Transcript: Monty Don's American Gardens - Episode 1 | Oct 18, 2020

Monty is in his late fifties, with short curly graying hair and wears a pale blue shirt, a blue jacket and a blue-gray scarf.

He says FOR THE PAST HUNDRED YEARS, AMERICA HAS LED THE WORLD IN SO MANY WAYS. IT HAS AN EXTRAORDINARY DIVERSITY OF LANDSCAPE AND PEOPLES UNMATCHED ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. AND IT HAS INFLUENCED EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF MODERN CULTURE. BUT IS THAT TRUE OF ITS GARDENS? IS THERE SUCH A THING AS AN AMERICAN GARDEN? I DON'T KNOW. BUT THAT'S WHAT I'VE COME HERE TO FIND OUT.

Fast clips show Monty walking through different gardens.

Monty says IN THIS SERIES, I'M SETTING OUT TO TRAVEL THE LENGTH AND BREADTH OF AMERICA, FROM THE LEAFY NORTHEAST TO THE DESERT OF THE SOUTHWEST, TO DISCOVER HOW PEOPLE IN THIS HUGE COUNTRY CREATE THEIR GARDENS. I'LL BE MARVELLING AT AN AMAZING RENAISSANCE PALACE IN THE HEART OF MIAMI... FALLING IN LOVE WITH MAJESTIC OAKS ON THE PLANTATIONS OF SOUTH CAROLINA. I DON'T THINK I'VE SEEN MORE BEAUTIFUL TREES THAN THESE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. WANDERING AMONGST A FOREST OF HUGE CACTI IN THE ARIZONA DESERT... AND MEETING SOME ENTHUSIASTIC LOCAL GARDENERS IN A DOWNTOWN PLOT IN THE NEW YORK BOROUGH OF THE BRONX.

A woman says WE HAVE SPANISH, WE HAVE CARIBBEAN. EVERYONE'S HERE. SO, THIS IS AMERICA'S GARDEN.

The name of the show reads "Monty Don's American gardens."

Monty says IN THIS EPISODE, I'M EXPLORING GARDENS IN THE NORTHEAST OF THE COUNTRY, BUT I'M STARTING HERE IN THE PRAIRIE. THE PRAIRIE IS THE ORIGINAL AMERICAN FLOWERING WILDERNESS. MOST OF IT HAS DISAPPEARED UNDER THE PLOUGH, BUT THE INFLUENCE OF THE PRAIRIE ON MODERN AMERICAN GARDENS IS STILL STRONG. SO, I'VE COME TO THE PRAIRIE GARDEN TRUST IN NEW BLOOMFIELD, MISSOURI TO START MY JOURNEY.

An animated map shows the location of New Bloomfield.

Monty says THE TRUST BEGAN IN THE 1980S, AND SEEKS TO PROMOTE THE BEAUTY OF THESE ORIGINAL AMERICAN GRASSLANDS. TODAY IT'S RUN BY THE HUSBAND AND WIFE TEAM HENRY AND LORNA DONKE. AND I SET OFF WITH LORNA TO HAVE A TOUR.

In her jeep, Lorna says GET ON IN.

Monty says LET'S GO, LET'S HAVE A SEE.

Lorna says ALL RIGHT.

Lorna is in her fifties, with chin length straight white hair and wears a pink shirt and a hat.

Monty says I HADN'T EXPECTED TO SEE SO MANY PLANTS. THIS IS TALL GRASS PRAIRIE.

Lorna says YES.

Monty says HOW TALL DO THE TALL GRASSES GROW?

Lorna says WELL, IN ABOUT A MONTH, THE INDIANGRASS AND BIG BALSAM WILL GET TO EIGHT FEET TALL. I'M SHORT, SO THEY FRUSTRATE ME 'CAUSE I CAN'T SEE OVER THEM.

Monty says WONDERFUL PLANT. ISN'T THAT FANTASTIC?

Lorna says OH, THAT'S THE BLAZING STAR, AND IT GETS A WHOLE PURPLE STALK AND WE HAVE FIELDS OF PURPLE STOCKS. THIS IS A REAL INTERESTING MIX.

Monty says TO SEE SO MANY CONE FLOWERS IS EXTRAORDINARY. I'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT.

Lorna says THE GREY HEADED CONE FLOWER IS JUST REALLY HAPPY RIGHT NOW, IT'S PEAK.

Monty says ISN'T IT WONDERFUL? IN THE EARLY 1800S, ABOUT A THIRD OF MISSOURI WAS PRAIRIE. BUT NOW, OVER 99.9 percent HAS VANISHED.

Lorna says AND THIS IS ANOTHER INTERESTING PLANT, THIS COMPASS PLANT. ITS GOT A REALLY COOL LEAF.

Monty says IT'S REALLY QUITE COARSE, ISN'T IT?

Lorna says IT IS ROUGH, IT'S VERY ROUGH. THIS IS CALLED A RATTLESNAKE MASTER AND THIS IS THEIR FLOWER.

Monty says YEAH.

Lorna says IT GETS A LITTLE WHITE. NATIVE AMERICANS CREATED TWINE OUT OF THE FIBRES AND THEY MADE SANDALS. AND THERE WAS A DRY CAVE EAST OF HERE WHERE THEY FOUND SANDALS MADE OUT THE FIBRE OF THIS THAT ARE 8,000 YEARS OLD.

Monty says REALLY?

Lorna says WHICH IS INCREDIBLE!

Monty says THE NATIVE AMERICANS WOULD HAVE HAD THOUSANDS OF SQUARE MILES OF THIS, PRESUMABLY?

Lorna says YES, YES. WITH THE BISON, YEAH. THE WHOLE MIDDLE PART OF THE COUNTRY.

(music plays)

Monty says WHILST THIS MIGHT LOOK TOTALLY NATURAL, IT IS IN FACT CAREFULLY MANAGED. EVERY THREE YEARS, SELECTED AREAS ARE BURNED, REMOVING ALL THE DEAD BIOMASS ABOVE GROUND. IT SOUNDS DRASTIC BUT QUICKLY RECOVERS. DO YOU GET A FLUSH OF NEW GREEN GROWTH AFTER THE FIRE?

Lorna says WE DO. SO, THIS IS ALL BLACK AND THEN YOU JUST GET THIS GREEN HAZE OF PLANTS STARTING UP.

Monty says AFTER EACH BURN, THEY RESEED WITH OVER 50 DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF GRASSES AND FLOWERS TO RENEW THE NATIVE PLANTS.

Lorna says ORIGINALLY, WHEN WE SEEDED THIS, WE PUT THINGS WHERE WE THOUGHT THEY WOULD DO BETTER. BUT AS IT TURNED OUT, THE SEEDS JUST WENT WHERE THEY WANTED AND SO THAT'S WHY YOU GET THESE WASHES OF FLOWERS.

Monty says SO RATHER THAN JUST BEING A ONE UNIFORM, VAST EXPANSE, IT'S QUITE A SUBTLE TAPESTRY.

Lorna says IT IS A TAPESTRY, EXACTLY.

Now Monty meets Henry.

Henry is in his fifties, with short white hair and wears jeans, a chocolate brown polo shirt and a khaki cap.

Monty says HENRY.

Henry says HEY, MONTY!

Monty says HOW ARE YOU?

(music plays)

Monty says HENRY AND LORNA INHERITED THE PRAIRIE GARDEN FROM HENRY'S PARENTS, WHO BOUGHT THE LAND AND A RUN-DOWN OLD FARMHOUSE IN 1971. AFTER MOVING FROM THE CITY, THEY SOON FELL IN LOVE WITH THE LAND AROUND THEM.

Henry says MY FATHER STARTED TO THINK ABOUT THE LOSS OF PRAIRIE ON THE PLANET, AND WHAT HE MIGHT DO TO HELP WITH THAT.

Monty says WHAT'S THE OVERALL STRATEGY?

Henry says WELL, THE HOPE HERE IS THAT WE CAN SHOW PEOPLE THE BEAUTY OF NATURE AND THEN HOPEFULLY IF PEOPLE CAN HAVE A REALLY GOOD EXPERIENCE WITH NATURE, THEN MAYBE THEY'LL CARE ABOUT IT MORE.

Monty says THE AMBITION AND SCALE OF THE PRAIRIE GARDEN TRUST IS DEEPLY INSPIRING, AND GAVE ME A CONTEXT FOR THE MANY VERSIONS OF PRAIRIE PLANTING THAT I CAME ACROSS AGAIN AND AGAIN, INCLUDING IN SOME UNLIKELY SETTINGS.

(music plays)

Fast clips show images of the city of Chicago.

