Like any professionally presented programme, you don’t see the snags around the edges, the compost that didn’t break down properly, the way the slugs execute an SAS attack on the hosts the night before filming.
They’ve got to make it look good for the viewers of course. All the best programmes do – apart from soaps where drama and negativity are the watchword. Garden make-overs may start with the weed-strewn, neglected plot that looks like it needs a team of renovators to wend a path to civilization, but most programmes start with a well-cultivated plot that is a picture to behold before they even start! Colourful flowers in well-planned gardens please the eye and, along with useful tips that make our green fingers start to itch, make a mental diary note to watch again next week.
The point that Alan was making in his defence of easy-look gardening is that there has, indeed, been some careful preparation to the plot beforehand and realistically the viewer has to expect to do the same at home. His comment that newbie allotment holders who stated that TV gardening made it all look too easy, was followed by an observation that they were possibly used to X-boxes where action and effect are achieved at the touch of a button. The digital generation knows little of patiently waiting for nature to weave its magic and allow shoots to appear at a time designated only by its unwritten laws way beyond the control of mankind – well, without artificial interference, that is, which is seldom seen nowadays. To quote Alan: “Travelling hopefully has been superseded in the nation’s affections by arriving.”
And that is just enough characters to send a succinct, quick response tweet!
Of course, if you don’t have Alan’s patience and do want speedier results from your growing, you can always bring your seedlings on in a Gabriel Ash greenhouse or cold frame. Why wait?