Monty Don – Rhythms Of The Natural World

Probably the most famous British gardener around (not wishing to offend Alan Titchmarsh), Monty Don presents an hour of spoken word in which he tells the stories of his own personal journey with gardening, including his experiences with writing about and presenting horticultural television programmes. While Don is incredibly pleasant and speaks with a confidence and grace that endears him to the audience, there are moments where he makes rather grandiose statements, such as that gardening is like poetry, which might give the impression of pomposity.

With good use of visual aids, Don takes the audience on a whistle-stop tour of his own garden, the famous Long Meadow (which is the garden that appears in every episode of Gardeners' World, for those not in the know). Our host uses the pictures to give very general tips about how to start a garden from scratch as he did and how to achieve the visual affects you desire in all four seasons.

Don is genial and has a chatty manner, often getting a few laughs for his stories about his children and the dog that is almost as famous as he is: Nigel. Though the structure of his talk is very tight at the beginning of the hour, it unravels slightly at the end, with Don having to be prompted by the order of the photographs in his presentation.

If the audience had expected an hour of gardening tips and an opportunity to ask about how to deal with slugs in their lettuces, that's not what they get. Don is much more focused on talking generally about the natural world, but his talk is still by-and-large well received. A particularly positive aspect of his talk is that he gives a great deal of focus to the need to preserve the environment, giving examples of how he recycles at Long Meadow for encouragement to fellow gardeners.

Don's main message is that gardening is for everyone and, coupled with his message of environmentalism, this is a good message to pass on. An entertaining show with a great deal of potential, if he stays away from the extended metaphors.

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The Blurb

Renowned gardening writer and BBC television presenter, and one of the UK's favourites and most respected gardeners speaks about his life, travels, and how gardening has been woven through it all.

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