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Old 09-04-2004, 11:06 AM
Andy Hunt
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Default Radio host blasts TV garden shows

Radio host blasts TV garden shows

It is pitchforks at dawn in a row between TV gardeners and radio's authority
on horticulture, Eric Robson.
The Gardeners' Question Time host has accused TV makeover shows like Ground
Force of "giving gardening a bad name".
Writing in a Lake District gardens brochure, he said creations from TV
gardeners Monty Don and Charlie Dimmock would be hard to live with.
But former Ground Force presenter Alan Titchmarsh has said there is no place
for snobbery in gardening.
Mr Robson, 57, who is also chairman of the Cumbria Tourist Board, asked:
"How many more makeover gardening programmes can we stand?"

He described BBC1's Ground Force presenter Miss Dimmock and BBC2's
Gardeners' World host Mr Don as "awfully nice chaps".
But, writing in The Gardens, Parks and Wildlife of Cumbria, he questioned
whether people could live with the results of their ideas.
"A bit of Zen here; a bit of suburban Humphrey Repton there; Gertrude
Jekyll, Capability Brown and Andy Warhol thrown in for instant effect," he
"The people who make those wall-to-wall programmes are pleasant, talented,
generous with their advice and sincerely trying to introduce us to new

Robson questioned whether people could live with some of the results
"But, and it's a very big but, what doesn't come easily to them is an
acceptance of the real tradition of gardening that lives and breathes here
in the Lake District."
He said he knew he was biting the hand of broadcasting that feeds him.
But he compared TV gardeners with traditional Lake District designers who
knew how "scale texture and detail against a backdrop of mountains can touch
the soul".
Mr Titchmarsh defended the programmes, saying gardens created in Ground
Force were well-loved by their owners.
"You can't be snobbish about gardening," he said. "There is nothing wrong
with trying to get people interested by different means.

"You can retain your professional integrity and show people how to do
interesting things.
"What we do can't be expensive and 99% of the people we design for think
that the end result is brilliant."
A spokesman told News Online the BBC did not program its output for only one
type of gardening viewer.
"We have a range of extremely talented gardeners who present a fantastic
breadth of knowledge and experience," he said.
"Even on Gardeners' Question Time the team do not always agree."

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Old 12-04-2004, 10:35 AM
Janet Tweedy
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Default Radio host blasts TV garden shows

A spokesman told News Online the BBC did not program its output for only one
type of gardening viewer.

Oh yes it does!

It certainly ain't the gardeners who love plants for themselves, who
wouldn't consider their garden 'another room' nor who would actually
'want' their garden to be done designed and 'finished' in three days!
Most gardeners well okay, planstmen/women would never get as far as
letting them plant stuff into their newly dug over land without at least
an argument or two about what plants are being used or which ones they
want to leave out
I'd be absolutely horrified if they came and took my plants away and put
in stuff that the designers liked.
The majority of my plants have storied attached or come with memories of
past days out, friends gifts or things I have grown from seed or begged

And I do wish they would show the gardens a year or two later

To balance their programs they really ought to do one with very keen
gardeners who aren't planting for 'effect' but are trying to cram 101
plants they saw and bought into what little space is left.
Perhaps a cross between life laundry and garden design where they
rationalise all your mad impulse buys and make some sort of silk purse
out of them.

Dan Pearson would be so diplomatic about it all.................

Janet Tweedy
Dalmatian Telegraph

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