All Gardens Great & Small Season 1 Episode 3

All Gardens Great & Small Season 1 Episode 3

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.

The National Garden Scheme (NGS) Handbook

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!  

In this series 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!

In All Gardens Great & Small episode 3, Dee is off to see a 'surprising' entrant in the 'Little Yellow book'.  

Dee says anyone can be in the book they just have to use their imagination, be creative and passionate and determined.

All gardens have to have 40 minutes of interest for the visitor.

Barges on the River Thames in London

Dee is off to see 7 interconnected gardens all on the rooftops of Barges, moored on the River Thames in London. 

Garden Barge Square at Downings Road Moorings, Greater London are about to open for the 10th time. 

Teresa who helps run the gardens said everyone who lives on the residential barges has been busy all morning getting them ready and baking cakes.

Downings Road Moorings

Nick, Teresa partner is putting up the flags to alert passing boats of the open day! 

Please proceed with caution flags are hung just as Dee arrives. Or 'Barging in' a Miranda pun. 

Teresa greets Dee, who declares it astonishing. Teresa explains as the walkways are narrow it will appear to be a slow walk around as its single file only.

Dee is impressed with the roses that are growing in hardly any soil.
Teresa says the soil is between 1 - 2 'spits' in depth. A Spit is soil to the depth of a spade.

There are even trees growing on the steel roof of the barge and Teresa explained once a Buddleia tree roots even grew through one.

Buddleia tree

One of the Barge Gardener has used every space available to garden in. 

Crabapple, plums and quince trees are all for communal picking and even cosy seating areas are squeezed in. A holly tree is kept under control on the narrow roof garden.

The tour ends with a lovely view of the gardens looking towards Tower Bridge and the city beyond.  

It is unique says Dee as the green space is surrounded by the city on all sides, and nothing quite like it.

View of Tower Bridge

By the end of the day 350 visitors have negotiated the gangplanks and walkways and raised £1521.36 for charity.

Teresa says they love sharing their gardens and making themselves and the visitors happy.

Dee says she cannot get over the trees growing in so little soil, just 2 spits and to still be so healthy. 

Downings Road Moorings

Also the community within the barges and you don't get them anymore with modern living.  'The most remarkable garden I have ever seen, so unexpected'.

Back to Miranda's West London garden where she said her Mother Dee 'Queen of all things green' is trying to inflict that on to her. Apparently this is not her forte!  

Miranda Hart and Dee Hart Dyke

Its a heatwave in the garden and Miranda has let standards slip. Were they ever that high? 

Miranda gone rampant again and so has the bindweed, as Dee inspect the garden. 

Miranda has not 'weed', so they have run amok. The weed pun gets passed back and forth for a bit.

The consequences of the lack of weeding means Hydrangea Annabel has been replaced by bindweed (yet more weed puns) and is sadly no more.

Hydrangea Annabel

The Box has succumbed to the Blight / lack of water too. 

Dee says they have to start from scratch again and it will be a whole days worth and Miranda very busy working. 

Miranda  when she gets time off the only part of the rampant garden she sees is from a mattress on the lawn with Peggy beside her.

Dee Van Hart and Miranda Hart

Dee says if she just did 10 minutes a day it would keep it under control. Miranda confesses to having dug up a plant Dee put in. 

But Miranda was actually right to remove the flower stems from the Brunnera. 

Brunnera Miranda Hart and Dee Hart Dyke

My philosophy is it will grow back or it won't, if not then there is room for more plants 🌻 Pete Free

Now we are off to Dee own 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 needs interest for all of the seasons as she opens it at different times.

Dee has early bulbs like Snowdrops that come up in December, winter flowering shrubs and Aconites under the trees.

Dee Hart Dyke garden

Spring and Summer are easy seasons for interest. 

Autumn you have interesting stems and berries. Late November to December is the problem time.

To make it cost effective, Dee propagates her existing plants.

Some plants are easy to do like Salvias. She cuts them from underneath, to a node which has a leaf either side, which she cuts off as well as the flower bud. 

Dee Hart Dyke

She pots them as soon as possible and cuts off the lower leaves and cuts the big ones in half. 

Then she waters them and puts them in a propagator but a plastic bag will do. She puts them in a shady part of the greenhouse for a week before opening it to let the air in. 

She pots them on and over winters them. Miranda is going to use a windowsill indoors.

open gardens

Dee is off North to Pebworth Worcestershire where the village gardens are opened collectively under the name Pebworth Gardens, which also includes the allotments.

A total of 11 gardens are included in this joint effort for a very reasonable £7.00 entrance fee!

Dee starts off by visiting the walled garden of Ken and Yvonne at The Knoll which is right next to the Church. 

