I have to admit something.
I cried watching a gardening television show. Not during the reveal of some kind of makeover for a deserving family. Nope. I cried watching Monty Don talk about American gardens.
Let me back up a bit. For those who are unfamiliar, Monty Don is perhaps the most well-known gardener in the world. He has been the host of the wonderful “Gardeners’ World” television show on BBC (in the UK) for 16 years and has done countless other specials on gardening and written several books as well as writing regularly for several publications. He is a gardener’s gardener, a guy who wears the same faded blue pants and jacket and a sweater with holes in it because it’s obviously his favorite.
He’s also an incredibly knowledgable, self-taught gardener, from whom I’ve learned more than probably any other single source. And if you think I’m carrying on, you should be happy I haven’t joined the legions of his fans who think the only thing better than his gardening knowledge is his rugged and perhaps slightly earthy good looks.
I believe I’ve seen every Monty Don special, including those on Italian, Japanese and paradise gardens. I even went down the rabbit hole and watched a show called “Fork to Fork” from 1999. I own at least two of his books, maybe three. Finding these shows can be difficult, but some are available on BritBox or Netflix. Others can be found with a rather aggressive search of YouTube or through a highly sketchy website called HD Clump. (Warning: the BBC is on top of people who record and repost these shows on YouTube, so they often come and go on random channels.)
So when I found out via Instagram that Monty was coming to the U.S. for a three-part series on American gardens, I not only tried to figure out a way to stalk him, I started counting down until the moment I could watch them. I struck out on the stalking, but I was delighted to see the first episode last Friday. (I caught it on YouTube, but I see it’s also here.)
Why was I so excited about this series? Because I desperately want Monty’s approval. It is absurd to think of a person who doesn’t know you exist as a type of mentor, but I do. And while I would be horrified to have Monty in my garden (if he didn’t like it, and I doubt he would, I would simply wither). But I wanted his approval of our best gardens in this country.
In the first episode he visited several gardens that I’ve been to, so I was especially excited to hear his thoughts on the Lurie Garden, Longwood Gardens, Chanticleer Gardens and Central Park. I found a bit of personal satisfaction in hearing him comment on noticeable aspects of some of these gardens in the same terms I myself have used (or at least thought). I was also disappointed that he seemed underwhelmed by what I think are excellent examples of creative, interesting and important gardens.
He also visited gardens I didn’t know existed, including the most amazing community garden I’ve ever seen in the Bronx, where people of all cultures and ages came together to grow, do yoga and art and just be together. Although I’d heard of Federal Twist in Stockton, New Jersey, which is inspired by the prairie and generally allowed to run rampant, this was a closer video look than I’d seen of it. When owner James Golden told Monty that he “Forgot to mention that I hate gardening,” my mouth was agape (and, frankly, so was Monty’s). I mean how could you say that to Monty? James clearly is one of those people who has a great deal of confidence and he was speaking the truth to Monty. I liked that. Monty, who managed to land in the U.S. during last summer’s heat wave and still insisted on wearing his increasingly dampening linen jacket and scarf, declared that he “adored” the garden.
Of course, trying to summarize the “American garden” in three hours is ridiculous, and I never saw any examples of some of the excellent home gardens that don’t have a presence on the Internet for a TV producer to be able to find. I wish they’d stop at a great garden they saw just driving from one place to another. It’s an almost impossible task to capture the American garden in this format, so I’m sympathetic to the series’ shortcomings.
Monty liked a lot of the gardens. At least I think he did. He visited gardens from the middle of the country to the east coast and managed to find a unifying theme: the pioneering spirit that is in the DNA of this country. And I will be honest, I had never thought this before (although, in retrospect, I wonder if that idea was cooked up before he visited any of the gardens).
At Chanticleer—the garden Monty says he was referred to more than any other—he commented on the wide range of garden styles there, something he said you’d never find in the U.K. “What’s binding it together is not so much design but an incredible sense of optimism and enthusiasm and the idea that with the resources and the will you can do and make anything,” he said.
