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Rescheduled - Four Seasons Gardeners' World Special

Rescheduled - Four Seasons Gardeners' World Special

Due to the Winter Olympics, our half-hour programme has been rescheduled.

Radio Times:

“Toby Buckland introduces a special programme following a year in the lives of passionate gardeners Tony and Marie Newton. Seventeen years ago the couple began transforming their traditional suburban garden in Walsall, West Midlands into a stunning Yellow Book garden. Tony hated weeding but loved building things. Marie loved plants. Together they began an incredible journey to create their dream outdoor space.”

“Gardeners' World spent a year with Tony and Marie to discover why they are so passionate about their garden and to reveal the lengths to which they will go to achieve their perfect garden.”

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Thanks for this - I'll set the video as I'm out that day. How many times have you been rescheduled now?

7 Feb, 2010


Thanks, I will up date my diary! I wonder if you are getting excited now? It's nearly time....I certainly would be! Hope this is really the last re-jig for your sake!

7 Feb, 2010


Thanks .. the calendar has been updated !

7 Feb, 2010


Good news... :o)
I've updated this info. onto my recent blog about the GoY members' NGS gardens, which includes the dates and pics of FourSeasonsGarden, Andrewr, Spritzhenry, Kensington and JungleJen. :o)

7 Feb, 2010


Thanks, everyone, it has been a bit of a rollercoaster.

When they were part way through the filming in 2008 (6 days) they thought it might be in that Christmas Special, but they were still filming in December so that was knocked on the head.

Most of 2009 passed quietly, with requests for old photos and names of plants and clarification of a few details. We were then told it was to be broadcast on 13 November 2009. Toby Buckland said as much in an October Gardeners' World programme and we told our visitors who came to our end of October open day. At the last minute it was rescheduled for a Monday in January 2010 - the producer was gutted - he said it had been "cast in steel". Many visitors were probably confused by its non-appearance.

Then it was scheduled for Wednesday 17 February at 8.30. We urgently needed to send out letters about our open days (the first is on 14 February) and wanted to include details about the programme - we couldn't wait any longer. The BBC website only puts details of programmes 8 days in advance so we phoned Gardeners' World and were assured that as far as they were concerned it would go ahead on that day (with the caveat that they could never be certain).

Last Monday we sent 400 letters and 300 emails - on Friday the head producer phoned (everyone else was too scared!) to tell us that it had been brought forward to Sunday, 14 February at 11.30 am. The good news that it should also appear on the BBC HD channel, probably on Thursday 18 February at 6.30 pm (still to be confirmed).

We were reluctant to tell everyone until we were sure, and late last night the BBC website was updated and showed our programme. We went to bed this morning at 2.45 after printing out yet another set of 400 labels and postcards and sending 300 emails (the list keeps growing!) informing people of yet another change. It challenges all our combined computing and clerical skills! It's costly but we feel responsible for getting correct information out there to our visitors - many of them are elderly and would be gutted to know that they had missed the programme by 3 days.

It has dominated both days of the weekend, but we both managed to get a couple of hours in the garden this afternoon (in the sun!) before we start hand delivering notes to our neighbours and writing press releases. Tomorrow I will go around the garden centres and supermarkets, updating the details.

We now have the programme being broadcast at 11.30 on Sunday 14 February. Our open day is the same day - from 10-5!!!!! We had toyed with the idea of putting a tele outside. However, looking at the forecast, we may be inside anyway - more snow is on the way for next weekend!

7 Feb, 2010


Good luck with the weather for your open day on Sunday, 14th February......

I've followed you on this journey over many months to get the Gardeners' World programme finally onto our TV screens....

Well-deserved that you have a full half-hour all to yourself...

...brings a whole new meaning to St. Valentine's Day.....Lol.

7 Feb, 2010


Hmmm - wonder what would happen if the BBC planned to broadcast a p*ss-up in a brewery! And to think we pay good money for a licence fee for this shambles. They have known the dates of the Winter Olympics for at least four years so why change the schedules at the 11th hour? (sorry, I'm in grumpy old man mode today).
Anyway, I've got the video set and hope you're pleased with the program

7 Feb, 2010


Thanks for updating us...have re-set my sky box so I don't forget!

7 Feb, 2010


Aaaargh!!! Aren't you so frustrated? Am out Sunday morns, but will set the recorder!!! :-))

7 Feb, 2010


~ well let's hope they don't have another change of mind for your sakes~ I thought the schedules were all worked out weeks in advance?
~will be watching on Sunday fingers crossed!

7 Feb, 2010


Seen it!

It was nice to 'meet' you both. What a terrific garden....I know we have seen your photo's but seeing it in 'real life' is something else! You both put such a lot of work into it, and it looks fantastic. Well done both, I'm so glad I watched the programme.

......I actually saw it on the BBC iplayer as I had unexpected visitors! The wonders of modern technology!

