Fanatic alert! Gardeners World fans distracted by salvia addict collection on BBC

Gardeners' World: Man shows off his impressive collection of salvias

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Horticulturist and host Monty Don has fronted the BBC staple Gardeners’ World since 2003. The plant expert has built up a strong fan base of both seasoned and novice gardeners who look to the nature guru for tips on how to keep their garden thriving. He took over the popular show from broadcaster and gardener Alan Titchmarsh and has been a firm favourite with viewers ever since. The 66-year-old gave fans insight into one gardener’s haven, which was made up entirely of salvias. Impressed viewers flocked to social media to comment on the collection of the self-confessed “addict”.

Introducing Oliver Groom, Monty began: “For most of us, we have interests in a wide range of plants, whether that be vegetables, fruit, shrubs, bulbs, whatever it may be.

“But throughout horticultural history, there’s always been a select group of men and women who have dedicated themselves with scholarship and fascination to a very particular group of plants.

“And we went along to visit a true expert in his garden – Clifton, in Bedfordshire, to enjoy his extraordinary collection of salvias.”

Oliver’s garden was full to the brim with the flower as he explained: “I have around 450 salvias in my collection.”

He continued: “Possibly a few more if I include my new hybrids.

“I remember getting to 100 and I said I was going to stop, then I was going to stop at 250 and I don’t know.

“I don’t know how many I’m going to have in the end.

“It’s like an adventure. Growing up, my mum grew and still grows salvias.

“All my knowledge, cutting sees et cetera came from my mum. So I was very lucky.”

Explaining his fascination, he added: “There’s just such an excitement with them because there’s such a wide variety of salvias.

“There’s over 1000 species alone now.” He began showing viewers the different types of salvia growing in his garden.

As he talked about each of them and the way in which salvias can be found around the world, fans were mesmerised.

One took to Twitter to comment: “Salvia fanatic alert #GardenersWorld.”

A second wrote: “Now I love a Salvia but…[email protected] #GardenersWorld.”

“I think Oliver likes salvia! beautiful collection #GardenersWorld,” a third chimed.

Someone else penned: “Lovely seeing how many varieties of salvia there are. Was rather unsuccessful with my first plant a couple of years ago, however, recently bought some salvia amistad. Here’s hoping for lush purple spikes next summer. #GardenersWorld @GWandShows.”

“My salvia adventure is buying 6 bargain salvias & not keeping the label in the pots. #shoutyhalfhour #GardenersWorld #rookieerror,” a fifth admitted.

Another shared Oliver’s passion, writing: “Ooh Salvias. I love them too. Salvia ‘Embers Wish’ #GardenersWorld #DollysCottageGarden.”

After the segment, Monty commented: “I have a feeling Oliver’s collection is going to grow and grow and I’m sure he will go on getting intense pleasure and satisfaction from them.”

Gardeners’ World airs on Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC Two.

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