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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 31 July 2009
From medicinal plants floating in containers on the Amazon to the almost plant-free zen gardens of Japan - the vast majority of the 80 gardens here bear little resemblance to the traditional British garden. This DVD challenges your concept of what actually constitutes 'a garden', and there are many times throughout the series when Monty Don admits to being unsure himself.

The journey he makes across the globe is fascinating, with lots of history and cultural references added to the gardens he visits. Monty is an enthusiastic presenter, and he is quite honest with his evaluations..... and even when his opinion is not so forthcoming you can usually sense if he feels disappointment or pleasure about the places he visits.

I thoroughly enjoyed the series and I am glad I purchased the DVD, however I would have preferred if he had named more of the plants and trees we see around the world. Failing that, a glossary as an extra on the DVD would have been nice. Sadly, there are no extras at all. Sound is 2.0 Surround with English subtitles available.

01. Mexico and Cuba
02. Australia and New Zealand
03. India
04. South America (Brazil, Argentina, and Chile)
05. United States of America
06. China and Japan
07. The Mediterranean (Italy, Morocco, and Spain)
08. South Africa
09. Northern Europe (UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Norway)
10. South-East Asia (Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia)
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on 9 July 2009
I never thought I would ever buy a Gardening DVD. This series is awesome. The history and stories behind some of the gardens are amazing. The series goes into social history, buildings, art, farming, religion, engineering, cultural and political areas of gardens. from the floating gardens on the Amazon river to Tea plantations of India, there is hardly ever a dull moment. Highly recemended for anyone who likes a good documentary series.
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on 7 February 2009
My husband and I have always enjoyed Monty Don's enthusiasm about his
gardening and everybody's gardens no matter how small.
We watched some of the series on TV and can now watch this marvellous
series anytime of the year of gardens around the world each one always
gives us great pleasure. Well done Monty. We really miss seing him on
the TV.
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on 30 April 2012
My wife and I watched the whole series when it was first broadcast on the BBC and we were simply amazed at the astonishing variety of gardens in the various programmes. Did I know about Rousham? ( no - but even with Monty walking around in the rain, I know far more about it now!) Did I know about Sissinghurst?( yes - but Monty's visit and summary helped me completely recapture the experience and was so accurate and to the point! This is true of all 80 gardens visited - so much to learn and so many surprises on the way. Even though the DVD has been out for some time now, you can watch it again and again and discover new delights. If I have a favourite, it is South Africa with the extraordinary garden near Table Mountain. The combination of amazing colours captured in HD and the unforgettable sight of mist enveloping the top of the mountain. I could name so many other gardens which I never knew existed and I am drawn inexorably into a personal commuication and personal visit thanks to Monty Don's remarkable skill - he finds all the salient points and conveys them with such enthusiasm! I doubt if anyone will ever undertake such a marathon again so I really do award this series with the title " The classic Monty Don"!
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on 23 January 2012
I'm not one for your normal gardening programmes, however late one night flicking through the channels I intercepted part of the spanish gardens episode. After wich I made sure I caught a few further episodes. This series visits gardens around the globe, is well formatted, very informative on the designs and history, as well as being very easy to watch. Even if you don't like or can't go anywhere near gardening tools this is brilliant. Monty Don makes this very entertaining with his views and enthusiasm. I do not believe any other presenter could have pulled this proramme off so well. I Liked it so much I even brought a copy for my sister's birthday; She and her husband comented yesterday that they really love it. When I bought mine I think I paid about £20 and thought it was an excellent buy! its now far less than that, it's a 'steal'!
Will I watch it again? Over and over! My personnal rating 9.5 out of 10 enjoy.
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on 26 May 2012
I was amazed that just four DVDs could contain so many hours of fascinating, enjoyable viewing, together with the usual intelligent and informative commentary from Monty Don on some of the worlds greatest gardens, all with such enormous variety and cultural background. Monty is right when he says that gardens are a real insight into the many different cultures and peoples that occupy our world, yet all demonstrae the common bond which we have as human beings in valuing the space and contents of gardens. A great value set of DVDs.
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on 10 October 2014
If you've seen the series on TV ... My comment is superfluous ; if you Haven't ... SEE IT ... OR BUY THIS BOXED SET !
For ANY kind of gardener this is FUN ! ... It is packed with Monty's obvious enthusiasm and fascination with gardens ( not so much botany + obscure Latin names ... GARDENS ... it's easy to follow ! ) and wherever your garden is ; you will get ideas how to develop it. I happen to live in the Arctic Taiga ( hence the Amazon name ) and we've pinched ideas for all sorts of things ! Tropical plants can be grown on windowsills ( our houses are tropically warm in the winter ) or they benefit from 24 hour a day sunshine ( we're THAT far North ) ... Yet Monty dromedaries himself through deserts, squishily squeezes himself through tropical rainforests and tramps through tundra to bring us exciting ideas and inspiration. Botanically beautiful and geographically gorgeous .. GO FOR IT !
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on 24 September 2011
I bought this a year ago and tucked it in amongst my collection of DVDs for future viewing. What a mistake! I should have watched it immediately! Of all the DVDs I've seen (and I've seen many) this has to be one of the "top 5" most beautifully filmed. Now I watch it whenever I need a pick-me-up after an exhausting day.
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This is a wonderful series.

