Monty Don's Spanish Gardens

Monty Don's Spanish Gardens

Monty Don filmed the 3 Episodes of Monty Don's Spanish Gardens over 7 weeks in 2023 and the first Episode aired on BBC2 on 23 February 2024.

This 3 part programme is a welcome addition to the Winter gardening programme schedule for a bit of armchair gardening.

Monty again 'Dons' his Panama Hat and linen suits, his trusty garden exploration uniform and you can tell from his beaming smile he is again in his element exploring these stunning gardens.

The series is split across 3 episodes as Monty explores each region visiting popular gardens as well as uncovering hidden gems, Community initiatives to Designer Gardens and covering over 4,000 Kilometres of travel.

From Castle Gardens to Railway stations, Historic Gardens to Avant-Garde, there is something for every Garden lover in this series as well as a look at the culture and Gardeners of Spain all under the wonderful  Spanish Sunshine.

Monty visits over 40 gardens, Parks and Community Projects over the 3 programmes and sees some of the success of gardening in such a climate as well as the struggles with the poor soil and weather conditions and how they adapt to these.

Monty Episode 1

Episode 1
Monty starts his Spanish journey in the central areas of Spain and a journey into Spain imperial past with a visit to El Escorial.

The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a very special place to start with the architecture being just as stunning as its gardens.

The Royal Monastery and Palace is enormous and imposing on the landscape with construction on the site starting in 1560's and it was Phillip II who was a gardener that started them both.

The more modern box hedging from 18th century to the Roses that were a part of the original garden plans that are still a big part of the gardens today.

Monty is in the capital Madrid to visit El Retiro Park which was one of the first public parks and is a very popular part of the city for the residents and his next Garden is at a bank constructed in the 1970's!

Bank Garden Madrid

In the void at the back between buildings in a garden that covers 8 floors designed by Luis Gonzalez-Camino.

One of the strangest gardens was also in Madrid and its designers, landscapers were Dogs! 

The garden was the inspiration of designer Alvaro Sampedro  but it is the digs that design the paths and general layout. Monty was obviously in his element!

Monty visits a garden that is made to cope with the extremes in temperature in that region of Spain Dehesa de Yonte before driving through the vast Vineyards to visit a Danish Wine Grower Peter Sisseck.

Peter Sisseck house

He lives in a modern house on top of the hillside surrounded by arid gardens designed by English Designer Tom Stuart-Smith.

Monty then makes the long Journey to Toledo to visit 2 gardens the first being Palacio de Galiana  and its truely breath taking gardens and Moorish architecture.

The second is a private garden that we get to see that few people have and it is in the ruins of a 15th century Monastery.

Monty on bridge in Valencia

Monty last destination is Valencia and another public garden Monforte and the City has been chosen as European Green Capital for 2024.

Monty walks along a flower covered bridge to a green space made out of a dry riverbed that the people stopped becoming a motorway.

Episode 2
Monty moves on to the Southern regions of Spain and starts with a trip to the Island of Majorca and this popular holiday destination is also full of Gardens.

The first garden is overlooking Peurto Pollensa and is called La Fortaleza and is often used a a film location or Wedding Venue that was originally a fort as its set high overlooking everywhere.

It has a romantic 1920's gardens designed for painter Roberto Ramauge and held many a wild party.

Monty at Alfabia

Monty visits a total of 4 Gardens on the island of Majorca including the historic gardens of  Alfabia which has extensive gardens around the Manor House as well as ways to conserve and store water.

Next he is off to the centre of the Island to Sineu then on to Torre d'Ariant the home of Heidi Gildemeister since the 1990's.

The Cotoner Garden, a private garden designed by Fernando Caruncho who meets with Monty to give him a tour.

Monty is off to Alicante and as he drives through there are thousands of Palm Tress. He is in Elche at El Palmeral to walk through the Date Palms in the orchards.

Monty at Mirador Malaga

Monty next Garden is in Malaga and is called Concepcion Botanical Garden which is a journey through lush tropical vegetation and mature trees, leading through a more landscaped garden to a Mirador built in 1911 overlooking the City.

Estepona sees Monty visit a project by the council to pedestrianize the seafront and add swathes of planting as well as removing cars to plant trees in there place.

The side streets are also covered in pots of brightly coloured flowers and the effect is stunning, in fact there is 16,000 of them.