As an American, there are times, when it can be difficult to take pride in this country. But as I watched Monty talk about the pioneering spirit he found as a unifying theme among otherwise disparate gardens, I was full of pride. And yes, I shed a tear. And not just because a British gardener approved of them, but because he is absolutely correct.
(The second part of the series is now up and, at least for now, available on YouTube and here.)
I loved it too. In fact, I was proud that I had been able to see a number of these gardens in person.
The “highly sketchy website” appreciates your link , thank you ! By the way our site is 100% safe with servers in USA and made in WordPress. We will return your link in the future gardening posts .
OK … sorry about that! I just feel bad pointing people to websites that have content that they don’t own the copyright too. That said, those of us outside the UK are left with no other options, so in a very guilty way, I appreciate it.
Hi Erin isn’t Monty on BBC America?
I very much enjoyed watching the first episode on Youtube too. I was always disappointed with the way it seemed to me that Monty gave American gardens short shrift in his series Around the World in 80 Gardens. He basically said Americans aren’t gardeners. We’re probably not as avid as Brits, but we do have some beautiful gardens, and some world-class modern-day plant hunters as well. I’m hoping he does a good job on the gardens he visited here in the PNW.
I’m a massive Monty / gardener’s world fan but I have to agree. I loved the series, but at times I felt he was mocking us a bit. ::insert tear::
But then i loved how, i think it was the last episode of the series on American gardens he was being shown around a garden by an American lady and she asked him “Do you have a garden?” With typical british self-deprecation, Monty admitted that yes he did have a garden.
I wonder if she googled him after the camera crew left.
I thought the same thing when she asked that!! Hah
Aaron, I smiled when she asked him that question and had a bigger smile regarding his response. That’s why we love him….such a humble man.
I can only concur. Really? Luther Burbank Gardens, SF Botanical Garden, there are so many very diverse and beautiful gardens out there in the USA to simply dismiss American Gardeners as being lesser interest or skills. I am not going to defend a commentator that never saw a Monty Don show, or Gardener’s World episode (that’s just poor journalism in my mind, do you homework), we have some very amazing gardens both in the PNW and throughout the US.
Agree wholeheartedly!! I “discovered” Monty a few years ago and I feel borderline obsessed. I have now read his books, rewatched as many Gardeners World as I can find and anything else he is on. I too, was bewildered yesterday as tears welled up as he spoke of the beautiful oaks. I could not believe I was brought to crying but I was just so proud of the words he spoke about our gardens. Thought I might being going off in the head, so grateful I’m not the only one who felt this way.
It is my early Sunday morning ritual , peaceful gardening shows and Monty Don is the absolute king of this. I love his calm ,easy, gentle ,intellectual approach and insights into his own ideas of beautiful gardens on occasion. His Italy series was stunning. I could watch Monty wander about his garden with his dogs and not bother about seeing any of the others ( though of course they are immensely skilled.) That is personal though as I have a stressful job and watching Monty is pure mindfullness. ( I do love quirky Carol though and her knowledge and beautiful tip of Garden too she is brilliant( erm natural garden soz ? ) intact I do love them all Instant gardener is skilled lovely a warm too and the different styles of Charley and the boys makes for an interesting show.Also the wonderful lady in the balloon . In fact all BBC shows are amazing. But Monty is king ?
Monty is my favourite gardener & when he visited these American gardens they were absolutely amazing especially the first show wow those gardens were beautiful thankyou monty can’t wait for gardeners world ???
I love the first 2 it’s on BBC at the moment it’s really interesting to see what is grown in the various zones what will grow what should grow/what doesn’t grow great programme
So glad you posted this! I have been impatiently waiting for these episodes to be released and didn’t realize they were out. I know what I’m doing for the rest of the day!
