The grande dame of British cookery Prue Leith is swapping home baking for home growing.

A new four-part series, Prue’s Great Garden Plot, follows The Great British Bake Off judge, 81, as she bids farewell to her gorgeous country home Chastleton Glebe, near Moreton-in-Marsh, and downsizes to a modern barn she and husband John Playfair designed together.

But there’s one big problem, a two-acre size problem.

The South African-born restaurateur, author and businesswoman – who was made an actual dame in the Queen’s Birthday Honours - is leaving behind a lovingly landscaped seven-acre garden of nearly 50 years.

Meanwhile the couple’s new home is surrounded by rubbish, rubble, rusting buildings and overgrown vegetation.

For green-fingered Prue, who opened the eighth Blenheim Palace Flower Show last year, a glorious garden filled with life and colour is top of her priority list, even more so than the house itself.

Over the years, her garden has been the place where memories have been created and in recent months, her refuge and the saviour of her sanity.

Determined to have her new garden looking picture perfect in less than a year, Prue gets straight down to business.

Seeking inspiration from the country’s best private gardens, she set about designing, digging, and planting the garden of her dreams.

Across the four episodes, viewers will journey through the seasons with Prue and John as the ever evolving garden takes shape.

The series will also offer aspirational and accessible tips to home horticulturists who are also looking to create magnificent yet manageable gardens themselves.

Prue said: “I’m no Monty Don but I’ve been gardening for 45 years and just love it. But this garden has to be manageable by a pair of oldies none too keen on kneeling, bending or humping heavy gear. So, it’s a robot for the lawn, troughs for the veg, and pots on the terrace. And a fair few disasters!"

Oxford Mail:

In 2008 Prue told the Mail she is often happiest when up to her elbows in muck as she tended the beautiful grounds of Chastleton which has a lake, complete with tiny man-made island in the centre plus a bridge, summerhouse and even a boat, all designed by Prue and her late husband, the writer Rayne Kruger.

They were inspired by the famous willow pattern' design popularised by china manufacturer Thomas Minton.

Prue said then: "Gardening is a passion of mine. When I am here and it is not pouring with rain, I spend most of the day in the garden just pottering about.

"It is a bottomless pit you just throw money at and, as far as I am concerned, gardening is nearly as good as cooking."

Prue’s Great Garden Plot will air next week on More4 and later this year on Channel 4.