Review: Monty Don’s Italian Gardens
available on DVD
I did not get to see this program on TV so it was great to catch up with the DVD release. If you at all interested in gardens and their history, then this one is a definite for you
Of course the gardens are those made by the rich and famous/infamous – with at least one exception being an urban market garden that has so far not been consumed by urban developments around Naples.
Monty takes us on a tour of many gardens. He starts out looking at the Renaissance Gardens and along the way does a couple of reality checks on how they have been portrayed. Yes they did have flowers.
He moves around Italy and through various periods and even connects with Italian gardens that were derivatives of the English gardens.
If you are a TV garden addict that watches these shows to see how to grow plants in your garden, and maybe pick up a tip or two on the growing of herbs or pumpkins or basil. Sorry this show is not for you. It is not that sort of garden show.
Monty does provide insights into the cultural connections, the power plays behind some of the gardens and the fascinating tales of people who manage these places today. Many of the gardens he visits are not open to the public. So that is another reason to watch these DVDs.
I have to say that after watching these and enjoying them, I am still not convinced about the beauty in all those box plants. And as for his statements that the Renaissance gardens were high art, I have to not quiet agree. Yes they were and remain spectacular and have an enormous impact and allow for all forms of peaceful meanderings, but more an equivalent to high art (painting I suspect) that being equal.
I found this four-part program absolutely wonderful. They are thought-provoking and Monty provides intelligent insights into the thinking behind these major garden movements. The DVDs are totally recommended.
Recommended: Rating 9/10
and I see there’s a Monty Don’s French Gardens – time to look for that!