August is a hot month in my Arizona garden and the heat is so constant it drives me inside. Recently I’ve been busy researching gardens in New Zealand for our upcoming trip this fall. By chance I found a Youtube program featuring Australian and New Zealand gardens. The program was part of a 10 part series produced by the BBC2, Around the World in 80 Gardens with Monty Don, the host of “Gardeners’ World”. After one episode I was hooked and I’ve been traveling the world visiting gardens in Mexico, Cuba, India, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, China, Japan, South Africa, Thailand, Singapore, South & North America.
It is travel like no other. Climb in for a helicopter fly over of a vast Capability Brown landscape, and climb the stairs in more than one grand home for an interior view out over garden an experience not available to we regular travelers. You walk through the gardens behind the Taj Mahal and later ride a small boat down the Amazon to visit floating gardens. There is a personal visit with Mr Abraham and his spice garden in India, and a visit to a school garden in Johannesburg, South Africa. In Norway, above the Arctic Circle, you see flowers growing in the Tromsø Botanic Garden. In Spain go along for a walking tour of the flowering patios of Córdoba. I was spell bound, delighted and amazed at the gardens and what I learned about the culture, plants and gardeners included in the programs. Monty Don is knowledgable, and curious and prepared to help viewers appreciate the variety of gardens to be found through out the world. I didn’t have to pack and I saw the world of gardens in a new way. I encourage you to check out this program available through YouTube, search by the title, Around the World in 80 Gardens and settle in for great viewing. I recommend a bouquet of sweetly scented flowers nearby to help you engage all your senses.