BBC blasted for taking gardening off air during busiest week of industry's year

Garden industry experts lament show losing out to snooker during peak time of gardening year.

Monty Don. Image: HW
Monty Don. Image: HW

Snooker will replace gardening on BBC2 this Friday to the dismay of garden experts, who predict one of the biggest fortnights for Britons to get out in their gardens.

The World Snooker finals mean Gardener's World - the BBC's only topical gardening TV programme - will be dumped just when gardening reaches a peak.

A run of four bank holidays in 11 days between 22 April and 2 May are expected to send gardeners into their sheds to dust off spades and lawnmowers.

Garden parties and barbecues are expected in their hundreds of thousands to celebrate the Royal Wedding and gardeners will be tidying their plots ahead of the big day. Prime minister David Cameron is among those to call for Britons to unite and hold community parties.

Viewing figures for Gardeners' World reached at 2.2 million for 1, 8 and 15 April editions, up from an average of 1.8 million in 2010 when Toby Buckland presented the flagship show.

Garden Centre Association chief executive Gillie Westwood said: "It's a ridiculous thing to do. The BBC is not taking gardening as seriously as it did. Gardeners' World is just getting going under Monty Don. This seems anathema."

She added: "There will be more people in the garden this Easter than ever before because a lot aren't going away on holiday because of the economy."

Garden Industry Manufacturers Association chief executive Neil Gow said: "This confirms how out of touch the BBC is. It is one of the biggest weeks of the gardening year and with the way the weather is looking one of the biggest weeks in gardening calendar for many years. This shows how important gardening is to them."

Gow said Alan Titchmarsh's new ITV rival show, Love Your Garden starting 12 June will benefit from the BBC's apparent lack of commitment. "The programme will certainly get the viewers. There is a good chance that it will take over as the one that gardeners watch."

Gardeners' World returns to BBC2 on 6 May.

GARDEN INDUSTRY COMMENT

"It's unbelievable. It's the busiest gardening weekend ever experienced in April and the BBC takes off Gardeners' World. It was pretty obvious to those of us who know anything about gardening that the Easter bank holiday and the royal wedding and May bank holiday coming together would mean a busy gardening time. I throw my hands up in horror and say roll on Alan Titchmarsh on ITV" - Peter Seabrook, garden writer.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What new vegetables will gardeners be growing in 2018?

What new vegetables will gardeners be growing in 2018?

Next year is Fleuroselect year of the chilli pepper and Thompson & Morgan and Mr Fothergill's have ranges around the hot vegetable, with a new way of promoting sales.

Garden centre building: what's going up?

Garden centre building: what's going up?

After a lull in new builds, 2018 could see a slight resurgence in garden centres being erected.

Retail seed: crowded market for 2018

Retail seed: crowded market for 2018

Thompson & Morgan is refocusing on the garden centre seed market, hoping to win back business from Mr Fothergill's, which has expanded during T&M's long sale process.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles