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Garden Blog

Gardeners Question Time at the Swiss Garden

22 July 2022

The 1 July edition of BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time came from the delightful surroundings of the Shuttleworth Swiss Garden.  We were thrilled to welcome the Gardeners’ Question Time team to the garden to record their Postbag Edition, which was broadcasted on 1st and 3rd July 2022, and is still available to listen to on BBC iPlayer.

The Gardeners Question Time panel at the Swiss Cottage

Head Gardener Sissel Dahl joined a panel led by Kathy Clugston for a morning of recording, helping to answer a selection of listeners’ questions, sharing details of the Swiss Garden’s unique history, and giving the Gardeners’ Question Time team a tour of some of the garden’s most unique and interesting features.
The panel, which included experts Matthew Biggs, Christine Walkden and Ashley Edwards, located themselves in various areas of the garden to record segments of the programme, including a piece inside the magnificent Grade II* listed Grotto & Fernery, a striking late Regency glasshouse that was modified to house a Victorian collection of ferns in the late 1800s.  In here, tree ferns and other smaller varieties of
fern mix with flowering plants and several Wisterias, providing shade in the hotter months. The stunning Pulhamite (Victorian artificial rockwork) tunnels add a touch of drama to both entrances and the acoustics are perfect for recording! The Grotto & Fernery is also licenced for wedding ceremonies, and makes a stunning backdrop.

Head Gardener Sissel Dahl with the GQT panel: Christine Walkden, Ashley Edwards, Kathy Clugston, Matt Biggs

Head Gardener at the Swiss Garden, Sissel Dahl commented: “It was really nice to meet the experts on the panel and to introduce them to the unique features of the Swiss Garden.  I am an avid listener to the programme and it was useful to hear the experts’ advice on the plants we have in our garden, for instance a scrambling Clematis Montana at our Swiss Cottage which needs keeping in check, and as always there were a variety of different answers to each question. After our tour, we finished at the newly restored Rock Garden, which is full of interesting bulbs and alpine plants.”

Enjoy the Swiss Garden recording of Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC iPlayer:

BBC Radio 4 – Gardeners’ Question Time, Swiss Garden, Shuttleworth Estate: Postbag Edition