The Knoll

Unfortunately it is raining but it does not stop them as they having been opening their garden for 15 years. 

They greet Dee as they negotiate the gate with their umbrellas and Dee declares it 'absolutely lovely'. 

The garden includes some lovely Linaria Aquilegia and Aconitum, which Miranda finds the nicknames of Honesty, Grannies Bonnet and Monks Hood just charming.

The Knoll

They take her to see their pond which they created themselves and Dee finds the sign in the greenhouse 'Grow your own Dope, Plant a Man', highly amusing. 

Ken does not agree with the sign!

The resident of Pebworth are also Guerrilla Gardeners (a term that describes gardening on land you do not have a right to cultivate).

open gardens

This means that every patch of Pebworth is covered and they have planted over 30,000 bulbs alone.

Dee passes an old bath tub that has had the Pebworth treatment complete with feet sticking out the end of the bath and a rubber duck + plants.

Next stop is Maple Barn where the cottage garden is just 2 years old. Wendy and Richard live in the self built Eco house. 

Maple Barn

The couple have 100s of varieties of plants in the clay soil including Erysimum Bowles's Mauve, Peony Coral Sunset and Brunnera Betty Bowring. 

Wendy also opens her Textile Studio which is in the garden at the same time. 

Dee has a go at making an apron using block and screen printing. Which she seems to really enjoy.

screen print

Dee chats to other soggy visitors who have travelled to see the gardens and to gain ideas.

Next its Elm Close to meet Garnet who has been gardening every day for the last 50 years even though he has a broken neck from a fall in the garden. 

Garnet who is 86 years old still hasn't let that stop him and the garden is open.
Garnet Elm Close

Despite his neck injury Garnet still managed to plant out his geraniums. 

The front garden is full of Michaelmas Daisies, climbing Fuchsias and Golden Rod. 

In the back garden he has his vegetable garden. He has his new potatoes growing in pots next to a big pot of mint! What a great idea!

open garden

In the greenhouse is his prize plant... his wife Dorothy. 

She is not amused but they have been married for 60 years so I'm sure she has heard it all before. 

Dorothy admits to doing nothing in the garden other than giving her advice! (Sounds very familiar 🌻 Pete Free)


The grand total of visitors in the rain is 750 with a grand total of £5000 for charity.

Dee says its a great village, with 11 gardens open it also has a great sense of community.

Dee is on the road again this time to visit a garden that has been in the book since 1927 when the 'Little Yellow Book' started.

open gardens

She is off to Worcestershire to visit Spetchley Park Gardens in Worcester which is very unique as it has every sort of garden! 

It has has woodlands, geometric walled garden, sub tropical garden, and ancient trees all set in 30 acres. 

Spetchley Park Gardens also has one of the largest collection of plants for a private garden. 

Spetchley Park Gardens

The owner John Berkeley is 86 years old and the head gardener is Mike and his small team.

John still is hands on in the garden he loves and says its non stop. The garden has not missed a single year opening in the last 90 years. 

John also inherited Berkeley Castle and Spetchley was where John was born and he loved it, so he spent his time between the 2 homes

Spetchley Park Gardens

After the episode was filmed John sadly died on 02 November 2017, his younger son Henry now runs the gardens and 
his oldest son Charles inherited Berkeley Castle.

Spetchley Park has been in the family since 1605 and they have all added to the garden.

The Espalier trees were planted by his Grandmother and he hasn't had the heart to remove them even though they are showing their age.

Spetchley Park Gardens

John shows Dee a 400 year old tree from the Lebanon. 

John has added a Millennium garden in 2 old tennis courts and designed it. 

In the middle is a Victorian fountain and then a circle of flower beds with a Cercis arch through the middle. 

The flowers are just breaking on the branches and is stunning and takes a whole week to prune the top.

Spetchley Park Gardens

Dee spots an enormous Fatsia and wonders if Miranda's one will get that big in her tiny London garden.

In the last 90 years 25,000 visitors have been to the open days and raised many thousands.

Dee says she can relate to John Berkeley as they both share their love for their gardens.

Dee loves the maturity of the garden and trees that were planted by past generations.

Miranda Hart planter

Back to Miranda and her garden where apparently Miranda has been working hard?

Dee arrives and is not surprised by how well the garden is doing as she has done most of the hard work herself!


Miranda is pleased with how the garden is looking and loves her Phlox Blue Paradise and her Phlox Miranda is also looking splendid in flower.

Miranda Ivy is rampant again. Her pots are in full colour but going in odd directions! 

Miranda Hart and Dee Hart Dyke

The Fatsia is growing well along with her Heuchera. Miranda looks smug. In one of the pots she has some Cosmos.

