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Gardening shows on TV

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Last week, when some respected garden bloggers* (see below) took cable TV channel HGTV to task for not airing more shows about gardening, I didn't plan to comment. I figured that a TV network decided on which shows made the cut by the ratings, and that tuning in to what was available would speak louder than words.

But the idea of how TV covers gardening -- and how much -- does interest me. I've done regular TV segments about gardening and tended to find the approach a bit frustrating.

On one hand, you can show so much -- such as the proper way to prune a rose -- that's harder to convey in print. On the other, the demands are often along the line of "Next, Judy Lowe will tell us everything she knows about roses" -- when you've been given less than two minutes to do so.

What are your favorite garden shows? Mine tend to be visits to gardens -- half-hour visits, if possible. I want to see as much as possible and hear the people responsible for the garden talk about it.

Because I'm interested in the subject, I want to spend more time on it, not get a superficial look at whatever's being covered. I'm usually watching to learn something, not be (just) entertained.

But that isn't the way TV does things. And, I assume, the way it's being done is what the majority of the audience is used to and wants.

There's also the issue of the viewer's level of expertise. What I want to see is going to differ markedly from what's enjoyed by someone whose connection to gardening is planting a few marigolds in the front yard. (And there are many more casual gardeners than serious ones, as far as numbers go.)


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