Friday, 26 December 2008

BBC Gardeners' World

Christmas flu. Bah!

But, bravo BBC because your BBCi player is an absolute boon for the feverish and curmudgeonly male who has neither slept, or eaten a proper meal, in days!!

So, in the darkest hours I bumped into the Christmas edition of BBC Gardeners' World. Our BBC is often knocked, but let me tell you, we are the envy of the world in having such a treasure.

And new lead presenter Toby Buckland was superb. When Geoff Hamilton died, his great work of reaching out to the everyday gardener and advancing the causes of sustainability and organics in a practical, down to earth way rather lost its way.

Although accomplished TV presenters, Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don never made the connections that Geoff did. Alan, in particular, never convinced as an organic or sustainable gardener.
The programmes became vehicles for the presenters' own personalities. The camera seemed to play on them so adoringly......

Do you remember the series Monty did before moving onto Gardeners' World, when we had to watch his muscular and perspiring body as he drove in stakes for a hazel edging to his vegetable beds.
Geoff would have reused scaffolding boarding. Not nearly as sexy I'm sure, but a damn site more practical.

On a separate note, how sad that Monty has suffered illness that now prevents him from presenting.

I remember Alan's natural history series and enjoyed it but do recall one episode about rivers when we had to watch him, in camouflage gear, holding a stick for a kingfisher to land on. He was probably badly advised.

For me, Geoff was a convincing and passionate supporter of the Wildlife Trusts movement. Sustainable Garden blog is a reaction to that whole 'makeover and damn the environmental consequences' culture.

So, in my fevered state, I thought Toby achieved that excellent balance between authority and humilty that so recalled Geoff. And, how refreshing, to see Toby's contraption using a car jack for pressing apples. You could almost see Geoff smiling down from above.

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