long ago when Monty and his wife Sarah decided they wanted to transform The Cottage Garden and hence, The Vegetable Garden was created – a designated space to grow vegetables, herbs and fruits.
“Our goal is to always have a supply of a good choice of vegetables that we enjoy eating on every single day of the year,” Monty detailed on his website.
And their “fundamental horticultural belief is that you should never force or cajole a plant of any kind, edible or decorative if it doesn’t want to be there”.
This means they choose varieties that they like and which also grow in their garden.
“I find it really difficult to go from germination to the stage where it’s big enough to plant out,” he said about growing lamb’s lettuce.
“It tends to damp off and die back, so I lose at least half of all my seedlings, and I have done for the past ten years.
“I’ve tried everything. There’s no logic to it, and other people don’t have the same problem.
“In the past, I wouldn’t have told you about it. I would have just kept the ones that worked and known in principle that I knew what I was doing.