I planned to pen a vicious, slobbering rant here about the dearth of proper gardening shows on tv, but it seems that everyone else has beat me to it! I don’t want to repeat all the same complaints that I just recently read online, but still wish to contribute my two cents worth.
HGTV certainly bears the brunt of many of these attacks. Well, what do you expect when you call yourself Home and GARDEN TV?
Granted, some would argue that they do offer plenty of “garden” programming. If your idea of gardening involves ripping out an overgrown mess, or finding a previously barren yard and converting it into a pristine hardscaped “outdoor room”, complete with a chef’s kitchen, then you’ll be thrilled with most of their gardening shows.
Frankly, they make me shudder. I do have a patio, with seating, a table and a barbecue, but it is woefully underused. I even asked for, and received for my birthday last year, a lounge chair, imagining that I could recline indolently, perhaps to read a book or nap on a warm summer day.
The chair is lovely, comfy, and rarely sat upon! I spend my time in the yard DOING STUFF! And I like doing stuff, whether it’s weeding, digging new beds, planting, pruning, watering, squashing bugs, fertilizing, or any of the multitude of tasks involved in tending a garden.
Whatever happened to the half hour garden show offering bits of seasonal advice, highlighting new or noteworthy plants, demonstrating a particularly useful skill, and answering questions sent in by interested gardeners?
I used to enjoy watching Get up and Grow with Gord Nickel, because it’s local and because I used to work with Gord many years ago. It’s funny watching someone you know on tv, I keep waiting for him to tell a dirty joke, or talk about the party he went to last weekend… Well, when I knew him he was a university student! Clips from Gord’s show can now be found at GardenWise Magazine Online.
I understand that it’s difficult to create a focussed garden show due to the vast differences in climate across North America, we are all on different garden schedules depending on our regional climate, but surely there is enough overlap, and I wouldn’t be averse to learning how to grow grapefruit, even though I have no hope of doing so in my garden!
I wonder if the internet has overtaken the task of educating people about gardening, due to the vast store of information available online. For example, if I search on the term pruning apple trees, Google returns 351,000 results, 582 of which are in video form. That’s a lot of information!
Maybe avid gardeners like me just need to find new ways to get our garden information. My strategy for learning about new products and plants involves scribbling notes when I see new things at the garden centre where I work, then looking them up online when I get home.
In fact, pretty much whenever I have a question about gardening (and many other subjects); Google is my go-to. Not that you can believe everything you read online, but after a while you find resources that are trustworthy. I particularly enjoy reading about plants on forums like those found on GardenWeb. There you will hear from people with firsthand experience and definite opinions about just about any plant!
I still wish that there were a bunch of good old-fashioned gardening tv shows though. I would watch them, and I’m sure that many other gardeners would too! In the meantime, I guess we’ll just have to rely on trusted online resources. There is good information available from professionals with experience who are willing to pass on their knowledge…hmmm, I guess I could count myself among them!
Maybe someone should offer me a tv show!