As you'd hope and expect with a globe trotting horticultural adventure, the content of this series is very wide-ranging. From humble homes floating on the Amazon to the swanky private residences of leading garden designers, ranging in scale across everything from Singapore's garden city (where the entire city is considered a garden, of sorts) via palaces, follies, ranches and parks to small community plots and a tiny tea garden, there's the full gamut of humanity from the quirkily individual to the corporate, and representing everything from the very different state management styles of Thailand or Cuba to the private garden spaces of all kinds of people, from the dusty plots of Amerindians to the massive fecund acreages of the super-rich.

It's a televisual feast, being both a pleasure to just sit back and enjoy, and a great source of inspiration (and, perhaps, potential envy!). Monty Don is great. A charismatic and reflectively philosophical man, he's also built like a bear, and his combination of rugged physicality and refined intellectual enthusiasm is a very charming and winning combination.

At times he's perplexed, and he doesn't hide it, prompting him to question, as he does in his brief intro (each episode starts with the same introductory sequence), "what a garden actually is". He judges his own place in the scheme of things perfectly, sharing his feelings, but open to revising his views (as he does regarding the Oaxaca desert succulents garden), and trying to allow the things he sees speak for themselves. The result is that you can see what he's seeing, hear what he and others think and feel, but still judge for yourself. It's usually pretty clear when he's not really won over, and markedly so when he is, as he's unable to suppress a very endearing kind of boyish jubilation. A good example of this contrast is how he warms to Wilson Wong's modest community garden in Singapore, having acknowledged the sincerity of the city-state's greening, but finding something 'disturbing' about its 'corporate blandness'.

Organised by regions (the order of which seems arbitrary or haphazard), there are countless moments of extreme beauty to enjoy and be inspired by, and the series easily sustains repeated viewing. Don is a great presenter and guide, charming, full of character, erudite, stylish and most important of all, clearly passionate about his subject. He's philosophical enough to make the series not just beautiful educational entertainment, but a pleasantly meditative and reflective experience also, ending the whole series in East Asia concluding that humans will always be searching for, and making gardens that reflect this quest, a Shangri-La that really exists in our minds.

A great series that I'd unhesitatingly recommend.
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on 4 October 2013
I can watch this dvd many times (and I have!!) it is an inspiring dvd, and takes you all over the world via the medium of great gardens.

So curl up in a comfy chair, with slice of your favourite cake and a cup of tea to hand, and prepare to enjoy a magic carpet ride of colour, design and wonderful scenery and flowers. Even in the pouring rain, undaunted his love of the earth shines through and is so inspiring. He is quite right, in his observation that there is nothing more healing than grubbing around in the soil, sowing a seed and watching with wonder as it grows and transforms the space that it occupies.

My father who was a professional gardener, worked at a rehabilitation centre just after the last world war, and taught physically and mentally damaged men a trade in horticulture, which helped them regain their self respect, gain a job and help to support their families. Gardening is indeed great for healing the spirit, mind and body.

Never underestimate the value of a garden wherever it is in the world, is Monty's message, and it is a true one
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