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Science
THE GARDEN
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Monday 5 December 2005, 20:30 - 21:00
Friday 6 October 2006, 23:30 - 00:00 (rpt)

Writer and conservationist Roger Deakin presents an intimate portrait of the changing character of his garden as the seasons unfold.

The moat hidden deap in Roger Deakin's garden
The moat at Walnut Tree Farm in spring time
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The Garden Roger Deakin by his moat in the garden

Walnut Tree Farm is a 450 year old wooden farmhouse, buried under a blanket of ivy and wild honeysuckle in Suffolk.

The garden is reached by a stony track across a narrow moat from the village common. It's an untamed place; a slice of ancient Suffolk extending into four meadows, a small wood and a walnut tree after which the farm is named.

The garden is a clearing containing a moat; two ponds; a shepherd's hut; over a mile of tall, thick hedgerows; and four meadows of grasses and orchids which buzz and hum with the sounds of insects and birds through the year.

It's a wild place with its own special charm. Moorhen chicks "whisper to one another" in the shadows of overhanging trees as Roger swims through the cold, clear waters of the moat. Dragonflies land undaunted on the swimmer's head, whilst the clang of a metal breadbin lid heralds the arrival of the postman.

Wild flowers in the gardenA lovingly restored shepherd's hut resting amongst the tall grasses provides a welcome retreat for Roger when he's not digging out docks from the hay field, scything nettles along the field edge, or dragging timber from the wood with help of an ancient, seed-cloaked tractor.


In this evocative soundscape, Roger presents an intimate and personal portrait of the changing character of his garden as the seasons unfold. There's the fiery crackle of an autumn bonfire as leaves "curl like question marks"; the gentle melt of snow into a winter moat; the orchestral sound of a dawn chorus in spring; the squeal of a dock being ripped from the earth; and the low, haunting drone of a organ pipe in the garden's H.Q.
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