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Erica Sereno
Written by Erica Sereno 28th July 2017

50 Years of Changing Gardens

Along with Michael Graham, the BBC’s flagship gardening programme Gardeners’ World celebrates its half a century this year. Over the last fifty years, television, radio and the media have helped make the latest outdoor trends and ideas fashionable, leading to massive changes in garden design. So from the swinging sixties to the present day, how have gardens changed?

1960s – Times were quite austere and gardens often used for growing vegetables. Rockeries full of bedding plants were popular, along with patios and paving.

1970s – Garden centres were springing up everywhere and planting became more sophisticated. Conifers, heathers and sweeping borders became fashionable.

1980s – Outdoor areas for barbecues took off and The Room Outside was born. Lawns often disappeared to be replaced by paving in defined patterns.

1990s – Greater environmental awareness lead to wild flower meadows appearing. Television makeover programmes were all about decking, with gardens softer in style and easier to maintain.

2000s – The Room Outside has upgraded, with new and elegant materials readily available. Growing vegetables is back in fashion with a trend for fruit trailed on walls and fences, something that was popular in gardens 100 years ago.

For a master class in garden design, Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire is unrivalled. The rose gardens, formal planting, wild meadows, carpet bedding and the stunning parterre, all sit in over 120 acres of landscaped grounds and woodland. As part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, Michael Graham is offering the chance to win a luxury overnight stay in Waddesdon, plus a day exploring the spectacular gardens and grounds of Waddesdon Manor. Head to the Timeline competition at and answer correctly a question about the Waddesdon Manor wine cellar to be in with a chance to win. Good luck!