Monty knows all about you, he Tweeted a link to this article! We are in the UK and totally agree with you about him being the best presenter ever. My wife is the gardener at our home and whenever she imparts words of wisdom about plants or gardens they are always preceded by ‘Monty Don says….’ We love Nigel and Nell too.
Nigel and Nell are great! Have you read his book on his dogs? It’s lovely.
Hi Erin, I saw that tweet too and was so happy for you! Last year I went to dinner with a multi-generation family. After dinner, they had each of us pull out a piece of paper from a hat that asked a question you would answer to the group. Mine was “Who is the person alive or dead that you would most like to have dinner with?” My immediate answer was Monty Don! Every one looked at me with confusion except my hubby who just laughed! He knows if he enters the room while I’m watching Monty, he best not interrupt!! ?
I love monty don, and I hope he continues to do more gardening programs. He is so enthusiastic and cheerful.
It’s like you wrote exactly how I feel. I am also a huge Monty fan and I still feel almost shocked that he came here and enjoyed our gardens. Longwood is my favorite but having Monty’s stamp of approval now makes it more precious to me. Also you might be crying more tears of joy today, because even though I follow you, I came to this post via Monty’s tweet!!!!!
That tweet was pretty fantastic! 🙂
Echoing your post – all the feels. If there’s one person I would want to meet for a day it would be Monty Don. amazing man with so much knowledge on gardens!
Congrats on being noticed by Monty!! I need to get off my Britbox Shetland binge and look for some Monty. We lived in Lancaster, PA when our kids were babies to six and eight, and had season passes to Longwood. They (and we) loved going there, and we all miss it so much.
Oh, Shetland is good!
Thank you I value montys opinion and was brought to tears as well!!! There is crying in gardening lol. It was heartwarming to hear his opinions and see that he has an understanding of what gardening in the USA is like. I’m greatful he caught our spirit and seen how we love our gardens as much as any country
I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who shed a tear.
My heart did swell when watching that first episode. I am so happy and proud that he has found some gardens in America that meets his standards. I too have heard his rather dismissive attitude about our gardens here in the States. I am glad to know he has found our spirit and realizes that we all aren’t into formal gardens but we love our gardens.
I wouldn’t want him to see mine either. Heck I would be a little reluctant to have you tour my garden. ha…
I about cracked up when the lady in the NO garden asked Monty if he had a garden. I wonder how they happened onto her garden to show? I imagine the crew that scouted out places somehow happened upon it.
I am a great fan of Monty. I just wish we didn’t have to hunt and peck around to see his shows. I am so glad you posted about the second episode. I couldn’t find it on Youtube, they already took it off.
That question made me crack up too! I did so identify with the spark of joy she described she found in gardening. That connection instantly connects gardeners…we all know that thrill of joy!
I had not thought about the way so many of our lawns go all the way to the street or sidewalk, without any kind of wall or fence. I enjoyed hearing him talk about that. His thoughtful analysis really captured the American spirit. I loved the whole program, especially the segment on the Bronx. He has a new fan!
I joined the RHS in 1995 even though I can’t always get to enjoy the full benefits of their gardens and programs. This is where I first ran into Monty Don and his easy soft spoken love of gardening. If you have never visited a RHS Flower show, and there are many through out the spring ,summer, and early fall, you have NEVER experienced a truly wonderful event. I only wish Americans loved to garden on the scale of Monty and his fellow englishman……
Visiting an RHS garden show is on my to-do list. I agree with you that it would be wonderful if more Americans approached gardening with the zeal that Brits do.
Americans do not have a love of horticulture and gardening in their blood. The British and Celts are born with an innate sense of horticulture and all things garden. Americans are born with Survival instincts and ingenuity. My parents were immigrants from Ireland. I did not realize that I had inherited the gardening gene until I was 40 years old and visited with an Uncle in England. This started it all for me and I have not stopped since that visit 40 years ago. Having said this I have indeed visited pockets of our country that have beautiful gardens, especially South Carolina and The Hudson River Valley of New York State. Thanks for all the information you post. I watch all of Monty Don’s videos.
