Posted: 18/05/2014 at 09:55
Poor Monty. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. No wonder he often looks tired. I still feel that the producers of the programme must dictate what the content has to be and as with everything nowadays everything is so profit and business driven, not least the BBC. Everyone is struggling to survive and so many of the formats we are used to have to lean now towards where the money is coming from and identifying and homing in on the big buyers. Of necessity. More and more of the populace have access now to things they couldn't have afforded or were available years ago...just look at the rise of landscaping, feature planting, designer garden sculptures, flat packs of raised beds. There are pros and cons to everything for everyone. Non-gardeners (ie not regular enthusiasts or practitioners) are often pulled into gardening because of its trendy edge and new popularity which appeals to everyone. More 'things' are available for even the most hesitant and inexperienced individual to create a great 'look' which compliments extremely busy lifestyles where people would just like to try something but don't have the time they wish they could have.
Years ago many of the things we can easily source and access at garden centres were only available to people who had loads of money but so much is now available for absolutely everyone. More young people are adorning their flats with exotic indoor plants, growing herbs (the legal kind!) and getting into some kind of gardening activity indoors or outdoors. Due to internet buying everyone has access to a huge range of things which we never used to see on a day to day basis and so many people are into 'the look'. Like it or not.
The term 'gardening' and 'gardener' is a huge umbrella now where even the least experienced and who never before were interested have an in-road to possibilities which embrace house decorating, design and involves some kind of planting and creativity. You used to walk around the countryside and see farmyards riddled with old machinery, troughs which had been lying around for years. Because of the diversity of tv programmes on design etc...these folks are now making a mint selling off old troughs for hundreds of pounds, as are builders and renovaters taking advantage of the knowledge people now have or whose creativity has been sparked by gardening programmes and are making a mind selling old sinks, buckets, watering cans, chimney pots, guttering and so forth.
The gardening centres must closely monitor what is selling each year, what the majority of enquires and sales indicate and so the gardening programmes have to follow the trend to include everyone. Years ago, neighbours would be talking about what annuals they would be buying for their baskets, window boxes, front garden small borders and so forth. Nowadays what I hear is water features, feature plants, patio areas, wild flower areas, a creative impressive area, and so forth.
I suspect Monty has to follow the trend probably as noted by the producers and directors of gardening programmes and businesses. We note the designer element to the show gardens but also note the nostalgia and consideration for days of yore and wild flower importance with often moral and charitable references. Despite the recession in some areas, we have to accept that we the public have access to so much more knowledge and produce these days and that a lot of people are encouraged and eager to try things they have never attempted before e.g. exotics. Even on Titchmarsh's 'Love Your Garden' - there was always the bit at the end on how to achieve the 'look' (which is a public driven trend) and some of the sculptures, garden furniture and accessories were way more expensive than the majority of cars would be to buy.