Country dreams

Time Schedule

Mon 19:30 | Tue 22:30 | Wed 11:30 | Thu 15:30 | Sat 10:30 | Sun 09:00


Exotic plants, noble vineyards and mystic medieval castles – the second series of Country Dreams will yet again take you to a selection of the most beautiful and breath-taking garden settings in Europe.

Each episode features a different country and region including France’s volcanic Auvergne, the buzzing German capital Berlin as well as the enchanted Wallachia of Rumania.

Our charming and carefully chosen protagonists all have their own story to tell. By inviting you to their gardens and homes we let you catch a glimpse of their Country Dream.

Crammed with insider tips and general information on the area the series also presents some of the most charming, bizarre and ambitious gardeners. Whether they run a small organic herb garden in the Austrian Alps or an extensive noble vineyard in the Po valley, they all embody what a lot of us dream about today – the escape to the country, to an idyllic and tranquil life with its challenges and rewards.

18 – 24 June: Episode 11. Styria, Austria

The Alpine scenes in the north and the soft undulating hills with forests and meadows in the South make Styria one of the most scenic spots in Europe. The ground is very fertile and has been used agriculturally for centuries. Now gardeners are coming on board too, as more and more people move here to turn their country dreams into reality. Making the most of the beautiful surroundings, the Sichart family have created a hanging garden of Babylon at 3,500 m with views of alpine valleys. With the privilege of owning one of the larger estates in Styria, Schloss Eybesfeld, the Conrad have lovingly revived their heritage and crafted a vast landscaped garden for the arts. Cornelia Moosbauer is limited to more realistic proportions and has turned her ‘the size of a dish cloth’ city garden into a surprisingly spacious horticultural escape from the hustle and bustle.

Episode 12. Tessin, Switzerland

Tessin is known as the sun bed of Switzerland, combining the best of the Alpine and Mediterranean. The sub tropical climate allows diverse species of plant to flourish and amongst the alpine historic villages. Magi Joss has created a country dream very particular to her imagination: a garden of rare herbs growing along a steep cliff. She is a specialist and also cultivates old plants and herbs that can be used medicinally, supplying local traders with the fruits of her labor and knowledge. Heinz Imhof has chosen a different tack – he has let his garden grown into a vast jungle – but there is method behind the madness as this allows rare breeds to flourish – such as a gigantic species of Lily. Peter and Betlo Bissegger have decided to add their touch to the conventional: they have revived and renovated an old mill, picturesquely located by a small stream in the stunning alpine landscape.

Episode 13. Madeira, Portugal

An island haven for plant lovers as tropical plants fare just as well as the more traditional European blooms on the island of cliffs, meadows and forests. Christina Blandy makes good use of the diversity the warm climate offers – she ensures her botanical garden offers a host of plant species, choosing rarities from every continent and making the spectacular sights available to the public. José Costa has made his horticultural home on the north coast inspired by the traditional calçadas madeirenses, outlining all paths and shapes in his garden with stones gathered from the rocky beaches. It is the forests of laurels that inspire Lino Freits as he coats his walls with the leaves and uses other inspiration for his garden from the island’s environment.

Episode 14. Cornwall, UK

The ramshackle feel of Enys garden gives it the quintessential edge of an English country garden: the crumbling old stone walls, the old wooden bench surrounded by the bluebell fields and the orchard threatening to overgrow. Danielle Dixon and Des Morris, the two gardeners for the estate do the best they can with limited charm as they attempt to revive the romantic garden back to its former glory. Sir Hugh Stucley finds himself bemused around 90 days of the year – the days when he guides tourists around his own home in the name of the national Trust. However, this is a necessity if the home is to be kept up and held in the family for the generations to come. The estate has very much moved into modern times and even hosted an Antiques Roadshow. Rob and Carol Moule have made their dream come tip in a garden on the very southern tip of England. But even so far south they have not had it easy as they have created every path, every fence and even the terrace themselves. We learn from the happy couple that retirement is not something to be taken lightly and that hard work always pays off in the end.

Episode 15. Mainau, Germany

The third largest lake in Europe, bordering three different countries is the heart and soul of Tessin. The sheer size of the lake means it has its own climate – perfectly suited to wine cultivation. It is in the garden of nobel prize winner Hermann Hesse, the writer and scientist that Eva Eberwein and her husband is realizing her country dreams. She has recreated the garden as it was cultivated under the great thinker who collected and rare plant species. Even now students continue the tradition by coming to the garden and gathering are seeds for further study. Marigret Brass-Kästl is living an idyllic country dream in a converted 16th-century schlössle – a little palace – on the edge of the lake looking directly on to the neighbouring alps. She didcated herself to the creating a garden as awe inspiring as her surroundings.

Episode 16. Småland, Sweden

The region of Sweden where the landscape really does mirror the typical image we all imagine – pine forests, vast lakescapes and red painted wooden houses. It is here that Belgians John Blontrock and Marc van Beek have chosen to build their own hotel and English garden. Much less refined, but no less beautiful is the forest garden of the artist Marianna Agetorp. Here, she and other artists get creative using nature as their muse. Technology is the inspiration of Lennart Svensson, as his garden and workshop are filled with 19th-century metal artifacts which he restores and puts to original uses in his garden.

Episode 17. Lüneberg Heath, Germany

The Lüneberg heath is one of the few placed in germnay where one can still see thatch roofs. Rolf Albers has been a professional thatcher for decades and we follow his unique daily work in the country side. Dirck Mertens also cares about keeping the heath as it is – his job is to protect the landscape whilst his wife shapes it as a landscape gardener. At one of the six monasteries in the area Margit Halle ensures that things are in order and tends to the grounds and rose garden in the courtyard. Andrea von Bushe is also dedicated to upholding the heaths traditions as she keeps small grey Moorland sheep in her garden. The animals with their characteristic horns are an emblematic animal of the beautiful heath landscape.

Episode 18. Normandy

Michael Hewitt’s garden is a nature park in the south of Normandy. Its special touch is that most if his plants are edible and his leaves and blossoms are enjoyed in the areas high class restaurants. Sylvia and Patrick Quibel on the other hand focus more on the visual than tasty quality of their garden as they have created a space that combines horticultural tradition with cutting edge gardening modernity. For Blandine Kirchner her garden is all about tranquillity and escape from the city. She has created a blooming oasis for her family and as the scent of rose petals wafts through the air.