Monty says CHICAGO, FAMED FOR ITS BOLD ARCHITECTURE AND DISTINCTIVE CULTURE, IS THE BIGGEST CITY IN THE MIDWEST. AND RIGHT IN THE HEART OF THE CITY CENTRE, DOWN BY THE WATERFRONT, IS A GARDEN THAT DRAWS ITS INSPIRATION FROM THE PRAIRIES. SHELTERED WITHIN AN EXPANSE OF THE LARGER MILLENNIUM PARK, THE LURIE IS A GARDEN WITHIN A GARDEN. AT LESS THAN THREE ACRES, IT'S A SMALL SPACE WITH AN ALMOST SECRET FEEL THAT TRANSPORTS THE CITY FOLK INTO THE WILDERNESS. THE GARDEN CONSISTS OF PLANTS THAT ARE BASED UPON AMERICAN NATIVES. AND IN A STYLE THAT REFLECTS THE PRAIRIES THAT USED TO COVER SUCH VAST EXPANSES OF THIS CONTINENT. THE PLANTING IS THE WORK OF THE DUTCH DESIGNER PIET OUDOLF, AND THIS WAS HIS FIRST AMERICAN GARDEN. HE STITCHED TOGETHER GRASSES AND THOUSANDS OF FLOWERING PERENNIALS CUT THROUGH WITH SLIGHTLY SUNKEN PATHS TO CREATE THE EFFECT OF A FLOWING FLORAL TAPESTRY. A REALLY IMPORTANT FACTOR IN WHY THIS LOOKS SO GOOD IS THE SOIL, BECAUSE IT'S VERY SHALLOW AND POOR. AND THAT MEANS THAT ALL THESE PLANTS ARE GROWING HARD. THEY'RE NICE AND UPRIGHT AND STRONG. WHEREAS IF THEY WERE IN LUSH, RICH SOIL, THEY WOULD BE SOFTER AND WHEN THE WIND AND THE RAIN CAME, IT WOULD SMASH THEM DOWN. AND THIS LOVELY TEXTURED TAPESTRY IS DEPENDENT UPON THE TOUGHNESS OF THE PLANTS. THE GARDEN IS DIVIDED INTO TWO HALVES BY A WIDE DIAGONAL BOARDWALK. THE LIGHT PLATE, SET AGAINST THE MAGNIFICENT BACKDROP OF CHICAGO'S SKYSCRAPERS, IS OPEN LIKE THE PRAIRIE AND FEATURES PLANTS THAT THRIVE IN FULL SUN. THE DARK PLATE IS PLANTED WITH TREES THAT RECALL CHICAGO'S HISTORIC WOODED RIVERS' EDGE AND IS UNDERPLANTED WITH PLANTS THAT PREFER SHADE. THE CURATOR AND DIRECTOR OF THE GARDEN IS LAURA EKASETYA. WE'RE SURROUNDED BY THESE ENORMOUS BUILDINGS. AND YET, THERE IS A SENSE OF CALM HERE, ISN'T THERE?

Laura is in her thirties, with above the shoulder straight red hair and wears jeans, a printed blue blouse and a pendant necklace.

She says YES, MOST OF OUR VISITORS DON'T EVEN KNOW THEY'RE COMING TO A GARDEN. THEY HAPPEN ON IT, AND THEN THEY'RE JUST SO SURPRISED. THEY'RE LOOKING OUT AT WHAT IS REALLY THIS ELEMENTAL FEELING OF WILDNESS THAT I THINK IS MISSING IN THEIR LIVES.

Monty says AS WELL AS PROVIDING THAT FEELING OF WILDNESS TO VISITORS, THE GARDEN TEEMS WITH WILDLIFE.

Laura says WE HAVE SO MANY INTERESTING INSECTS.

Monty says WELL, I'VE SEEN THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES HERE.

Laura says WE HAVE TONS OF NECTAR FOR MONARCH BUTTERFLIES, BUT WE ALSO HAVE A LOT OF MILKWEED. AND THEY REQUIRE THE MILKWEED TO COMPLETE THEIR LIFE CYCLE. AND I FOUND JUST YESTERDAY EGGS UNDERNEATH THE LEAVES.

Monty says ALTHOUGH IT NOW SITS PERFECTLY IN ITS SETTING, THE ORIGINAL CONDITIONS FOR A GARDEN ON THIS SITE WERE UNLIKELY TO SAY THE LEAST.

Laura says YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THAT THIS ENTIRE SITE WAS OWNED BY THE ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD AND IT WAS A ONE-LEVEL ASPHALT PARKING LOT BACK IN THE '50S, AND IT STAYED THAT WAY FOR A LONG TIME. AND THE MAYOR OF CHICAGO, RICHARD DALEY, WOULD LOOK OUT AT THIS SITE...

Monty says FROM HIS BUILDING UP THERE?

Laura says YEAH, HE'D LOOK OUT AT THIS AND HE WANTED TO FIND A WAY TO ACQUIRE THIS TO MAKE A PARK.

Monty says IT TOOK MANY YEARS OF ENERGY, PLANNING AND VISION, BUT THE GARDEN FINALLY OPENED IN 2004 WITH THE CARS NOW HIDDEN BELOW. IN A SENSE, IT MEANS THAT THIS IS A ROOF GARDEN.

Laura says YES, WE'RE TECHNICALLY A VERY LARGE GREEN ROOF.

Monty says THE HARD STRUCTURE OF THE GARDEN IS GENEROUS AND STRONG, AND ROOTED IN CHICAGO'S HISTORY. THE WOODEN PATHS RECALL THE OLD BOARDWALKS THAT CRISS-CROSSED THE CITY BEFORE BEING DESTROYED BY FIRE IN 1871. THE STREAM THAT RUNS UNDERNEATH THESE PATHS IS A REMINDER OF THE FLOODING THAT PLAGUED THE CITY. BUT TODAY IT IS PERFECT FOR THE CHILDREN TO SWISH THEIR TOES IN. AS A GARDENER, WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST PROBLEMS HERE?

Laura says SELFIES-- LIKE, EVERYTHING'S ABOUT SELFIES THESE DAYS. (CHUCKLING) IT'S LIKE-- THEY COME HERE AND THEY GET THIS ELEMENTAL FEELING OF WILDNESS THAT THEY REALLY CONNECT TO, BUT THEY STILL WANNA GO STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GARDEN AND TAKE A SELFIE.

Monty says YOU ARE THE FIRST GARDENER WHO HAS SAID THEIR MAJOR PROBLEM ARE SELFIES. THIS GARDEN DRAWS ITS INSPIRATION FROM THE PRAIRIE AND USES PLANTS THAT YOU FIND THERE. AND THAT INSPIRATION IS ONE THAT HAS SPREAD AND REVERBERATED IN GARDENS RIGHT ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

(music plays)

Monty says OVER 900 MILES AWAY FROM THE LURIE GARDEN, ON THE EAST COAST JUST OUTSIDE PHILADELPHIA, IS THIS 85-ACRE WILDFLOWER MEADOW. AND WHILST IT MAY LOOK LIKE OPEN COUNTRYSIDE, IT IS IN FACT JUST ONE PART OF A MUCH LARGER GARDEN. THIS IS LONGWOOD, WHOSE GROUNDS AND GARDENS COVER MORE THAN 1,000 ACRES AND ATTRACTS OVER ONE AND A HALF MILLION VISITORS EVERY YEAR. AND IT WAS THE CREATION OF ONE MAN'S VISION AND WEALTH. PIERRE DU PONT WAS THE OLDEST OF 11 CHILDREN BORN TO A WEALTHY PHILADELPHIA INDUSTRIALIST. HIS STORY IS NOT RAGS TO RICHES, AS SOMEONE SAID, BUT RICHES TO UNIMAGINABLE WEALTH. BUT IN 1906 IN HIS MID-30S, HE BOUGHT THIS RELATIVELY MODEST FARMHOUSE, ATTRACTED NOT SO MUCH BY THE BUILDING AS THE LAND, AND ESPECIALLY THE TREES THAT WERE ATTACHED TO IT. AND THEN EIGHT YEARS LATER IN 1914, HE DOUBLED THE SIZE OF THE HOUSE AND BUILT A NEW WING. AND HE CONNECTED THE TWO WINGS OF THE HOUSE WITH AN EXTRAVAGANT CONSERVATORY. THERE'S A STORY THAT WHEN HE WAS 11, HE WAS WALKING DOWN A STREET IN PHILADELPHIA AND SAW THIS FABULOUS CONSERVATORY AND LONGED TO GO INSIDE, BUT WASN'T ALLOWED. AND EVEN AT THAT YOUNG AGE, HE WAS DETERMINED THAT ONE DAY HE WOULD HAVE HIS VERY OWN CONSERVATORY. BUT IT FAILED TO MATCH UP TO HIS DREAMS. SO, INSPIRED BY VISITS TO THE CRYSTAL PALACE AND (UNCLEAR) IN LONDON, HE SELECTED A SITE IN AN EMPTY FIELD A LITTLE AWAY FROM THE HOUSE TO CREATE ANOTHER ONE. AND THIS IS WHAT HE BUILT.

He walks into a huge conservatory and says THIS IS JUST HUGE. THE CONSERVATORY ALONE IS OVER HALF AN ACRE IN SIZE AND EVENTUALLY, THE CONSERVATORY'S REACHED OVER FOUR ACRES UNDER GLASS.

INSIDE IS AN ECLECTIC MIX OF FLOWERS AND PLANTS FROM ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD, AN OVERFLOWING CORNUCOPIA INCLUDING ENORMOUS HANGING BASKETS, TROPICAL FLOWERS, AND LANDSCAPED WATERFALLS. AND AROUND EVERY CORNER IS A SUPERSIZE SURPRISE. ALTHOUGH PERHAPS THE LEAST LIKELY PLANTING IS A NEATLY MOWED LAWN. AND THE SPECTACULAR DISPLAY CONTINUES OUTSIDE.

