Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, 17 February 2011

What Garden TV is Missing This Year :(



Click here to go to the clip if the above video link isn't working.

Many of us have been enjoying Carol Klein's Life in a Cottage Garden recently and will now be wondering when the next intelligent garden TV programme will be gracing our screens. Sadly it won't be series 2 of the award winning Landscape Man as Channel 4 have dropped the series.

Matthew Wilson recently posted the above snippet on YouTube to show us exactly what we'll be missing. They may be dealing with a large pond, but this clip is packed with information for anyone considering putting a pond in their garden - large or small - or wondering how to improve an existing one.

It also reminded me of happy times as a freshwater biologist spending my lunchtimes amongst the meadowsweet and water mint at the Water Research Centre's* SSSI in Medmenham. However, I'm rather worried Matthew seems to have found the pair of waders I threw out last year because the rubber had perished ;)

*= Sadly this has since closed and the WRc is just based in Swindon today. I spent an idyllic 6 months there (at Medmenham not Swindon!) working on my MSc thesis in the summer of 1994. It was a most amazing place to work: it was situated next to the river Thames, had a SSSI on site (because of the rare Loddon Lily), plus allotments available for employees.

We regularly went on bird walks at lunchtimes to provide data for a RSPB observation project and there were trips into the beech woods of the nearby Chilterns to go orchid surveying or walking before going to the pub on Fridays. My actual work was fish surveying (salmon and trout) which involved weeks of fieldwork interspersed with lots of time spent in the fisheries lab with Radio 1 for company. At least I had my dream job for 6 months: some people never have theirs.

PS The video mentions HabitatAid, so I've added a link to Nick's blog so you can check him out :)

11 comments:

  1. The water mint is a amazing plant, and yes peoples have to be careful when they put plant from a another country. It can be catastrophic.

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  2. Thanks, VP! I, for one, would love more of that!

    I’m all for encouraging people to go native when it comes to garden (and garden pond) plants. Years ago, I was excited to find all the information and advice I needed in Chris Baines’s book ‘Making a Wildlife Garden’. I’ve just checked and it’s available on Amazon, at a good price, revised and reprinted (http://amzn.to/i4VrUU). Also from the library, no doubt. Feel sure you will know it too, VP.

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  3. * 'How to Make a Wildlife Garden'. Whoops!

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  4. I wouldn't be suited to the work you describe but you make it sound idyllic. It's good to have such memories. If only we could re-create such experiences!

    Esther

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  5. How disappointing about Landscape Man! My husband and I have often talked about how great a subscription model would be for programs that *we* like (and know have an audience) but that the powers that be deem unworthy of renewing. The programs could be televised online, meaning that you could have an international family of subscribers. One day, I'm sure they'll figure it out.

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  6. Sign me up Helen! I never watch TV any more. Reruns of reruns all the way. And the garden programmes are either Instant or painfully step by step and as Cheap as possible.

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  7. So I *think* I'm grateful to you for bringing this to my attention, but as you said, it really does ram home what we are missing out on because they didn't commission the second series. Your time at Medmenham sounds wonderful. I need some water mint in my pond.

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  8. Carol Klein's Life in a Cottage was brilliant, I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the 'Landscape man', shame!
    Please to find your blog and happy to follow.

    Tony Jones

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  9. Ellada - welcome! We have a number of invasive water plant species here. Sadly some places are still selling them to a (largely) unknowing public

    Mag - it's fab isn't it? And so is Chris Baines' book :)

    Esther - it was very idyllic even though I was spending most evenings frantically working on my thesis as well as doing a very full days work! It just shows that when you're doing what you love, the long hours don't matter

    Helen and EE - that sounds a very good idea. We're sorta getting something like that soon as there's a horticultural TV channel about to be launched in March. It's focusing on growing veg though and I'm not sure how the subscription side of things is going to work.

    Plantaliscious - series 1 should be around somewhere, sometime if you missed it. There's also the book. Water mint is a splendid plant.

    Tony - welcome and thanks for following :)

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  10. In America, we got nothin'. Makes me sad. We used to have A Gardener's Diary with Erica Glasener, but HGTV took that off. So frustrating.

    I keep wondering by BBC America won't rebroadcast the garden programs in the mornings. I mean, they sent us Top Gear, and it is quite funny. We are starving for Good Gardening programming. Sorry about yours.~~Dee

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  11. Dee - thanks for reminding me we're relatively well off this side of the pond. I'm surprised BBC America hasn't spotted the gardening programme vacuum over there. Whilst the advice style programmes wouldn't work because of all your zones, I'm sure you'd like the ones looking at our garden history, Carol Klein's recent programme andgardens in general.

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