All Gardens Great & Small Season 1 Episode 2

All Gardens Great & Small Season 1 Episode 2

Miranda Hart introduces the programme All Gardens Great & Small with 'There's nothing more us Brits like than pottering around our gardens so my mother keeps telling me'! She then introduces her mother Dee Hart Dyke 'one of Britain's best amateur gardeners'.

Miranda goes on to say that Dee assesses plants for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and is an expert on perennial plants and shrubs! Dee has also never left her garden for more than 4 days in a row.

National Garden Scheme sign

For the past 27 years Dee has been a proud entrant in the 'little yellow book'. The National Garden Scheme (NGS) Handbook which contains all the gardens worthy of being included that are open to the public to raise money for charity.

Sounds like a hard act to follow for beginner gardener Miranda!  

Dee Hart Dyke Driving

In All Gardens Great & Small, Dee will visit gardens up and down the country to visit gardens opening to the public, gardens big and small, garden fanatic owners of the green fingered variety and their many ups and downs. 

Not forgetting the British quintessential Afternoon Tea.

Whilst visiting this cream of open gardens, Dee will pick up tips along the way, get exclusive garden tours, and probably drink a lot of tea and eat endless scones (and more cream)!

Most challenging of all is to make a gardener out of a reluctant Miranda!

Dee Hart Dyke and Miranda Hart

All Gardens Great & Small episode 2 is all about what lengths gardeners will go to, to stay in the 'little yellow book'.

Dee is off to visit a fellow gardener who have been opening their garden for over 20 years too. 

Standards cannot drop when opening your garden or you may be asked to no longer open as part of the NGS.

5 St Regis Close, Muswell Hill

Sue Bennett and Earl Hyde have been opening their garden at  5 St Regis Close, Muswell Hill, Greater London for 22 years but still worry about maintaining quality. 

They have been busy at work since 5am preparing for today's open garden and are busy putting up the bunting.

As they only open for one day a year they are throwing a garden party, the sun is shining, the fridge is full of cakes and Dee is coming, no stress then!

5 St Regis Close, Muswell Hill

Sue and Earl have a huge garden behind their modest house and after buying up surrounding wasteland, it is now the size of 3 tennis courts. 

Sue is the designer of the garden which is sticky and dense clay soil. 

Some of the many features of the garden includes pergolas, an oriental tea house and a stairway to heaven.

Stairway to Heaven

Dee arrives to see how the preparations are going, a buzzy headed and tired Sue shows Dee her huge garden. 

Dee had no idea it was going to be this big and Earl says they call that view  'Gasp Corner' for that very reason.

All Gardens Great & Small Gasp Corner

Sue and Earl are artists and have a pottery studio in the garden, an added attraction as people come to see that too. 

Dee admires their bed of tulips and forget-me-nots, as phoebe the dog tries to trash it.

Earl says how you need strong focal points in the garden as he points out his Baroque Temple folly complete with statue. Or Folly de Ponder to give it, its proper name! 

Baroque Temple folly

A vital part of the open day is the pot plant sale as well as the cream teas and cakes. 

The tea urn is on and hopefully a queue is forming.

Sue opens the gates and the people and money flood in. 

People are admiring the colour scheme and use of mirrors to widen the garden. Cakes are eaten and plants bought. 

5 St Regis Close

Over 500 visitors have attended today and Dee sums up what great fun it is to visit a garden like theirs and what talents they both have to combine the architectural features with the planting. 

Lastly Sue offers to teach Dee some pottery making on her potters wheel! 

This can only end one way... Cue the phallic shaped effort. Miranda is left horrified 'that's my mother' as Dee Snorts and laughs. 

making pots

'Its not hysterical its mortifying'. After some improved thumb action a bowl is produced. 

Sue and Earl have made a wall planter of Miranda face that you can fill the top with plants such as Mind Your Own Business to look like hair! 

Dee thanks them for the present I wonder what she will do with it?

Sue and Earl

The grand total raised for Charity is £2,200, well done a brilliant amount.

Back to Miranda's garden for more gardening advice with the mother and daughter innuendo fest and general frivolity!

The task in hand is to transform Miranda's, West London garden by the end of Summer. 

Miranda and dog Peggy bound in the garden to give Dee an over excited welcome! 

Miranda Hart and Diana Hart Dyke

Hugs and kisses (2 of course, cheek to cheek) follow as Miranda spies what Mother has been up to.

Her borders are 'primed' and Dee has bought some new 'friends' from her own garden.

Phlox Blue Paradise makes a slightly wilted appearance and Phlox Miranda! A lone Brunnera is looking for friends. 

A wilted Hydrangea Annabel is suffering from the shock of being dug up and may need a brutal chop. 

Hydrangea Annabel

The hydrangea is going in a bed with Hellebores and Geraniums. They plant her in the prepared bed and water well.

Miranda says this is stopping her thinking about work, and Dee says she has imaginary conversations with people she hasn't even met and even dead ones whilst gardening. 

Miranda says she often speaks to Eric Morecombe and thinks of him as a friendly uncle, a guiding figure.