He walks by a water lily pond and says THESE GIANT WATER LILIES ARE ASTONISHING, AND ESPECIALLY SO HERE BECAUSE OVER HERE ARE THE AMAZONICA, WHICH IN THEIR DAY IN VICTORIAN TIMES WERE THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY PLANT ANYONE HAD EVER SEEN. AND THEY'RE STILL STAGGERING. AND THEN NEXT TO THEM IS A WATER LILY CALLED CRUZIANA, WHICH HAS GOT HIGHER SIDES AND HASN'T GOT THE RED BITS. AGAIN, ANOTHER EXTRAORDINARY PLANT, BUT WHAT THEY'VE DONE HERE AT LONGWOOD IS TO CROSS THE TWO TO SUPERSIZE THEM. SO, THERE IS THE LONGWOOD WATER LILY, WHICH IS BOTH ENORMOUS, GOT RED SIDES AND SLIGHTLY HIGHER. AND IN THERE IT'S JUST THREE PLANTS. AND ONE DETAIL THAT I LOVE IS YOU CAN SEE THE WHITE FLOWERS THERE. THAT'S THE FEMALE AND THAT WILL CLOSE UP, AND THEN TOMORROW OPEN UP AGAIN AS A MALE, BRIGHT PINK. ABSOLUTELY EVERYBODY WHO VISITS THIS GARDEN IS IMPRESSED BY THE SCALE. IT IS QUITE UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE. THERE ARE MANMADE LAKES, WATER CASCADES, AND HUGE, EXOTIC FLOWER BEDS TENDED BY OVER 70 GARDENERS AND MORE THAN 800 VOLUNTEERS. THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT THERE IS ALSO A LARGE ELEMENT OF OVER-THE-TOP SHOWMANSHIP. IT DOES BECOME, AFTER A WHILE...

He chuckles and says A CIRCUS! ABOVE ALL, IT REVELS IN THE GLITZ AND GLAMOUR OF SHOWTIME. AND YOU ALMOST EXPECT THE CLIPPED TOPIARY TO START JUGGLING HOOPS. THERE ARE NOT ONE BUT THREE FOUNTAIN GARDENS AT LONGWOOD.

He watches the dancing waters show and says BUT THIS ONE IS THE BIGGEST AND MOST DRAMATIC. APPARENTLY, DU PONT WAS COMPLETELY FASCINATED WITH THE TECHNOLOGY OF MOVING WATER AROUND. AND HE WENT TO ITALY AND VISITED VILLA D'ESTE AND YOU CAN SEE WHERE HE GOT HIS INSPIRATION, BECAUSE THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN THE 1550S IN RENAISSANCE ITALY-- MAKING WATER PERFORM AND DANCE AND JUMP AS BEST THEY COULD. AND IT'S JUST THAT DU PONT, WITH HIS TECHNOLOGY OF THE 20TH CENTURY, COULD MAKE IT DO A LOT MORE. RECENTLY IT ALL HAD A REVAMP, AS THE MAIN FOUNTAIN GARDEN REOPENED IN 2017, HAVING HAD A 19 MILLION DOLLAR FACELIFT. AND THE MILES OF PIPING NOW FEED NEARLY 2,000 WATER JETS. THIS ALL-SINGING, ALL-DANCING, THEATRICAL AQUATIC EXTRAVAGANZA NOW PERFORMS DAY AND NIGHT TO HUGE AUDIENCES.

Clips show images of the fountains lit at night.

Monty says THIS IS TRULY GARDENING SHOWBIZ. FOR SHEER RINGSIDE ENTERTAINMENT, THIS GARDEN CAN'T BE BEATEN. YET, IT'S NOT ALL BRIGHT LIGHTS AND GREASEPAINT. IN AMONGST THE PIZAZZ, THERE IS A CORE OF GENEROUS SERENITY, ESPECIALLY IN THE PARKLAND INSPIRED BY THE BRITISH LANDSCAPE MOVEMENT. FOR ALL THE EXTREMES EVERYWHERE, THE BIGGEST FOUNTAINS AND THE ENORMOUS CONSERVATORY AND JUST THE SCALE OF THE PLACE, THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING HERE IS THE PARK. THE TREES IN THIS INCREDIBLE SETTING ARE AS GOOD AS ANYTHING I'VE EVER SEEN.

(music plays)

Clips show images of the city of New York.

Monty says AFTER THE ROLLING ACRES AND THEATRICALITY OF LONGWOOD, IT WAS TIME FOR A DRAMATIC CHANGE. NEW YORK, WHICH IS NOT PERHAPS AN OBVIOUS DESTINATION FOR A GARDENER. BUT IN AMONGST ITS CONCRETE CANYONS ARE SOME FASCINATING GARDENS. ALTHOUGH I'VE BEEN TO MANHATTAN MANY TIMES OVER THE YEARS, I GET A THRILL OUT OF EACH VISIT LIKE NOWHERE ELSE ON EARTH. AND SOME OF THAT IS BECAUSE IT'S CONSTANTLY REINVENTING ITSELF. YOU NEVER QUITE KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GONNA FIND. I AM A LIFELONG AND PASSIONATE VEGETABLE GROWER, SO I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THE NEW YORK VERSION OF A VEG PATCH. I'M HEADING TO BROOKLYN TO VISIT A SELF-STYLED URBAN FARM. AND BEING NEW YORK, IT ALL TAKES PLACE THREE STORIES UP ON TOP OF A WAREHOUSE ROOF. WHEN IT OPENED IN 2009, EAGLE STREET WAS THE VERY FIRST ORGANIC ROOFTOP FARM IN AMERICA.

He walks on the rooftop and says HELLO.

Monty says IT'S STAFFED BY YOUNG VOLUNTEERS LIKE SASHA BOSS.

Sasha is in her early twenties, with mid-length blond hair in a ponytail and wears a white T-shirt and a denim overall.

Monty says IT'S ONE THING TO GROW VEGETABLES AT GROUND LEVEL, BUT ON THE ROOF IT'S VERY DIFFERENT.

Sasha says I GUESS I'M ALWAYS SHOCKED BY HOW MUCH FOOD CAN COME OUT OF A REALLY SMALL SPACE.

Monty says THAT IMPLIES THAT EVEN A CITY LIKE NEW YORK COULD PRODUCE MORE FOOD IN URBAN SPOTS LIKE THIS.

Sasha says YEAH, APPARENTLY THERE'S ABOUT 3,000 ACRES OF ROOFTOPS IN NEW YORK CITY THAT ARE SUITABLE FOR COMMERCIAL FARMING.

Monty says THAT IS A STAGGERING STATISTIC-- 3,000 ACRES. THEY'VE EXPERIMENTED WITH OVER 30 DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF CROP FROM SUNFLOWERS TO SQUASHES AND KALE TO CHILLIES. THE PLOT HAS OVER 100 TONS OF SPECIAL GROWING MEDIUM AND ALL THIS HAD TO BE LIFTED UP INTO PLACE BY A VAST CRANE ON A SINGLE DAY. WHAT ARE THE PARTICULAR PROBLEMS OF GROWING UP HERE?

Sasha says THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FOR US IS NUTRIENT LOSS BECAUSE ROOFTOP GROWING MEDIUMS, THEY'RE LIKE DESIGNED TO DRAIN VERY QUICKLY BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT A BUNCH OF WATER ON YOUR ROOF, 'CAUSE IT'S JUST WEIGHT AND THE ROOF WILL COLLAPSE. SO, EVERY YEAR WE'RE HAVING TO AMEND THE SOIL AND PUT NEW COMPOST IN. WE USE A LITTLE BIT OF FISH FERTILIZER AND BAT POO.

Monty says SO, THE LONG OF THE SHORT OF THIS IS YOU ARE GROWING GOOD, HEALTHY, FRESH SEASONAL FOOD IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE OF THE WORLD'S BIGGEST AND BUSIEST AND SORT OF MOST URBAN ENVIRONMENTS IMAGINABLE.

Sasha says YEAH, I THINK THAT PEOPLE ARE NERVOUS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, AND TO KNOW THAT YOU CAN USE YOUR OWN ROOFTOP TO GROW FOOD I THINK FEELS EMPOWERING.

(music plays)

Monty says I LOVE SEEING VEGETABLES GROW ANYWHERE, BUT WHAT I PARTICULARLY LOVE ABOUT THIS IS THE YOUTH AND THE ENERGY DRIVING IT. THERE IS A REAL SENSE OF EXPLORATION AND EXCITEMENT. AND IN A SENSE, THIS IS THE TRUE SPIRIT OF PIONEERING AMERICA. FROM THIS EXPERIMENT IN MODERN URBAN FOOD PRODUCTION, I'M NOW GOING TO ONE OF NEW YORK'S HISTORIC LANDMARKS.

He walks down Central Park and says EVERY VISITOR TO NEW YORK COMES HERE TO CENTRAL PARK. IT'S ONE OF THE GREAT GREEN ICONIC SPACES OF THE WORLD. IT'S ENORMOUS-- OVER 700 ACRES WITH THIS GREAT VARIETY OF LANDSCAPES, AND THE WHOLE THING SURROUNDED BY THIS VIBRANT, DYNAMIC CITY. CENTRAL PARK WAS FIRST OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AT THE END OF 1858. AND IT IS THE MOST VISITED URBAN PARK IN AMERICA, WITH AROUND 40 MILLION VISITORS EACH YEAR, WHICH IS NEARLY FOUR TIMES THAT OF LONDON'S HYDE PARK. THE PARK IS AN INFORMAL AND SEEMINGLY NATURAL MIX OF MEADOWS, WOODS, PONDS, AND LAKES. AND IF YOU WALK THE PARK, YOU FIND ALL KINDS OF SURPRISING NOOKS AND CRANNIES, LIKE THIS ENGLISH GARDEN TUCKED AWAY. WHICH FEELS CURIOUSLY INTIMATE AND YET AT THE SAME TIME EXOTIC, RATHER LIKE FINDING A COUNTRY COTTAGE AMONGST THE SKYSCRAPERS. THE PARK DOESN'T APPEAR TO FOLLOW ANY OBVIOUS LAYOUT AND TO BE LARGELY A NATURAL LANDSCAPE, BUT THAT IS A MASTERFUL ILLUSION. I'VE ASKED ADAM GOPNIK, HISTORIAN AND JOURNALIST AND A LIFELONG NEW YORKER, TO EXPLAIN ITS BACKGROUND.

