Home TV programmes The Great Gardening Challenge, Channel 5

The Great Gardening Challenge, Channel 5

The Great British Gardening Challenge's Mark Gregory, Carol Klein, Nicki Chapman and Diarmuid Gavin. Picture; Moritz Schmittat/Channel 5
The Great British Gardening Challenge's Mark Gregory, Carol Klein, Nicki Chapman and Diarmuid Gavin. Picture; Moritz Schmittat/Channel 5

Join Carol Klein and co for prime-time gardening show

The Great Gardening Challenge’s first episode aired on Tuesday, July 2 on Channel 5. You can catch up at My 5.

A six-part gardening competition series is fast becoming compulsive viewing on Channel 5 this summer.

The Great Garden Challenge features eight teams vying to win the title of Great Garden Challenge Champion and the chance to exhibit their garden at RHS Wisley.

Norris Park in Liverpool before the programme. Picture; Channel 5
Norris Park in Liverpool before the programme. Picture; Channel 5

In the first four episodes, the contestants compete in heats with two pairs of professional garden designers facing off to transform identically sized spaces while on a strict budget and a 48-hour deadline.

Creating gardens out of under-used spaces

They will take under-used spaces and create gardens that will enhance the lives of war veterans, residents of care homes for the disabled, hospital patients and dementia sufferers.

At the end of each heat, show judges Carol Klein and Mark Gregory, who assess the gardens’ design, planning, construction and landscaping.

Norris Park in Liverpool after the programme. Picture; Channel 5
Norris Park in Liverpool after the programme. Picture; Channel 5

Four winning pairs go through to the semi-finals before moving into the grand final. In the final episode, the remaining two pairs of designers will create a show garden for RHS Wisley in Surrey, where the curator, Matthew Pottage, will guest judge.

Carol Klein and Mark Gregory are joined by garden designer Diarmuid Gavin and broadcaster Nicki Chapman as show judges.

‘Lasting legacy’

Greg Barnett, commissioning editor of factual entertainment at Channel 5, said: “This new series combines the nation’s great love of gardening with the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy in a brilliant new competitive format overseen by the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society.”

Norris Park in Liverpool after the programme. Picture; Channel 5
Norris Park in Liverpool after the programme. Picture; Channel 5

Elaine Hackett, creative director of production company Crackit Productions, said: “Gardening is one of our favourite pastimes, spanning all age groups, from allotments to window boxes, gardening is, without doubt, the new baking!

“The average Brit will spend £30,000 and eight months of their lives on their garden over the course of a lifetime.

“This format plays to that British love of gardens, creating lasting green legacies, leaving beautifully designed gardens across the country.”

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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