Miranda Hart and Diana Hart Dyke

The bed is nearly planted Miranda suggests Prosecco, Dee says no there is more to do first! 

The Hydrangea Annabel survives the chop of its wilted foliage at Miranda's request.

Dee home has a 3 acre partly walled garden at Hambledon House in Hambledon, Hampshire where Dee spends up to 8 hours a day gardening.

Hambledon House

Dee has been opening her garden for 27 years and gives her plants lots of TLC. 

Plants need to be nurtured and their habits found out about. 

She doesn't believe in plonking plants and leaving them to it.

Dee garden has chalky and Alkaline soil which she keeps in good condition with a good mulch, her 3 year old leaf mulch. 

Dee Hart Dyke Mulch

Mulching keeps the moisture in and prevents weeds. 

They place their leaves in a pen but they can also be placed in bags with water and left to produce mulch.

Dee feels a connection with her plants. she thinks of them as friends as she nurtures them and talks to them.

Dee is off North to visit a garden that has received the highest accolade of 30 years of NGS opening a Sundial. 

The Mill Garden

On the banks of the river Avon, next to Warwick Castle is The Mill Garden, a stunning garden that has been in the Yellow Book for 40 years! 

Owners Julia and David Russell received their sun dial last year.

The Mill Garden

Dee arrives and its hellos all round before Dee asks where have you put the sundial? 

Julia admits that the sundial is not out in the garden yet!

Their garden is 1/3 of an acre and Julia's Father, Arthur Measures took over the land in 1951
Dee Hart Dyke Julia's Father, Arthur

Arthur wanted the garden to be a cottage garden but also to make the most of its location and views with the castle, river Avon and Medieval bridge. 

There is a Blue Plaque for Arthur Measures on the wall.

The garden is open full time from April to October, so every day is a show day. 

Dee Hart Dyke

Dee spots a huge Gunnera and the garden is planted in stages to produce interest throughout the opening season. 

Alstroemeria, Tulips and Alliums are out for early Summer. Waiting to come into season next are Salvias and Dahlias in August. 

The garden is full of trees including Mountain Ash, Crimson King and Dogwood, all over 50 years old.

Dee Hart Dyke and Julia

Julia said that people say her Father is still very much in the garden and she does think he keeps an eye on it! 

She said her Father loved having people in the garden who didn't have one of their own or money to spend on their own gardens, to be able to enjoy it and share it with everyone.

1000s of visitors come every year to see this serene garden and over the years they have raised more than £250,000 for charity.

Dee Hart Dyke

Dee adds its wonderful they have carried on her Fathers garden and raised all that money.

She says that it is the most peaceful and tranquil garden she has ever been in and could be in it for hours and hours just relaxing.

Dee's next visit is to her Nephew, Plant Hunter Tom Hart Dyke.

Tom Hart Dyke

Tom is heir to Lullingstone Castle who featured in the TV programmes Save Lullingstone Castle (2006) and Return to Lullingstone Castle (2007).

Tom has risked life and limb in his pursuit of garden glory and has travelled the globe for it.

Tom has a 1 acre walled garden he calls The World Garden which started after a memorable plant hunting trip in which he was kidnapped! 

Lullingstone Castle

He was on the Panamanian / Colombian border looking for rare species of Orchids. 

Tom had a gun put to his head and was then held captive for a total of 10 months. 

At one stage he was told he had just 5 hours to live by a 14 year old boy with a M 16 rifle!

Using an old diary he started scribbling his plans on the day he describes as quite dark. From these plans he created his garden.

garden plans

The garden he created on his release is in the shape of a map of the World. 

Each continent containing rare and indigenous plants. 13 years later the garden attracts visitors to the Castle and Tom is still plant hunting!

Dee pops along to see Tom latest find in his 6,000 plant collection. 

Dee Hart Dyke Tom Hart Dyke

Dee says Tom started gardening at the age of 4 years old, thanks to his Grandmother.

Hugs and kisses (2, cheek to cheek of course) and they head to the garden which gives visitors a full 80 minutes walk around the world. Double the Little Yellow Book requirement.

First they head into Europe and a Viburnum Snowball in full bloom, Dee gasps at the Norway Spruce Flagpole! She declares him dotty, Miranda adds it runs in the family!

Norway Spruce Flagpole

A quick walk to Asia and a lovely silver birch and Tom says he uses Fairy Liquid to shine the multi stemmed trunks.

Next to them is Australasia, where Tom has thinned out his Eucalyptus Trees and they are rustling nicely.


Uganda and Mexico are up next. Mexico is 'looking spikey' declares Dee. Tom has mulched it with coal as it absorbs the heat! No smoking zone I hope!

Into the Polytunnel for Tom weird and wonderful plants and the Mother in Laws Cushion from Mexico does not look at all comfy. 

The Prickly Pears are cultivated using pliers and his mums tights for protection.

Dee Hart Dyke Tom Hart Dyke

They head off past the Squirty Cucumbers, after a delayed start to find the remote, a mini volcano erupts. 

Tom puts Dee to work to repot a particularly spikey looking Cactus. 