Adam is in his fifties, with short graying hair and wears jeans and a pale blue shirt.

Adam says THE FIRST THING YOU HAVE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER, MONTY, IS THAT THIS PARK IS IN NO WAY AN ENCLOSURE OF GREEN SPACE. IT'S ENTIRELY CONSTRUCTED. EVERY SQUARE INCH OF GRASS AND EVERY SINGLE TREE WAS BROUGHT IN FOR A PARTICULAR KIND OF EFFECT.

Monty says THE PARK WAS THE RESULT OF A DESIGN COMPETITION IN 1857, WHICH WAS WON BY THE THEN JOURNALIST AND WRITER FREDERICK LAW OLMSTED, WHO, DESPITE HIS LACK OF TRAINING, IS NOW RECOGNIZED AS A GENIUS AND THE FATHER OF AMERICAN LANDSCAPING. OLMSTED HAD VISITED ENGLAND AND SOME OF THE THEN NEWLY CREATED PUBLIC PARKS, WHICH AT THAT TIME WAS A RADICAL, DEMOCRATIZING IDEA. AND FROM THE OUTSET, HE INSISTED THAT CENTRAL PARK SHOULD ALWAYS BE OPEN TO ALL.

Adam says SO, OLMSTED WANTED VERY MUCH TO BUILD A PARK FOR THE PEOPLE, BY WHICH HE MEANT A PLACE WHERE EVERYONE COULD COME AND FIND THEIR OWN IDENTITY WITHIN IT. IT WAS AN ACT OF AMERICAN SELF-EMANCIPATION. THEIR ENTRANCE HERE WAS AN ENTRANCE INTO AMERICAN IDENTITY MORE THAN AN ESCAPE FROM THE CITY.

Monty says HOW IS THAT REFLECTED IN THE PARK?

Adam says WHEN CENTRAL PARK WAS BEING BUILT, SOME OF THE LEADING CITIZENS OF NEW YORK VERY MUCH WANTED TO HAVE A SINGLE GREAT WALKWAY THAT WOULD DOMINATE THE PARK. AND OLMSTED FOUGHT AGAINST THAT FEROCIOUSLY. HE THOUGHT AN AMERICAN PARK, AS HE IMAGINED IT, WOULD BE DISPERSED. IT WOULD HAVE MANY, MANY DIFFERENT ELEMENTS. NO ONE PLACE HAS PRIORITY OVER ALL THE OTHERS.

Monty says AND THEY DON'T SEEM TO BE PARTICULARLY CONNECTED EITHER.

Adam says NO, I HAVE LIVED IN NEW YORK FOR 40 YEARS AND I STILL CAN'T FIND MY WAY AROUND.

Monty says WHAT'S THE ROLE NOW OF THE PARK IN THE 21ST CENTURY?

says CENTRAL PARK HAS NEVER LOOKED BETTER, BUT FOR ME CENTRAL PARK IS THE EPITOME OF AN AMERICAN GARDEN IN AS MUCH AS IT'S A DREAM OF A DEMOCRATIC PLACE.

Monty says I REALIZE THAT IF THE PARK IS LOOKING BETTER THAN IT EVER HAS DONE, IT MUST LARGELY BE DUE TO THE FACT OF THE MATURITY OF THE TREES, MOST OF THEM PLANTED IN THE 1850S, '60S AND '70S. AND NOW, THEY'VE REACHED AN AGE AND A SIZE THAT GIVES THEM REAL PRESENCE. AND YET, THEY HAVEN'T YET BEGUN TO DECAY. SO, THIS PERIOD OF PERHAPS ABOUT 50 YEARS IS THEIR FINEST HOUR.

A gym instructor at a community garden says ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN. ARE YOU RUNNING? PRETEND SOMEBODY'S RUNNING AFTER YOU. THE PERSON'S GOING TO CATCH YOU, 'CAUSE YOU'RE NOT RUNNING FAST ENOUGH!

Monty says I'VE COME HERE TO THE BRONX TO VISIT A COMMUNITY GARDEN THAT IS ALMOST HIDDEN AWAY AMONGST THESE STREETS. (WOMAN SHOUTING INDISTINCTLY)

Monty says THIS IS THE TARGET BRONX COMMUNITY GARDEN. IT'S ONE OF 52 GARDENS ACROSS THE CITY'S FIVE BOROUGHS RUN BY THE NEW YORK RESTORATION PROJECT, WHICH IS AN ORGANIZATION SET UP BY THE ACTRESS BETTE MIDLER. THIS SITE, LIKE MANY OTHERS, WAS EARMARKED FOR COMMERCIAL REDEVELOPMENT, BUT RESCUED FROM THE BULLDOZERS AND MADE INTO A FLOURISHING COMMUNITY GARDEN INSTEAD.

He grabs the hand of a little girl and says HELLO, HELLO, HOW ARE YOU? YOU'VE GOT ALL KINDS OF THINGS IN HERE.

A woman says I HAVE A LOT OF HERBS.

Monty says YEAH, WHY?

The woman says I'M ACTUALLY FROM THE CARIBBEAN AND YOU KNOW, WE GREW UP ON HERBS. THAT WAS WHAT WAS USED AS MEDICINE INSTEAD OF GOING TO THE DOCTOR ALL THE TIME.

Monty says SHOW ME, SHOW ME.

The woman says THIS ONE HERE, THIS TEACUP, IT IS CALLED TOOTHACHE.

Monty says THE HERB'S CALLED TOOTHACHE?

The woman says YEAH, ACTUALLY IT'S RELIEF. IF YOU HAVE A TOOTHACHE, YOU CHEW ON IT.

Monty says YEAH?

The woman says AND IT WILL GO AWAY. IT HAS THIS NUMBING EFFECT.

Monty says YEAH?

The woman says AND THIS ONE HERE, THIS IS A MINT, MOUNTAIN MINT. IT JUST HAVE A STRONG AROMA.

Monty says LET ME HAVE A SMELL.

The woman says VERY STRONG.

Monty says YEAH, IT DOES, DOESN'T IT?

The woman says YEAH, YEAH.

Monty says I'VE NOT COME ACROSS THIS MINT BEFORE. YOU'RE PICKING PEACHES. ARE THEY RIPE?

A young woman says YES.

A bearded man says IF IT'S NOT 100 percent RIPE, JUST PUT IT ON THE COUNTER. A DAY, A DAY AND A HALF, IT'LL BE RIPE.

The young woman says IT'LL BE RIPE.

Monty says IT'LL RIPEN. SO, THESE PEACHES ARE FOR ANYBODY WHO CAN REACH 'EM?

The young woman says YEAH. (CHUCKLING)

Monty says SO, BEING TALL IS AN ADVANTAGE.

The young woman says YEAH!

The man says THAT'S A COMMUNITY TREE.

The young woman grabs a rake and says YEAH, AND THEN I USE THIS SOMETIMES TO...

Monty says SEE, I COULD REACH THESE. DO YOU WANT ME TO PICK THOSE FOR YOU?

The man says YEAH?

The young woman says YEAH, THAT ONE'S A GOOD ONE.

Monty pulls down a couple of peaches and says OKAY, THERE YOU GO.

The young woman says THANK YOU. I'M GONNA MAKE A PASTRY WITH THESE.

Monty says WHAT SORT OF PASTRY?

The young woman says JUST A PUFF PASTRY WITH PEACHES AND HONEY AND NUTMEG AND CINNAMON. IT'S REALLY GOOD.

Monty says WITH EVERYONE AROUND ME WORKING SO HARD, I CAN'T RESIST ROLLING UP MY SLEEVES AND JOINING IN.

Another woman says JOSÉ, YOU GET HELP FROM MONTY. WE DON'T HAVE ANY HELP OVER HERE.

Monty says WE SAY YOU SHOULD NEVER GROW MINT IN A BORDER, BECAUSE IT JUST TAKES OVER.

Another woman says IT DID.

An older woman says YOU CAN TELL MONTY'S A PRO AT THIS.

Monty says WELL, IF WE JUST CLEAR ONE BED, THAT MEANS YOU CAN THEN SOW SOMETHING. IN ADDITION TO THE GROWING BEDS, THE GARDEN ALSO HOSTS ART CLASSES FOR CHILDREN AND IS EVEN USED AS AN OUTDOOR CLASSROOM FOR SCHOOLS. MIRIAM TABB IS THE COORDINATOR. HAVE YOU BEEN HARVESTING TOMATOES YET?

Miriam is in her forties, with long wavy brown hair pulled back in a sleek ponytail. She wears a white and blue striped summer dress.

She says YES, I LIKE THEM WHEN THEY'RE GREEN, 'CAUSE I FRY THEM. SO, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, THOSE ARE THE BEST.

Monty says SO, YOU REALLY LIKE COLLARDS.

Miriam says YES, I DO. YES, I DO.

Monty says AND THEY GROW WELL HERE.

