Stowe Landscape Gardens to feature in BBC series

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The magnificent landscape gardens of Stowe are to feature in a new BBC documentary series uncovering the rich social and horticultural history of four famous British gardens.

The four-part series, British Gardens In Time, starts on BBC 4 on Tuesday, April 8.

With expert contributions from garden designer Chris Beardshaw, historian Andrea Wulf and National Trust head gardener Alan Power, the series will take a detailed look at iconic gardens created during four very different eras.

Each garden gives an insight into a different century, the people that created them, and why.

Stowe, which features in the second programme in the series, was chosen to represent the 18th century.

Stowe is widely regarded as one of the most remarkable creations of Georgian England.

Created on a vast scale with 36 temples, eight lakes, and a dozen avenues, Stowe launched the career of Launcelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

Rather than being a garden of flower and shrubs, Stowe is a garden of ideas, and its grottos and monuments spell out a coded political manifesto.

The series explains how Stowe’s creator, Viscount Cobham, dreamed of climbing to the pinnacle of political power and establishing a long-lived dynasty but, less than a century after his death, his family became one of the most scandalous bankrupts in the history of England.

Stowe’s general manager, Kerry Foster, said: “The gardens of Stowe were one of the country’s first ever tourist attractions. When they were first created in the 18th century, their size and scale attracted visitors from far and wide.

“This series will explain the significance and hidden meaning of the gardens, which we hope will be of interest to local people who have one of the country’s great heritage gems on their doorstep.”