Local garden features on national TV

Lea Gardens.

A SHETLAND garden is to be featured as one of Britain’s 30 best back gardens in a new ITV series presented by gardening journalist Alan Titchmarsh.

Following some top secret filming last summer, Lea Gardens in Tresta has been included in the first programme in the three-part series looking at particularly challenging plots.

Alan Titchmarsh - Photo: ITV

Celebrating 50 years as a horticulturist, Titchmarsh has spent the past 12 months appealing to the public to nominate their favourite gardens. From around 600 applications he has chosen his top 30.

In the first episode, to be broadcast at 8pm on Tuesday (6 January), Titchmarsh presents his ten favourite challenging plots – from the tiniest pub garden to gardens surviving the harsh conditions of the UK’s most northerly coast.

Owner Rosa Steppanova said she was delighted that Lea Gardens was now officially one of Britain’s 30 best back gardens.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped to make the garden what it is today,” she said.

“When I arrived in Shetland, it was the place where nothing could grow because of the harsh climate.

“Nothing could be further from the truth, as three decades later wonderful gardens have sprung up everywhere and I’m sure some of them are as deserving of this accolade as Lea Gardens, if not more so.”

Steppanova added: “The inclusion of a Shetland garden on this list is important because it not only puts Lea Gardens, but Shetland horticulture as a whole on the national map, and with it the efforts and achievement of all Shetland gardeners. That surely is cause for celebration.”

An older view of Lea Gardens in winter - Photos: Lea Gardens