Miriam says THEY GROW WELL. THEY CAN GET SO BIG SOMETIMES, LIKE ELEPHANT EARS. YOU KNOW, YOU JUST GOTTA GET 'EM WHEN THEY'RE BIG...

Monty says HOW DO YOU COOK THEM?

Miriam says YOU GOTTA HAVE THAT PIECE OF BACON OR SOME KIND OF PORK IN THERE. GIVES IT A GOOD, GOOD FLAVOUR.

Monty says SOUTHERN COOKING.

Miriam says SOUTHERN COOKING.

Monty says AND OF COURSE YOU HAVE THE KITCHEN, SO YOU CAN COOK AND EAT...

Miriam says THAT'S THE BEST PART. I LIKE TO WATCH THEM COOK, BUT I EAT. (CHUCKLING) I EAT, SO THAT'S MY FAVORITE PART THAT I LIKE.

Monty says DO THE COMMUNITY IN GENERAL COME AND SHARE...

Miriam says ABSOLUTELY.

Monty says --OR IS IT JUST PEOPLE CONNECTED WITH THE GARDEN?

Miriam says NO, EVERYONE COMES IN. IT'S FABULOUS. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE COMMUNITY AND I LOVE TO SEE THE REACTION WHEN PEOPLE COME IN AND THEY'RE LIKE, "WOW, I DON'T EVEN FEEL LIKE I'M IN THE BRONX." AND I GO, "WELL, YOU ARE."

Monty says YEAH.

Miriam says COME ON IN, TAKE A PEACH OFF THE TREE. ALL THE DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS, THEY COME IN AND YOU KNOW, WE HAVE SPANISH, WE HAVE CARIBBEAN. SO, EVERYONE'S HERE. SO, THIS IS AMERICA'S GARDEN.

Monty says THANK YOU.

Miriam says THANK YOU, MONTY. THANK YOU FOR COMING TO THE BRONX!

Monty says IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE.

Miriam says MONTY HERE IN THE BRONX, THANK YOU.

Clips show women doing yoga and children painting.

Monty says I LOVE THIS PLACE. I LOVE THE ENERGY AND THE ENTHUSIASM, AND THE CHILDREN PAINTING FLOWERS, AND THE FACT THAT THE VEGETABLE BEDS ARE SHARED, AND ADVICE IS SHARED. FOOD IS COOKED. THERE'S A LITTLE LIBRARY FOR CHILDREN TO GO AND READ IN. IT'S A WHOLE COMMUNITY CREATING ITSELF WITH THE CITY MOVING AND SWIRLING ALL AROUND IT, BUT AT ITS CORE IS A GARDEN. AND THAT'S FANTASTIC.

A woman says LET ME HELP YOU OUT.

A little boy smiles and says CHEESE!

The woman says YOU GET THE PENCIL... (HORNS HONKING)

(music plays)

Monty says I WANTED TO VISIT THE NEW YORK FLOWER MARKET, WHICH MEANT AN EARLY START. THE ACTION BEGINS BEFORE DAWN. AND BY MID-MORNING, IT'S ALMOST COMPLETELY OVER. THERE MAY NOT BE TOO MANY GARDENS IN MANHATTAN, BUT THERE IS AN AWFUL LOT OF FLOWER ARRANGING OF EVERY POSSIBLE KIND. AND I REMEMBER COMING HERE IN THE 1980S AND BEING AMAZED BY THE MODERNITY AND THE DRAMA OF THE ARRANGEMENTS THAT ONE FOUND IN HOTELS, AND SHOPS, AND RESTAURANTS. AND IT'S STILL LEADING THE WAY. IT'S IN THE AVANT-GARDE OF EVERY KIND OF FLORAL ARRANGEMENT. ONE FLORIST IN PARTICULAR, EMILY THOMPSON, HAS BEEN BREAKING NEW GROUND AND CONVENTION. HER CREATIONS CELEBRATE WEEDS AS ENTHUSIASTICALLY AS CUT FLOWERS. WITH A FREEDOM OF DESIGN AS WELL AS CHOICE OF PLANTS, EMILY CREATES DRAMATIC FLORAL WORKS OF ART IN HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS AND PRIVATE HOMES RIGHT ACROSS THE CITY. SO I'VE COME TO SEE HER AT WORK IN HER STUDIO, AND IMMEDIATELY I'M FASCINATED BY HER CHOICE OF PLANTS. SO, YOU'RE GOING WITH THE BLACKBERRY.

Emily is in her late thirties, with curly graying hair in an updo and wears jeans and a denim shirt.

She says WE LOVE WORKING WITH EDIBLE MATERIALS. AND I LOVE TO PAIR THE EDIBLE WITH THE POISONOUS...

Monty says RIGHT.

Emily says --'CAUSE THIS IS A CASTOR BEAN. THAT FEELS SO NECESSARY TO ME TO KIND OF CREATE THAT CONNECTION TO LIVING THINGS AND ALL THE WAYS THAT WE USE THEM. YOU'LL NOTICE THERE'S NOT REALLY ANY KIND OF REAL RECOGNIZABLE FACE FLOWERS IN THE ARRANGEMENT. I JUST TEND AWAY FROM THEM. I HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF TO GIVE PEOPLE SOMETHING THEY'VE SEEN BEFORE, YOU KNOW, SOMETHING THAT THEY KNOW WHAT IT IS. NOTHING WRONG WITH A ROSE NOW AND THEN.

Monty says EMILY WANTS TO BRING REAL, UNCULTIVATED NATURE INTO THE CITY VIA HER ARRANGEMENTS. BUT THEY DON'T COME CHEAP, WITH THE SMALLEST STARTING AT 95 DOLLARS. IS IT A STRANGE THING TO BE CHARGING QUITE A LOT OF MONEY TO GET CREATIVE WITH WEEDS? DO PEOPLE FIND THAT DIFFICULT?

Emily says I THINK MANY OF THEM DO. YES, UM, BUT I FIND WEEDS TO BE MUCH HARDER TO GET THAN ANY OF THOSE NORMAL CULTIVATED FLOWERS. IT REQUIRES EXPERTISE. IT REQUIRES INTREPID PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO BRAVE THE TICKS AND...

Monty says BUT DO THEY KNOW THAT? IS IT HARDER TO SELL THE IDEA OF THE NATURAL, UNTRAVELED WORLD BEING A BEAUTIFUL THING?

Emily says IT'S A BIT OF A MISSION TO REALLY FORCE PEOPLE'S EYES TO THE NATURAL LANDSCAPE. AND THAT'S THE PURPOSE OF THIS WORK.

Monty looks at the arrangement and says OKAY, LET ME SEE. I'VE BEEN LOOKING AT IT SIDE-ON ALL THE TIME. IT'S STUNNING.

Emily says THANK YOU.

(music plays)

Monty says IT'S FANTASTIC. EMILY THOMPSON'S WORK CELEBRATING THE INTRINSIC BEAUTY OF RAW UNCULTIVATED PLANTS IS FRESH AND LIFE ENHANCING, AND CAN CHANGE THE WAY THAT PEOPLE RELATE TO PLANTS OF ALL KINDS. UP ON THE HIGHLINE NEAR HER STUDIO, CREATING A MILE AND A HALF LONG FOOTBRIDGE ABOVE THE MANHATTAN STREETS, THE PLANTING IS ALSO LOOSER AND REMINISCENT OF THE PRAIRIE. THERE DOES SEEM TO BE A REAL CHANGE IN THE WAY THAT EVEN ONE OF THE MOST INTENSE CITIES IN THE WORLD IS NOW RELATING TO PLANTS AND NATURE.

Monty walks down the beach and says WHEN NEW YORKERS HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE HEAT AND BUSTLE OF CITY LIFE, THEY OFTEN CHOOSE TO COME OUT HERE TO THE OCEAN, 100 MILES NORTHEAST TO LONG ISLAND. LONG ISLAND CLAIMS TO HAVE THE BEST BEACHES IN THE WORLD. SO, IT'S NOT SURPRISING THAT THIS IS WHERE MANY PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD IT COME FOR HOLIDAYS. THE STREETS ARE FILLED WITH WHAT LOOK LIKE CONVENTIONAL AMERICAN HOMES, BUT NOT ALL GARDENS HERE FIT INTO THAT CONVENTIONAL MOULD. EDWINA VON GAL'S HOUSE SITS ON A PROTECTED SALT MARSH OVERLOOKING GARDINERS BAY. AND THE MARSH HOUSE CHALLENGES THE VERY NOTION OF WHAT A GARDEN IS OR MIGHT BE.

Edwina is in her late forties, with short wavy graying hair and wears a blue shirt dress.

She says WHEN I FIRST CAME HERE, THIS ENTIRE PLACE WAS A GIANT TANGLE OF INVASIVES MOSTLY. I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS HERE. I MEAN, IT WAS IMPENETRABLE. SO, I SPENT A COUPLE OF YEARS OUT THERE JUST WHACKING AWAY AT IT. AND THEN, LITTLE BY LITTLE, I'D CREATED SOME NEW HABITAT. (BIRDS CHIRPING)

Monty says FOR NEARLY 16 YEARS, EDWINA HAS PIONEERED A NEW TYPE OF ORGANIC PERMACULTURE WITH MINIMUM HUMAN INTERFERENCE, NO CHEMICALS AND WITH ABSOLUTELY ALL PLANT MATERIAL RECYCLED.

