This just in from the Times UK:
The latest series of
Gardeners’ Question Time (Sun, Radio 4, 2pm) is a bit of a
flight into the unknown — or, to be more precise, a flight into what is
surely known by the majority of the programme’s listeners. For it is
going back to basics with a new series on gardening fundamentals.
“We will start with site preparation,” says the producer,
Trevor Taylor, “and cover such topics as soil types, weed control,
essential pest and disease management, growing fruit and veg and how to
choose the best plants.”
If you’ve never tuned in to this BBC garden radio program, go here to check it out. Even if you garden in the Phoenix desert, it’s interesting to eavesdrop on the daily delights and problems of English gardening. Our beloved (and unnamed) Times correspondent goes on to say this about the new approach:
But is this wise? It is one of the essential charms of
GQT that it deals with esoterica and arcania, the minutiae of
horticulture that appeals not only to the expert amateur but to the
nongardening listener who, in the words of W. S. Gilbert, doesn’t think
he dances, but would rather like to try. Weed control? Puh-lease � if
we wanted to know about weed control we’d be off controlling weeds, not
listening to people burble on about it.
Yes! Finally, someone speaks out about the dumbing down of the garden media. I used to subscribe to Martha Stewart Living precisely because the garden section covered plants I couldn’t get, didn’t know how to grow, had never heard of. Give me something to strive for! Don’t hand me more of what I already have! Let me dream a little! Or, as the Times writer says:
Once you reduce the listenership of all these programmes to those
who a) can usefully employ their lessons; and b) understand what is
going on, you alienate that most capricious of constituencies, the
poseur. And you alienate us at your peril.