Gardeners' World

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Gardeners' World
Gardeners world title.JPG
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Running time 30–60 min. each
Original network BBC
Picture format Originally PAL
Later 576i (1998–2008 anamorphic 16:9, pre–1998 4:3)
Since 2008 1080i HD
Original release 1968 (1968)

Gardeners' World is a long-running BBC Television programme about gardening, first broadcast in 1968 and still running as of 2015. Its first episode was presented by Ken Burras and came from Oxford Botanical Gardens.[1] The magazine BBC Gardeners' World is a tie-in to the programme. Most of its episodes have been 30 minutes in length, although there are many specials that last longer. The 2008 and 2009 series used a 60-minute format.


The show was presented until 2003 from the lead presenter's own garden.

Critical opinion[edit]

As the primary gardening programme on BBC Television, the programme attracts vocal opinion on the merits of the presenters and the content of each episode. The 2009 season introduced several new features, many of which were not well received. Criticism[3] was especially harsh regarding the high cost of certain features such as the hard landscaping and raised-beds and what was widely regarded as the dumbed-down and derivative content. The 'Cool Wall' which mimicked Top Gear, a competition for training places which aped The Apprentice, children from CBeebies and content such as a feature on garden gnomes annoyed many viewers. Much of the widespread criticism was also directed at the fact that the show no longer came from a real garden.

The 2010 show saw public approval change, after alterations to the show's production. The show's length was returned to the original 30 minutes and several features of the 2009 series (such as the '30 second fix') were axed. The show concentrated more on gardening content, re-introducing 'Jobs for the weekend' and focusing on plant species.

In March 2011, Monty Don returned as the main presenter of the programme.



Lead presenters have included:


Co-presenters have included: Alys Fowler, Chris Baines, Chris Beardshaw, Mary Spiller, Liz Rigby, Diarmuid Gavin, Clay Jones, Stefan Buczacki, Christine Walkden, Sarah Raven, Gay Search, Anne Swithinbank, Nigel Colborn, Geoffrey Smith, Roy Lancaster, Peter Seabrook, Joe Swift, Ali Ward, Pippa Greenwood, Rachel De Thame, Carol Klein, Bob Flowerdew, and John Kelly.

Theme tunes[edit]

The very first theme tune to the series in 1968 was a piece composed by Peter Craddy and played by Michael Saxton on clarinet. A year later this was replaced by the long-running Green Fingers composed by John Clarke and Reg Reid, played by Harold Rich & His Players, a version of which, with sweeping strings, was soon used. The most famous theme, which had the longest run from the late 1980s through the 1990s and is still heard in a slightly classical vein today, is a guitar piece that was composed by Nick Webb and Greg Carmichael. It had two titles, one for commercial release and one for library, Morning Light and Natural Elements. Natural Elements was the title track of a commercial album released in 1988 on MCA Records under the composers' band name of Acoustic Alchemy.

Links and spin offs[edit]

The former lead presenter, Alan Titchmarsh, teamed up with Charlie Dimmock and Tommy Walsh to make the series Ground Force. This was about rapid garden makeovers.

A book based on the history of the series entitled Gardeners' World Through The Years was released in 2003 by Gay Search.

BBC Gardeners' World Live[edit]

The BBC Gardeners' World Live Show is an extension of the television programme and magazine. Running annually in June, it is hosted at the Birmingham NEC,[5] co-located with the BBC Summer Good Food Show.

See also[edit]

The Beechgrove Garden, the long-running gardening show of BBC Scotland.


  1. ^ Modern themes – Gardeners' World, BBC – Gardening
  2. ^ Toby Buckland, Off to pastures new, BBC – Gardeners' World Blog
  3. ^ Gardening on TV and Radio BBC Message boards
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ The NEC Group, Birmingham

External links[edit]