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Woodgreen wonderboy

Alan Titmarsh quite rightly raised the issue of the importance of encouraging the next generation of gardeners if horticulture is to continue to play an important role in society. The RHS has been trying to increase the involvement of young people for some years now. What a pity therefore that at the Malvern Spring Flower show the Gardener's World TV team appeared to show no interest whatsoever in the wonderful collection of show gardens built  by local schools. A teacher even told me that Joe Swift, when approached and asked to see the gardens and talk to the children, refused to do so. He was too busy.

0/10 and a very poor effort.


How horrid...shame on Joe Swift.

Well, we need the next generation to know about growing stuff and they need to be "inspired" by tv presenters.

When I was at school gardenIng was seen as something people without qualifications did.  Now, and rightly so, it is regarded as a worthwhile a d healthy career


It's a shame that celebs can't make the effort to go 'off piste' for children. Especially when growing things is such a positive and healthy pursuuit that needs encouragment


I should think schedules are pretty tight for performers at these events. I should want to hear both sides before drawing conclusions. 



Best way to get kids interested is to get them "doing" - doubt whether they will be watching TV programmes on gardening.  The schools I have contact with have all got miles better at this over the past few years - they all have their own gardens, and these get used by all the kids - not just the ones that join the gardening clubs.  So I think things might be moving in the right direction ....

Woodgreen wonderboy

Nut, my point is that GW should have included the childrens' efforts in their "busy" scehedule from the off. The overall standard of gardens was very good, and gets better each year. The school's gardens were every bit as good in their way and deserve equal exposure.

The potty gardener

I agree that it's parents who should encourage gardening. Schools can do so much but it is like everything else children do by example. They tend to copy their parents to a certain extent.


Morrisons have a 'Let's Grow' campaign and for every £10 you spend you are given so many vouchers which, now I have no children at school, I pass on to the local Primary School.  Apparently there are over 26,000 schools which are benefitting.  They are taught about where food comes from and with the vouchers can pick out from a catalogue tools, etc. for their school garden.  My little school round the corner has a lovely garden, which is beautifully kept and all sorts of things are grown there. There are senior schools involved also. 

my grandchildren have a tomato plant each and a pepper plant and garden peas and potatoes when they come at weekends they tend to there own plants and they sow more cress in yoghurt pots to take home ages 7 , 4 ,and 3 they love digging and planting and finding worms and insects they end up very dirty very tired they are my weekend little helpers 

My boys (nearly 4 and 2) love helping in the garden and when I ask if they want to help sow seeds etc they race each other to be first. My eldest recognises foxgloves (among other plants) and when I asked him what else he knows about foxgloves he replied that if he touches them he needs to wash his hands right away because they are poisonous. One of their favourite places is Ryton Organic Gardens and my eldest is very excited about going to Malvern tomorrow.  I guess they need to learn enthusiasm for gardening, and be given the chance to get  positively involved. Kids are full of enthusiasm for life at this age, and everything is new and interesting, with no prejudices etc. My son's preschool/school is also growing veg etc with the support of Garden Organic.

So many times (as was my husband's experience) parents allot small spaces for kids to grow things but give them the worst spot where they are doomed to failure. My husband was given a spot in deep shade and poor soil, which he might have been able to do something with, but not without guidance. He was disheartened from the beginning. But we're working on it now 

I also think it's a shame that Chelsea doesn't allow children.

Woodgreen wonderboy

They will love Malvern... be sure to show them the School's gardens which are themed around books, and are great gardens in their own right. (You can't see them on TV  )

Hang on a minute.....the RHS is trying to encourage youngsters to consider horticulture as a career, and then doesn't allow children into Chelsea?

If that's right, then that's double standards taken to the extreme - worse than some politicians!

Shame on you, Chelsea/RHS!



MMP- I kind of understand the thinking there though- it would be  like taking young children to Venice...not really the right 'venue' -and not very enjoyable for anyone!

When mine were small I remember taking them to Holker Hall when we were in the Lake District and that's a better type of show for youngsters. Lots of others will be the same. Horses for courses and all that 

They're all too busy and congested for me anyway..don't like crowds!

Would love to go to malvern show.  Will make it  next year I hope

The potty gardener

Morning all.Up early to watch QVC gardening show, going to try to stay awake today.

Will be lily beetle hunting in a bit. I'm still waiting for some rain.

Like you Verdun I wish I could get to Malvern show- it looked great on GW last night.

Have a good day everyone.

First time poster here.  I work in telly, but nothing like GW.  

I have some sympathy for the TV presenters who wouldn't go to those gardens.  The presenters are paid to be there to do GW, it's all they're there for and if they mess up on GW, they've failed.  There's a lot of time pressure on that team there; GW normally has more than a week for editing between filming and transmission, but at Malvern it's just a day or two.  That means the pressure on all concerned is far greater and a presenter going AWOL can make a big mess of the whole show.  And the presenters have a lot to deal with on days like that; scripting on the hoof, unfamiliar surroundings, an actual audience as well as the imagined one on the far side of the lens.  I understand totally if they don't feel able to take on any more; they're under big pressure.

Also - and I ought to say I've never met and don't know any of the GW presenters - some people who are communicative, outgoing people on TV are actually quite shy people who hate talking to crowds, hate having to be "on show" and won't do anything public without a lot of preparation.  I have a lot of sympathy with them; I know a lot of presenters across various genres, some are gregarious and outgoing, some are tremendously awkward, some are great off the cuff, some can't cope without a script.  They're hired because they have the rare, difficult knack of being able to communicate through that strange glass eye on the front of a camera; don't assume they can turn it on at will to a group of strangers.

Oh, and they probably earn a lot less than most of you think.  (Still more than us producers....).