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16/03/2013 at 09:38

I liked it last night, this is what I just wrote in another thread.  -  Did anyone see Gardener's World? Good one, I thought. I thought Monty was looking better, he was on form -  full of enthusiasm. Joe was at home with his contemporary design, Carol was her usual bubbly self, bit more eye make-up than usual! But her subject was mahonias which are one of my least favourite shrubs, boring and prickly for most of the year.

16/03/2013 at 10:06

I liked last night's show and thought the content was fine - I'm not sure what else could've been shown, given the current conditions.  Unless one has a heated greenhouse the usual seed-sowing at this time of a year has had to be delayed.  If Monty told us all to sow our tomatoes and then we were still getting cold weather in May we'd have all had tomatoes 3 feet tall on our kitchen windowsills and someone would've complained.  

I think it must be a pretty thankless task planning the content of Gardeners World nowadays.  It has to cater for those of us who've been gardening for years and years, and for those who've suddenly decided that they want to grow their own veg, but have virtually no knowledge of the subject.  It also has to cater for those who have large gardens and can plant large perennial borders and shrubberies as well as for those in new builds who have a handkerchief of lawn over a substrate of builders' rubble, surrounded by 6 foot panel fences.

 As I've said before I've been gardening for a very long time and have seen many many editions of Gardener's World and as a child I watched Percy Thrower on Gardening Club.  There have been many presentation styles, some more appealing to me than others - I found Alan T quite knowledgeable but irritating, however a dear friend adored him (until Monty came along when she switched allegiance).  I'm worried that Norm finds Carol "too smiley and happy to be true" - I'm smiley and happy too - it is possible to be a gardener and be happy at the same time - you don't have to be a miserable grouch, even in this weather 

Rather than the 'I don't like this or that' sort of cricticism, perhaps suggestions of what you would be showing next week if you were in charge would be enlightening 

 

16/03/2013 at 10:07

The program proved useful for me since OH got to see Monty splitting a perennial and took notice of the reason why, no matter how many times I've explained to him why I keep digging things up

Joe's piece was better than last weeks as I took notice of the design-reasons behind his choices and well, any featured plants will be personal prefer not matter the season! 

To be honest, I watch the garden, its structure, it's growth rate, it's changes behind Monty's shoulder as much as listening to what comes out Monty's mouth. I love being nosey round his patch, I wish I could be nosey around more patches but I lack transport to these well known gardens and wish the GW team would do feature programs on some of them. I know it defeats paying to enter if they film it, but I can't get there and have to rely on photos and TV programs.

16/03/2013 at 10:20

I really think they should have the 8pm -8.30pm slot given over to toby and the younger crew, specifically dealing with raising veg and planting up small gardens. I'd be prepared to say about 80% of people have a modern small garden and so this is far more appropriate. For example, the mahonias are simply too big for most modern gardens. If they made a programme that details growing veg and small gardens for beginners, they can leave GW as it is and then everyone will be happy. Lots of new gardeners are probably put off because they don't have several acres as garden.

Joe's 'contempory' garden design, I was unimpressed with the garden he was in, too me it looked a mess, the lavender for example that had been poorly maintained, was a raggedy mess. Never been a fan of contempory mind, it's not so bad with a large garden as you need the space, in a small garden very hard for it not to look like a mess.

I just found the programme a bit of a hotch-potch, trying to squeeze in too much and ending up with insufficent on each subject as a result.

Yes GW is a relaxing watch, but I think there is a real need for a practical show every week that advises on small gardens, baskets and veg growing.

16/03/2013 at 10:26
Yes, I'd go for a programme that dealt with growing your own veg, especially for those with limited space. I do like Monty though...
16/03/2013 at 10:32

So, let's think constructively - if you had 30 minutes of a veg growing programme to film this week to show next Friday, what would you be showing? 

16/03/2013 at 10:33

Me too ! 

I'm with Wintersong, I love watching Monty's garden develop over his shoulder ...  I know others say his garden is too big to relate to, but I find it inspiring.

Really enjoying the current series - but then I always have - whoever the presenter.

16/03/2013 at 10:52

I'm not a fan of Monty, but did feel sorry for him last night. A program had to be filmed irrespective of the weather or soil conditions,,,,he looked absolutely wretched in the rain!

He could have popped in the old gardener's saying 'Good Friday is the time to start gardening'.

