Wednesday, 3 June 2009


Written and directed by Joel Hershman this 2000 movie stars:
Clive Owen as Colin Briggs
Helen Mirren as Georgina Woodhouse
David Kelly as Fergus Wilks
Warren Clarke as Governor Hodge
Danny Dyer as Tony
Adam Fogarty as Raw
Paterson Joseph as Jimmy
Natasha Little as Primrose Woodhouse
Okay so it's not a western but a film about gardening. Not kidding this film is about plants and gardening.
It is based on the real story about the inmates of Her Majesty's Prison Leyhill.
Colin Briggs is sent to a minimum security prison to finish his sentence for murder and be put up for parole. He shares a cell with the elderly but wise Fergus Wilks who is in for killing three of his wives but knows that he will never leave prison as he has cancer.
For Christmas Fergus gives Colin a packet of Viola seeds that Colin plants close to the football pitch. Come the spring they have grown and the Governor is so impressed because plants like that have never grown in the prison grounds before.
As a result the prisoners become gardeners and their garden comes to the notice of the prominent garden expert Georgina Woodhouse. She employs the prisoners as a gardening team for one of her own projects.
Colin is given parole but breaks it so that he can get back into prison to lead a team that enters a display at the Hampton Court Garden Show. Their entry wins them an audience with the Queen because she thought that 'they had been robbed.'
This is really a wonderful film and should be better known. Clive Owen who we knew from 'Sin City' and 'Shoot 'Em Up' shows another side to his acting and impressed.
None of us could believe that we could enjoy a film so much about gardening but we did. It was shown on BBC One last night but I've had to order the dvd as I want it in my collection.
In the following years the prison did exhibit again winning silver and gold medals before winning the prestigious Tudor Rose Award.

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