The BBC has not sent Monty Don and his chums for a four month holiday as I previously thought. When Gardeners World vanished from our TV screens in November I wondered what the planners were thinking. Gardening is one of the top hobbies here in the UK and it struck me that gardeners or would be gardeners are not really catered for in the same way as armchair sports fans or would be bakers, antique collectors, interior designers or even property developers come to that.
I needn’t have worried. It turns out that some of those lovely people at the BBC were thinking about gardening after all. Luckily Lindsay Bradbury (Commissioning Editor of BBC Daytime) knows that gardening is booming.
The Great British Garden Revival is a series of ten programmes each covering two subjects. The presenters are well known experts in their own field. They set out to uncover details about specific segments of gardening. The first programme on Monday 8th December saw Monty Don explaining how important wildflowers are as habitat and food for insects. You don’t need to sow a huge meadow just add a few wild flowers to your patch. That’s all it takes to help out.
For an easy step by step guide to sowing wildflowers have a look at: Where Have All Our Wildflowers Gone
Joe Swift thinks we should beautify our front gardens and help prevent flooding. I’m all for getting rid of the grass. See my post about how we did that in 2005. Beautiful Gravel Garden
It is true that paved driveways cause rainfall to run off the hard surface straight into our drains. I am sure that he wasn’t suggesting that gardeners alone are responsible for recent floods. Not least because the space occupied by British driveways is insignificant when compared to the miles of flagstone pavements, tarmac roads, concrete industrial estates and airport runways. We could use our cars less and cycle more. But we still need somewhere to park at home!
I admire the work that Monty and Joe are doing. They are passionate about their cause and their enthusiasm rubs off on their viewers. Gardening is big business. Where ever you go in Great Britain you will meet town, country or city dwellers who are concerned about the environment they live and work in. I know that many people already care a great deal about their gardens. They are concerned about our disappearing wildlife too. How do I know? Where ever I go people love to talk about their own gardens and what they are doing to attract wildlife.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could enlist some more landowners and big organisations to help? Businesses could green up their concrete forecourts and councils could replace some of the street trees they have removed too. What are farmers doing to replace the wildflower meadows and hedgerows they destroyed? I know that some farmers are working hard to provide corridors for wildlife. There’s little point planting swathes of wild flowers if others are still spraying like crazy to kill off pests and diseases.
The Great British Garden Revival will generate plenty of interest and discussion. Best of all people will ACT. There is one really important subject they have missed though. So far there has been no mention of organic gardening. I hope they address that. After all it has been proved that chemicals are killing our insects.
The media has great powers of persuasion. If it’s on the telly, especially on the BBC it must be true… right?
We could all do something to make our land just little more green and pleasant. It would be great for us and fantastic for the wildlife who rely on our gardens too.