Edwina says 84 percent OF THE LAND EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI IS IN THE HANDS OF PEOPLE LIKE ME, PRIVATE OWNERS. IF ALL OF THAT WERE DEVOTED TO SUPPORTING NATURE AND BIODIVERSITY, IT WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR SONGBIRD AND INSECT POLLINATOR POPULATIONS.

Monty says EVERYTHING YOU CUT, TIDY, HARVEST, FALLS NATURALLY, STAYS ON SITE.

Edwina says EVERYTHING-- NOTHING GOES TO THE LANDFILL. Monty says RIGHT.

Edwina says EVEN STUFF THAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED MAYBE INFECTED OR FULL OF WEED SEEDS. I HAVE A SPECIAL PILE FOR THAT, BECAUSE ULTIMATELY NATURE WILL DISINFECT IT. YOU'LL SEE. IT'S A MESS, BUT...

Monty says AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THE MESS.

Edwina says BUT EVERYBODY WHO COMES HERE SAYS, "IT IS SO PEACEFUL."

Monty says SO, WE SET OUT TO INSPECT HER PEACEFUL MESS, ACCOMPANIED BY HER DOG, CLOVER.

They walk down a path.

Edwina says THIS WAS LAWN. WHEN I STOPPED MOWING, WHAT CAME UP WAS ALL GRASSLAND.

Monty says AND DO YOU MANAGE IT LIKE A MEADOW OR DO YOU JUST LEAVE IT?

Edwina says I MOW IN THE SPRING, YEAH.

Monty says IN THE SPRING? THAT'S INTERESTING.

Edwina says YEAH, YOU WANNA LEAVE IT UP AS LONG AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE IT'S A HABITAT FOR ALL THE OVER-WINTERING INSECTS AND TURTLES. SO, WE USE A STRING TRIMMER AND CUT IT NOW ABOUT 12 INCHES HIGH. SO, THE OPEN ENDS OF THE STEMS ACT AS HABITAT FOR SOLITARY BEES.

Monty says I LIKE THE WAY THAT YOU'VE USED THE LOG WALLS AS PART OF THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE GARDEN.

Edwina says THEY ARE, YEAH. I GUESS THEY'RE IN PLACE OF CLIPPED SHRUBS?

Monty says EDWINA LEAVES NUMEROUS HEAPS OF CUT MATERIAL TO SLOWLY COMPOST DOWN AND PROVIDE COVER FOR WILDLIFE. IT DOES SEEM TO ME THAT ONE OF THE VIRTUES, IF YOU LIKE, OF THIS STYLE OF GARDENING, IS YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH THAT SORT OF THING. IT'S NOT LIKE A PILE OF BRUSH IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LAWN OR A DRIVEWAY. IT SORT OF BLENDS IN.

Edwina says IT'S ALL JUST ENJOYING THE PROCESS.

Monty says WE COME TO ONE PART OF THE GARDEN WHERE ENJOYING THE PROCESS DOESN'T ALLOW FOR ALL NATURE TO JOIN IN.

Edwina says THIS IS MY DEER FENCED AREA.

Monty says YEAH?

Edwina says THIS IS WHERE I GROW EVERYTHING THAT I WANT TO GROW JUST FOR SHEER PLEASURE PLUS VEGETABLES. SO, THINGS THAT AREN'T NECESSARILY NATIVE, THINGS THAT NEED A LITTLE EXTRA CARE AND THINGS THAT THE DEER WOULD ORDINARILY EAT.

Monty says THIS LOOKS TO ME MORE LIKE THE CONVENTIONAL IDEA OF A GARDEN.

Edwina says SURE, IT IS.

Monty says EVEN EDWINA, WITH HER FORBEARANCE AND INCLUSION OF THE NATURAL WORLD AND ALL ITS FORMS, COMES UP AGAINST HER GARDENER'S INSTINCT TO PROTECT HER FAVOURITE PLANTS. IT'S A TRICKY BALANCE. I'VE BEEN MULLING OVER EDWINA'S PHILOSOPHY. AND WHILST IT SEEMS TO ME COMPLETELY RIGHT AND REALLY TREATING NATURE AS AN EQUAL RATHER THAN TRYING TO CONQUER IT, THERE IS ONE MAJOR PROBLEM, WHICH IS THAT THE WHOLE OF AMERICA HAS BEEN CREATED ON THE PIONEERING SPIRIT, AND SEEING NATURE AS FUNDAMENTALLY AN ENEMY THAT AT THE VERY LEAST HAS TO BE TAMED. AND TO ASK FOR ALL OF THAT TO GO INTO REVERSE AND LET NATURE COME IN AS AN EQUAL IS GOING TO TAKE A GREAT DEAL OF DOING.

(music plays)

Monty says AS WELL AS BEING THE PLAYGROUND OF THE RICH AND THE FAMOUS, LONG ISLAND HAS ALWAYS HAD AN ARTISTIC COMMUNITY LIVING RATHER MORE MODESTLY YET WITH CREATIVE FREEDOM. AND I'M VISITING THE MADOO CONSERVANCY, HOME OF ROBERT DASH. ROBERT DASH WAS A POET AND A PAINTER WHO MOVED TO LONG ISLAND IN 1960 TO GET AWAY FROM THE NOISE AND THE BUSTLE OF MANHATTAN. AND HE BOUGHT A PLOT OF LAND WITH AN OLD BARN ON IT THAT HE USED AS A STUDIO AND SOMEWHERE TO LIVE, AND NOTHING ELSE AT ALL. INITIALLY, THE TWO-ACRE PLOT WAS JUST AN EMPTY PATCH OF GROUND CARVED FROM THE SURROUNDING POTATO FIELDS. HOWEVER, IN 1967, HE BEGAN TO MAKE A GARDEN. NOW, BY HIS OWN CONFESSION, HE WAS NO GARDENER. AND HE WAS VERY BAD AT TAKING ADVICE. HE WAS SOMEONE WHO TENDED TO BE IMPETUOUS AND AS HE SAID, HE FOUND OUT WHAT HE WANTED TO DO BY DOING IT. AND HALF THE TIME, HE MADE MISTAKES AND HAD TO RECTIFY THEM. BUT DESPITE ALL THIS, A GARDEN THAT WAS QUIRKY AND IDIOSYNCRATIC BEGAN TO DEVELOP. AS A PAINTER, ROBERT DASH LOVED STRONG COLOURS-- NOT JUST IN THE PLANTING, BUT ALSO INVERTING HORTICULTURAL CONVENTION TO DECORATE AND DEFINE THE STRUCTURE. SO, LIKE THIS GAZEBO, IT LEAPS OUT FROM A BACKDROP OF PLANTS. HEDGES AND TREES ARE ALSO PLAYFULLY TRIMMED AND TRAINED IN BOTH THE CONVENTIONAL AND MORE UNUSUAL FASHION. THESE WONDERFUL GNARLED STEMS WERE ONCE A PRETTY HEDGE. LIGUSTRUM, THE PRIVET, IS ONE OF THE MORE COMMON TREES HERE IN THE HAMPTONS. AND ROBERT DASH TOOK THE HEDGES THAT GREW AND STRIPPED OFF ALL THE LOWER BRANCHES AND SHOOTS, LEAVING THESE BARE TRUNKS. WHICH, WITH AGE, HAVE BECOME BEAUTIFULLY CONTORTED AND TWISTED. I LIKE THE OBSERVATION OF ROSEMARY VEREY-- DOYENNE OF ENGLISH GARDENING IN THE 1980S AND GREAT FRIENDS WITH ROBERT DASH-- THAT THESE TRUNKS WERE LIKE AN AGED BALLERINA'S KNEES. ALEJANDRO SARALEGUI IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CARETAKER OF THE MADOO CONSERVANCY. HOW IS IT LOOKING AFTER SOMETHING THAT'S JUST SO INDIVIDUAL AND SO CONNECTED TO ONE PERSON?

Alejandro is in his forties, with short brown hair and wears beige trousers, a pale pink polo shirt and a fedora.

Alejandro says IT'S INTERESTING. YOU KNOW, BOB WROTE THAT HE DIDN'T WANT THE GARDEN PRESERVED IN AMBER. SO, IT GIVES US A LOT OF FLEXIBILITY WITH WHAT WE HAVE. IT'S MORE LIKE TRYING TO FIND THAT GOLDEN PERIOD.

Monty says YOU'RE NOT CURATING IT. YOU'RE ACTIVELY GARDENING IT.

Alejandro says ABSOLUTELY. LITTLE BY LITTLE, YOU JUST START MAKING SUBTLE CHANGES. YOU START PRUNING THINGS A LITTLE MORE. YOU BRING BACK TECHNIQUES THAT HAD BEEN LOST IN BOB'S LATER LIFE.

Monty says BOB, IT SEEMS, WAS VERY INFLUENCED BY EUROPEAN GARDENERS AND PARTICULARLY BRITISH GARDENS.

Alejandro says ABSOLUTELY.

Monty says DID HE GO TO BRITAIN OFTEN?

Alejandro says NO, HE BARELY TRAVELED. BOB USED TO DESCRIBE THIS GARDEN AS HAVING ENGLISH BONES AND AMERICAN FLESH. I THINK HE WAS LOOKING AT THE STRUCTURE AND THE ACTUAL GARDEN DESIGN AS BEING VERY ENGLISH. AND YET, THERE'S A LOT OF NATIVE AMERICAN MATERIAL.