Miranda says its lovely seeing all the colours from the house.

Miranda says she wants some height and Hydrangea Annabel will give her this... Wait! 

Was she not on the great compost heap in the sky? Yes its a doppelganger! 

Dee has planted a Rose Chandos Beauty which is pale. 

Asked what she thought of Dee's mini Antirrhinum, or Snapdragons Miranda thinks they're sweet and magical. 

The plant quiz continues with the ummm Salvia hot lips. 

Dee says she doesn't do instant gardening so Miranda will have to wait for them to grow as they are not annuals.

Miranda Hart and Dee Hart Dyke

Miranda states lots of people wouldn't know there were actual Annual plants that just last a year? 'REALLY' declares Dee with a chuckle. 

Miranda declares she likes snipping her wisteria 'testicles' that hover about in her garden. More chortling!

The clearing up is annoying for Miranda but Dee says she has to keep up with it and chopping things off. 

She spots a 'very bad testicle' that's crying out for secateurs. More hilarity! 'RUDE' I say. 


Miranda leaves us with the dilemma will it ever have 45 minutes of interest for the National Garden Scheme? A 40 minute performance first maybe, was then suggested.

We leave Miranda to hopefully catch the gardening bug!

On the road again for Dee and straight to the Pub! A very special pub with a garden that has been in the book for 4 years.

The Blacksmith's Arms Cudham (doesn't appear to still be in the book) Article from Kent Life.

The Blacksmith's Arms Cudham

The Pub is run by landlady Joyce and it is unusual as the garden is mostly made up of hanging baskets. 

These adorn every possible space and include Million Bells, Petunias and trailing Geraniums as some of the plants within them. 

Joyce says there is about 50 hanging baskets.

Dee Hart Dyke and Joyce

Dee who admits to having never done a hanging basket, discovers not only do they have plants at the top but also 'stuck in' them. She loves the yellow and white colour scheme. 

Miranda points out they are all temporary and Annuals (new gardening word for her). 

Every year Joyce has to plan and plant it all. She starts this in November / December so by January it all planned and colours chosen.

hanging basket

Joyce points out some trailing Blue Petunias that are by the seating area, so to benefit from the smell.

As the garden is part of a pub Joyce raises money for charity by way of donation boxes. Last year they raised £1,500. 'Very good' declares Dee.

Dee final garden visit is in Birmingham to see a garden that only started opening last year along with 6 other neighbouring gardens.

Nigel and Vincent

Nigel and Vincent welcome Dee to the Bournville Estate and the gardens open collectively, under the name Bournville Village.

Bournville Village

The village was built in the 19th Century by George Cadbury for workers in his chocolate factory. 

Nigel and Vincent have built and designed their garden from scratch, originally there was beech hedging and not a lot else. 

They have 3 gardens in 1. Dee admires the Wisteria and Clematis coming over the wall .

Bournville Village

They have a very traditional English front garden including Honeysuckle and a lavender lined path.

The second garden is Mediterranean inspired, packed with curious objects from their travels. 

They have a wonderful covered seating area with cosy outdoor sofas and lattice screens. 

Bournville Village

They have several seating areas in the garden to cover the sun going round the garden and for all weathers.

The third area contains the lawn and antitheater style steps and also a lovely summer house that catches the last of the days sun.

Today is another open day for them and want to create a party in the garden. Pop goes the Prosecco and Dee does not say no.

Bournville Village

Musician Nigel has invited the Bourneville Clarinet choir he founded to play. 

Oh no it then starts to rain, a gazebo is quickly put up. Will anyone turn up?

Bournville Village

The party starts even in the rain and Dee enjoys herself and even has a dance!

Dee Hart Dyke

The Bournville Gardens have had 625 visitors and raised over £5,500 for charity. Fantastic.

The final leg over Dee says she has thoroughly enjoyed it and seeing all the different gardens, old and new. 

So which has left the deepest impression and Dee says Mill Garden Warwick, as it was so peaceful and calming.

Mill Garden

There only 4,000 more in the 'Little Yellow Book' for Dee to visit and she cannot wait to see more!

open gardens

Off to Miranda's for the programmes end. This time Miranda's gift is the gardening apron that she screen printed. Miranda loves it and finds it thrilling. 

Miranda Hart and Dee Hart Dyke

Now Miranda feels like a proper gardener. A gardening bumbag and yes she is doing her 10 minutes of gardening a day.

Miranda Hart and Dee Hart Dyke

They end with tea in the garden and discussing another British favourite... moaning! Not a Scone in sight!

All photographs copyright of Channel 4


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