Posted: 06/07/2012 at 13:30
There was a Bee Friendly garden at the 2010 Chelsea Flower Show. The RHS then introduced the Bee Friendly plant labels at last year's Chelsea Flower Show and in cahoots with the horticultural industry and it had clearly been in the planning for some time before Sarah Raven's programme went out on the Beeb. The RHS also does a great deal of work to support gardening projects and classes in thousands of schools across the UK so it's a bit rich to say they're slow. They just don't plaster it across the tabloids for all to see.
They could probably do more to catch public attention and recent appointments to their Council should help but they have done very well in signing contracts with the Beeb to get extensive coverage of Chelsea and air time for coverage of shows like Malvern, GW show, Hampton Court and Tatton. Now it's time for the Beeb to wake up and promote gardening as physical and spiritual therapy for all and careers for some with some decent programme content and scheduling across the year.
I didn't see the first Hampton Court programme but thought the second was interesting. Many of our favourite garden plants, which also help pollinators, coem from far flung countries so those gardens were relevant if not always to my taste. The slots on sweet peas and campanulas were interesting and the horticultural careers debate worth raising but there'll always be a stigma against gardeners and gardening as a career as long as most people continue to think of them as nothing more than unskilled cutters of grass and hedges deserving of low pay and little respect.