Monty visits a luxury holiday home in Sotogrande and its luxurious garden.

modern garden marbella

Marbella is the next destination to see a modern garden designed by Fernando Matos it is a mix of Spanish and English influences and uses shade and water and the new build home and garden will only get better over time.

Monty also visits the Marbella Arboretum on the outskirts which is a Community Project of allotments.

Seville and Monty is there to visit 2 Palace Gardens Casa de Pilatos, is the first, whose construction started in 1483 and has lots or Moorish influences but he has come to see the water features filled by a Roman aqueduct.

Monty also stops off at Parque de Maria Luisa a public park in the centre of the city made in 1911.

Episode 3
The Final Episode takes Monty to the Northern parts of Spain with its cooler climate and he is starting in Santiago de Compostela, a Catholic city strongly influenced by the faith.

The Cathedral is the final destination for pilgrims.

Monty heads out to the countryside nearby to visit a garden  Pazo de Oca  which is one of the most famous in the whole of Spain.

Monty Northern Spain

The garden is laid out in 'enclosures', a formal Baroque garden, bountiful planting and all sorts of water features.

The water forms a journey through the garden starting with the ponds that tell a story and going on to smaller water features and even a Wash House.

Monty takes shade under the magnificent Avenue of Limes and the garden also has a kitchen garden and an orchard of Kiwis!

Back to the city of Santiago and Monty wandering the back streets he has found some Allotments and he speaks to 2 plot holders Juan and Jose.

They tell them the custom is to gather herbs to put in water for the Summer Solstice and soak overnight and tomorrow they cleanse their faces in the water to purify and beautify them.

Another ritual is to hang bunches of herbs from their door, the plot holders give Monty a tour of their allotments.

Monty in Spain

Monty next journey takes him 700 KM north to visit 3 different regions and his first stop is the Coastal resort of Ribadesella and this is where the Spanish come on holiday.

His next garden is Finca el Cueto and the house is over 300 years old but it was moved here and most of  the garden 40 years ago and this includes all the magnificent Box Hedging.

Bilbao is the next destination and it is was an industrial City but its now home to the world famous Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum.

Guggenheim Puppy

More infamous than famous is the Floral Jeff Koons' Puppy Statue that has been outside the Museum since 1997 and is 40 foot tall.

The flowers are replaced in May and October, Pansies and Violas for the Winter and Petunias and Begonias for the warmer months.

Monty heading Westwards to an environmental project in Santander to visit Parque de las Llamas AKA Wetlands place which was constructed in 2007 on wasteland at the Estuary.

The park come Nature Reserve has lowland areas of marshes and more tree lined up higher.

Next stop is a garden designed by Inigo Arregui and called the Lur Garden and it has Golden Retrievers!

Lur Garden

The designer literally dream this dream garden based around the egg shaped pond in his dream.

The lush planting with an abundance of Perennials that do well in the humid climate but also now adds some Annuals.

The Mural effect pool is surrounded by a yellow planted border but they are interrupted on the tour by the dogs wanting to play fetch in the pool much to Monty's delight.

From Banana plants to Gunnera, Hydrangeas and Ferns the garden is full of planting surprises and different zones.

Monty back in Bilbao to catch the train on his way to Barcelona, a journey of nearly 500 KM and the climate changes to a more Mediterranean one.

It is the capital of Catalonia and he is heading for the green Promenade along the river known as Las Ramblas which is famous for the Florists.

Barcelona is full of parks and Monty at Ciutadella Park on a Sunday morning and its full of people enjoying the shade.

A 1970's Commercial building that has won awards is Monty next stop with its clever planting to provide shade and a green outlook from all angles.

Monty visits the Monastery of Pedralbes and it has a restored Medieval garden which reproduces the food the Nuns would grow as well as medicinal herbs.

Monty is very impressed with the Medieval style irrigation system.

Monty and Olive Trees

The final 2 places he is visiting are public parks and the first is the very modern Botanical Gardens which is next to the Olympic Park but was created in 1990's and is planted with just Mediterranean plants including some magnificent Olive Trees.

Antoni Gaudi and Parc Guell brings Monty to the end of his journey and it was designed in 1900 and has amazing views out to sea and it was never finished with only 1 house built.

As Monty recaps his journeys in his trusty Panama Hat I wonder if he will wear it on his next Garden tour as he visits the Gardens of the United Kingdom? 

Sorry Monty we do not have that good a climate, maybe a Sou'wester instead!

Television programme

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3


Monty Don's Spanish Garden
Out 22/04/2024


To be released 

All photographs are copyright of

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