The TV Deal No One’s Offered Us


Not that anyone’s asked, but…

If GardenRant had a TV show, what would it look like?

I was outside pulling weeds the other day, thinking of this very thing.  Here’s what I’d do:  It would be in the style of a late night talk show, with a host (one or more of us), guests who come sit on the couch and tell us witty horticultural stories, and performers like a musician who plays pan flutes made of carrots, a Beverly Nichols impersonator, and anyone with a chicken that does tricks.

We would of course invite celebrities, from horticultural rock stars like Tony Avent to actual stars (if Julia Roberts can talk composting with Oprah, surely Adrian Grenier or George Clooney can talk pollination with us), and we’d do man-on-the-street interviews about gardening topics. "What’s a perennial?" will no doubt elicit any number of wacky responses.

What else?  Live coverage of garden shows, garden tours, and plant sales, sent in by a network of (well-compensated) citizen video bloggers.  Live reviews of botanical gardens and garden centers. Regular segments on Plants We Hate in which those plants are eviscerated live on camera.  Nonsensical John Hodgman-style lectures on plant science.

And of course, cocktails.

Hard to imagine why HGTV hasn’t called yet.


  1. I LOVE it! Now that’s a show I would make sure I didn’t miss. Surely they could take one of the hundreds of Flip That House (yawn – after hundreds, who wouldn’t?) and replace it with your wonderful idea.

  2. That would so totally rock! I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve thought that they should have garden bloggers doing shows instead of the hosts on HGTV/DIY network. Well…Paul James can stay because he’s Paul James, and Jason Cameron can stay because he’s hot. Other than that, though….

  3. >>Hard to imagine why HGTV hasn’t called yet.

    Especially considering the current crop of crap they’re airing. Someone should tell them that show presenters (apparently) carved from wood do not interesting television make.

  4. Which begs the question…why aren’t you doing the show now? You can produce it yourself and distribute it to tens of thousands of eager fans. You don’t have to start off doing the whole show, but rather a series of segments you can release over time.

    Many-to-many media (i.e. podcasting, YouTube et al, live video streaming) is the way to go with a show like this with such a dedicated niche audience. You could have the first episode of Garden Rant TV completed before you know it.


  5. So what’s stopping you from doing a video stream? Or online streaming radio? You don’t need HGTV – you can do it yourself if you’re of a mind. The technology exists – you just have to free yourself from the mindset of having somebody else do it for you.

    So what’s stopping you?

  6. We will be debuting a weekly podcast very soon.

    I am all for the DIY approach to media; otherwise I wouldn’t be here. However, I also agree that HGTV could stand a lot of improvement. A talk show with sassy gardeners might be one way; I am sure there are many others. So yeah, we should and will do our own media, but it would also be nice if HGTV offered better choices to gardeners everywhere.

  7. Great concept.
    Someone ought to contact one of the better production companies and pitch this idea.


    This production company; has several locations but I’d opt for the Marin County studio.
    You’d be in the heart of garden innovationville and fabulous diversity what with funky Berkeley 15 minutes away ( you could visit Alice Waters school garden then have lunch at Chez Panisse ;
    Or go 20 minutes north west in you’re in the heart of Sonoma County ( wine, cheese + gardens galore) and 20 minutes past Sonoma is Napa Valley ( viticulture, horticulture and just plain culture ! ) .
    10- 15 minutes south from the Marin studio is da City and for a country outing ( 20 minutes away due west ) spend a day at a beach side garden ; and get the real scoop on Zen gardener Wendy Johnson .
    Bet you can do a much better job at interviewing her than the NY times :

  8. This is such a great idea! I’d love to see this become a reality.

    I’ve always considered No Calif to be the god realm of gardening – but to hold a larger audience it seems lots of attention would have to be on those of us in the unluckier parts of the country. The ranters cover a good bit of geographical area so that might work.

    Why wouldn’t HGTV be interested?

  9. HGTV could stand improvement? Why? Are they supposed to have good garden programming? Oh . . . . . I see. That “G” in the title is supposed to mean something. Silly me. I thought it all stood for Hardly Good TV. Now, a Garden Rant show, no matter how it’s delivered, that’s a GREAT thing! I’m with Mr. Welch up there – and anxiously awaiting the first installment!

  10. I love all the thinking here – but how do 4 people in different parts of the country do a TV show together? On the other hand, radio is totally do-able and coming soon.

  11. Well the production company that was suggested above has 4 main locations: Marin/San Francisco, Minnesota, DC and Georgia.
    There are always satellite feeds to hook up all of you at your various locations.

    Some smart, cutting edge, and innovative production company is missing the boat by not picking this concept up.

    I’d even go out and buy a television set .
    On second thought, maybe the podcasts would be just fine –
    : – )

  12. I would love the show except then I’d have to actually get cable! I love that a podcast is coming soon! That’s more my speed — hurray!

  13. Way to freshen things up! It makes my little gardener’s heart skip a beat to think of how far these GRASSROOTS can grow, fed with great ideas and a touch of stubbornness.

    How many of us gardeners want to waste those precious DAYLIGHT hours watching plants grow from the sofa anyway? I think there is a definite call for a late night garden program. Also, putting more pizzaz into the topic of gardening on TV(which you all do so well online)would make things so much better.

  14. Doesn’t Shirley Bovshov have a show already? Her stuff’s pretty fun to watch.

    It would be nice to also profile Garden Installs, in addition to CA, in other parts of the country like the Midwest or the Northeast.

  15. This really is a great idea. forget just doing it in the 4 places you guys are, you can do this all over the country. Any decent production company will have access to resources all over the country anyway, as they move around to do the work they regularly do. Here’s an excellent one you might want to look at, based in Boston, they work everywhere – – they just won their third emmy. Talk to Alan. He’s the owner (and yes, an old dear friend and one of the best human beings on the planet)
    As for HGTV, once you have this going on the smaller accessible scale you can handle, they will be knocking on YOUR door, based on your success!

  16. All good suggestions. I have done some episodes of a show on aphrodisiacs and similar topics related to food and sex for a local company and they’re downloadable from their website. If you can find a way to do this on a small scale you will have sample videos to show to networks, etc. It’s not hard to produce a video if you have some basic equipment and people who can do the editing.

    I stand ready and willing to help you out in the Hudson Valley region…

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