Ah, speak for yourself! This sixth generation American has loved gardening, as have allllll of my very American ancestors, practically since birth. I also share a love of dogs with the English, as did my mother and grandmother, and a passion for horses. And, as you mention, I also like to think I have great survival instincts and ingenuity. I’ve lived in England and admire not only their love of gardening, dogs, horses, and more, but also their civility, no fuss approach to most of life, their global awareness and heir quiet national pride.
I’ve not seen it so thank you for the resources. I have been “dreaming of lush green” as our ground is under several inches of snow.
Nice to find fellow U.S. travelers. And I actually do have all his books and guess I became aware of him by subscribing to “Inside, Outside” via Amazon; I had watched these older gardening shows in the ‘80s or ‘90s on A&E with Alan Titchmarsh and finally had time to devote to a side yard, and Monty Don turned up. Of course, that was only a year or so ago. Then my husband joined me, also with great interest. Since then, we’ve done the same thing, finding access to any other presentations (thank you, hdclump, for being there), and have probably gained a lifetime of knowledge through Don’s non-territorial approach to sharing information. Then the best thing of all: I took four of his books to a dear sister-in-law in September, a true gardener with an English husband who does nothing but weed on their 12 acres outside NYC, finally at retirement themselves. It was wonderful to watch her sink also into the comfort of those books and know they had become her Sunday morning reading as well. It wasn’t then so much pride I felt about Mr. Don’s response to the U.S. gardens, more just being reassured that, naturally, he would find them interesting. He makes no secret that while he is carrying around all this garden knowledge himself, he remains a sponge for more. His fascination with the world makes us better students, and him a better teacher. “But do you like it? Because that is what matters here.” Perhaps this innate wisdom in his approach has brought us all here, a very nice place to be.
I so agree. 🙂
I watch your channel and follow you on instagram, but never made it over here. I saw that Monty Don had retweeted this post and thought, I’d better get over there! Happy to see that he recognized you! I am relatively new to gardening, have absolutely fallen in love and appreciate you channel and others that have useful and practical tips to help me along my gardening journey.
From a corner of my father’s allotment to my now once again tiny ‘retired’ plot. I have had a full and loving life time interest in gardening..and Monty now provides endless pleasure as hes takes me around the world with him. Hes such lovely gentle man and instantly makes one sigh and settle comfortably when hes on the TV ..
I came across a passionate love of gardening by way of finding a Monarch caterpillar and following the process of metamorphosis and releasing a Monarch. I then became enthralled with pollinator plants and fell in love with gardening. I also have followed Monty and have several of his books followed on you tube, Netflix. Your work has also inspired me and I am appreciative of your style. I have have developed a love for flowers, working the soil, creating a space that I enjoy and continually developing learning from knowledge of others like Monty, yourself so keep up the great work! I am listening and watching from Canada! Thank you, thank you and thank you!
What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it and saying hello.
I love that Monty tweeted a link to this! I’ve watched you both on YouTube! I’m also a Monty fan who gardens in the US. It used to be a few tomatoes in the backyard and hanging baskets out front until I started watching his shows. So different from American ones in that they’re filled with practical wisdom for active gardening, not just buying a bunch of plants and plunking them in. I learned of your YouTube channel from the algorithm suggesting it when I was searching for more BBC gardening shows and admire that you’re along those same lines – practical tips for real gardening. I garden in 6a (Massachusetts) so a lot of your advice applies here as well. I look forward to seeing more of your work.
I love that Monty tweeted that link too! Pretty happy day for me. Thanks for saying hello.
USA has such extremes of heat, cold, drought and deluge that growing a garden must be real challenge. Gardening is easy in England by comparison. In our wet, temperate, maritime climate, plants just look after themselves. Well done everyone who cultivates a garden in North America. Thanks for sending us the Gulf Stream.
