Are you still watching Gardener’s World? OK, so before I go any further… This isn’t a post bashing a much loved television programme, simply a comment on a realisation I had about two or three weeks ago.
My humble Carrot Tops blog has been in existence for around six or seven years now, however I’ve only been actively posting on a semi regular basis over the last two, after I made the decision one New Year’s Eve to give Carrot Tops a proper go. It was a New Year’s resolution that I actually took seriously – and I’m glad I did. I’ve not only learnt a lot about growing my own from a wealth of other garden bloggers out there, but also a lot about blogging and generally getting involved online. If I’m honest, I could do a lot more reading and a lot more writing.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in my usual semi-hungover stupor of a Sunday morning and Gardener’s World was on the box – I said to myself, “I really should start watching this, as my civic duty as a gardener and as a garden blogger“…. Then within about ten minutes or so, I switched it off. I was bored, and if I’m honest, I found myself a little annoyed at how the world of gardening and gardeners were being portrayed. Quite frankly, (and this is my opinion, and at this point, my opinion only), I found Gardener’s World a little bit on the tired side and did nothing to get future generations involved.
I guess this is what this post (or moan) is about – mainstream gardening media and their efforts to get the younger generations involved.
Do you agree with the statement that Gardener’s World leads people’s perception of what people who like to garden are like? Yes or no, I’d love to know your thoughts.
When you mention to people that you like to garden or that you have an allotment, there is a sense of justification involved and Tom Smart’s article in the Guardian earlier this year touched on this familiar experience – check it out here.
I remember interviewing Joe Swift at an event at St Helier Hospital in Epsom during my journalist days – and we both came to the conclusion that there is absolutely no downside to gardening in any shape or form – which begs the question, why isn’t there more of an emphasis on gardening, running an allotment or even tending to a window box in the mainstream?
In my opinion, tending to a garden is vital for the environment and the future of our planet. So getting youngsters involved in gardening is probably one of the initial key efforts we can do to improve our habitat. When you garden, you take on a different lifestyle perspective because gardening gets you more involved in your own environment. Naturally, you litter less, recycle more and have the problem of emissions in the back of your mind.
I’ve discovered a number of young/millennial gardeners (Grow Like Grandad, Life at No. 27, Sharpen Your Spades…etc to name a few) whom I’m sure possess the more contemporary qualities to make Gardener’s World more appealing for tomorrow’s gardeners, but no less topical. Just as Jamie Oliver did with cooking in the early thousands – when you look back, his recipes were simple, easy and his youthful and energetic style of presenting appealed to an audience of the same age. James Corden even told Gordon Ramsay once that Jamie Oliver made cooking cool again.
You only have to look on Instagram to see the swathes of people in their twenties and thirties who love to garden, grow their own and get their hands dirty.
At this point in the point in the post, I know what you’re thinking – some Gardener’s World viewers might not have access to the internet or social media. I accept that may be true, but I do think the program does need to entice a more youthful audience in order the ensure its survival. Do you agree?
And yes, I don’t need to watch Gardener’s World to acquire information about gardening – but alas, it’s too much of a flag ship and one of the only programmes about gardening on the television. Anyway – I hope I haven’t offended any loyal Gardener’s World viewers out there along with the makers of a much loved programme. Perhaps I need to give it more than ten minutes?
I’d love to know your opinions, especially ones that are contrary to mine. Do you still watch Gardener’s World? If so, why?