Monty says THIS IS AN ARTIST'S GARDEN, NOT A DESIGNER'S GARDEN. AND THAT'S THE KEY TO IT. IF YOU THINK OF THIS GARDEN LIKE A STUDIO WITH PAINTINGS, SOME ON THE WALL, SOME PROPPED AGAINST THE WALLS, OBJECTS WAITING TO BE PAINTED, LITTLE BITS AND PIECES, SKETCHES, IDEAS-- THAT'S MUCH MORE WHAT THIS GARDEN IS LIKE.

(music plays)

Clips show images of the city of Philadelphia.

Monty says HAVING VISITED NEW YORK AND CHICAGO, I'M NOW HEADING 150 MILES SOUTH TO ANOTHER HISTORIC CITY. PHILADELPHIA HAS A LONG AND PROUD HISTORY, NOT LEAST FOR BEING THE PLACE WHERE THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE WAS SIGNED IN 1776. AND IT'S ALSO NOTED FOR THE NUMBER AND QUALITY OF ITS GARDENS. FROM ITS INCEPTION AT THE END OF THE 17TH CENTURY, THE CITY'S FOUNDER WILLIAM PENN INTENDED IT TO HAVE LOTS OF GREEN OPEN SPACES LIKE THIS SQUARE, AND THAT ALL THE HOUSES SHOULD HAVE GARDENS. TODAY, THERE ARE OVER 30 MAJOR GARDENS TO VISIT WITHIN 30 MILES OF THE CITY'S CENTRE. AND PHILADELPHIA IS RIGHTLY KNOWN AS AMERICA'S GARDEN CAPITAL. DRIVING OUT FROM THE CITY CENTRE, I PASSED STREET AFTER STREET FULFILLING THE ARCHETYPAL IMAGE OF THE AMERICAN SUBURBAN GARDEN. THE CAREFULLY MOWED LAWNS RUNNING TO THE SIDEWALK, AND THE HOUSES OPEN AND UNSCREENED BY PLANTING. YET, NOT ONE OF THE GARDENS I VISITED SO FAR REPLICATE THIS. SO, I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS STYLE OF AMERICAN GARDEN. I'VE COME TO SWARTHMORE, WHICH IS AN AFFLUENT SUBURB OF PHILADELPHIA, TO A GARDEN THAT I'VE HEARD OF BUT WHICH IS RELATIVELY SMALL AND MODEST, TO SEE IF I CAN JUST ADD ONE MORE PIECE TO THE JIGSAW. THIS IS HEDGELEIGH SPRING, A GARDEN ORIGINALLY MADE BY WILLIAM CRESSON IN THE 1920S. DESPITE THE DIFFERENCE IN CLIMATE, THE FASHION THEN WAS DRIVEN BY THE ENGLISH FLOWER GARDENS OF THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY, SUCH AS THOSE MADE BY GERTRUDE JEKYLL. HOWEVER, THESE AMERICAN FLOWER GARDENS OFTEN HAD ONE DISTINCTIVE AND VERY AMERICAN FEATURE. AS WELL AS THESE LAWNS AND THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE GOING DOWN TO THE STREET, THE OTHER ARCHETYPE OF AMERICAN GARDENS IS THE PICKET FENCE. AND HERE WE HAVE IT, WHITE PICKET FENCE. AND BEING CURVED IS APPARENTLY UNIQUE, BUT ITS FUNCTION IS THE SAME, WHATEVER THE SHAPE. INSIDE IT, YOU HAVE LAWNS AND BEAUTIFULLY TENDED BORDERS AND CAREFULLY CHOSEN PLANTS WITH BRIGHT COLOURS. AND THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE IS ESSENTIALLY THE WILDERNESS. THE CURRENT OWNER, CHARLES CRESSON, IS THE THIRD GENERATION OF THE FAMILY TO MAKE THE GARDEN HIS LIFE'S WORK.

Charles is in his late forties, with short graying hair and a beard. He wears glasses, red Bermuda shorts and a pastel plaid shirt.

Charles says MY GRANDFATHER CREATED THIS GARDEN WITHOUT ANY PROFESSIONAL HELP OR ANY HORTICULTURAL EDUCATION OF ANY KIND.

Monty says DID YOUR GRANDFATHER PUT IN THE PICKET FENCE?

Charles says YES. IT LASTED FOR 39 YEARS.

Monty says HOWEVER, IT EVENTUALLY ROTTED AND HAS BEEN REPLACED BY CHARLES WITH SOMETHING MORE DURABLE. SO, THE CURRENT ICONIC WHITE PICKET FENCE IS IN FACT MADE OF PLASTIC. I WANT CHARLES TO HELP ME UNDERSTAND THE DISTINCTIVE APPEARANCE OF THE AMERICAN SUBURBAN GARDEN. PERHAPS YOU COULD EXPLAIN WHY SO MANY AMERICAN GARDENS HAVE A FRONT LAWN, WHICH UNINTERRUPTEDLY ROLLS DOWN TO THE STREET, WHICH OF COURSE IS NOT THE STANDARD IN EUROPE. WHAT IS IT ABOUT AMERICA THAT MAKES THAT DIFFERENT?

Charles says IT MIGHT BE A DIFFERENT SENSE OF SPACE, BIGGER, MORE OPEN SPACES IN AMERICA. IT'S DIFFICULT TO GET PEOPLE TO THINK ABOUT FENCING THINGS OFF. THEY LIKE TO BE OPEN TO STREET, OPEN TO THEIR NEIGHBORS. AND IN THIS PARTICULAR TOWN, YOU CAN'T HAVE A FENCE WITHIN 50 FEET OF THE CENTER OF THE ROAD. THAT'S THE ORDINANCE.

Monty says THAT IS THE LAW?

Charles says YES.

Monty says AND WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

Charles says BECAUSE THEY WANNA MAINTAIN A CERTAIN CHARACTER OF THE TOWN, THE WAY IT HAS BEEN.

Monty says AND IF YOU DID PUT UP A HIGH HEDGE, WHAT WOULD YOUR NEIGHBORS THINK?

Charles says THEY MIGHT THINK THAT YOU WERE UNFRIENDLY OR RECLUSIVE.

(music plays)

Monty says THAT SAYS A LOT ABOUT AMERICAN CULTURE WITH THEIR INSTINCTIVE DESIRE TO SHOW THEMSELVES OPEN AND INCLUSIVE. AND OUR OWN NEED TO DRAW BOUNDARIES BETWEEN OURSELVES AND OUR NEIGHBOURS. (BIRDS CHIRPING) WHEN I WAS RESEARCHING POTENTIAL GARDENS TO VISIT ON THIS TRIP, I LOST COUNT OF THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO TOLD ME THAT THE ONE GARDEN I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO COME AND VISIT, WHICH WAS CHANTICLEER. SO THIS IS WHERE I'VE COME. CHANTICLEER WAS BUILT IN 1912 AS A COUNTRY RETREAT FOR THE ROSENGARTENS, WHO ARE WEALTHY PHILADELPHIA PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURERS. ADOLPH G. ROSENGARTEN JR. WAS THE LAST MEMBER OF THE FAMILY TO LIVE THERE, AND HE TRANSFORMED WHAT HAD BEEN FIELDS AND ORCHARDS INTO THE CURRENT EXTRAORDINARY GARDEN. ADOLPH ROSENGARTEN DIED IN 1990, LEAVING INSTRUCTIONS THAT THE 31 ACRES OF GARDEN SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO EVOLVE, AND ALSO BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. UNUSUALLY, IT'S OVERSEEN BY NO LESS THAN EIGHT HEAD GARDENERS, AND EACH ONE CAN DECIDE WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR OWN AREA. THESE INCLUDE A REVAMPED RUIN, A TEACUP GARDEN, AND THE REMAINS OF THE OLD TENNIS COURT, WHICH HAS RECENTLY BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO FLOWING FLOWER BEDS. JOE HENDERSON IS ONE OF THE GARDENERS.

Joe is in his fifties, with short white hair and a beard. He wears blue Bermuda shorts, a pale gray T-shirt, and a printed bandana.

He says THE REASON WHY THIS HOUSE IS HERE IS BECAUSE OF THIS GREAT VIEW DOWN TO THE POND AREA.

Monty says THIS IS A BIG, DRAMATIC VIEW, ISN'T IT? I'M GETTING MIXED MESSAGES, BECAUSE IN A SENSE, THIS IS A SORT OF ENGLISH LANDSCAPE GARDEN, AND YET IT FEELS TROPICAL. AND I TURN AROUND AND IT LOOKS TROPICAL THERE-- YOU HAVE BOTH SIDE BY SIDE. AND THAT'S CLEARLY DELIBERATE.

Joe says YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, BECAUSE WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SEASONALITY OF THESE TROPICAL PLANTS.

Monty says SO, HOW DO YOU MANAGE TO MAKE IT LOOK GOOD? I MEAN, THE POINT IS, IT LOOKS GREAT.

Joe says IT'S A LOT OF WORK. (LAUGHING)

Monty says OKAY. AND WHICH IS YOUR AREA?

Joe says I TAKE CARE OF WHAT IS DOWN THERE-- THE PURPLE BEECH, THE LOTUS. SO, IT'S ABOUT SEVEN AND A HALF ACRES.

Monty says WOW. SO IT'S A BIG, BIG AREA. JOE AND I SET OFF TO LOOK AROUND, ACCOMPANIED BY MY NAMESAKE, MONTY THE DOG. HELLO, MONTY. (CHUCKLING) HELLO, GOOD BOY.

Joe says AND SO, OVER HERE WE HAVE THE GRAVEL GARDEN.

Monty says YEAH.