16/03/2013 at 11:05

Well I would do the first programme about planning your space, the produce you like to eat, and then sowing the early seeds, like tomatoes cucumbers etc. I would do a piece on constructing raised beds, and the use of containers. The following week, compost and soil to fill beds and containers, building/buying a propagator the benefits you get etc. You  could have a little 'project' every week, and also stick in a bit about small garden design and planting. It would be basic for most people and would encourage novice gardeners to have a go. We all know once you get bitten by the bug you will try new things each year. But I believe for most people, the interest will be predominantly growing things they can eat, as well as having a nice garden for summer to entertain and enjoy.

Currently I think that showing huge gardens is just not relevant to the average person who may be thinking about starting out. They should make a show that targets modern sized plots and flats etc. I dunno, call it the 'Modern Urban Gardener.' or something. Put it this way, 30 mins a week instead of the hours of usual dross will not make a huge difference to the schedules, but I do think that plenty would watch.

16/03/2013 at 11:25
And as gluts come in, a bit on preserving - chutneys, jams, freezing, drying...
16/03/2013 at 11:49

BrummieBen, I think you've hit the nail on the head - that would be fine for some - but I've got my raised beds, my garden design is almost all done now, I have my propagator and cold frames ....  and sadly we no longer have the luxury of the time needed to show how to build a 'project' each week - that's where sites like this one and Youtube are so useful.  

I doubt that I'd watch something called Modern Urban Gardener - any more than I watched Groundforce after the first series.   Programmes targetted to types of gardens marginalise those who have something different, whereas programmes about gardening skills apply to all surely.

I think Gardener's World (the programme) is little more than a nudge in the right direction for most people - don't think it's the programme's fault - it does what it can with the time available.   

We complain about the programme - we should be complaining about the schedulers 

16/03/2013 at 12:13

I'm coming round to Monty although I still think it was a big mistake dropping Toby and Alys. Joe and Carole are fine. 

 Rachel is just too lightweight for me however, seeing her wafting around millionaire's gardens soon becomes boring. I got into Beechgrove on I-Player after first seeing it on holiday in Scotland.  It is much more homely and down to earth (pardon the pun) than GW.  My only gripe is that they are not organic and liberally chuck around chemicals and peat.  Geoff Hamilton will be spinning in his grave.

Speaking of Geoff there is a myth that Barnsdale (Geoff's garden for the youngsters) was on a smaller scale.  Anyone who has visited it, which I strongly reccomend, will know that it is huge.  What Geoff did so well was to create urban back garden sized projects within it.  He wasn't always budget conscious, there are examples of low and not so low budget gardens at Barnsdale, but he exuded an everyman attitude.  In contrast Monty is definitely a toff albeit one with muck under his nails.  However, it isn't a crime to have a big garden, it's what many of us dream of, along with the time to tend it. It is important though that GW doesn't forget that most viewers will have limited space, time and money.  So a balance of inspiration and practicality needs to be struck

16/03/2013 at 12:38

....but anyone who thinks that Monty is doing all the work at Longmeadow himself (or even a 10th of it) is living in cloud cuckoo land.,,,,,,as with Alan Titchmarsh's 'me Barleywood' garden.

I do beleive that Geoff Hamilton did most of the graft at Barnsdale.

16/03/2013 at 12:53

But does anyone think that?  No one is that unreasonable surely?  As I understand it there was a time when he couldn't afford to employ anyone and he got on with it himself - however presumably he can afford to employ people to do the hard graft now, and so he should, he's had a very nasty health scare - there's no merit in being boneheaded and doing it yourself and working yourself into an early grave.

If Geoff Hamilton really did most of the work on the 8 acres at Barnsdale then I'm not surprised he died aged 60 of his second heart attack

16/03/2013 at 12:57

That would be a good idea putting the young mob on early, I could watch something else not seeing them make blatant mistakes or mishandling tools.
The small area garden was done so well by Geoff and could probably be repeated for the new gardeners.
What I like about Monty is his showing exactly what he is doing and why, fair enough he like myself  an old style gardener ready to learn as we all did last night with Carol's leaf curling, I had never seen that before and what a good idea for large plants instead of chopping the stems to a couple of leaves.
My sand bed will go on warm up next week end and the Tomato seed sown, the sweet pea seeds unchitted unsoaked will go in deep pots as Monty did last night and the whole pot full put into the ground when the time comes, I do not get show sweet peas but they show for months with a few more seeds sown as the young plants go in the ground.
Beans Peas Salad crops and carrots will all be started after Easter weekend and the Strawberries cleaned and sorted, in the North East spring comes late but then so does Autumn.

