Monty Don's French Gardens

Series 1 - 3. The Artistic Garden

Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

Monty Don gazes at Monet’s water lilies paintings in Paris’s l’Orangerie gallery and marvels: “These are simply enormous… the scale is celestial… he’s taken the garden and gone beyond.”

Then Don hops into his 2CV and heads to the real thing – Monet’s gardens in Giverny. They’re staggeringly pretty, packed with lushly beautiful colours that are so vivid you’ll want to reach into your screen to pick a purple tulip. It’s such a shame that this is the last in the series, because every Friday night should be illuminated by a passion as beautifully articulated as Don’s, often in his impeccable French as he talks to gardeners.

The final episode is about gardens as art, hence the visit to Giverny. But we roam to Aix-en-Provence, to Paul Cézanne’s house and its simple garden of trees, light and shade, and on to Hyères and the world’s first Cubist garden at the Villa de Noailles.

About this programme

3/3. The horticulturist examines the influence France's artistic tradition has had on the country's gardens. He visits examples created by painters Claude Monet and Paul Cezanne, as well as going to see several contemporary plots to witness how the use of plants and trees has evolved into new and varied styles. Last in the series.

Cast and crew


Monty Don


Executive Producer
Alexandra Henderson
Series Director
Rachel Bell
Series Producer
Rachel Bell