Monty Don conducts his personal 'grand garden tour' around Italy, including the retreats of the affluent north and horticultural gems of the south.
Around the World in 80 Gardens is a BBC series that follows broadcaster Monty Don as he travels all over the planet searching for world-class gardens – ancient and modern, large and small, grand and humble. In total, exactly eighty gardens are featured during his 10 journeys, and include the Alhambra, the gardens of the Taj Mahal in India, the gardens of the Villa D’Este in Italy and many important botanic and royal gardens from Thailand to Bali, from New Zealand to Europe and from China to Mexico.
Like their penchant for clubs, cricket, and hunting, the planting of English gardens by the British in India reflected an understandable need on the part of expatriates to replicate home as much as possible in an alien environment. In Flora's Empire, Eugenia W. Herbert argues that more than simple nostalgia or homesickness lay at the root of this "garden imperialism," however. Drawing on a wealth of period illustrations and personal accounts, many of them little known, she traces the significance of gardens in the long history of British relations with the subcontinent.