Yeah, that Gulf Stream works out pretty well over there! 🙂 I think we all figure our areas out fairly well, it just makes it difficult to have a national conversation about gardening. I think that’s why so few gardening television shows do well here: We’re all dealing with such disparate conditions.
I never liked gardening, or honestly even thought about it until the spring of 2018. I stumbled across gardeners world on britbox and was hooked. Now I can’t garden enough Monty and own over 10 of his books. I thought there must be other gardeners out there and now I follow you and Garden Answers, and a few others. All of you have inspired a middle-aged man who couldn’t identify a dasiy, to take up the trowel and start learning to garden. I currently live in New York and am looking to move to North Carolina this year. When I saw episode 2, gardens of the south, I was quite excited. Who knew such gardens existed, but Monty and his team showed what was possible. Keep up the good work.
What a fabulous story this is! How wonderful that Monty introduced you to gardening. Enjoy!
I discovered Monty Don on Netflix and then ended up becoming a subscriber to Britbox so I could watch Shetland. Lo and behold, there was two seasons of his Gardners World and I’ve been watching every day for a month. I cried when I saw how overwhelmed he was with beholding our glorious 1000 year old Redwood in California. As a former Midwesterner whose lived my entire life in high desert of Idaho, I only wish Monty had ventured to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Idaho and Montana to see how we garden here. He truly missed out on the best landscapes of America and would have better understood that if you spend your time in the mountains, you only need a vegetable garden and cold frame to eat as we’re surrounded by the natural landscape garden that so many try to mimic. Thanks for sharing the “sketchy” like. I watched all three episodes of his visit to America during an inch rainfall today, one months worth for Boise. All the best.
Love this post because I share the feelings you have for Monty. Gardener’s World is such a gentle, inspiring show.
Thank you for the effort you put into posting here and on Instagram. I enjoy it all!
Thank you. It’s nice to know that others shared my feelings.
What a brilliantly written post this is!
Thank you, Caroline.
I live in Ireland and need to sort out my front wall at roadside..after hearing Monty analyse American front lawns with no walls..I had a mad notion to knock wall and go ‘American style’
I love it! 🙂
I too enjoy Monty and his shows. Watched hundreds of them. I haven’t yet watched his America series, but I will. I confess that I’ve been put off by Monty’s not very nice sentiments that he thought American gardeners would just go buy whatever designs, installations or plants they want, rather then what the English do, which he says is “do it themselves”. The anti-American sentiment was disguised carefully, but definitely positioned Americans as lacking in dedication or discipline and content to just throw money at their gardens to impress. I see you, Monty, and I caught what you did there. And now, dammit, I like him just a little bit less.
No tears here, but boy was I as excited as you to find the first of Monty’s American gardens on YouTube. I just wish the resolution was higher and hope Britbox hosts the programs. I joined there specifically for Gardeners’ World and wish they had more than the previous two seasons. I’ve watched both at least twice. Monty mentioned having been to the U.S. and I was so hoping that he would do a series.
Although my parents had a large veggie garden on our hobby farm when I was a kid (I HATED weeding), I’ve come to gardening late in life. Before closing on my last house, while it sat empty, a neighbor cut down to the ground all the euonymous bushes that ringed the backyard. Not a gardener yet, I didn’t even notice. I can’t blame them, this particular cultivar can get leggy and no one had been tending them. The house had been a rental. So for the next 12 years I let them grow and clipped and clipped and clipped. By the time I sold I had a crisply trimmed 6-foot hedge. I read The Secret Garden several times when I was a kid, and now I had one of my own. I put in two raised flowerbeds, a shed, a blue stone patio, two cedar gates, and a 12×12-foot raised bed “garden house.” Just a 2×4 structure covered with chicken wire in which I planted bell peppers and tomatoes. The ridge beam was high enough to hang flower baskets from.
