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ABC1, 6pm

Na­tive plants rule the roost when it comes to gar­den­ing trends here in Aus­tralia, but the ro­mance of a for­mal French gar­den is ir­re­sistible for Bri­tish hor­ti­cul­tur­ist Monty Don and he is on a mis­sion to show us why. Part travel doc­u­men­tary, part love let­ter to France’s green spa­ces, Don ex­am­ines what makes their gar­dens unique. In tonight’s sea­son pre­miere, it’s all about for­mal gar­dens and what they his­tor­i­cally re­veal about power and pas­sion. Monty strolls through mag­nif­i­cent es­tates, ex­plor­ing an elab­o­rate walled gar­den de­signed to please the mis­tress and then wife of a king and a mod­ern- day chateau gar­den that came close to bankrupt­ing its owner.

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