London (change)
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17/05/2014 at 09:48

Sorry, advance warning, bit of a rant coming up, but I don't often rant.

Last night on GW on TV Monty said that one indispensable piece of kit he has is his warm bed with heated cables in it. He said it cost £700 years ago and has saved him 10s of thousands of £s. Then he said if you can't afford that he had something cheaper, a big heated pad to put under seed trays. That cost £100. I don't see the average gardener affording that sort of thing, you need a huge GH to put it all in for a start. I think GW should be more for the average gardener.

Or are we all interested to see that anyway? How I miss Geoff Hamilton and all the things he showed us how to make cheaply.

17/05/2014 at 09:59
It's a bit like watching Masterchef and complaining that I don't have a Sous Vide machine and a top of the range ice cream maker so the programme is not for me. Delia Smith has top of the range kitchens, cookware made to her own design and a team of trained chefs/cooks/researchers/writers working on her recipes.

Monty has things on the scale he does because gardening is his job and presumably it's worthwhile financially.

It's pretty obvious from looking at any gardening magazine or the shelves of the garden centre that smaller/cheaper versions are available.

Monty was honest, showing us what he uses and explaining how it helps. Those of us with the knowledge and skills can work out how to make our own - I've a feeling that current Health & Safety would do more than raise an eyebrow at a tv programme that suggested that the ordinary gardener should attempt to do that. Things were different in Geoff Hamilton's day.
17/05/2014 at 10:02
Thinking about it further - if Monty had shown us the smaller/cheaper types that are available that would presumably have fallen foul of the BBC's No Advertising rules. All he could do was show us what he uses - no names, no advertsing.
17/05/2014 at 13:43

Then he could have shown us cheaper methods without mentioning names.

I've made a warm propagator using my old dog's (who died) plastic basket filled with sand with a heating cable in it - bought cheaply on the internet.

You can't compare Masterchef, that is a competiton, GW isn't. The equivalent would be one of the gardening shows, like Malvern or Tatton Park. Chelsea being like one of the professional chef competitions.

Delia Smith, certainly in her early shows, cooked in her own kitchen using fairly normal equipment.

17/05/2014 at 14:55
I'll concede that the Masterchef comparison may not be appropriate. However I think that the Delia one may be more apt.

Delia lives close to my old home and when I lived in that part of Suffolk we had mutual acquaintances - the purposoe-built kitchen in her tv series may have been on her property but it wasn't her family kitchen, and the induction hob she used was certainly not normal back then. She also had a large back-room staff of recipe developers etc, as part of the Sainsbury magazine published by the company owned by her husband and herself and edited by her husband.

Anyway, as Monty didn't say, heated propagators are available from most garden centres for ??24.99 - I checked when I visited this morning. I didn't spot any heat pads but they appear to be available on Ebay from ??10 upwards.

What Monty did explain was the benefit of using heat when propagating - the majority of viewers have access to magazines and the internet, or can ask at their GC - in 30 minutes he can't say everything. Perhaps if he had more time ................
17/05/2014 at 15:23
On the bright side, I don't think we need any more heat right now! Phew - it's a scorcher in the greenhouse. I don't like leaving the door wide open because otherwise I have to chase the partridges (Alan and Alan) out before they start pecking, or still worse, the wood pigeons. Little girl bought some purple net sheer curtains from Ikea for ??3, and only used one in her pink boudoir, so I have taken the other one out there to use as shading, but now I have to think about how to hang it up!
17/05/2014 at 15:24
??3.00 even... Wish I'd bought more and put them in a 'these will come in handy one day' box.
17/05/2014 at 15:24
Why won't it write the pound sign?
17/05/2014 at 15:25

How do you know which Alan is Alan BB?

17/05/2014 at 15:33
Indeed nut, I know Alan because he looks like a partridge, whereas Alan closely resembles a partridge.
17/05/2014 at 15:35

I understand BB. It's obvious when you think about it

17/05/2014 at 15:42
I think the pound sign has been subverted by switching to Basic Editor - that's all I can think of.

Are they French Redlegs or English BB - if they're French shouldn't they be Alain?
17/05/2014 at 15:44

I did enjoy seeing Monty take basal cuttings.He explained how it sounded like very advanced gardening but was in fact quite easy and advising the viewer they had nothing to lose and everything to gain.He then brought up the propagator issue and said if you haven't got one,to just place a clear plastic bag over the plant.I followed this advice and now have another Delphinium,the first time I'd ever tried it 

17/05/2014 at 15:55

We never did define 'average gardener' did we?

I don't think I want to be average

17/05/2014 at 16:16
We did try tho didn't we - I'd forgotten that
17/05/2014 at 16:19

I'm very average nut.

In every way...

This thread sounds like that Monty Python sketch where they were all called Bruce...

17/05/2014 at 16:31

Aww FG,we are all unique in our own way 

17/05/2014 at 17:20

BB............I rather like Alan and Alan..............certainly more original than my wild Pheasants who used to come calling daily in a previous garden.  He was called Pheas and she ( due to broken tail feathers ) was named Stubby. 

Even now, some 20 years on, I can never see a hen pheasant without thinking...."Oh, there goes Stubby "............pathetic really for someone of my age  

17/05/2014 at 17:21
I shall take a photo of Alan and Alan if I get a chance. The other day, they were playing knock down ginger at the front door (all glass). There were three loud taps on the glass, but when I went to answer, all I could see was their naughty backsides scooting off up the drive.
17/05/2014 at 17:25

We had pheasants at my last house Bee, and Mrs Pheasant liked to come on the stone windowsills of the lounge and peck on the window 

Have you tried one of those insect screen thingies for your greenhouse door? Might do the trick. When my girls had guinea pigs we had a hutch in their wendy house for them (the piggies not the girls...) and I made a door with that fine metal mesh so that we could leave the door open when it was hot and the guinea pigs could run about safely inside. 

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