I have about a third of an acre with my new house and have big plans. I realized that at 59, if I want another 6-foot privacy hedge before I’m 6 feet under, I better get started! So last fall I put in 64 foot-high inkberry bushes. I’m also in zone 5 and fingers crossed they survive our winters. I recently discovered Gardeners’ World and then Growing a Greener World on PBS. Another recent discovery for me on YouTube is Charles Dowding and no dig gardening. Last fall I built four raised beds for veggies and plan to jump head first into the no dig approach.
In watching Gardeners’ World it does “feel” like the British ARE much more into gardening then we are. Is it true? Are we out there and just haven’t found each other? Maybe I’m just discovering the online communities that are out there like this one. I’ve been encouraged to see the community gardens popping up, what the Brits call allotments.
Apologies that I’ve rambled on about myself. All I really should have said was thank you for your post! I see you’ve been blogging since 2009. I have a lot to catch up on!
Yes, I think it’s safe to say that gardening is a different thing in the UK. It’s much more a part of the culture than it is here. I think that part of that has to do with the sheer vastness of the U.S. Although of course there are differences in microclimates across the UK, there are far more similarities between garden climates than there are here. Gardening is such a regional thing here because the differences in climate are just so great. Charles Dowding is a treasure! Good luck with that garden!
I love Monty Don. His shows are excellent and even though I’ve always loved gardening,I’m more inspired now than ever.
In may we are visiting our second RHS flower show in Malvern Hills. I can’t wait! Helena Whitefield
Oh how wonderful!
I laughed out loud at the clueless Garden District home owner in episode 2 who, after bragging a bit about her small garden, asked Monty if he had a garden and he smiled and humbly said, yeah, I have a garden”. I love Monty
Oh lordy, that was painful! If you had a camera crew coming to your house, wouldn’t you at least google the interviewer?
If you want to watch this on BBC from the USA, you can sign up to a VPN online, such as NordVPN or Express VPN, or any VPN with a server in the UK, and watch this on BBC’s iPlayer online. You will also be able to watch all of BBC’s excellent range of programs including many with Monty Don and the superb Gardeners’ World. You will also be able to access gardening shows on the other UK TV stations such as ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.
After logging into one of these VPN services, be sure to select a server located in the UK.
I used to use a VPN but none of them could get around the BBC blocks, so I gave up. I get Gardener’s World on BritBox on the same day they run in the UK, so that works for most things as well as much other British TV fixes!
What I thought was especially important was that Monty addressed all the ongoing American issues like slavery and the Civil War while visiting Monticello and Southern gardens. I don’t think he realizes that these are core issues that have never been resolved and have an effect on all parts of contemporary American life. Federal Twist has a blog or he did have one. I wish Monty had been to the Lurie Garden when the salvia river was in bloom. It looked a little quiet. Can’t wait to see him in the southwest with cacti. I am a huge fan of Monty and Sarah Don’s book, The Jewel Garden, about their early years, their financial problems and Monty’s serious depression issues. He is much more complex than his personality on TV indicates.
I had a little communication with someone at the Lurie Garden and they were there at 3:30 a.m. on the day of filming so they could film the moment the light was right first thing in the morning, which probably explains why it was looking a little quiet. I do love “The Jewel Garden.” There’s soul there.
I just wanted to say that I had such a similar response to the show. Watching it was such an emotional experience. So often (like, so so often) I wish that I lived in England amongst English gardens and English gardeners, but this finally made me feel like maybe I’m not so misplaced.
I love Monty don’s shows! I am telling my subscribers about them all the time. I get lots of ideas for my own garden from him.
It’s interesting how the awareness and interest in UK gardening shows has grown in the last couple of years-we are so deprived of US content (with the exception of Growing a Greener World) that we have turned to the Brits thanks to You Tube . Watching Gardeners World is not only informative but soothing-Montys’ calm velvety voice , his quiet competency and The Dogs ! (I like your dogs too) .