Whilst wearing very thick gloves they mix the compost which includes lots of sharp sand and Perlite for drainage. 

Tom Hart Dyke and Dee Hart Dyke

After Tom telling Dee the spikes can penetrate bone he asks her to tap the Cactus out of its pot. 

He then adds its the only one of its kind so, no pressure not to drop it. 

She manages to get it into the new pot and adds more compost around it. 

Tom points out the Glochids, the small sharp spikes that break off and then tells her they can go through the back of the gloves. 

Dee Hart Dyke Tom Hart Dyke

To the Orchid house where Tom puts Dee in real danger! 'The World's Most Dangerous Plant' Dendrocnide Moroides 'Queensland Stinger' says the sign. 

Tom says if you touch it you get a pain like a stinging nettle that can last from 9 months to a year. 

Tom looks a little worried as to what will happen if it goes wrong and Dee gets stung.

 Nervous laugh! Masks, gloves and big pruner on a stick, ready to cut off 2 dead stems. 

Tom points out the small hairs that cause the damage. He carries it to the rubbish heap very slowly.

Miranda Hart

Miranda is out in her West London garden alone, unsupervised! Mother has called to check Miranda has been watering? 

Miranda thought the rain would be enough and despite being on a tight schedule to leave in an hour to be in the West End in a show, she waters! 

Miranda thinks her Box may have the Box Blight but looks like having no water may have been a problem in its possible demise! 

Hydrangea Annabel

Is the squirrel / Cat / bird dead? She then deadheads 'instinctively'. Hydrangea Annabel get a reprieve for another week from getting the foliage chop. 

Miranda's Wisteria Tentacles as she calls them need pruning back and have become rampant. 

She heads towards them armed with secateurs and gives them a token snip. 

Miranda decides to remove the flower from her lonely Brunnera and then decides its not a weed and sticks it back in the ground, 'to speak no more of'.

Miranda Hart

Miranda then sits to admire her work (or carnage).

Next, Dee is off the Highgate, North London to visit Mona Abboud at 33 Wood Vale.

Mona Abboud is a former opera singer and is opening her garden for the 19th year. Mona's garden is 275ft long but it is only 30ft wide. 

33 Wood Vale

Dee arrives to see the garden and the plants she specialises in from Australian and the Mediterranean, which includes Olive trees and creep Myrtle along with 400 other species of plant.

Dee thinks it astonishing what she grows and Mona says plants that don't or are not supposed to work in the garden do so with amazing results. 

Mona says she is a frustrated sculptor and she has crown lifted her shrubs, clouding the tops. 

33 Wood Vale

Clouding started in Japan and China and you imitate the clouds says Mona. She has invented Frothing which is growing it at the bottom as well.

Mona best plant is a Corokia called Coco a new species not yet on the market. 

Mona has the National collection of Corokia and has 33 species in total. 

She has made a hedge of them and says she needs to catalogue and label each one and it is very involved. She calls herself a Plantaholic. 

33 Wood Vale

Mona garden used to be very different and she has added 250 tons of soil, compost, granite and gravel to build the garden, all moved by wheelbarrow. 

For the last 17 years she has spent at least 20 hrs a week in the garden to make it what it is today.

Mona loves her garden with a great passion so wants to share it with all her visitors. 

The garden opens and the visitors flood in, but a special visitor is due Karl Ploberger who is an Austrian Gardener, writer and broadcaster. 

Karl Ploberger

He arrives with a coach full of Austrian tourists to visit the garden, as Mona rushes towards him arms outstretched. 

Hugs, Kisses and Mona as she greets him in Austrian, comments how brown he is. 

Karl is then introduced to Dee as the younger more handsome Austrian Alan Titchmarsh! 'Rude' says Miranda she thinks Alan is gorgeous.

Karl says he loves the romance of an English garden, the flowers and the enthusiasm of the English Gardeners.

Mona can speak 7 languages so has no problems introducing her garden to all the visiting overseas guests.

33 Wood Vale

Dee says the climate is the advantage we have as we can grow anything here almost. Mona garden is so well maintained and with her mixture of plants, trees and shrub.

This year Mona garden has had 400 visitors raising £933.40p today, her personal best.

Dee says as you garden more and more over the years your standards go up, with also our knowledge of plants, the garden never stands still and you have to be adaptable. 

Her favourite of the programme, although she loves Lullingstone Castle (for obvious reasons) is The Mill Garden.

Dee pops in with a gift for Miranda. Hmmm what can it be and can it top the now dead Topiary Cat / bird / squirrel? 

Miranda's head beautifully crafted into a clay planter!

Miranda Hart and Dee Hart Dyke

Prosecco at the ready for the grand reveal. But first its Dee effort at a pot that is given to Miranda, who must feel like all her birthdays have come at once. 

Next the head, Miranda is stunned and does not recognise herself. Laughter erupts, nostrils flared to match the head. The likeness is uncanny!

Miranda likens it to Cameron Diaz rather than herself. More laughter from Dee.

Miranda Hart

Miranda thanks them and it will be interesting to see it up, in her new revamped garden.

We leave them laughing still, until the next Episode.

All photographs copyright of Channel 4

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