Friday, March 11, 2011 - 11:15

An episode of BBC Radio 4’s prestigious panel show Gardeners’ Question Time based at the Eden Project will be broadcast at 3pm on Friday March 18, the day after the attraction’s tenth birthday.

The programme, which is due to be repeated at 2pm on Sunday March 20, comes from the picturesque surroundings of Eden’s Mediterranean Biome on Monday (March 7).

The programme features a group of horticultural experts answering gardening questions from a live audience and is recorded in a different location each week.

The panel at the Eden show is Matthew Biggs, Anne Swithinbank and Chris Beardshaw with Eric Robson chairing the discussion and expert contributions from Matt James.

To mark the tenth birthday, the programme will also include features about the history of the project, aerial gardening in the Rainforest Biome and practical tips from Eden’s top horticulturists, including Catherine Cutler, Hetty Ninnis, Kevin Austin, Darren Topps and Tim Pettitt.

The panellists had glowing words of praise for Eden. Matthew Biggs, who wrote the books, Gardening at Eden and How to do it at Home, said Eden was “an absolutely magnificent place”. “There's so much to learn. It's a lovely place to be,” he added.

Chris Beardshaw said: “In a way Eden picks up where botanic gardens left off. It's a contemporary approach to collecting and exhibiting plants. I was touched the first time I came here at just how it was demonstrating the interconnectiveness of organisms around the globe.”

Anne Swithinbank said: “I have been visiting here since before it was opened. It's a really exciting place to come to. Not all of us will see a true rainforest. This is the next best thing.”

Don Murray, Eden’s Chair of Horticulture, said: “We are thrilled to host such a prestigious and knowledgeable programme as Gardeners’ Question Time. It is great to see the depth of expert knowledge within the panel engaging with some of our leading horticulturists to produce some compelling broadcasting.

“What a great way to mark the breadth of horticultural knowledge at Eden in the week of our tenth birthday.”

Gardeners’ Question Time is a Radio 4 institution, attracting more than 2 million listeners a week. Recorded in a different location each week, this long-standing radio programme has answered well over 30,000 questions since its inception in 1947.