Friday, 7 January 2011

At Last, A Proper Gardening Programme!

I've just finished watching the first of six programmes presened by Carol Klein - Life In A Cottage Garden, and for once, I feel I've actually watched someone doing some gardening, as opposed to someone walking across a film set  and "presenting" it to me. 

I have the feeling when I watch Gardeners World that immediately before the bit that I get to see, there were twenty three strapping lads getting everything ship shape, so that Toby and Alys can stride about showing me how hard they've been working. I know this because there is never any sign of a twig, let alone a weed, out of it's allotted place, no leaf blows unsupervised across the set, no cane, ball of string, no stray plant label ever falls drunkenly over to one side. 

I like Toby Buckland well enough, and like most gardeners,  I always watch Gardeners World, but it's rarely a piece of inspiration, unlike Carol's programme which just made me want to get out into my own garden and start sorting it all out for the new season ahead. This is what a garden programme should do. And a cookery programme come to that, in fact anything based on a practical skill should make you want to rush off and have a bash.  And it's one reason why I like Jamie Oliver, his programmes are nothing if not inspiring.

In this first programme of the series, Carol was in her garden in January, clearing away all the detritus and rubbish, not flinching from showing all the dead plants that we all  have to deal with after such a harsh winter.   Propagation being one of Carol's watchwords - she never discards plant material if it can be used to make new plants, and demonstrates enthusistically just how easy it is to do.

At one point at the top of a ladder supported by an anonymous man below in a non speaking role, she yanked vigorously at an overgrown clematis , "you need to get all this dead stuff OUT" she declaimed from up aloft, and as the ladder wobbled a bit ominously , "and that's my husband Neil down there in case you were wondering".  I expect Neil must be used to his fearless wife by now, addressing the audience confidently from twenty feet in the air,  he probably thinks at least he can at least break her fall if she comes down a bit quicker than she went up. And since Carol is some five years or more older even than I am, there really is no excuse now for me not to be out there with the wheelbarrow tomorrow.  Possibly not the ladder though.


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