This is really an opinion piece about an opinion piece. This morning a rant from Guy Deakins rocked up on my FB feed

Someone is very unhappy about the quality of comment and responses on the long time favorite BBC radio 4’s gardening program Gardener’s Question Time. I read the ranty piece and chuckled a little. I have listened to it on and off for years and on occasion taken the panel to task, remotely of course, for an incorrect reply or dull choice of plant. BUT and it’s a


One has to ask oneself just how well would you, or I do under such pressures?

If one reads the small print the panel have no sight of the questions thrown at them beforehand and so no time to prepare, Google or otherwise, there are 3 other people who might nick your reply before you get to speak and frankly guests often don’t give the whole story up front!

Of course they’re ‘experts’ but gardening is such a HUGE field to be an expert in all areas. Let’s start with all manner of pests and diseases, veg growing and fruit growing, ornamentals, trees, shrubs, all kinds of soils and weather conditions, light levels, water levels, design, planting, seed sowing, transplanting, division, propagation….I could go on!

It’s a bit like needing to be Mastermind for all subjects and being vilified if you get one wrong.

So I say keep on keeping on GQT, you’re better (horticultural) men and women than I am Gunga din!

Have your say below. What do you think of Gardening advice shows on radio or TV are the up to scratch? do they cut the proverbial mustard? or could you do it do better?

  • You’re more tolerant than I am. On the link to the site you give, I couldn’t read through the rant sufficient to understand that writer’s complaint–nor do I care to. I was off that site in 2 seconds!

    Over the years, I’ve followed several gardening shows in the U.S. and found them to be helpful and educational. After nearly 40 years of gardening (5-1/2 of those as a volunteer master gardener), I know enough about gardening to know that the more I learn, the more I recognize I know very little. What I do know is that each garden environment with its micro climate is different and environments change. Plants change. How each of us garden changes even from one season, one year to another.

    My expectation from gardening shows isn’t that they know everything. They can only make suggestions based on the information that is given to them. And their suggestions are just that–suggestions. I may have gotten this all wrong but like I said, I just couldn’t dig through the ranter’s issues.

    BTW: It’s okay to rant and give a strong opinion. When done coherently and logically, it gives us all something to seriously consider. Keep on ranting! Sorry to be so windy!!

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