Paul James (gardener)
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Paul James is a TV gardener from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Known as "The Gardener Guy," he has been the host of the HGTV show Gardening by the Yard since 1996. He is the creator, writer and senior producer and shoots almost the entire show in his own backyard.
In the late 1980s, James began doing a gardening segment on a Tulsa CBS station. A few years later James read an article that HGTV was being launched. He called Scripps Howard Broadcasting and asked for a meeting. James was told if he could get to their headquarters they would meet with him. He did and Gardening by the Yard was born.
James' show explores topics familiar to the average home gardener, such as lawn care, growing vegetables, pruning trees, and instilling an interest in gardening in young people, in an informative yet light and irreverent style. Nearly all of his pre-2000 shows were filmed on his Tulsa property, and James produced most of the show's content himself. Later episodes usually included one or more segments by a respected lawn and garden expert and devoted more attention to organic gardening and topics that were more upscale or technical. All episodes of Gardening by the Yard made in 2000 or later were produced by Screaming Flea Productions.
James took master gardener training in 1983. James states he has a book deal in the works.
James is a married father of three. In addition to his work on Gardening by the Yard, James has hosted numerous HGTV specials, including a Rose Bowl Parade, as well as a short-lived cooking show (Paul James' Homegrown Cooking) that ran from 1998 to 2000.
In 2004, in an interview with Canadian Gardening magazine, Paul James stated that his favorite mythical creature is a phoenix because it represents the growth and rebirth of life, which he says plays an important part in gardening.
2009 was the last year of Gardening by the Yard as the show was not renewed. His official website is still live but has been effectively shut down as he decided to stop updating it.
Paul James often visits the Hollywood Garden Club in Florida, where he spends much of his time contributing to the gardens there. He once humorously remarked, "if I could choose to do anything, I would spend my time at the Garden Club with a pet phoenix at my side."[not in citation given]