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I love Gardeners World and I love it now Monty Don has taken over.   But I am bewildered by the choice of other presenters.   I  mentioned this on another forum, but why on earth would the BBC want to take Alys Fowler off and replace her with Rachel de Thame.   Alys Fowler seems to have a far superior gardening knowledge than Rachel and, in my opinion, she is infinitely more watchable.   She brought a freshness and has radical ideas that the programme badly needed.   Every time Rachel de Thame comes on now, it just grates me.   And I see that Alys Fowler is not even on the list of presenters on Gardeners World Live.  Unless she turned it down, why on earth would they not have her, when she has such a huge contribution to make.

As for Joe Swift and Carol Klein.  I know people like her but Carole Klein just irritates whenever I watch her.  Her over-exaggerated enthusiam is really annoying and her constant grin.   Joe Swift is a non entity.   Why not keep Toby Buckland and Alys and get rid of Rachel de Thame and Joe Swift.   I suspect politics has a lot to do with it, in AF's case anyway?


For goodness sake this is a gardening programme, not about which person you personally find most attractive - Carole Klein is knowledgeable and imparts that knowledge with more clarity than any other gardening presenter I can think of - if you don't like her enthusiastic smile (and I do) then don't look at it - watch what she's doing with her hands - it's what the programme's about!

That is ridiculous.  People are always going to prefer certain presenters, hence Toby Buckland being removed in the first place.   I know it is a gardening programme as I love gardening and because I do, I happen to think taking Alys Fowler out was a big mistake.   It is not who I find most attractive as I am a woman.   And I think Alys Fowler presented her passion for gardening as well as, if not much better, than most of the other presenters.

The selection of presenters has little to do with gardening as most people know it but to please a middle class asthetic.  Toby Buckland's shows were much more about getting people into gardening, first steps and cheap, quick projects as well as good advice to the experienced gardeners.  Don's programmes are more for people to just watch and relax to with a few pointers if you are a gardener.  Both styles have their place and I would really like to see Toby leading a new down and dirty gardening show that actually gets people into gardening and shows people what they can do with a 'normal' back garden rather than Monty's extensive acres. 


This is a continuing argument/discussion and you will always get those who prefer one presenter to another-Carol annoys with her over the top enthusiasm and arm waving but she knows her stuff,others think Monty is the devil in disguise but he is ok for me,Alys I found a bit prissy,Toby came over as a genuine but to some he was a disaster, Jo and Rachel are like marmite.

I have watched GW from the Percy Thrower,Peter Seabrook,Geoff Hamilton Alan Titmarsh times to the present day-it is ane evolving process-if I needed to pick a favourite it would be GH and when Monty leaves no doubt someone else will come along that we will love /loathe and wish Monty would return.

Such is the nature of the beast


Kathy 2

I liked Geoff Hamilton and Alan Titchmarsh best - less about rolling acres and more about proper gardening.  

ZenZinnia, your suggestion was really good.   There should definitely be more than one gardening programme.    Toby Buckland was brilliant in one way and I enjoyed it when he was on too.    I like Monty Don's  love of gardening.   (Toby Buckland did an excellent series with his wife about doing quick fixes for people with not much money, to transform their gardens.   That was so enjoyable.   If only they could bring that back, in addition to Gardeners World.)   I missed Geoff Hamilton as I was too young then.   I like watching him on Youtube though.


im glad toby and alys was replaced .thay drove me mad thay wera like a double act conpeting who could do something better. i love watching monty and joe is nows what he is talking about just look at his gold winning chelsea garden 


GW is currently the Beeb's lone offering for gardeners and it' snot enough and cannot be all things to all gardeners.     That would require separate or more felxible programmes for beginners, knowledgeable amateurs, professionals and so on.

As for teh presenters Monty is a gifted, experienced but untrained amateur with a knack for communication and language.   I preferred it with GH and AT but loathed it with Toby's prattle so am pleased to see Monty back but think Chris Beardshaw awould have been a better choice.  Maybe he wasn't available.

Joe Swift is a designer, not a plantsman.  As long as he's restricted to design features and commentary it's OK but he hardly knows which way is up when it comes to plant care and cultivation.  He also has that dreadful Mockney accent which grates.

Rachel de Thame does actually know a lot about plants and plant care and I don't think is used to best efefct.  Too fluffy by far in most of her spots but that's a production and directing failure.

