Thursday, 18 March 2010

What They Don't Show You On Gardener's World

My husband always wonders why I insist on watching Gardener's World on BBC tv, since I spend  the whole programme moaning about it! Well of course, it's a must view prog for gardeners, but I do wish they could manage to be a bit more, well, normal. Normal gardens have weeds, you never see buttercups or dandelions on Gardeners World, and the soil is like a bag of potting compost, nothing like the claggy lumps of earth most of us have to deal with in the real world. Last year when Joe Swift took on a new allotment, it was miraculously "dug over" in the blink of an eye,which allowed dear old Joe to concentrate on designing the peculiar triangle shape of his veg beds. I know they have to show "progress" but they could have kept at least a part of it hand cultivated if only to show how it works in reality
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There are always bits of the garden that get neglected and weedy. Well at least in my garden there is. Last year for example, I used weed suppressing fabric on the pathways in the veg garden, topped with wood chippings, but I found that although this is very useful for keeping down annual weeds in the summer, the tough perennial weeds like couch grass, mare's tail, and bindweed seem to just run along under the fabric and sprout up in the beds. When I lifted the fabric this week, I found a veritable spaghetti of roots underneath, so I may re think my use of this method of weed suppression this year.  These are the kinds of things real gardeners are interested in, - I think the programme spends too much time trying to entice novice gardeners, when in reality, most of their core viewers are keen gardeners already, and don't need or appreciate the "this is how to open a seed packet" approach.
My son and I were discussing our ideal Gardeners World "dream team" recently - he wanted Rachel de Thame for eye candy, and Alan Titchmarsh for the main presenter. I would bring back the spririt of Geoff Hamilton as a proper gardener, Alan for eye candy, and Carol Klein as the mad old woman, just to make me feel at home!
I apologize to people who don't get BBCtv  by the way,as this whole item will be of pretty much no interest whatsoever.

4 comments:

  1. I miss gardeners world and was so sad when Geoff Hamilton died. I have to say I did like Alan Titchmarsh at presenter, was sad to see him go too. As for gardens with problem areas, well I beat everyone! lol

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  2. I loved Geoff Hamilton & he wasn't afraid to say the 'W' word. I remember one episode when he dug up a dock & nailed it to his shed door. One year later, he took it down and planted it & it started to grow again! Faced with that, I'm afraid I turned to glyphoste weedkiller.I know there's no such thing as an environmentally friendly chemical, but a garden of bindweed and mare's tails called for drastic action
    (although I secretly enjoyed digging out the fleshy bindweed roots - until they snap off of course).

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  3. I feel the same way about houses in magazines. They always look too perfect. And they never show the gardens in their entirety - just a flower here, a little bit of a garden there. I'd like more pictures of the way everything fits together. And though I'm in the US, I love Alan T. I've bought his autobiographies, and love one of his fiction books - Animal Instincts. He seems to be such a kind, gentle person. I hope it's true! I was a faithful Groundforce watcher.

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  4. SJM - I was really sad when Geoff died too, greatly missed.

    Tammyk - that sounds just like Geoff!

    Nan- Doesn't everyone just love Alan though if he has a fault at all it's possibly that he's too nice!

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