The Top 5 Gardening shows on UK Television

May 28, 2015

Here at Trimetals, we’re constantly on the lookout for inspiration when it comes to producing our next high quality metal product. And like most of you, we also often find ourselves sat raptly in front of the television some evening. Inevitably, there’s been a degree of crossover in these activities, with many gardening shows proving informative and inspirational when it comes to determining he design and functionality of future Trimetals stock.

We’ve compiled a list below of our top 10 UK gardening TV shows; many have offered us some great ideas, or reinforced some of our existing thoughts. Some we just enjoyed!

Gardener’s World

Original channel: BBC Two
Presented by: Monty Don (6 previous)
First air date: 1968

Gardeners' World title screen

One of the longest running TV shows in British history, Gardener’s World has been offering practical gardening tips and advice to the British public for decades. Featuring a range of educational, seasonal segments every episode, this show is ideal viewing for both beginners and seasoned gardeners.

As Gardener’s World is still on air today, there are many contemporary tips to be gleaned from viewings, though older episodes are still a worthwhile source of horticultural advice, if they can be tracked down. Of course, the techniques and tools seen will need to be substituted for suitably contemporary alternatives!

Ground Force

Original channel: BBC Two
Presented by: Alan Titchmarsh, Tommy Walsh, Charlie Dimmock
First air date: 19th September 1997

Ground force title screen

An exceptionally popular show, attracting around 12 million viewers at the height of its popularity, Ground Force was also highly influential; being credited with making decking exceptionally popular in the British Isles. While horticultural themes certainly featured, Ground Force featured an emphasis on the construction side of DIY gardening; making it with popular over a far broader audience than a gardening programme would normally attract.

The primary limitation on Ground Force’s creativity (and the reason that Titchmarsh eventually left) was the small size of the budgets involved with each renovation. While perhaps restrictive for the presenters themselves, audiences appreciated the comparative lack of extravagance, as it led to the demonstration of many creative, budget minimising gardening solutions.

The City Gardener

Original channel: Channel 4
Presented by: Matt James
First air date: 2003

The City Gardener

A show designed to teach those living in the city how to make the most out of their urban gardens, The City Gardener’s primary asset was its presenter, Matt James, and his seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge of plants. Armed with this knowledge and his apparently boundless enthusiasm for gardening, James’ job was to help home owners and a motley group of friends and family to create the ideal city based garden.

The additional twist here was that the plans developed during a given episode had to stick within the often restrictive budget decided by the homeowners in the show’s initial stages. This means that, even though it was originally shown over a decade ago, The City Gardener still has a great deal to teach gardeners.

Love Your Garden

Original channel: ITV
Presented by: Alan Titchmarsh
First air date: 10th June 2011

Love Your Garden title screen

A bit of a blend in terms of format between Groundforce and Gardener’s World, Love Your Garden contains a blend of practical tips for gardening enthusiasts, and episodes where the gardens of deserving members of the public are updated by Titchmarsh and his team.

The first season of Love Your Garden was largely focussed on gardening tips, making it exceptionally useful for practical gardeners, while more recent season have been centred around renovating specific gardens; providing a broader, but still highly useful resource for budding landscapers and gardeners.

The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge

Original channel: BBC Two
Presented by: Joe Swift
First air date: 11th May 2015

the great chelsea garden challenge title screen

Presented by Joe Swift, another alumni of Gardener’s World, the Great Chelsea Garden Challenge follows a similar formula to other successful BBC competitions shows like The Great British Bake Off, pitting talented gardeners from the public against one another in good natured, gardening competition, with a prime place at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as a prize.

While this on paper doesn’t provide viewers with quite as much practical gardening advice as other shows, or us with quite as much inspiration; the mentoring provided by Swift, as well as judges/co-presenters Ann-Marie Powell and James Alexander-Sinclair still provide some key tips and tricks for gardeners and landscapers alike.

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