Joe says WE AMEND THE SOIL SO THAT IT'S MUCH FREER DRAINING SO THAT WE HAVE A MORE INTERESTING SET OF PLANTS.

Monty says THIS IS A SECTION OF THE GARDEN WITH REAL CHARM. THE COMBINATION OF THESE DESERT SUCCULENTS, MEDITERRANEAN PLANTS, GRASSES MINGLED IN WITH NATIVES SUCH AS THE CONEFLOWERS, WORK TREMENDOUSLY WELL. BUT CHANTICLEER IS AN ECLECTIC MIXED BAG OF A GARDEN WITH MANY VERY DIFFERENT AREAS. PERHAPS THIS IS THE RESULT OF HAVING SO MANY INDEPENDENT GARDENERS, BUT THERE IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING HERE FOR EVERYONE. I LOVE THIS. IT'S A TAKE ON THE WILDFLOWER MEADOW AND THE PRAIRIE GARDEN, BUT IT'S NEITHER. YOU HAVE A LAWN WITH LAWN GRASS THAT IS ALLOWED TO GROW AND IT'S CUT ONCE A YEAR, BUT INTO IT ARE PLANTED BULBS AND PERENNIALS AND ANNUALS, BUT THERE IS NO ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT LOOK NATURALISTIC. SO, THE RESULT IS A KIND OF SURREAL MEADOW AND IT'S EXTRAORDINARILY EFFECTIVE.

(music plays)

Monty says AT EACH TURN IN THIS GARDEN, THERE'S SOME OTHER TREASURE. AND IT DOES SEEM TO BE SOMETHING THAT IS VERY AMERICAN. YOU WOULDN'T SEE A GARDEN LIKE THIS IN EUROPE, BECAUSE WHAT'S BINDING IT TOGETHER IS NOT SO MUCH DESIGN AS AN INCREDIBLE SENSE OF ENTHUSIASM AND OPTIMISM, AND THIS IDEA THAT WITH RESOURCES AND THE WILL, YOU CAN DO AND MAKE ANYTHING.

(music plays)

Monty says I'VE TRAVELED FROM THE PRAIRIE OF THE MIDWEST HUNDREDS OF MILES SOUTHEAST, UP TO THE TIP OF LONG ISLAND AND BACK DOWN TO THE GARDEN CITY OF PHILADELPHIA. AND ON THIS LEG OF THE JOURNEY, THERE IS JUST ONE MORE GARDEN I WANT TO VISIT. IT'S CALLED FEDERAL TWIST. IT'S IN STOCKTON, NEW JERSEY, AND THE CREATION OF JAMES GOLDEN. JAMES SAYS THAT THE GARDEN IS AN IMAGINED PRAIRIE IN THAT IT MAKES NO ATTEMPT TO RECREATE OR MIMIC THE ACTUAL PLANTING OF A REAL PRAIRIE, AND YET IT DOES DRAW ITS INSPIRATION FROM IT. JAMES AND HIS PARTNER BOUGHT THE HOUSE AND LAND IN 2005. WHEN YOU CAME HERE, WHAT WAS THIS GARDEN LIKE?

James is in his fifties, with short gray hair and a goatee. He wears jeans, a black T-shirt, a blue cap and sunglasses.

He says THERE WERE JUNIPER TREES AND ALMOST NOTHING ELSE. THERE WAS NO LIGHT, NO OPEN SPACE. SO, I KNEW IT WOULD BE A VERY DIFFICULT PLACE TO MAKE A GARDEN. AND I DISCOVERED WE HAD THE MOST AWFUL SOIL. I HAVE ACTUALLY HAD A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT TELL ME THIS IS THE WORST SOIL HE HAS EVER TRIED TO PLANT A PLANT IN. (CHUCKLING)

Monty says JAMES' SOIL IS THE HEAVIEST POSSIBLE CLAY, AND AS WELL AS A NIGHTMARE FOR THE GARDENER, NOT GOOD FOR MANY PLANTS.

James says I MADE A BARGAIN WITH MYSELF THAT I WOULD FIND OUT HOW TO MAKE A GARDEN HERE.

Monty says AND WHAT DID YOU HAVE IN MIND?

James says I KNEW IT HAD TO BE A NATURALISTIC GARDEN. SO, I BOUGHT LARGE PLANTS AND I PUT THEM IN AS EXPERIMENTS.

Monty says JAMES DIDN'T ATTEMPT TO IMPROVE THE SOIL OR EVEN CLEAR THE GROUND, BUT MERELY CUT BACK AND PLANTED THROUGH THE EXISTING GROWTH. ALL THE WEEDS, YOU NEVER TRIED TO GET RID OF THEM. YOU DIDN'T SPRAY OR MULCH THEM OUT...

James says NO.

Monty says --WITH FABRIC OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT?

James says NO, I PLANTED STRAIGHT INTO THEM.

Monty says THAT'S QUITE BRAVE.

James says I FORGOT TO MENTION THAT I HATE GARDENING.

Monty says YES, THAT WAS QUITE AN ADMISSION.

James says BECAUSE, HAVING WATCHED YOU, I KNOW YOU DON'T HATE GARDENING.

Monty says NO, I QUITE LIKE IT.

James says OR AT LEAST YOU FAKE IT VERY WELL.

Monty says YEAH, NO, I'M A GOOD FAKER TOO. WHY DO YOU HATE GARDENING?

James says I HATE THE DIRTY WORK OF DIGGING UP PLANTS AND SEPARATING ROOTS, AND THEN DIGGING ANOTHER HOLE. IT'S VERY LABOUR INTENSIVE.

Monty says FEDERAL TWIST IS LESS THAN TWO ACRES IN SIZE, AND YET THE GENEROSITY OF THE PLANTING, WITH ITS GREAT DRIFTS OF TALL GRASSES AND FLOWERING PERENNIALS MAKES IT FEEL MUCH BIGGER. I READ THAT YOU'VE ENCOURAGED MARESTAIL, WHICH FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, CERTAINLY IN ENGLAND, IS A HORROR STORY WEED THAT THEY WOULD LOVE TO RID THEMSELVES OF.

James says UH, IN THE SPRING, IT'S BEAUTIFUL. WHAT I'M DOING IS VERY MUCH RESPONDING TO WHAT I FIND IN THE GARDEN DAY TO DAY.

Monty says I FOUND FEDERAL TWIST TREMENDOUSLY EXCITING. AND EVEN AFTER OVER 50 YEARS OF GARDENING AND VISITING GARDENS, IT MADE ME RETHINK WHAT A GARDEN CAN BE AND DO.

James says THERE WAS AN ARTICLE ON MY GARDEN SEVERAL YEARS AGO IN THE NEW YORK TIMES CALLED "THE GOOD-FOR-NOTHING GARDEN."

Monty says I READ IT.

James says I LOVED THAT TITLE, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT IT IS. IT'S GOOD FOR NOTHING. IT HAS NO UTILITARIAN PURPOSE. TO ME, A GARDEN IS ABOUT MYSTERY AND BEAUTY, AND AESTHETICS, AND LIFE AND DEATH. IT'S SORT OF, YOU KNOW, KIND OF A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE.

(music plays)

Monty says I ADORE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS GARDEN, FROM THE CHOICE OF PLANTS, THE ASSEMBLY OF THEM. AND, YES, IT DOES TAKE THE HISTORY OF AMERICA FROM PRAIRIE AND WOODLAND, BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT MAKES IT GOOD. IT'S A GARDEN THAT EXPRESSES ONE MAN'S LOVE AND PASSION AND A VERY PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS SPACE. AND THAT, OF COURSE, IS THE REAL SECRET OF ALL GREAT GARDENS.

(music plays)

Monty says WELL, I'VE COME TO THE END OF WHAT HAS PROBABLY BEEN THE HOTTEST, MOST SULTRY GARDEN VISITING TRIP THAT I'VE EVER BEEN ON, BUT IT'S BEEN FASCINATING. I'VE SEEN HOW THE PRAIRIES COULD WELL BE RECLAIMED BY GARDENERS. HOW FOOD IS BEING GROWN ON ROOFTOPS, AND OF COURSE, SEEING GARDENS THAT ARE AN EXPRESSION OF THE AMERICAN LOVE OF SHOWMANSHIP AND EXTRAVAGANCE. WHETHER THAT BRINGS ME ANY CLOSER TO THE HEART OF WHAT AN AMERICAN GARDEN IS, I'M STILL NOT QUITE SURE. ALTHOUGH, INCREASINGLY, I DO FEEL THAT IT'S CONNECTED TO THIS PIONEERING SPIRIT. THE SENSE OF MOVING FORWARDS INTO THE UNKNOWN. BUT I'LL BE BACK, BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT MORE TO SEE. NEXT TIME, I VISIT AN EXTRAORDINARY ITALIAN RENAISSANCE GARDEN BUILT IN THE HEART OF MIAMI.

Monty says to another man THAT IS A HEROIC, EPIC ACHIEVEMENT.

Monty says I TREK THROUGH A FLORIDA SWAMP...

In the swamp, Monty says I FOUND IT.

A man next to him says YOU DID!

Monty says --BEFORE HEADING TO CALIFORNIA TO SEE GARDENS IN THE DESERT AND A JUNGLE OVER L.A.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Written and presented by Monty Don.

Series producer, Daisy Newton Dunn.

Series Editor, Alexandra Henderson.

Logo: AHA Productions for BBC.

Copyright 2019, AHA Productions. All 3 Media International.

Watch: Monty Don's American Gardens - Episode 1