Haughty and vain British industrialist Thomas Smithers (Pete Postlethwaite) dearly loves his wife Juliana (Greta Sacchi). Since they only have a daughter (Carmen Chaplin), and a strange one at that, Smithers decides that rather than leaving his fortune to his wife and child, he will build a fabulous garden to honor Julianna, who unfortunately, cares little for such things. Hearing of Smithers's plans, Julianna's conniving cousin Fitzmaurice (Richard E. Grant), who has secretly wanted her for himself, suggests that Smithers hire hot young Dutch garden architect Meneer Chrome (Ewan McGregor) to do the work. Chrome's work does not come cheap, but that is fine with Fitzmaurice who is hoping that the project will bankrupt Smithers and cause Julianna to return to him. Unfortunately for Fitzmaurice, Julianna finds herself falling in love with Chrome. Unfortunately for Julianna, Chrome has fallen in love with her daughter Thea.