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Monty Dons' Garden

I have no doubt as a professional gardener Monty Don could, probably, tell you the Latin name of every plant growing on the planet. Not only their names but the best way to grow them. The correct PH of the soil. How to grow from seed. How to take cuttings. Transplant. Or whether they liked sun, shade, or dry or wet conditions. He's an expert.

Why is it then, when I watch Gardeners' World from his own garden, Longmeadow, does the whole place look so untidy, unkempt, overgrown and, dare I say it, decidedly scruffy?

From a, non-Latin speaking, amateur who buys most of his plants from supermarkets. Puts sun-lovers in shade, and vice versa. Doesn't possess a greenhouse. Wouldn't have a clue as to the name of most plants. Yet, for more than forty years I have managed, most years anyway, to produce an OK, some people tell me at times a rather breath taking, garden? Probably more by luck or accident!

Forgive me, all you Monty Don devotees. But, it would be interesting to find out how many, if any, people agree with me.

Opinions please!



 

 
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  • MarlorenaMarlorena East AngliaPosts: 3,906
    I'm not quite sure what you want an opinion on..?   I personally don't like Monty's garden, from what he shows us, and I agree it often looks too unkempt and somewhat masculine for my tastes.   I'm not convinced he's also quite the expert on everything that you make him out to be..
    However, he's a likeable person for presenting such a programme, even though there's very little to interest me, as they rarely discuss roses to any depth.
    I enjoy latin names, it's important to be accurate about plants, and I find it rather debasing when the move these days is away from latin names, because they seem all a bit difficult and too much for so many.    People have computers in their heads, what's the problem?...
  • Singing GardenerSinging Gardener EssexPosts: 1,072
    I'd have thought that most people's gardens look a bit scruffy at this time of year - certainly mine does. Monty's also an advocate of encouraging wildlife and not being in too much control I think so probably just a different taste in gardening.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160
    Surely Monty Don is a professional presenter not a professional gardener
  • autumngloryautumnglory Posts: 249
    It's just different gardening styles I think. Some people aren't so fussy about neatness and prefer a more wildlife friendly garden. Plus Monty's garden is huge, it'd be a lot of work to keep that neat.

    I'm definitely in the other camp, I like mine to look tidy and manicured. 
  • It’s very much a deciduous and fruit/veg garden to be fair, the new format of GW seems to have recognised this so we have seen a much larger variation of gardens over the last few years. 

    At the moment my garden is “well this collection of sticks seems to have some buds on it” as well lol. 
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,847
    edited March 2018
    I don’t think MD has ever professed to be an expert or a professional gardener.
    He doesn’t have the formal training of some of the other gardening presenters (such as Alan Titchmarsh) and acknowledges that he doesn’t have professional garden design skills. He describes his garden as evolving ‘organically’ rather than building from some original design. He is also not afraid to own up to the mistakes he has made (like the rest of us).
    MD usually describes himself as a writer and communicator who happens to have a passion for gardening and who is prepared to share his garden and tips and tricks he’s picked up over the years. 
    When he was first asked to present the programme from his own garden I believe the BBC or the production company insisted that he use extra regular help in the garden so viewers would actually see some progress with various projects and the garden would be maintained to a certain standard. Before this it was all his and his wife’s own work.
    I believe it is still very much MD’s family garden and a personal space reflecting his & his wife’s personal taste. I think it’s a little rude to publicly criticise that taste. Each to his own.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,160
    I don't think it's scruffy. It looks pretty normal to me, esp after heavy snow. Carol Klein showed her garden last year and it looked pretty much the same. It's not a 'show garden' in the sense that it has hoards of visitors pouring through its gates, like Wisley etc - it's his family's home. He is keen to encourage everyone to have a go and not be scared by perfectionism or failures. I find it enormously inspiring; probably a lot more so than if it was a professional gardener telling us he knows it all. Wildlife thrives in the scruff.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 14,990
    I don't think his garden is scruffy. He grows lots of tall and exuberant plants and has wildlife areas. It's just that there isn't a neat lawn with edged beds and neat annuals in rows. His garden suits his taste. Personally I think there are too many straight lines, it's laid out like a New York street plan and I prefer more curves. But it's not my garden and I like looking at other people's gardens and getting ideas from them. No two are the same.

    Monty does make mistakes, though, and admits them, he is an expert by experience but I don't think he's a trained expert.

    I agree with Marlorena, I would like a bit more about roses.

    With a big garden it's very hard to keep it neat all the time. Mine is a mess now but it has it's moments. I hope it will be tidy in June when I open it for charity. Even Bressingham Gardens can look untidy and have weeds sometimes. Parts of Great Dixter can look scruffy and overflowing, part of its charm.

    I like the use of Latin names as it's a universal language and I live in France.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,160
    Latin names are vital to be specific. Lots of very different plants have the same names across different districts, countries, settings and eons.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165
    BILLYC said:
    I have no doubt as a professional gardener Monty Don could, probably, tell you the Latin name of every plant growing on the planet. Not only their names but the best way to grow them. The correct PH of the soil. How to grow from seed. How to take cuttings. Transplant. Or whether they liked sun, shade, or dry or wet conditions. He's an expert.






     

     
    I'm not sure where I'd even start to list my disagreements to the contents of  that paragraph.
    Devon.
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