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Gardeners' World ... be careful what you wish for, you might just g...


By mrv


Let me get straight to the point, I loved the format of Gardener’s World in 2009 but to a slightly lesser extent last year in 2010 – mainly because it was cut back in length therefore the content was reduced.

Here we are just a few days before the 2011/2012 season. I’m very much looking forward to sitting down and watching this. Let’s face it, there’s little enough Gardening on TV as it is.

You probably already know that Monty Don, Carol Klein, Joe Swift and Rachel de Thame shall be presenting. The show is going to be presented from Monty’s on Hertfordshire garden.

I am very concerned though. I intend no disrespect to Monty Don, quite the contrary in fact I have total respect for his lifetime of knowledge. But, wasn’t it his style of presenting that led to the revamp of Gardeners’ World? We all know that Monty became ill as a result of a minor stroke which forced the hand of the BBC in many respects.

Having taken a bit of time to look through some blogs and opinions of viewers from 2007 and 2008; in general the programme was described on the negative side as ‘Dull’ and viewers considering themselves ‘Talked down to’. On the positive side the show was a great source of information and tips with Carol Klein and Joe Swift having great presentation skills making the best of the format of the show.

The 2009 format I think we all saw that old format turned on it’s head with Toby Buckland and Alys Fowler, whilst still retaining the sheer delight of Carol Klein’s infectious joy and love of plants combined with Joe Swift’s inspiring ‘give it a go’ garden design. I became completely hooked on the show.

However, the viewers responses were scathing of the new format. Oh well. 2010 saw the show cut back to 30 minutes.

I think my objection really to losing Toby and Alys is that they both were encouraging and inspiring in very simple ways. The little tricks and tips like Toby cutting a cucumber in half on the vine so you can have two goes at the delicious green favourite and Alys drilling a hole in a charity shop tea-cup to plant bulbs for Christmas; as apposed to Monty’s ‘It must be done this way’.

Gardening for the majority of us is a trial and error business that we do for fun and delight not as a chore. We need a magazine programme with tips and tricks and inspiration as well as the detail.

I for one can’t wait ‘til Friday.

Happy Gardening


Copyright 2011 Mark Ketteringham

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I think it will be interesting to see Monty's own garden (but Herefordshire, not Hertfordshire!), as I've read that he used to love its formality, but now has a more relaxed attitude.

It's obviously difficult for the Beeb to please everybody, and whatever the programme is like, it's bound to suit some and not others. Personally, I welcome Monty's style rather than Toby's. We shall see, come Friday.

8 Mar, 2011


The last 2-3 years of GW have been awful for me so I welcome the going of Toby and that format and look forward to watching again without feeling I am a patronised moron.

8 Mar, 2011


Will record it to give it a chance, if I don`t like it I can fastforward.....

8 Mar, 2011


Absolutely right, Sheila, Herefordshire not Hertfordshire (I always make that mistake - I think it's because my Mum lives on the border of Hertfordshire). I for one can't wait to Monty in his garden - relaxed or otherwise :)

For me Toby was very similar to gardeners I have worked with - real doozers, Drc. I think that was partly because of his municipal background. He had been someone that had the expertise who had finally been given the chance to let rip. I can see where you are coming from as a gardener of your obvious skill and experience.

All of your comments, and of others privately clearly show one thing - there simply isn't enough gardening on the telly. There needs to be a balance of Inpspiration and Aspiration at all levels of skill. Imagine what would have been possible with a 2-hour time slot! We could have had it all.

One thing I am so very grateful for is the likes of Monty et al are there to share their knowledge with us and that dear ol' Aunty finds the money in her purse to make it possible. Gawd bless 'er and all who sail in her!


9 Mar, 2011


I liked Toby and enjoyed his way of presenting, but will see how Monty does though I think that he can be very patronising, and quite boring.
At least i have Beechgrove Garden on Scottish TV back soon ,it is great :o))

10 Mar, 2011

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