PS You should come to Garden Bloggers Fling-it’s in Madison this year.You qualify.
Yes! I plan to be there.
I cried too…unexplicable, but its something about Monty and viewing gardens (and garden people!!) Through his eyes.
I’ve never watched Monte Don, but I’ve got to watch his shows on American gardens. Can’t wait to see what he says about Lurie.
Thank you for capturing what so many of us apparently felt. I, too, was strangely moved by his recognition of our ingenuity, spirit and creativity.
I’m working to get tourism agencies plus state and city leaders to understand the importance and potential of public gardens. In Oregon, the #1 agriculture product is nursery production such as trees and plants. 8 of the top 10 TripAdvisor places for Portland are public gardens. The Portland Japanese Garden is one of the best public gardens in the USA, our Rose Garden gets an estimated 1,000,000 visitors a year and we have one of the best Chinese gardens outside of China, yet somehow Travel Oregon doesn’t even have a category in their database for Gardens. Shows like Monty Don’s American Gardens will help raise the awareness of our wonderful public gardens.
An aside, I recommend Monty’s book, Nigel, for dog lovers. You really want the audio version so you can hear his voice.
I have become a MD fan the last few years and am loving the showcase of our American gardens. So I didn’t read ALL the comments, sorry if already asked, but could you make a running list of all the American gardens he visits? To have a bucket list of gardens to visit for people to see them all together by state or something ?
P.s. just found your blog today and enjoying it!
An Englishwoman living in suburban New York, I miss British gardens and gardening shows. I recently joined the American Horticultural Society (my mother took over my RHS membership when we left the UK in 2008), and love the Garden Conservancy Open Days initiative, dragging my (sometimes less-than-enthusiastic) husband to gardens near and far. When my in-laws told me they had watched this show, I thought I’d have to figure out how to watch it here in the US and thanks to you, I am just starting episode one. Thank you so much for pointing the way!
I told my therapist that I had cried at gardening show. Glad I’m not the only one who was filled with pride over Monty’s reaction to the US gardens. Beautiful!
I just started watching GW in BritBox this past year and have learned more from this show than from any research online or YouTube gardening videos. I’m right there with you! He is wonderful and I was so excited to find out about the American Gardens shows. I found your blog searching for a way to watch them. So thanks for sharing that and also for putting your thoughts out there so I know I’m not alone in my admiration and enjoyment of Monty Don!
I did too and glad I am not alone!
I am a huge fan of Monty, Nigel, and Nelly. I recently watched his American stops on a previous tour “Around the World In 80 Gardens”. He asks why we Americans see nature as the enemy and ties that to the frontier. I think his assertions are true. Where I live every unwanted plant is exterminated with Roundup, unwanted wildlife shot or poisoned. In Gardners World they seem to celebrate every wildlife that comes into their yards. I really would like to see Americans embracing “Re-Wilding” and/or wildlife gardens as shown on Gardners’ World. In the American Gardens show, when he talked about the trees in the south and the bronx community garden, I felt a sense of hope when otherwise it feels like climate change is going ruin everything.-rainsong_garden on instragram
I was incredibly happy to come across your posting and thoughts about Monty’s American Gardens. I have been mortified by some comments made about both himself and the program on Facebook. I could hardly believe what I was reading. As if we have anything worthwhile to watch over here. How wonderful it was to showcase a selection of American gardens from such a diverse climate and growing conditions even if it didn’t visit the average suburban garden. One or two would have been a nice addition. I lapped up every second. Monty is a wonderful presenter and honest to boot. He is not just an excellent writer and natural presenter but an honest gardener himself who I am sure likes nothing better than to spend his time at Longmeadow with his wife and dogs. Read his Ivington Diaries.
Thanks for the heads up on the Ivington Diaries. I will seek them out. And I agree with the comment on the suburban gardens.
