How Does Your Garden Grow?: Robert and Margaret Gordon

How Does Your Garden Grow?: Robert and Margaret Gordon

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Transmission 01/09/1984


26min 24sec







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 Robert and Margaret Gordon in Portglenone, County Antrim.

During the last 12-14 years, Bob has been developing the garden into what it is now. Consisting of a woodland garden, a water garden and a scree, all "absolutely packed with plants, all thriving in almost remarkable conditions". Bob guides Philip around his garden and explains the issues which first arose when he began planting, this led him to be rather disillusioned with it all for a while... before the plants started thriving!

Described as "a paradise garden", Bob describes his fascination with plants, and how due to the infinite varieties, he never gets bored, this leads to a conversation on what conditions produce the best plantings. Also featured, are David's top tips on building a peat wall - and that the trick is not to build too high! 

Concluding the programme is Bob's own variety of the Rubus x Tridal which impresses Philip, as he encourages Bob to enter it into a competition. 


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.

Producer: Ruth Johnston  



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