Frank.

16/03/2013 at 13:24

I believe Geoff had a couple of helpers when Barnsdale was the GW garden. If you visit it you will see that it would be quite impossible to maintain single handed, as I'm sure would Alan Titch's or Monty's garden.

That wasn't really my point though.  A great deal was made of the move to Monty's garden as it represented the presenter's own rather than an artificially created garden, which the previous two had been. However, Barnsdale was just as artificial as Toby's creation.  It was a field adjacent to Geoff's house.  His own garden, which surrounds the house, wasn't seen much on GW.  The point is that he perfectly struck the balance between inspiration and practicality and always made me feel that what he was showing was possible for me to achieve.  I often feel with Monty that I am being allowed a peep behind the wall of a rich man's garden.  that's not to say it isn't informative and beautiful to look at but I don't feel like I could have my own "jewel garden" or woodland garden.  I always felt that I could create a version of Geoff's Ornamental Kitchen Garden or Cottage Garden.  Which is what I have tried to do.

16/03/2013 at 13:52
Tall Paul wrote (see)

I believe Geoff had a couple of helpers when Barnsdale was the GW garden. If you visit it you will see that it would be quite impossible to maintain single handed, as I'm sure would Alan Titch's or Monty's garden.

That wasn't really my point though.  A great deal was made of the move to Monty's garden as it represented the presenter's own rather than an artificially created garden, which the previous two had been. However, Barnsdale was just as artificial as Toby's creation.  It was a field adjacent to Geoff's house.  His own garden, which surrounds the house, wasn't seen much on GW.  The point is that he perfectly struck the balance between inspiration and practicality and always made me feel that what he was showing was possible for me to achieve.  I often feel with Monty that I am being allowed a peep behind the wall of a rich man's garden.  that's not to say it isn't informative and beautiful to look at but I don't feel like I could have my own "jewel garden" or woodland garden.  I always felt that I could create a version of Geoff's Ornamental Kitchen Garden or Cottage Garden.  Which is what I have tried to do.

 

  I'm genuinely confused by that - we live in a typical 1960s house, the front faces west and I'm currently creating a bed in the front garden based on the inspirational colours of Monty's Jewel Garden, because I believe that they will glow in the  shadows cast across there for most of the day by the neighbouring house and yet be strong enough to be effective when the sun gets around to the west in the evenings.  Part of our back garden 12m x 12m is shaded by two mature ash trees and we're planting this area with woodland plants.  We also have a veg patch, raised beds and a terrace with a grapevine and espaliered fruit trees - our garden may not be the 2 acres of Longmeadow, but I can still borrow ideas and make them my own. 

16/03/2013 at 15:05

Geoff Hamilton's garden was unique and quite different from any other TV garden.

He constructed several gardens within his own garden i.e. The Cottage Garden, Paradise Garden and Ornamental Kitchen Garden. These were intended to replicate what was achievable in the average viewer's plot.These were in addition to his unforgettable DIY budget projects.

Geoff was unique and his like will never be seen again, I fear..

16/03/2013 at 15:09

Dovefromabove, Gardeners are innovators, they cut the cloth to the size they have you do the same it would seem, make use of it all. I once saw a Yard with no soil which had been turned into a garden, all in pots boxes and almost anything that would hold a plant, it went up the yard and house walls with brackets and shelves not only producing Veg but also Fruit, the couple doing it were elderly but determined and that is what counts.
Some of the postage stamp new builds down the lane from me are suddenly producing food and they use every square inch of available ground fence and places to put a pot or a box. That is gardening, no point in having a moan about not having an estate or helpers, use what you have to its full capacity, it is surprising what you can produce and the satisfaction it gives having beaten the odds.

Frank.

16/03/2013 at 15:20

Dovefromabove. Glad you are able to take inspiration from Monty and translate it to your garden. I happen to find Geoff Hamilton more to my taste but each to their own.  As David K says, we are unlikely to see his like again.  I believe that Toby Buckland embodies some of Geoff's values and really liked him on GW but the producers clearly prefer the more patrician Monty.

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