Monty Don's French Gardens

Gardens of Power and Passion

Series 1 - Episode 1 Gardens of Power and Passion



Here’s a sunny delight to illuminate the depths of a British winter: Monty Don pottering around France in a powder-blue 2CV, looking at gorgeous formal gardens. He visits the Loire Valley and the glorious gardens of Chateau de Chenonceau before heading to Vaux le Vicomte, designed by Andre le Notre for the Sun King’s later disgraced finance minister Nicolas Fouquet. But of course, no such trip would be complete without a stroll around the splendid gardens at Versailles.


Horticulturist and broadcaster Monty Don visits some of the most famous and interesting gardens in France, beginning by examining the stories behind important historic ones and seeing how throughout history they have been used as a public expression of money, power and passion. Among those featured are elaborate walled gardens designed to please the mistress and then the wife of a king, magnificent displays of flowers and fountains that incited violent jealousy in another monarch and a modern-day chateau plot that came close to bankrupting its owner.