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.

19 comments:

Pam's English Garden said...

Oh, how I envy you! There are now absolutely no gardening programs, proper or improper, on USA television. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2011. P x

Little Blue Mouse said...

I've recorded Carol's programme tonight so I'll look forward to watching it tomorrow now.
I always watch Gardeners World too but I hate it when someone is demonstrating some technique or other and the camera zooms in on a leaf or something so that you can't see what they're doing.

Louise said...

Just make sure you have somebody appropriately big and strong to hold the ladder, eh?

Pam's right, there are no good gardening shows here in the US.

Rowan said...

I no longer bother watching Gardeners World or any of the other so-called gardening programmes but I shall look out for this from next week and hope for a repeat aiting of the first one - or watch it on i-player. Thanks for writing about it or I'd have missed it completely.

Ferris Jay said...

I was delighted to see that programme scheduled in the listings. Its my dream programme. I remember seeing her garden in a Gardeners World special and really wanting to see more .. and now I'll get to.
Haven't watched it yet, as in Northern Ireland they showed Rugby instead - the cheek of them!

Luckily, I'll get to see it on the BBC i-player :-)

From your description I won't be disappointed. It will be very refreshing to se a 'warts and all' gardening programme, especially from that lovely garden.

Charlotte said...

Great review Kathy and brilliant that you flagged this up for other gardeners.

Mr. H. said...

Sounds like something I would really enjoy watching...I'm jealous.:)

ted and bunny said...

know just what you mean!
xx

Blue Shed Thinking said...

30 minutes of sheer joy, wasn't it?

Carol Klein is a gem - she can get information across, showing boundless enthusiasm. It just makes ypou want to get out there and sort out your own patch. Just imagine if the BBC had done the right thing and made her lead presenter. (Mind you - glad Monty's coming back. Shame Rachel "what a lovely rose" De Thame is though).

She must have been a fantastic teacher before she started the nursery.

And those terriers are wonderful characters too - especially the puppy.

Sharon said...

No decent gardening shows here :(

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

I'm glad, but not surprised to hear people seem to agree with me on this, Carol should indeed have been put in charge of Gardeners World after Monty left, and I'm amazed to hear there's no decent gardening progs on US tv - you guys have so much more open SPACE to fill with plants than we can cram on our crowded island. I see a US career move for Carol!

Blue Shed Thinking said...

I'd love to see an Eliot Coleman programme over here!

Verde Farm said...

I am right there with you on this. The gardening shows and even magazines make me crazy striving for perfection that isn’t real. It would be refreshing to see a how like this. I haven’t seen on HGTV and many of their gardening shows are so disappointing. I used to love the Gardener’s Journal and Gardener’s Diary and several others--but they are all landscaping shows now and about doing it as fast as they can. Sounds like you have a great show there.

Michelle said...

I totally agree - I've told so many people about her show, I think it's fantastic and can't wait for next week. Alas we can't access the player in Ireland otherwise I'd be watching it back! Lovely blog by the way - I often visit but not sure if I've ever said hello :)

The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Hello Michelle and welcome, what a shasme you can't access Iplayer in Ireland, let's hope they put that right soon, it's a really useful feature for me. Thanks for commenting.

risa said...

Glad for you. I have to make my own garden show with a few Scarlet Runners for scenery and a couple of hummingbirds in the principal roles ... Oh, seen that one, you say ... ;)

Sarah said...

Great post! I've been inspired by Carol Klein too. It's such a fantastic programme.

Just started a 'plot year' blog sequence so I can photo the changes season by season like it showes in the programme.

Can't wait to see everything burst into life!

Portland Pest Control said...

Programs like these are always worthy to be commended. Most people these days don't care so much about gardening:-)

Garden seeds said...

Thanks for the post mate you have written it very well.

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