How Does Your Garden Grow?: Major Gerald and Margaret Reside

How Does Your Garden Grow?: Major Gerald and Margaret Reside

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Transmission 01/12/1986


26min 10sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Philip Wood and David Wilson explore the garden of Major Gerald and Margaret Reside in Killowen, County Down.

Described as a "tranquil garden with a southernly aspect. Set close, beside the Moune Mountains and Carlingford Lough", this garden has a carefully selected array of plants which has all the "richness and subtle complexities of a gorgeous oriental carpet". Gerald describes the garden as having been "overgrown" when they first moved in and that the soil was rather poor. Another, issue was that there was no water, electricity or proper drainage which Gerald describes as a "civil engineering problem".

A key component, when planting, was to keep the garden as labour saving as possible, with Margaret in charge of the aesthetic arrangement of the flowers and plants. Though, she is modest when complimented, saying that "sometimes it's planned and sometimes it just occurs".


Late Philip Woods developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of botany and horticulture and bred new varieties of plants and flowers for the nurseries in Northern Ireland. Before he settled down in NI he served in the Royal Corps of Signals and saw active service in many countries around the world during WWII. After the war, Philip took up the post of manager of the Slieve Donard Nursery in Newcastle, County Down. He was also one of the founding members of the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team and was appointed as its first leader. Later when retired, he devoted his time to designing gardens and providing advice, sharing his knowledge through gardening classes, lectures, newspaper articles, radio programmes.


An Ulster Television Production. 

Produced and Directed by Ruth Johnston 



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