COLIN VICK­ERY OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Saturday -

IUSED to think that the re­porters on Get­away had the best job in the world, but I’ve changed my mind. Now I reckon it is Monty Don. You may re­mem­ber Don’s 10-part se­ries Around the World in 80 Gar­dens. That’s right, the Bri­tish hor­ti­cul­tural guru got paid to travel the globe and film its most beau­ti­ful pub­lic and pri­vate gar­dens. It doesn’t get much bet­ter than that. Ex­cept that it does on Monty Don’s Ital­ian Gar­dens. Don cov­ered four Ital­ian gar­dens in World — and now he’s back for more. In the first two episodes of Ital­ian Gar­dens, Don went to for­mal gar­dens in Rome and Florence. This week, he heads south, bas­ing him­self in Naples. Yes, he goes to the Amalfi Coast. ‘‘ The gar­dens are mostly more in­for­mal, the plant­ing’s more ex­otic and I get a glimpse into the glam­orous hide­aways of the rich and fa­mous,’’ Don tells view­ers who, by now, must be feel­ing more than a touch of envy. What I like about Don is that he wants to do more than just give view­ers pretty pic­tures (though there are plenty of those). ‘‘ The gar­dens I vis­ited around Rome and Florence were of­ten ex­u­ber­ant and play­ful, but na­ture was al­ways seen as some­thing to be tamed,’’ he says. ‘‘ Here in the south, gar­dens are more com­fort­able, with a wilder, more ro­man­tic vi­sion of the nat­u­ral world. There is a sense of care­less aban­don — as if na­ture could re­claim it at any mo­ment.’’ Don says many of the gar­dens have their roots in the Bri­tish land­scape move­ment of the 18th cen­tury. The high­light is the gar­den cre­ated in the me­dieval town of Nym­pha. It is when you see Don walk­ing around Nym­pha that, like me, you will start say­ing to your­self: ‘‘ Monty Don has the best job in the world.’’ Monty Don’s Ital­ian Gar­dens ABC1, 6pm

Best job: Monty Don

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