Date: 
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - 11:23

The renowned BBC 2 programme Gardeners’ World will feature gardening high up in the air at the Eden Project in its hour-long Easter special at 8pm on April 22.

Gardeners’ World visited Eden earlier in the month to look at the complexities of caring for plants in the unique surroundings of the former clay quarry. The crew focused on the Rainforest Biome, where huge plants such as kapok and balsa have reached such a height that they need to be pruned regularly.

In the programme, Hetty Ninnis, Rainforest Biome Supervisor, along with fellow horticulturist John Nichol, explain how they had to turn to more unusual methods of pruning once the plants had become too tall to use a hydraulic crane. They had been using ropes and abseiling down from the roof to tend to the tallest plants, but this method proved to be time-consuming, which is why they decided to purchase a helium balloon.

John then demonstrates the balloon, which is the same as those used in the tropical rainforest to study life in the canopy. In the cavernous space of the 50 metre-tall Biome, the balloon allows the gardeners to move around easily and quickly, while providing a stunning view of the scene below.

Don Murray, Eden’s Chair of Horticulture, said: “We’re really pleased that Gardeners’ World decided to feature our Rainforest Balloon. As well as being a fun way to do essential gardening, it gives us a fantastic opportunity to explore the higher reaches of the Biome and look more deeply into what happens at canopy level.”

For more information on the Eden Project and the Rainforest Biome, go to: http://www.edenproject.com/