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Much as I loved Monty Don's Round the World in 80 Gardens, and much as I am delighted to hear that he is well enough to be able to present a popular show like Gardeners' World again, I am very disappointed that Toby Buckland and Alys Fowler will not be in the new series. What's going to happen to Greenacre? For those of us who still have a lot to learn, Toby and Alice were essential viewing. My heart sinks at the thought of more grandiose plans for making tropical gardens in areas the size of a postage stamp, not to mention the endless trials of lawn mowers, etc.. It seems that the way we award accolades to our gardening presenters is by comparing them to the great gardeners of the past. If we truly want a successor to Geoff Hamilton, it has to be Toby: above all, Geoff was a practical man who brought gardening within the grasp of everyone, however small their plot, however small their wallet. Could we not agree that there is space for all these different approaches, and if there are so many people interested in gardening, why can't we have two Gardeners' World programmes a week - a hands-on, get down and dirty one with Toby and Alice, and an Extra one with Monty and the rest of the team? I'm keen on gardening, not just garden-related items, and I shall dearly miss Greenacre and watching it develop.
I liked your 2011 wishlist, especially: "May the caterpillars discover that synchronized swimming is infinitely preferable to cabbage munching." That is my garden problem number one, no I mean challenge.
I have one wish - that more people will think like Matthew Wilson(I had his book"New Gardening" for Xmas) and our own Kate and see their garden as part of the greater picture of nature. Happy New Year everyone.
I enjoyed that book - I have even made the wildlife bench in my wilder area of the garden. It is enjoyed by the visiting gang of pheasants as anything up to 16 of them jostle on it.So I will agree with your wish completely. Equally good in the garden were the insect boxes I copied from Toby (although one was used as a snack bar by a woodpecker). So my wish would be to see Toby back with some of his great ideas too.


Lovely wish list. Tip: eat the Hairy Bittercress as you go. Trial the tomato 'Sweet Pea' - small fruit, ripens quickly, heavy cropping. No blight supposedly. I am compiling a free list of folklore to rid you of root flys etc. See my blog. Add to it if you so wish.
Forgot to add that I wish to see Alys again. I thoroughly enjoyed drilling holes in old cups and planting them up with bulbs. They looked really good on the kitchen windowsill. I often wondered what I could do with old cups from charity shops.So I wish that Toby and Alys can come back and teach me some more.
Thanks happymarion, how lovely. I'm wishing for a good summer, birds in my bird box, frogspawn in the pond and bees everywhere. Happy new gardening year! Kate
i have been gardening for about 65 years and i still do not know everything. i really enjoyed gardeners world and cannot understand the change in presenters. it was informative, funny, helpful, easy-watching and enjoyable. there was always ssomething to learn and the guys and gals were very encouraging. i am not a fan of monty don as i found him too fond of growing vegetables and fruit and we have not all got large gardens but we can do some of the smaller flowery things. i do not know if i will watch it again.
Definitely have preferred the more 'down-to-earth' and practical,useful programmes delivered by Toby, Alice, Jo, and Carol recently than anything that Monty was in. Nothing's perfect but I think they are the most 'real' gardeners we've had for a while and I'm very disappointed to learn of Monty's return.
Can someone advise if Smoke Cones are still legal for Fumigating Greenhouses and if so where they can be purchased
Loved the wish list. Would add my wish that my 17 month old yellow labrador stops chewing my plants at the roots. A climbing rose, New Dawn (yes, in spite of the thorns!), clematis Wisley Cream and winter flowering jasmine are just some of the victims. Any chance that they will rise from the dead do you think? I will have to turn my garden into a chicken wired Colditz at this rate!
I have had similar plants munched to the ground by rabbits and they grew again. The answer could be for you to get some rabbits for the dog to chase! I wish all rabbits would only exist in hedgerows. I also wish that all squirrels in a 10km radius will stay away frommy newly planted cobnut bushes.
Great blog and lovely comments - May my own cat not cause me embarassment in my neighbours gardens (and use my own)and may all your produce be bountiful and ready to eat, or simply beautiful. Glad to hear that Monty is well again, but Toby et al should stay. Viewing figures fell due to a different format (aka dumbing down) - not his responsibility & it was clear that as Monty was at Berryfields and Carol and Joe were elsewhere the camardarie that was typical for Alan Titchmarsh and his co presenters was missing. Have learned much from Carol, Toby, Jo & Alys. Their no nonsense approach in a lighthearted way - more please. Can't understand why they didn't give the job to Carol in the first place though. Greenacre - shame not to see that mature - who paid for that and what's to happen to it and the plants?


Carol is great and very knowledgable but her wild enthusiasm can be a bit over the top. I like her 1 off progs but I think fulltime I would be hyper - like too much coffee! Monty is llike a dull wet blanket that sops all the joy out of learning about the garden so I wish to have Toby back
Great wish list. I too wish/hope that many of my plants have survived the harsh winter (so far) with plenty more bad wintery to come! I don't hold out much hope for alot of them :-( Oh and bring back Toby and Alys, if not to Gardeners World then to our tv screens again soon.
I wish that all the snow and freezing temps have worked their magic on my horrible clay soil and will make it a wee bit easier for me to work. (But I don't want snow like that again anytime soon please!) I wish that my newly acquired greenhouse will be as productive as it can be and that my garden (and Mum's along the road) will be bursting at the seams with gorgeous flowers! I wish that this summer my hayfever won't be as bad as in previous summers. I wish that the best gardening programme on the telly continues to entertain, inspire and educate me ... but as Monty's returning to GW this year, the only programme that's likely to do that is the Beechgrove Garden!
I totally agree with the comment that Toby Buckland must stay on our television. His style of gardening is brilliant.