14 Feb, 2010


Hi Marie and Tony..
I enjoyed the show....
... watched it "live" and recorded it to watch again...
... were you able to watch it, or were you busy entertaining your Sunday garden visitors ? :o)

14 Feb, 2010


Just watched it on iplayer :-

My goodness you two have so much energy!! But your dedication really shows in what you have achieved. I think it's lovely how you both work together as a team - a match made in heaven :-)

14 Feb, 2010


The programme is fantastic. Had to almost avert my eyes during some of the pruning shots, lol, but, of course, you explained why this has to be done. Yes, your boundless energy has left me exhausted, but probably not as much as yourselves after your Open Day. Am envious of that lovely jungle you have created. Many Thanks for all this. :-))

14 Feb, 2010


Just watched the programme recorded this morning. Lovely Lovely garden, congratulations. My son may be moving to your part of the country, so, on a visit to him may get to visit your garden.

14 Feb, 2010


I watched and really enjoyed the program, your garden is lovely.

15 Feb, 2010


~ what a fantastic garden and obviously down to extreme dedication~ perhaps will get round to seeing it this year!

15 Feb, 2010


Amazingly, the sun shone during our late winter/"early spring" open day, yesterday. We set our video player to record and we were delighted that more than 100 people came to see our February garden. We had decided to save the special Valentine's Day treat of watching our garden on TV until the evening.

By lunchtime many visitors who were arriving had seen our TV broadcast and came to the garden as a direct result of the programme. They were so positive and animated about the feature they had just seen......and as the comments continued during the afternoon we became more excited at the prospect of seeing the programme for ourselves in peace and tranquility at the end of a busy day.

Fittingly, for the first day of the Chinese New Year - the Year of the Tiger - virtually the last task of the day was to bring our life-sized leather tiger into the house from the jungle area and then we sat down and had a lovely Chinese meal and opened a bottle of wine.

Finally, at 8pm, we were able to put our feet up and twice watched the recording of our programme. We were absolutely delighted! It really captured the true spirit of us and our garden. It was amazing how they managed to weave everything together into an action packed half-hour story, which was both informative and very entertaining. They took some wonderful film sequences and it is a great credit to them that they managed to get us both to talk so enthusiastically and openly in front of the camera!

Toby (whom we've never met) was brilliant and spoke so naturally and with great humour.... however, the script must have been written by the man who filmed, directed and produced the programme - we got to know him very well. There was great humour throughout the programme, which captured the vigour and teamwork which we apply to our gardening.

We sent old photos of the garden but somehow, when they appeared on television, they seemed much better than the originals and we assume that one of their photography colleagues was able to enhance them. The added background music and sounds were perfectly chosen and blended in quite naturally with the film sequences.

The impression given by the programme is that we worked like that all the time. In fact, we both had busy day jobs - often working between 40 and 50 hours a week - so gardening was mostly confined to weekends and evenings (with head torches in the winter!) Admittedly, holidays were put on hold but that was because of preparing for the days of filming and all the charity open days we had.

Now that we have both retired, we may - just may - be able to ease off a little! That said, this year we do have 12 open days, plus our daughter's wedding reception in a marquee in the garden in August. Perhaps next year we will have a holiday........

15 Feb, 2010


Pleased to read that you had such a successful Open Garden Day, and that's so good you were delighted with the end results of the months of filming....

Yes, the show did give the impression that you work on the garden morning, noon and night, which is true on some occasions, but not every day of the year...Lol...

Well done on a super programme... any time either of you were talking, or being interviewed, you came across as happy to chat to the cameras...:o)

15 Feb, 2010


Watched your programme last night Tony and Marie! I thought it was spectacular! Best thing I've seen for ages on gardening! The best thing about it was it INSPIRED me! Today I have planted new snowdrops under my Jacquemontii and I bought some dwarf conifers and planted some from pots in the garden. I realised from watching your garden, that if I want to have all round colour I just HAVE to love conifers! I found some really pretty ones at my local nursery and they weren't expensive so I now have three new ones. I absolutely loved the jungle! You are right Tony about the red, yellow and green. It is not everyone's cup of tea, although I really can appreciate it; but the beautiful flowers you manage to get in amongst all the shrubs and the WATER is to die for!! I was also very pleased to learn that it's ok to prune my acer. Every year it suffers from scorching, so it is good to know that cutting all the damaged leaves away will do it no harm! I'm going to watch it again later! Congratulations and well done! I hope to visit you one day!

15 Feb, 2010


Thanks for the kind comments.

The red, blue and yellow theme really does work - red oriental ornaments in the winter are replaced by acer leaves in the summer. A dark corner can be illuminated by a bright holly and a red acer uplifted by a blue conifer or yellow foliage.

Conifers need their space - they hate being touched and will react by going brown. We do prune them - as we do most things in the garden - just to keep scale and proportion. When taking photographs we are often armed with secateurs - the camera is quite a critical friend and quickly shows if something has got too big for its boots!

Our upper garden isn't to everyone's liking, but it works as a stage for all our events. Luckily, with the permanent planting of conifers, evergreens, acers and azaleas, if we want to cut down on the work we can forego the begonias and annuals and still have spring and autumn colour.

There is an underlying evergreen structure to all the garden that means that even in the depth of winter there is still plenty to see. During the other months, bulbs, annuals or perennials give colour and interest. Otherwise, most of the year it would be just foliage.

15 Feb, 2010


just amazing what u have managed to much you must be very proud....;-)

15 Feb, 2010


you have the same surname hopefully this is an omen that my garden will live up to urs 1 day its breathtaking

27 Sep, 2010

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