11:45AM, Wednesday 28 April 2021
Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens will feature as 'Buckinghamshire's hidden gem' on Great British Railway Journeys on Wednesday.
Presenter Michael Portillo visited the gardens when filming the 12th series, which focuses on Britain between the world wars and the 1930s, which is when the land was acquired by Sir Noel Mobbs opening as a Garden of Remembrance.
During a tour of the gardens, head gardener Franzi Cheeseman tells Michael about the history and the designer of the gardens, why the gardens are important and why they were considered pioneering works at the time.
During the show Michael helps plant a yew tree in a newly designed part of the gardens as a reference to Thomas Gray's poem ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ which was inspired by St Giles’ churchyard which sits next door to the gardens.
Martin Dickman, service director for neighbourhood services, said: “We are so lucky to have these beautiful gardens on our doorstep. The site is open from dawn to dusk and I’d encourage everyone to visit these unique gardens.
"The Wisteria, which was listed in the top 10 Wisterias in the Telegraph in 2016, will be starting to flower in two weeks’ time and really is a must see.
“Taking part in the filming was a fantastic experience for Franzi and her team. The programme’s production team were all so lovely and genuinely interested in the work we and the Friends of the Gardens do and the people involved including the Garden Ninjas, a volunteer gardening group who help keep on top of the weeds and who enjoy the company, fresh air and exercise.”
The Grade I listed gardens are maintained and managed by Buckinghamshire Council. They were designed by Edward White and took five years to complete.
The show will be screened on Wednesday, 28 April, 6:30pm on BBC2.
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