Monday, 5 July 2010

The BBC and the Green-Fingered Woman

I garden but would never call myself a gardener. A potterer would be a more apt description. Gardeners are artists and dedicated to this demanding profession or hobby. At this time of year most hope that everything in the garden is rosy and looking its best. I just hope that nothing more has died.

The BBC churn out a few gardening programmes the main one being Gardeners' World. They also provide us Scots with our own mini-version The Beechgrove Garden which makes allowances for the slightly cooler northern climate. The Beechgrove Garden has a slightly couthy feel and encourages everyone to have a go.

The past couple of years I've stopped watching Gardeners' World partly because some of the presenters irritated me with their attitudes and partly because I learned little.

The Royal Horticultural Society has, for the first time in its history, a woman president. Elizabeth Banks, a landscape architect, has accused the BBC of 'being scared of plants' and guilty of patronising Britain's gardeners. Oh dearie me, the BBC won't like that one bit! But Mrs Banks is determined to up the quality of their gardening broadcasts and plans to meet the corporation to discuss its lucrative contract to cover the Chelsea Flower Show, thought to be worth about a £1m a year until it expires in 2013. That ought to focus the minds of the heid bummers at the BBC.

The BBC's response:

“The BBC works very closely with the Royal Horticultural Society which has reiterated to us that it is delighted with our coverage of gardening and the relationship it has with the BBC.

“We absolutely refute any suggestion that the BBC's coverage of gardening is in any way 'dumbing down'. Gardeners' World's core values and passion remain the same with weekly tips and advice on what to do in your garden.

They may think they work very closely with the RHS but these days appear to have gone. Mrs Banks is in charge now - for all of one week - and she intends to ensure the gardeners of Britain get the quality programmes they deserve and hopes to enlist the support of Alan Titchmarsh.

Now that's what I call a president.


Macheath said...

Ah, SR, you remind me of how much I miss 'The Beechgrove Garden'.

Gardeners' World is no substitute at all, being presented by what my father-in-law pithily describes as 'smug little b***ers'.

subrosa said...

Ah Macheath, your father-in-law is on my wave length. Such a shame you can't get it down there, it's an enjoyable half hour.

Richard said...

“We absolutely refute any suggestion that the BBC's coverage of gardening is in any way 'dumbing down'."

Ah, for the days when an organisation like the BBC employed people who knew the difference between 'refute' and 'deny'.

For the record, BBC, 'deny' is when you say something isn't true; 'refute' is when you prove it isn't true.

RantinRab said...

My gardening skills start and end at keeping the grass decent and napalming the weeds. I have neither the time nor the inclination, (the area I live in does not inspire me to plant anything), to garden.

However, I really enjoy watching gardening programmes, particularly the Beechgrove Garden.

subrosa said...

Good post Richard. Thanks.

subrosa said...

Auch Rab, it will grow on you. I shouldn't expect your front garden is full of burned-out cars or old baths. It takes some time to get into it Rab, but regardless what you attempt it's worth the effort if you persevere. Mind you if those around you don't respect your efforts I understand.

I've worked on my main lawn in the past couple of years and it seems to have paid off don't you think?

subrosa said...

Thank you Richard, excellent definitions.

Oldrightie said...

I continue my subordinate role as under gardener to an "artist" Mrs OR!

Mrs Rigby said...

We used to enjoy The Beechgrove Garden. It's a sensible and very useful programme, it's a pity nobody south of the border is able to view it.

We also gave up on Gardener's World, at a time when it turned a bit "trendy and fashionable" - and their ideas got a bit impractical for ordinary people. Haven't a clue what it's like now though, because the television is so rarely turned on these days. We do, occasionally, listen to GQT on the radio.

Some people at the BBC are a bit too full of their own importance, and ought to think about what license payers actually want to watch, not what they say we should watch. After all, we're forced to pay their wages!

subrosa said...

And I continue to potter around OR. Your garden is looking wonderful btw. My lawns aren't too bad this year, but it's hard work keeping them that way.

subrosa said...

The Beechgrove Garden is never patronising Mrs R, I think that's why it attracts such a variety of viewers. I used to listen to the Potting Shed now and again too but I haven't done for some time.

Mrs R, the BBC knows what's best for us, surely you know that. They have instructions to brainwash the population methinks.

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