BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2017 preview

Golden anniversary celebration of TV show

Anniversary Garden
Anniversary Garden vignettes by decade from Prof David Stevens

Gardeners' World LiveBBC Gardeners’ World Live is going to be extra special this year, with Gardeners’ World celebrating its 50th anniversary.

A Golden Jubilee-style summer garden party will be the theme, with presenters past and present Monty Don, Carol Klein, Joe Swift, Adam Frost, Frances Tophill, Flo Headlam, Nick Bailey, Peter Seabrook, Diarmuid Gavin, Continue reading “BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2017 preview”

Malvern Spring Festival 2017 highlights

Jekka’s permanent garden and pupils’ designs make a refreshing change

The Floral Marquee at the RHS Malvern Spring Show 2015. Picture; RHS/Neil Hepworth

The RHS Malvern Spring Festival (May 11-14, 9am-6pm) celebrates both gardening and food, with show gardens, nursery displays, food producers, shopping, horticultural experts and celebrity chefs.

The Floral Marquee is packed with 69 of the finest nurseries and the is UK’s longest at more than 195 metres – the equivalent length of four Olympic swimming pools.

The Festival Food and Drink Pavilion offers artisan Continue reading “Malvern Spring Festival 2017 highlights”

Gardening to help mental health

How gardening helped my depression

I’ve not always been such a happy chappy – that’s why we need to talk openly about mental illness and mental health

It can only be a good thing that people are talking about mental illness and health – Princes Harry and William opening up about their experiences after their mother’s death, the Heads Together charity and the documentary, Mind over Marathon.

My family, like most others, has suffered from one form of mental illness or another – my grandmother was bipolar, nearly everyone has suffered from Continue reading “Gardening to help mental health”

REVIEW: new Gardeners’ World format

I loved it – what about you?

gardeners-world-logoCongratulations BBC – you hit the right note with the revamped format of Gardeners’ World tonight.

A bit of a master stroke combing the old presenters (Monty Don and Carol Klein) with the new (Adam Frost, Flo Headlam and Nick Macer.

Also, starting the first quarter of the programme off with the established presenters was unlikely to frighten off the traditionalists, encouraging to them to stay tuned for the newer, more ‘out there’ segments of the show. Continue reading “REVIEW: new Gardeners’ World format”

Gardeners’ World: will new format be a success?

Monty anchoring new hour-long show

Monty Don
Monty Don – still anchoring the new hour-long Gardeners’ World

Tonight, Gardeners’ World is branching out into a new format, with hour-long episodes, in an attempt to increase ratings.

The Great British Bake Off’s ex-producer Paolo Proto, now at the helm as executive producer, is introducing new presenters and less traditional ideas, such as tropical and ‘extreme gardening’.

Don’t worry those who fear change – Monty Don’s still anchoring the show in the new format, which runs until late October.

New presenters include Frances Tophill from ITV’s Love Your Garden (extreme gardening), Nick Bailey (plant doctor), Adam Frost (designer), Flo Headlam (city gardens) and Nick Macer (tropical plants). Continue reading “Gardeners’ World: will new format be a success?”

Why Monty Don’s right about The Good Life

No romance about the toil of self-sufficiency

Monty Don
Monty Don – telling it like it is on self sufficiency

TV gardener Monty Don has kicked up quite a storm by slagging off (as they say in our parts) iconic 1970s sitcom The Good Life, saying it promoted a lifestyle that can cause long-term ill health and ’13th-century malnutrition’.

Before anyone gets their pruning knives out to hurl them at Monty, it’s important to step back from his article in Gardeners’ World magazine.

Firstly, I’ve not always agreed with Monty’s views – I am not a dewy-eyed fan protecting my idol.

Secondly, his comments were voiced in a column – a COMMENT PIECE. The purpose of a columnist is to provoke debate, one way or another. Continue reading “Why Monty Don’s right about The Good Life”