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Latest posts by obelixx

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 20:07

I love going to Chelsea to see the gardens up close but also because I can chat to world class nurserymen and women about their plants asw ell as strike up conversations with complete strangers in the crowd.   I enjoy the evening coverage but wish they'd cover every garden and more of the nurseries in the marquee instead of all the repetitive stuff from the same few gardens and the time wasted covering celebrities' gardens.   I haven't been able to watch the midday programme with Nikki.  Too "lite" and stupid, especially the flower arranging gimmicry.

I don't see why the RHS wouldn't be in a position to demand a certain presenter or quality of presentation and production when drawing up contracts for future TV coverage of Chelsea so we'll just have to wait and see how MD does and what the viewing figures are like compared to other years.

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 18:52

Punkdoc - I have bought several DA roses over recent years and the advice given is always to bury them so that the base of the stems (ie graft union) is below the soil.  On their website they say to plant so the base of the stems is 3 inches below soil level. 

Fairygirl - I'd love to see more of JAS presenting gardening and plants on TV.




Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 14:28

He is.  He also communicates great enthusiasm for plants without gushing, has design credentials in the UK and aborad as well as gold medals and people's awards at Chelsea, has a broad range of experience on TV as a presenter on GW plus his own shows - Flying Gardener and Hidden Gardens and is now on the team at Beechgrove where he has slotted in very well with the rest of the team. 

He'd get my vote.

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 13:20

8 million viewers for GW was a long time ago when GW was outsourced to a professional production company who knew their gardening stuff and wanted to be filming gardens and gardening.

The rot set in when they moved it to Berryfields - a garden not owned and loved by the main presenter - and with a BBC production and camera team with ambitions beyond mere gardening.   It has now reduced to just over 2 million viewers which couldn't possibly have anything to do with the quality of the production, editing or presenting teams, could it?

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 07:49

Alan Titchmarsh is highly quaified as a horticulturalist and gardener, is a skilled and experienced TV presenter and interviewer, is vice president of the RHS and has won gold at Chelsea.  He has also just been appointed as the first ever ambassador of the RHS precisely because he has communication skills and makes gardening fun and is willing to meet and greet and promote gardening for everyone at every level.   

The Chelsea Flower Show is, on a superficial level, about gardening bling but for those who look deeper it heralds trends in design and use of materials and showcases new plants and gives a platform for nurserymen and women to show new introductions from plant hunting and breeding as well as revive the popularity of older plants.   The TV coverage has to cater for keen gardeners with all levels of expertise as well as celebrate British excellence and, with luck, inspire others to have a go, rather like after Wimbeldon there is an increase in tennis playing.

The RHS is more than just the big flower shows and needs this window of publicity to promote all the work it does and encourage more people to join up and contribute to our horticultral experience, heritage and future through its work in schools, in communities and in research and teaching.  

Monty has no qualifications and, whilst he is a good amateur gardener and writes very well about it, his personal style is less warm and enthusing than AT's.  He has also said and done things in his articles and on GW which inspire everything from wrath to dismay to disdain in professional horticultural circles. 

Sophie Raworth is a professional, intelligent news reporter used to researching her topic and who has shown herself capable of presenting other formats and will, I'm sure, prove to be a vast improvement on Nikki C.  

If this combo doesn't work and viewing figures go the way of GW's have I can see the RHS offering the TV coverage contract to other channels in future which would be a great pity.

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 20:30

I used to think I didn't want anyone else messing in my garden and certainly can't afford to let OH loose unsupervised as he is an indiscriminate weeder.  For years i've had th emost expensive compost heap in Belgium as he blitzes treasures and weeds alike - too hard to work round goodies apparently.

Anyway, we all know Monty has help in his garden even if he doesn't acknowledge it on GW and I no longer find ita  problem having someone else knowledgeable in teh garden as Iv'e had to accept help recently.   Since having neck surgery in March 2012 and ops on both feet in turn in Jan and April 2013 my garden has been going to pot so I now have someone who comes in and does 5 hours work every 2 weeks.  She's great and very good at weeding which is a boon as my garden is surrounded by pasture and arable land and ull of invasive weeds invading from left and right.

I am careful to give her things to plant as well as just weeding and digging so she can share the pleasures and it's worked very well so far.  We've started swapping plants as she takes away spares form mine that she doesn't have herself or can plant in other people's gardens and she brings me goodies from her own garden.

Monty should relax a bit.

I have also now read the press coverage of the switch to M from AT and it looks to me as though the Beeb has decided to fix the bit of Chelsea coverage that wasn't broken and has lost AT as a result.  Too stoopid.    I shall wait and see but I rather suspect that with MD at the helm it's going to be another snooze fest - like GW.  Either that or a dangerous rise in blood pressure from frustration with gimmicky coverage as the Beeb tries to change the demographics.

Choosing a clematis

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 15:04

I have the Generous Gradener growing across two 6' trellis panels and looking for more space and length.   It is a very good rose which will easily cover the space between two of your arches as long as you give it wires or wooden horizontals between them for support.

Choosing a clematis

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 09:57

Mrs Garden - I would separate them and put wires or wooden posts to join them at teh top.  A friend of mine built this below for his garden.  It's got a mix of roses and clematis scrambling up the posts and trained on wires between them with lavender at the base for extra bee magnetism and perfume.  The photos show it in its first year of growth - June - after being planted up in spring.


Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 08:37

Presenting GW is very different from presenting Chelsea which is watched by and appeals to non gardeners and gardeners alike.  I can't really see Monty's devout approach to gardening inspiring non gardeners to take up a trowel whereas AT's sense of fun and wonder surely does.

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 08:17

It seems bizarre and perverse to me.  Monty has always made clear his dislike of the razzmatazz of Chelsea preferring simpler shows like Malvern which are also closer to home.  

I've always enjoyed AT at the helm at Chelsea as he combines so well the role of gardening knowledge and expertise with ease in front of the camera and with other people from all walks of life.  He's also desiged a garden and won gold at Chelsea which MD has never even attempted. 

Sophie Rayworth has to be an improvement on Nikki Chapman who has no shame in showings he knows nothing abut plants and gardening even after all the years she's been doing daytime Chelsea.   I sincerely hope she bringe her intelligence to the role.

I too can do without poking around "celebrity" gardens.  I want to see good gardens so for me it would be better to show case yellow Book gardens - but not during Chelsea coverage.  There I want to see the gardens, big and small, in the show and the nurserymen and women who combines all their skills and experience to bring wonderful plants to exhibit.

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