Alys is excellent on veggies and quite a few other aspects of horticulture but has been having problems in her personal life which have required her devotion so I suspect wa snot taht available for TV stuff.  I hope she returns soon as long as she's not allowed anywhere near forest gardening which was hopelessly badly done for GW in Toby's day.

Carol Klein is just brilliant on plant care and propagation but needs to clam herself down and speak in more moderate tones and cadences.

Toby may be a good gardener but he connivbed with the production team to "populariuse" GW and brought it down to a very low common denominator.  he may well be fine with a series for young gardeners and beginners seeking cheap and instant solutions.   Experienced gardeners know cheap is possible as long as you have patience.  They also know that "instant" is either ephemeral or expensive.


I don't read gossip, but have always considered that maybe some of our missing favourites can't do GW due to other committments? GW is not the only source of income for those named above and may very well not be the best paid. People often make the mistake that you are richly paid if you are on the telly.

Paul N

Good grief, I'd hoped that this subject which had been well and truly done to death in the previous forum, could be laid to rest. The entire subject is doing my head in.

Paul N, I wasn't around for the first discussion.  

I just miss the fresh approach of the TB/AF era as I love gardening but am a relative newby at anything but flowers.   I needed the light approach of Alys and Toby, though, as I said, I like Monty Don.   That is the reason I brought it up.  Feel like I'm misisng out on something now.


Andrea if you want a another gardening programme and have Sky or live in Scotland there isThe Beechgrove Garden on Thursdays-or watch on i-player-or GQT is stiil going on Radio4.

Gary Hobson
obelixx wrote (see)

GW is currently the Beeb's lone offering for gardeners and it' snot enough ..

In my opinion, gardening, as an activity/pastime is very similar to cooking.

How many cookery series do the BBC have. It's seems there's a different cookery program on every day. And some individual cookery programs (Ready, Steady Cook) are sometimes on every day. And there are the various cookery/travel programs that feature cooking around the world.

I pay the same licence fee as cookery fans to, and I get just one program a week; sometimes none. I want a refund.



I like all of the presenters, even got used to Monty on his own garden. But I agree with Andrea..................... I canot abode RDT, the only person that grates me. Either very patronising or appearing to read off the auto Q


I agree with Gary why only one gardening programme? not even any repeats on sky at the moment. But A T has new programme comming on June 26th Love your garden transforming  neglected gardens, could be interesting.

Gary Hobson

As an individual I really like Monty. I can identify with Monty. I thought his series about 80 Gardens and Italy were deep and thoughtful. But that's not everyday gardening.

In terms of TV presenters I do quite like the style of David Domoney (Garden ER). He's no Monty, but he is fresh and radical, and occasionally has a good idea.

We do have a TV garden-fest during Chelsea week, with a couple of programs every day. But if you're a cook (or an antique collector!) several programs per day are the norm.

Why does everyone have to dislike the presenters? Surely its the content of the programme we are all inerested in!  Although i have to say Geff Hamillton was by far the best! no more name calling please 


Hear! Hear!  

And as for GW - that's why there are several presenters, each playing to their strengths - the snide comments about Monty Don's 'acre's smack of nothing short of jealousy to me.  His own garden may be larger than most of ours, but after his health scare who can blame him if he prefers to work from home?  And at least it's not been bought with the Licence Payers money.  He and his wife bought the place themselves ages ago and he's turned it into what it is - and it's actually not that large compared with some - the way it's divided up gives the opportunity to plan smaller areas - each of his 'rooms' appears to be about the same size as my whole garden, but most weeks he shows us something that I can relate to in my garden.

We also see Carole working in her own garden but the snipers prefer to make personal remarks about her appearance and manner because she's female.

The criticisms of Monty differ because he's seen as an Alpha Male so they snipe at his possessions/achievements.

Rachel de Thame may not be the most polished presenter, but she knows her stuff - I thought gardeners would be able to look past the 'presentation' to see the information.  

The last thing we want the programme to do is employ presenters who are not gardeners, so can we just talk about gardening please?

If the snipers think they can do better they can always submit ideas/ pilot programmes to some of the independent channels ...



Firstly the discussion on presenters is mearly a short hand for the style of programme that they front, the type of gardening they show us. 

I'm now a bit bored of Long Acres and it's formality - all box edged squares to hid the beds!  I think there is a place for it but there's just too much.  The programmes that both Alys and Carol did following their gardens through the year were both interesting for different reasons but most of it was 'out of season'. 

How about not concentrating on Monty's patch so much and have the show come from 1 of maybe 4 presenters gardens each week in rotation so we get to see how to look after each through the year.