1 9 6 0 (UK)
8 x 30 minute episodes
This 1960 BBC production of the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett starred Gillian Ferguson as ill-tempered young Mary Lennox who is sent to her uncle’s remote mansion in Yorkshire – Misselthwaite Manor – after being orphaned.
There she discovers an oppressive atmosphere of sadness, a hidden garden and a hypochondriac cousin called Colin (Peter Hempson). With the help of local village lad Dickon (Colin Spaull), Mary resurrects a neglected walled garden where Colin’s mother had died, a garden that lay at the heart of discontent at her uncle’s home.
The production used a greater amount of filmed location work than the original 1952 series but the production team had to overcome two areas of concern from Burnett’s book: the novel incorporated various animals and this problem was resolved thanks to Chessington Zoo, and the story started in mid-Winter and ended in late-Spring but filming took place in Winter at Penhurst Place in Kent.
The production team recreated Spring by planting daffodils and crocuses in the flower beds.
The BBC produced a seven-part colour version of the series in 1975.