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GARDENERS' WORLD on 27 April 2014 topped the BBC 2 viewers' ratings according to the official auditing company, BARB.

I think that this is the first time that the programme has ever been the no 1 watched show on the channel.

It had 2.32 million of us watching.

CONGRATULATIONS to every on involved in producing it.


Did they feature something special in the programme to draw that many viewers?


And the next week it wasn't there 'cos of the snooker ............ barmy 

Scott Edwards

I still prefer Beechgrove for real gardening. It might not look a smooth and polished but it is much more helpful in giving clear advice and guidance. Hope the excellent viewing figures won't lead to complacency. I watch cookery programs by never cook any of the dishes they make. They all assume I can already cook to a higher standard than I can. They are a nice watch and a pleasant way to relax for half an hour but don't give me the information or confidence I need to head into the kitchen. Need to guard against Gardener's World heading in a similar direction.


I think that's  a very good comment Scott and I thoroughly agree. It's already been established that cookery programmes are achieving the opposite effect of what we'd assume - people are watching them as a way to pass time rather than going into the kitchen to copy the chefs they see. 

I think Beechgrove is making it's mark now that it's nationwide. Strangely, I never used to be a fan of it, but I reckon it's covering subjects in a better way and showing people useful tips and methods while still catering for more experienced gardeners. Competition is always a good thing!



Scott and Fg, I agree; Beechgrove is about Proper Gardening; not about celebrities.

To be honest I'd cry uncontrollably if either of these program's were cancelled. Some weeks g.w. Is the best some weeks b.g. Is the best. I feel between the two of them I get a well rounded approach to gardening.
P.s. I've just got a smart tv so I can watch YouTube on it and now I'm just watching all the 'A to Z of gardening' program's that the beeb did a while back.
Thanks wintersong, I was unaware of that one. I'll check it out.
Busy Bee2

Dove, you are so right.  Snooker....!  Uh.  Maybe if the BBC was run by advertisers, a massive audience like that wouldn't go unnoticed.  Scrap the licence fee, have adverts, then watch everything on I-player to avoid them.  Sounds like a plan.


Well, in Geoff Hamilton's day the programme had over 3 million viewers.

I suspect the Beeb may think better about taking GW off, especially on long weekends when we all want to be out there in our gardens, if more gardeners wrote and complained about snooker and other sports taking its place.   GW always use dto be a constant and I can't see why we gardeners can't have our 30 minutes even in Wimbledon fortnight or World cups or Olympics.

However, I find Monty Don generally so out of touch with ordinay gardeners now that I just thank heaven for Beechgrove which combines solid gardening advice on many subjects with a sense of fun.

Now then fellow gardener's and fellow allotment holders today's gardener's world I thought it was great Monty was on good form working his way through the programme like rugby's Jason Robinson going through the Australian defence cool calm and collected and also lovely Sophie raworth she knows her plants for once I'm looking forwards to Chelsea flower show its in safe hands with Monty and Sophie 

Scott Edwards

I have enjoyed the programmes leading up to Chelsea and am looking forward to seeing the show next week. I think Sophie Raworth is a good choice. I personally like Monty but am not sure Alan Titchmarsh has been treated with the professional respect he deserves.

Last night's Gardener's World was good. I thought Monty's advise on hardening off new plants (including those bought at the Garden Centre or at a show like Chelsea) was insightful. There was however a bit of an assumption that most people have a green house and one or two types of cold frame. Seemed to me to be slightly out of touch with reality for most people today with small gardens.



Oh dear.  I thought last night's GW was exceedingly poor.   How many people do you know with space for deliberate long grass area through which to mow a path?  How many do you think grow streptocarpus and have the space to want to multiply just one plant and have lots the same instead of buying another one or two with different flowers for their display?   Especially those living in normal sized houses and gardens and even more so those in new builds with pocket handkerchief gardens and little space for storing a lawnmower, let alone cold frames and greenhouses and large heated propagating benches.

I'm pleased Sophie Rayworth is replacing Nikki Chapman and hope she'll do it with her usual intelligence.   At least she knows a bit about plants and gardening.   Liked her parents' garden too.

Can't understand why the RHS has allowed the Beeb to oust AT as main presenter for teh Chelsea Flower Show.   I suspect Monty's personality and style will be a poor fit for such an exhuberant show. 


I'm hoping that with MD and Sophie it'll be more about plants and less about hard landscaping

And do you really mean that last night he should have been encouraging us to go out and buy plants rather than take cuttings????


I am glad that other fellow gardeners like BEECHGROVE GARDEN too. The Sunday morning double-header gardening hour on BBC 2 is a nice concept.

It would be nice to have BG shown before GW on a Friday night!

Come one, BBC Schedulers, be brave!


Yeah, I actually found the different techniques for cuttings quite interesting.  And I wasn't offended by the grass path (rather made my think how much I'd like to go for a walk through nearby fields) nor the heated mat (just thought so that's how the commercial guys do it). I guess it depends what you want to get out of it.  I find it a relaxing and interesting half hour, with sometimes something I can use directly, if not, then just a general increase in knowledge. BUT I'm not hampered by memories of previous gardening programs! 


Beechgrove tomorrow may be of interest for those who have ponds and are concerned about blanket weed etc. Info on tomatoes and  a trial on climbers for different aspects too.


I have several friends who live in the countryside who have meadows and orchards - they all have mown grass paths through them.

I really can't remember any jibes about elitism when there have been programmes from Gt Dixter showing mown paths through the meadows - indeed, aren't they credited with encouraging more meadow planting etc which is so good for wildlife.

I would point out that Longmeadow is 2 acres in size. Barnsdale was "a Victorian farmhouse with over 5 acres of land " and the gardens in contains were designed with the requirements of the programme in mind. When Monty created Longmeadow I imagine that that the thought of hosting GW was the furthest thing from his mind.

I really don't see the point of complaining about the programme on the magazine forum - it's the BBC who should receive comments/complaints/compliments.

I stopped watching GW  years ago as I found it didn't have a lot of relevance for me so I cannot comment on the programme these days.  Once Geoff Hamilton went I watched Alan Titchmarsh but then gradually gave up.

However, it might be worth remembering that even Geoff ,when he first acquired or started using Barnsdale as a base for the GW prog, did actually do a bit of "instant gardening " .......i.e. importing several huge trees ( with the accompanying cranes and lots of men running around) to make the bones of the garden.  GH was always an advocate of recycling/make do/cheap alternatives and one could always empathise with him because he did seem to understand that not everyone could expend vast amounts of cash.  But that didn't stop him from spending more on a Tree than some people earn in a month.  TV is TV after all.......meant to be entertainment ( tho I use the term lightly ).......we are lucky if it is also informative these days