Your comment “In fact, Monty loved a lot of the gardens. I’m not sure he’d say if he didn’t, but he strikes me as a straight shooter, so I suspect we’d know if he didn’t.” reminded me of thoughts triggered by the last programme. I found it interesting how Monty’s thoughts, or perhaps just his tone, on Lotusland had changed so much since the Around the World in 80 Gardens series. He was very blunt about the kitschness of Lotusland in that show. ( I think he used the word “hideosity’, a most excellent word.) I’ve been meaning to re-watch it to compare them. On that show, he was also perplexed by the desert garden at the Huntingdon, which I loved when I was there last year. I think as he’s got older he may have got more embracing of differences in taste, or at least gentler in his critique of them.
Just found this post and now need to go find these shows! I’ve been binge-watching Big Dreams, Small Spaces on Netflix and definitely crushing on Monty Don. I don’t think it’s just the accent…I love to see the gardens through his eyes.
I love Monty too. But who is America’s Monty Don? We need a Monty over here on our side of the pond too.
Thank you so much for writing this wonderful review. Thank you as well for sharing the HDclump link to the episodes. I began watching Gardener’s World on BritBox this March at the start of the pandemic and I’ve sense watched all the seasons they stream, including the 2020 season (the COVID lockdowns, the heartbreaking loss of Nigel) through the closing episode last week. The show with Monty’s honest optimism and candid charm have truly helped get through these past months and I’ve been searching high and low to find anything as lovely. With the tumultuous election tomorrow, long dark winter months and increasing pandemic restrictions ahead, your post came up just in time! I look forward to watching your videos as well. Thank you again Erin and happy gardening!
I have not seen the American Gardsns episode so forgive me if I am speaking out of turn. English gardening is different and relies very much on techniques learned over thousands of years and thousands of countries. American gardens have developed differently. There is a slim volume by an English lady ,a plant historian, (can’t remember who, what or where) who thought that American gardens were strange and uncoordinated..BUT she went to Williamsburg and behold! She found a seventeenth Century English garden! So very different from the vistas of Capability Brown or the ‘cottage gardens’ of sentimental memory. A real link with gardening history, preserved in a small enclave of America.
Hello I have watched Marty did up this rather mature tree and replant it.Did the tree survive?
Erin, I think it is funny that I discovered both you and Monty independently. My best friend introduced me to Monty Don during early 2020, (she and her sweety subscribe to Britbox). I started searching YouTube and found spotty incidences of Gardener’s World from 2011 to 2020, and also the Fork series. I watched each one I found, and saved the links to them, carefully annotated with the time each topic was covered, such as something like ” 3:07 pruning roses, 4:18 potting succulents”, only to return later to watch a section again and find it withdrawn from YouTube. Surfing around YouTube, I found your video, in which you were talking to the deer that was walking through your property. I immediately admired your witty way of presenting, and subscribed to your channel, The Impatient Gardener. Just today, I was visiting with my friend, and after watching two GW’s, she told me about HDclump. I googled it and found this blog. I had to laugh finding out that you, too, loved Monty. I hope you are checking your blog now, because I noticed the big gap in posts btween November 12, 2020 and April 4, 2021.
I love Monty Don! He is one of the greatest gardeners ever, great television show.
I was thrilled to read your blog post and thoughts on The Monty’s American Gardens. I was horrified by some of the posts made regarding him as well as the programme on Facebook. I was shocked by the things I read. If we had anything worth watching over here. It was a joy to show a variety of American gardens with such different climate and growing environment even if it wasn’t the typical suburban garden. A couple of gardens would have been a wonderful feature. I soaked up every second. Monty is an amazing presenter, and also honest. He’s not just a great writer and natural performer, but an honest gardener who is sure to love nothing more than spending with his family at Longmeadow with his family and dog. Check out the Ivington Diaries.
I agree wholeheartedly. I will check out your recommendation. Thank you.